Archive for the ‘Incline Village’ Category

I had a challenging year managing the finances at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, NV. The campus is a short walk from the north shore of Lake Tahoe at around 6.300 feet in elevation.

It was a year where the school weaned itself from the financial support provided by Michael Milken’s Knowledge Universe Learning Group (KULG).

Milken’s name should be very familiar to anyone in the world of finance. The former “junk bond king” served his time and re-emerged with a passion to improve society through education. He also beat what was diagnosed as terminal prostate cancer. He created a foundation devoted to fund research of treatments and cures for the disease. The foundation grew to become the largest single philanthropic source of funds dedicated to prostate cancer research.

Sierra Nevada College was cash-strapped before Milken stepped in. His efforts bought time for a new strategy to take hold. He attracted top-notch talent to serve on the board and in the administration.

The college officially ended its affiliation with Milken in 2011, in a position to rely on tuition revenue as the primary source of cash.

In my year as CFO, the operating margin improved by $1 million – from a deficit of $500K to a projected positive result of $500K (for the record, this is public information). There were several key individuals who played a role in the turnaround, but all of us had to succeed for the college to survive.

The strategy for success was simple – fiscal sustainability. Los Angeles should try it.

I left one last impression before I wrapped up business on the campus.

A photograph I shot is the backdrop for this postcard announcing the college’s new MFA program.

I took many pictures of the region, in all four seasons. This one was taken at Sand Harbor after a snowfall in January.

SNC_postcard copy

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Copious amounts of snow fell in the Tahoe Basin this week.

Let’s hope for more dumps in March.

I took this photo with Pro HDR for the iPhone!

Diamond Peak near the top.

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The bi-state North Lake Tahoe Regional Planning Authority (TRPA) approved the development of an upscale resort in Crystal Bay, Nevada, within walking distance of the California state line.

The project, named Boulder Bay, has been hotly debated for years.  Significant concessions were made by the developers and it appears to be on its way to fruition despite the possibility of lawsuits.

Boulder Bay


The vote was 12-2 in favor and may represent the last major decision of the controversial agency charged with controlling development in the Lake Tahoe basin.  It appears all but certain Nevada is pulling out of the compact that was formed with bi-partisan cooperation during Governor Reagan’s administration.

California and Nevada will each have its own agency to assure protection of their respective shorelines and watersheds.

The TRPA’s decision begs the question: what will be the fate of the dated Cal Neva Hotel across the road from Boulder Bay?
The Cal Neva was in its heyday when Frank Sinatra owned a fifty percent interest in the days of the Rat Pack, but it is an aging and poorly maintained relic today.  I walked around the property last year with some friends from the area and was appalled by the deterioration. 
Amazingly, the hotel experienced some spurts of activity in 2010, including a News Years Eve event that attracted 1,500 guests.
Nevertheless, it appears some group will have to invest serious cash to make a going concern of the historic casino resort.  Perhaps the older casino section can be salvaged and restored, but the high-rise hotel may not be worth saving.  It won’t come close to matching the ambiance of Boulder Bay.
Old Blue Eyes would be shedding a tear or two if he knew.

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No kidding

The closest I come to the bone-chilling water in Lake Tahoe in the winter is when I cross-country ski on the beach.

How about kayaking across the lake when the water temperature in 34 degrees and the air temperature in well below freezing?

I’ll stick to the jacuzzi.

Apparently, a few people don’t let the frigid weather deter them.

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Diamond Peak, Incline Village, NV, Oct 30, 2010

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Perhaps this could be the story line for a movie:  because a couple does not qualify for affordable housing in Los Angeles, they move away in search of another community that can accommodate their needs.

So they move to Aspen, Colorado.

In Aspen, you can qualify for Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority’s affordable housing program if you meet stringent tests of income and net assets:  up to $181,500 of income and $250,000 in net assets qualifies you to be down and out in the mountain mecca.  This is according to an article dealing with affordable housing in resort towns.

It must be like “buddy, can you spare me a latte.”

I can just imagine what their density bonus must be like for adding affordable units.

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You will not find a better view than this when skiing anywhere in the West.  Lake Tahoe’s blue is a sight from the top and other points along the trails.

Diamond Peak offers the best views of Lake Tahoe and a wide variety of skiing. If you want to stay in a classic cedar log home nearby, contact me at HatfieldsHaven@aol.com.

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