by Leo Jakobson | September 21, 2017
Things are booming in Lake Tahoe and Reno these days. The game-changing battery construction Gigafactory electric car maker Tesla is operating (and still building) in nearby Reno is making the area a tech hub able to attract the likes of Microsoft and Apple.

Not that the resort town widely considered to be of the country's most spectacular scenic settings needs any help in attracting tech company incentive groups - Bill Gates once helicoptered in for a surprise appearance at a Microsoft incentive program picnic high up above the lake. 

Still, the completion this summer of the $100 million Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe marked the investment of "over three-quarters of a billion dollars in capital investment over the last five years," in the area, South Lake Tahoe Mayor Austin Sass noted at the opening ceremony or the 154-room, waterfront property. He's not the only local with that opinion. "The meeting and incentive business in North Lake Tahoe has been fantastic over the past couple of years and continues to grow with each season," says Jason Neary, director of conference sales for Go Tahoe North, the CVA. "We have recently seen a tremendous uptick in incentive programs, incentive spending, and increased spending with our destination management companies (DMCs)."

The Lodge at Edgewood Tahoe is the big news on the Nevada side. Set next to the Edgewood Golf Course, which celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, the lodge offers 154 rooms and suites with gas fireplaces and private decks or terraces. It offers great lake views, particularly from its "Great Room" overlooking the year-round heated pool and hot tub, which has a wall of windows several stories high. Amenities include an 8,500-square-foot spa and a fitness center, an Adventure Center, a bistro, and a bar. The Lodge is a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Lifestyle Collection.

The LEED-designed project includes a substantial run-off-focused environmental component for the resort, golf course, and beyond. Along with nearly 3,000 square feet of event space, groups have access to the 4,200 square feet of indoor function space and two event lawns at the lakefront golf course's Edgewood Tahoe Clubhouse.

California's North Lake Tahoe has several new additions, including the opening of The Lake Club by The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, which adds a lakefront venue with a beach and water sports to the AAA-Five-Diamond, ski-in, ski-out luxury resort located mid-mountain at Northstar California. Built to exacting environmental standards, the lodge's mountain modern design incorporates a great deal of natural light and spectacular lake and mountain views. Features include an indoor bar and dining terrace, upper-level dining deck, and expansive lawn leading to the water, as well as a fire pit and outdoor spa. The club house also supports a wide variety of water sports, from paddleboarding and kayaking to wave runners and parasailing, as well as a pier for yacht and fishing charters. 

The Thunderbird Lodge Lake Tahoe resort, a stone "Castle-in-the-Sky" estate built by a local magnate (and known for a 600-foot tunnel used to smuggle casino high-rollers and showgirls up from the boathouse) is both a National Historic Site and a very private and unique event venue for groups of up to 120. The Incline Village, NV, estate recently restored and returned to service the historic yacht used to ferry those VIPs over -- the fabulous Thunderbird Yacht, a 16-person, 55-foot wooden speedboat built in 1940. It's recently been put back in service for charter and cocktail cruises in a style straight out of Gatsby.

South Lake Tahoe's Coachman Hotel is another new addition, as is the boutique Hotel Becket.  And ground has been broken on two new properties in North Lake Tahoe, the 118-room Tahoe City Lodge, and Boulder Bay, a mixed-use development that will include a 275-room hotel, 20,000 square feet of meeting space, a health and wellness center and casino, as well as retail and residential components.

Harrah's Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino recently completed $3.8 million update of the resort's 17,000-square-foot Special Events Center brought in state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems while replacing the carpet, wall coverings, furniture and fixtures. And work is wrapping up on a room refresh, bringing a contemporary style and double soundproofed walls. With its next-door sister property, Harveys Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino, there are a combined 50,000 square feet of event space, as well as 1,254 rooms. 

Up in the mountains, Vail Resorts' Heavenly has a new lounge, the California Bar at the California Lodge and some fun events like the TAP craft-beer sampling on the snow. Like the company's two other area ski mountains, Northstar California and Kirkwood Mountain Resort, Heavenly is participating Vail Resorts' new "Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint," which sets a companywide goal of zero net emissions and zero waste to landfill by 2030, as well as zero net operating impact to forests and habitat.