Caldor Fire took big bite out of gaming revenue

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Aug. 26, four days before South Lake Tahoe and then Kingsbury were evacuated ahead of the Caldor Fire.

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Aug. 26, four days before South Lake Tahoe and then Kingsbury were evacuated ahead of the Caldor Fire.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.


While the Caldor Fire is contained, the economic damage it caused was reflected in gaming numbers for September when Highway 50 was closed, and South Lake Tahoe evacuated.

According to figures released Wednesday by the state, the casino win for Stateline was down 77 percent to $5.6 million, the lowest take since the coronavirus lockdown ended in June 2020.

Gaming revenues directly reflect room taxes raised in the Stateline casino corridor, which fund both the Douglas County Community Services Department and the Public Library.

In addition, the casinos pay property taxes based on their revenues as opposed to the value of their property.

According to the Nevada Department of Taxation, the casino corridor at Stateline, which raises most of Douglas County’s gaming revenue, ended the first quarter down 9.24 percent after a strong summer.

The fire is fully contained at 221,835 acres and is back in the hands of local firefighters as of Sunday. At its height at the end of August, the fire came to within three miles of Carson Valley.

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit reduced the Caldor Fire closure area on Monday and issued a new forest closure order. The order and map are posted at

The new closure limits public access within the Caldor Fire burn footprint as well as roads and trails leading into the fire area to protect the public until hazardous conditions can be addressed. All National Forest roads and trails within the Caldor Fire perimeter will remain closed through Aug. 1, 2022.

Just four months shy of the day a lightning strike sparked the Tamarack Fire, which claimed a score of homes in Alpine and Douglas counties, it was doused by the atmospheric river.

On Tuesday, the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s Carson Ranger District declared the fire 100 percent contained and controlled after steady precipitation over the weekend provided moisture to the fire area.

Forest Service officials said the fire area closure expires on Halloween. While that will increase recreational opportunities, they advise caution in the burned area.

There might still be an occasional smoke coming from smoldering large trees and stump holes within the fire’s perimeter, but officials said those shouldn’t pose a threat to the containment lines.

There might also be fire-weakened trees and loose rocks and debris on steep slopes. Increased run-off and mud flows are also possible in the area.

The fire was first reported on July 4 after a lightning storm in the Sierra. It burned 68,637 acres with 14,873 in Nevada, where 11 homes were destroyed in southern Douglas County where the fire reached Highway 395.

Firefighters reached 82 percent containment in late August, just as the Caldor Fire was starting to gain steam and threaten Lake Tahoe.

“The remaining 18 percent was in extremely rugged terrain and being actively managed for confinement using natural barriers until a season ending weather event occurred,” officials said Tuesday. “Repair and rehabilitation work related to the Tamarack Fire will continue for quite a while.”


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