Officials cut the ribbon officially opening the Tahoe Blue Event Center on Monday. Photo special to The R-C by Kirk Walder
Officials from Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority, Visit Lake Tahoe, and Oak View Group 360 met Monday to cut the ribbon on the Tahoe Blue Event Center, an occasion more than a decade in the making.
What started as an “easy build on a parking lot” turned out to be a much larger undertaking, according to Lake Tahoe Visitor Authority attorney Lew Feldman, who took a trip down memory lane with a crowd of over 400 Monday evening.
Feldman said the center was permitted just before the before the first private event, a wedding, took place on Sept. 2.
Originally scheduled to open July 2023, Feldman said the journey did not come without complications, from early planning stages to fully realizing the multi-use event center.
Thanks to support from 20 bi-state partnerships in California and Nevada the venue will host more than 125 ticketed events annually, starting with the first this weekend, Comic Con on Saturday.
“The coordination somehow seemed to get there to get the job done,” International Coliseums Co. President and CEO Rick Kozuback said. “I hope you enjoy this building, this is your building.”
To make it a reality more than 60 tradespeople, contractors and subcontractors, and 30 appliance and furniture vendors coordinated to open the 5,000 seat multi-use event center with 10,000 square feet of meeting space, according to Kozuback.
“We’re going to bring the best entertainment here and it’s OVG360’s goal that the fans have the best time,” said Regional Vice President Rick Hontz. “We are ready to rock this place and bring something for everyone.”
The calendar of events is filling quickly. Tickets are already on sale, starting with Comic Con, then Pitbull the following week, with Lindsey Stirling, WWE wrestling and Adam Sandler after that.
Hontz said more announcements will be made as dates are confirmed.
Another milestone is on the horizon is the naming of Lake Tahoe’s first pro hockey team, thanks to partnerships with celebrity Tim Tebow.
“This is the time the community gets to come together,” said a representative of the Lake Tahoe Hockey’s Anthony Benge, who flew from Savannah, Ga. for the event.
Benge said he will be relocating to the Tahoe community in advance of the debut to manage the front desk with Oak View Group 360 and be a part of this “amazing community”.
Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority President & CEO Carol Chaplin said the building is poised to have a larger impact on the “sustainability and stewardship of the entire region.”
Visitors Authority Board Chairman and Edgewood Companies CEO John McLaughlin said he sees the event center as a catalyst to growth and redevelopment that will benefit the entire region.
“In three years you’ll see a much healthier economy, more jobs, more capital investment and more revenue for the community that we love to live and play in,” McLaughlin added.