Lake Tahoe beaches drawing rowdy crowd

The sign to Zephyr Cove Resort at Lake Tahoe.

The sign to Zephyr Cove Resort at Lake Tahoe.

Last week, rowdy beach goers prompted the closure of Zephyr Cove, Roundhill and Nevada beaches after deputies responded to several reports of fights and other incidents.

“In May, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Zephyr Cove Beach 19 times,” Sheriff Dan Coverley said. “Ten of those were fights on the beach involving juveniles. In June, we have been dispatched three times, all for fights.”

On May 30, Tahoe-Douglas medics responded to the Tahoe beaches for a report of alcohol poisoning and a fight.

On Friday afternoon, it got to the point where deputies were calling for the beach to close.

Zephyr Cove resident Erinn Miller told Douglas County commissioners on Thursday that she found Nevada Beach closed on the afternoon of May 31. She said she was told that a group of high school students from outside the area swarmed Zephyr Cove, then Roundhill and Nevada beaches, closing them.

A fight at Nevada Beach the previous night also resulted in a 17-year-old girl being subject of a two-hour search until she was found drunk under a picnic bench, Miller said during public comment.

Coverley said a half-dozen juveniles have been arrested for drinking, three for obstructing and another for disorderly conduct.

“Zephyr Cove beach has the reputation of being the party beach in Douglas County,” Coverley said on Tuesday. “We do not have anything close to the number of calls for service at Round Hill Pines or Nevada Beach.  Based on what has happened so far I fear it will only get worse as the summer gets started and the weather gets warmer.”

There have long been issues at Zephyr Cove, which is why county ordinance prohibits alcohol at the location on Fourth of July.

But those issues have apparently spread to other weekends across the summer, particularly as California swelters in the heat.

“DCSO has a no tolerance policy on juvenile drinking,” Coverley said. “If you are under 21 and consuming or possessing alcohol and we contact you you’re getting arrested.”

The Record-Courier has contacted the U.S. Forest Service for comment.


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