At the Lake: AVP Tour not returning to Tahoe |

At the Lake: AVP Tour not returning to Tahoe

Provided by the Tahoe Daily Tribune

AVP Tour players are accustomed to playing on picture-postcard days and before packed stadiums.

That didn’t happen at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa last September and, consequently, the tour won’t return to Stateline in 2007.

The Stateline venue wasn’t one of nine venues retained for the 18-stop 2007 AVP Crocs Tour schedule that was released on Monday.

“The weather wasn’t that good and the event didn’t do that well,” said Paul Reder, president of PR Entertainment Inc., which provides all of the entertainment and sports for MontBleu.

“It was a great experience to be associated with AVP, a good alignment for our brand, but we struggled with some of the midweek events. The market was too small to support the midweek events.”

Unfortunately, the AVP Tour rolled into town just as the area was receiving an early dose of winter. Cold rain, swirling winds and overnight temperatures near freezing kept spectators away from the makeshift beach behind MontBleu. Tickets were affordable, ranging from $20 to $75.

Reder, however, hasn’t given up hope on bringing back the AVP to Lake Tahoe in some form.

“We’re looking at other opportunities to align ourselves with them,” Reder said. “We’re thinking about doing some qualifying events. There might be some opportunity this summer. We’re seeing what makes sense for the community. If it was a two-day event, it would be great. It’s hard to draw people midweek.”

Before last year’s Sept. 14-16 tournament, players such as Kerri Walsh and husband Casey Jennings were excited about the Tahoe venue because the location was ideal for family and friends.

“There’s no greater place for me. This is where I learned to play beach volleyball,” said Jennings, a four-time winner on the AVP Tour. “You are gonna have a lot of people come out of the woodwork who are excited to watch it, and hopefully we’ll get some new fans out of Reno and Carson City who will come.”

They didn’t. Remaining California venues for 2007 tour include mainstays Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Huntington Beach along with new stops at Long Beach and San Francisco. Other new venues for 2007 include Miami; Dallas, Glendale, Ariz.; Louisville, Ky.; Tampa, Fla.; Charleston, S.C.; and Boston.

“Through a number of successful promoter alliances, we are able to bring the excitement of beach volleyball to more cities throughout the country than ever before, increasing the exposure of beach volleyball and reaching a larger audience,” said Leonard Armato, tour commissioner and chief executive officer.

Is there more than one business voice for the South Shore?

Two chambers of commerce based in two states at Lake Tahoe officially merged in November. But there are still two chambers on the South Shore.

After a few years of intense discussion, the California-based South Lake Tahoe and Nevada-based Tahoe Douglas chambers of commerce merged four months ago. The South Tahoe Chamber of Commerce was formed by a group of disgruntled members over disagreements on the financing of the merged chamber and leadership.

According to the California Chamber of Commerce, this is the only small town in the state with two chambers that have similar names ” the Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce and the South Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.

Both sides agree having the similarity is confusing to new and potential members.

“There’s a good deal of confusion,” said Steve Yonker, who took over the “ST” Chamber as president when Bob Attinger had a family health emergency.

But both are dealing with it one day at a time until there’s a problem. And some believe that although there’s room for both and competition is welcome, that day when problems arise could come.

When Highway 50 closed at Riverton near Pollock Pines last week, two press releases from two chambers went out to represent the area. This is in addition to the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority release.

What happens if there’s conflicting information?

“Yeah, that’s a concern,” LTVA Executive Director Patrick Kaler said.

With more than 1,000 members according to its records, the “LT” Chamber throws business mixers under the auspices of the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce and Tahoe Douglas Chamber of Commerce.

And now the “ST” Chamber ” with 115 members under its belt ” puts on business “blenders” for its greet-and-meet gatherings.

Both chambers are wooing support from the Meyers Community Roundtable, have Web sites up and running, and say they’ll support the LTVA and cater to small, bistate businesses ” a large part of commerce in the region. Being bistate was once an issue, with allegations the “LT” Chamber was Nevada- slanted upon its merger.

“The curious thing up your way is you have two states involved,” said Dave Kilby, senior vice president of the California Chamber of Commerce.

And more importantly, both have their eyes on the South Lake Tahoe City Council meeting scheduled March 20 when talk of the city’s community marketing fund once deemed “chamber money” and access to the local government’s buildings may come up.

The agenda has not been confirmed by the City Clerk’s office, especially with items postponed from the canceled March 5 meeting carried over.

Duane Wallace, board member with the “ST” Chamber, said his group plans to pitch the city on renting out the Arts Building for $500 a month and team up with nonprofit organizations.

Betty “B” Gorman, executive director of the “LT” Chamber, said her organization plans to make a presentation to bid on the $322,000 fund.

And to “LT” President Carl Ribaudo, this point in time becomes critical to deliver the events and services promised.

“It’s hard to say what the market will take. We’re trying to separate ourselves. We’re going at it at the right speed, not talking about it,” he said, adding the goal is to not bite off more than the group can chew.

Beyond hosting a series of town hall meetings and sharing a new building in Edgewood Village with the LTVA and the Douglas County Commission, the “LT” Chamber plans to distribute its first newsletter in the Tahoe Daily Tribune in the next few weeks.

The LTVA intends to have a visitor center with interactive displays in the bottom floor of that building by next month.

A judge denied a petition from the El Dorado County Deputy Sheriff’s Association that claimed Sheriff Jeff Neves violated a state labor law when staff changes were made in November.

A single-page minute order by El Dorado County Superior Court Judge Daniel Proud denied the petition last week, leaving the association’s president surprised and Neves pleased.

“It was unfortunate we had to go to court, but it was a fundamental right we felt strongly about,” Neves said.

“What was surprising is we never got a chance to argue a case,” said Don Atkinson, president of the association.

The petition was filed after Neves changed assignments to beef up the number of deputies on patrol. Atkinson believed Neves conducted the changes without “meeting and conferring” with the association, which is a state labor law.

Oral arguments in the case were heard before Proud on March 1. Atkinson said the cause of the hearing was for the county to defend the action so the association’s lawyers did not present their full case. Neither attorneys for the association nor the county could be reached for comment.

Atkinson said the association intends to file a motion for reconsideration.

Neves hopes there won’t be any ill will from the ruling.

“It was simply a point of law we saw differently,” he said.

Using a computer database listing names of people who have season passes to Vail resorts, a 21-year-old allegedly sold discounted lift tickets, costing Heavenly Mountain Resort nearly $2,500, a Douglas County sheriff’s investigator reported.

Rafael Leandro Aieta was arrested last month on suspicion of embezzlement, fraud and grand larceny when the director of base operations believed Aieta was selling buddy passes to people who did not qualify, the investigator reported.

He has since made bail.

Season pass holders are allotted four buddy passes, or discounted lift tickets at $40 instead of $74, for guests skiing with them. Aieta allegedly accessed the names of season pass holders at other Vail resorts to determine if a person used their buddy passes, the investigator reported.

Aieta issued 71 buddy passes with Heavenly approximately losing $2,414, the investigator reported.

When interviewed, Aieta said he sold only $614 worth of buddy passes and he only started stealing one day. The report did not state how long Aieta allegedly sold discounted buddy passes.

Aieta’s case is being processed in Tahoe Township Justice Court. On Wednesday, Aieta personally requested a continuance but those matters are usually done through an attorney.

A retired Nevada correctional officer was sentenced to five years in prison, fined $3,000 and ordered to forfeit computers and register as a sex offender for traveling to South Lake Tahoe from Carson City to meet a 13-year-old girl for sex.

Timothy Randall, 59, pleaded guilty in late September to one count of traveling in interstate commerce for purposes of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor female.

The “girl” he was talking to online ” and met in a Northern Nevada Yahoo! chat room ” was an adult decoy with Perverted Justice, a nonprofit organization dedicated to capturing sexual predators.

Randall was arrested while waiting in his car near Rite Aid to pick up the girl from South Tahoe Middle School in early May.

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department, FBI and Douglas County Sheriff’s Department participated in the investigation.

Sentenced Friday in United Stated District Court in Sacramento, Randall voiced embarrassment, apologized and pledged never to have a computer in his home again, according to a release from the United States Attorney office.

Randall rented a room at Motel 6. Inside the room authorities found a digital camera, a video camera, a sex toy, lubrication, a pack of condoms and a bag of Fritos, according to FBI Special Agent Chris Campion.

“I think this is a great example of a joint investigation with the South Lake Tahoe Police Department and Perverted Justice,” Campion said. “Everybody was really important to seeing the successful conclusion of the investigation.”

In addition, Randall will be placed under federal supervision for 10 years after he completes his prison term.