Chris Baus

Someone else's dream

Growing up in the rust belt, I dreamed of living in a ski town. I traced the lines of the Squaw Valley ski map and could only imagine such a place actually existed.

I moved to Tahoe in 1999. I’ve owned my house there for over 15 years, but, now, often, I take both for granted.

Today I received a review from an AirBNB guest [1] who spent one night there:

This is my girlfriend’s favorite airbnb so far. it’s the dream house she never had….

Today I drove a sports car on well maintained roads to meet a friend for a brunch of omelettes and eggs benedict. I wanted to be somewhere else.

But the words, “It’s the dream house house she never had” have been running through my mind since I read them. It is the dream house I do have, but I am failing to see it that way.

[1] When I’m not there, I rent my house in Tahoe on Airbnb.

My property is permitted in Douglas County, NV, and I currently pay a 14% occupancy tax which includes cleaning fees. In off-season months like October I may have 5 days rented.

I’ve heard arguments that putting my house on short term rental eliminates a property from the long term rental market. For me that is unequivocally not true. The alternative is vacancy.

My house was built in 1961. It wasn’t intended for year-round occupancy but has been heavily modified to withstand the harsh Sierra winters. It was built as an inexpensive summer vacation residence.

Tahoe has been a place of retreat far longer than it has been a place of residence. I have no qualms offering high quality accommodations to those seeking retreat in Tahoe, just as I did many years ago.