Tahoe Blue Event Center Ribbon Cutting

Tahoe Blue Event Center Ribbon Cutting
Tahoe Blue Event Center Ribbon Cutting. From left to right. Rick Hontz, Lew Feldman, Carol Chaplin, John McLaughlin, Rick Kozuback, Matt Levitt and Molly Rose Lewis.


Officials from Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority, Visit Lake Tahoe, and OVG360 met Monday, Sept. 18 to cut the ribbon on the Tahoe Blue Event Center, an occasion that was 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 Lou Feldman, Lake Tahoe Visitor Authority attorney who took a trip down memory lane with a crowd of over 400 Monday evening.  Feldman added just before the first private event, a wedding on September 2, the proper permitting was received. Originally slated 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 unwavering support from 20 bi-state partnerships in California and Nevada the venue is set to welcome more than 125 ticketed events annually, starting with the first this weekend, Comic Con on September 23.

Through the arduous building process, International Coliseums Company President and CEO, Rick Kozuback said “The coordination somehow seemed to get there to get the job done.” “I hope you enjoy this building, this is your building,” Kozuback added. To make it a reality over 60 tradespeople, contractors and subcontractors, as well as more than 30 appliance and furniture vendors coordinated to get the desired result, a state-of-the-art 5,000 seat multi-use event center with 10,000 sq ft of additional meeting space, according to Kozuback. The time has finally come to see it in action.

“We’re going to bring the best entertainment here and it’s OVG360’s goal that the fans have the best time. We are ready to rock this place and bring something for everyone,” said Rick Hontz OVG360’s Regional Vice President.  Hontz also tipped his proverbial hat to Tahoe Blue Vodka brand, TBEC’s naming partner. “It’s the best Vodka and I always take some home to Colorado with me,” Hontz said. The calendar of TBEC 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 exciting 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 ECHL’s debut to manage the front desk with Oak View Group 360 and be a part of this “amazing community”. When Tebow came to Tahoe for the announcement of the ECHL hockey team, he called the event center “a place of character, strength, and honor” and “a place for families in the community to build faith, hope and love.”

The list of benefits, according to Carol Chaplin, President & CEO Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority, is robust and will impact the whole region.  Chaplin said the building is poised to have a larger impact on the “sustainability and stewardship of the entire region.” The TDVA, with 17 other organizations regionally, collaborated to form Tahoe Stewardship Plan, which will aim to protect and preserve the area’s beauty. The TDVA is also charged with the planning, construction, and operation of a multi-use events center.

John McClaughlin TDVA Board Chair / President & CEO Edgewood Companies echoed Chaplin’s sentiments. “A rising tide lifts all boats,” McClaughlin told the Tribune. He sees the event center as a catalyst to growth and redevelopment that will benefit the entire region. “In 3 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,”  McClaughlin added.

Story originally appeared in the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

LTVA staff at the Tahoe Blue Event Center Ribbon Cutting Event
LTVA Staff from left to right: Anne Sutterfield, Cameron Weibe, Stuart Maas, Sue Barton, Carol Chaplin, Katherine Nastasia, Sam Pinsky, and Juraj Sojka