Looking out their window, Bob and Ofelia Bombino watched as a part of their life was auctioned.
From bed linens to dressers, Taylor Creek Auctions sold the furniture from Tahoe Manor Motel, the first property slated for demolition under the city's redevelopment project.
After having managed the Tahoe Manor Motel for almost 18 years, the couple are out of a job due to redevelopment.
"Redevelopment came and now we're gone," Bob Bombino said, sitting Wednesday in the part of his home patrons considered the front office. "We feel bad about leaving but we have no choice. I have enjoyed my stay here and have made good friends."
Married 44 years, the couple plan to retire in Las Vegas in the next two weeks where the cost of living is more affordable.
Peeping her head from around the door, Ofelia Bombino smiled and said at the very least she was looking forward to the nice weather.
Bob affectionately looked after his wife going back into their private quarters. "My wife is called 'Mother Theresa' of Tahoe - she's always helping others, but not anymore now that redevelopment has kicked us out."
Although the auction represented a sense of closure for the Bombinos, there was an air of excitement as auctioneer George Alm began the fast-paced bidding.
"Sold for $2," Alm said to the women who bought a television set from room No. 1. Beds, lamps and dressers followed suit, auctioning off for no more than $10. The big-ticket item, an industrial size washer and dryer sold for $1,100.
"This is an opportunity to buy some really nice furniture for a really nice price," Alm said to the crowd gathered around him. "There is a lot of start-up furniture for the first-time buyer."
With their numbered tickets in hand, young and old alike browsed through the 18 rooms.
"I like the prices, but you have to know what you're bidding for," said resident Jim Reimann.
His wife, Margaret, agreed.
"I think auctions are fascinating," she said. "Our son has a terrific eye for stuff."
Fellow motel owners were also placing bids. Kevin Rambhai, owner of Tahoe Hacienda Motel, was buying various pieces of furniture for his own establishment.
As for the Bombinos, Bob doesn't feel redevelopment is the answer.
"This town has been dying for the last five years," he said. "It needs improvement, not just time-shares, expensive hotels and pizza and Mexican food places. Not everyone wants to pay $100 a night to stay here. They should just revamp what they have to make it beautiful and then this town would be a gold mine."