Something's brewing at Incline Plaza

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

INCLINE VILLAGE -- The rumor that a Starbucks may go into an Incline Village commercial development has prompted a petition against the chain coffee shop by a competitor.

Tyler Haugum, Smilers' Organic Espresso and Coffee shop owner, said he thinks if Starbucks opens it will close down the local bagel shop and his own coffee shop. Haugum is so convinced the chain coffee shop will hurt his and other small business that he started a petition. As of Tuesday at noon, 400 people had signed it.

"I have nothing against the landlord, Vince Scott, but I think a Starbucks will take away all of my tourist business," Haugum said.

"A lot of people think there's some kind of regulation about no large corporations being allowed in Incline," he said. "But it's illegal to keep businesses out." He cited Bank of America and US Bank, as well as Raley's and Domino's Pizza, as a few examples of large corporations already here.

"When Domino's came it closed down four pizza businesses," Haugum said. "Sierra Nevada Pizza, Bob Dog, and Flamingo's and now Incline Pizza." In addition to the personal threat, Haugum said the thought of turning the North Shore into a cookie-cutter of every other town in the United States does not appeal to him.

"I want the town to retain its uniqueness," he said.

Mimi Komito, owner of Sierra Bagel Factory, said all of the small coffee shops in Incline Village will be threatened -- by name recognition, if nothing else.

"All small businesses in the area depend on tourists for 75 percent of their income. That's how we stay alive," she said. "When tourists come, they'll go to the name they know."

Kristine Hung, marketing manager for Starbucks in Northern California and in Northern Nevada, said she has been talking to area residents, and they concluded that Starbucks would be a welcome addition to the community. Hung owns a home at Squaw Valley and spends many weekends in the area.

"We opened a Starbucks in Truckee and another at South Lake," she said. "We identify locations by making sure there is room for the business."

There is a Starbucks in Carson City and the company is building a processing plant in Carson Valley.

She is confident the region can support Starbucks as well as the existing coffee shops.

One of the questions company executives ask prospective employees is how they feel about contributing to the community. For Starbucks, community service -- especially for literacy and families -- is more than a plaque on the wall, she said.

Starbucks was recently named by Fortune 100 as one of the best companies to work for, Hung added. The company gives full benefits to part-time workers and offers stock options, as well.

Developer Vince Scott said his goal is only to upgrade Incline's commercial center. "I want to make a nice commercial corridor in downtown Incline Village." He said he's had support from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Washoe County.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment