Truckee Resident Sentiment Survey #1 2023 - Key Insights

June 27, 2023
Text Link

Truckee Stewardship Plan Survey #1 - Summer Outdoor Recreation and Quality of Life

The Truckee Stewardship Council, administered by Visit Truckee-Tahoe, is using Flashvote to understand resident sentiment in order to help entities with  jurisdiction and authority, prioritize solutions. The first survey was released on June 7, 2023 and was open for 48hrs. The survey contained 5 questions to measure resident sentiment about summer outdoor recreation impacts on quality of life in Truckee. Results from Survey #1 will help inform Survey #2, which will hone in on specific issues at top ranking impact areas. 


VIEW Google Slides Presentation - Summary

Understanding Filtering - Truckee Residents

Anyone can join the Truckee Flashvote community to give their point of view.

FlashVote collects detailed demographic data upon opt-in. This means survey results provide advanced filtering options by age, residency, homeowner/non-owner (renter), and gender. Our first survey was sent to 1,757 FlashVote members and garnered 975 total participants (±4% accuracy), 708 of which are filterable as "Truckee Locals". When using the dropdown in the survey results, selecting “Locals Only” or "Truckee Region" is the same thing and is defined as a respondent who provided a primary residence address within the blue boundary on the map below, whether they rent or own. However, using ALL filtering gets a broader picture and includes opt-ins who may commute in, who may be part-time residents (2nd homeowners) and have a self-identity as a member of the Truckee community.

Truckee Stewardship Plan "Residents Map"

The Truckee Residents map was defined by the Truckee Stewardship Council as those who live in areas were folks self identify as a member of the Truckee community. The map includes Town of Truckee, adjacent unincorporated areas of Nevada County, Martis Valley and Northstar California located in Placer County. The map excludes Donner Summit and Palisades Tahoe as the Council felt that those residents have a self-identity as  "local" to Olympic Valley or Donner Summit. That being said, the Truckee Stewardship Plan map includes Palisades Tahoe and Donner Summit as critical areas of the Truckee Watershed.

Summary and Key Insights

While the survey collected 975 responses overall, the summary below reflects responses from the Truckee Resident segment, labeled “Locals Only” in the FlashVote dropdown (708 responses).


Most (75.3%) had heard of Visit Truckee-Tahoe, even though the organization formed only 2.5 years prior in October 2020 (mid-Covid) with a primary message  of Sustainable Truckee. Out of 975 total responses, those with primary residence in Truckee skewed higher in awareness about VTT, as did respondents aged 46+.


In this order, survey respondents identified Traffic, Crowded/Degraded Experiences, Lack of Parking, and Litter as the top four issues that impact quality of life in Truckee. Hands down, traffic came in at 80% while crowded/degraded came in at 67% as a top issue.


In the open-ended responses about top issues, a prevalent theme of user behavior and attitudes surfaced. Comments frequently mentioned lack of education or responsible use, rude/entitled behavior, disrespect and grumpy/unkind attitudes. 



The top four impact areas with  issues came in as  Donner Lake, (75.5%, twice as high as the next location) followed by the Truckee River, Paved Paths (Legacy + Trout Creek), and Donner Memorial State Park.


While Survey #1 specifically probed outdoor recreation, the high degree of comments about Downtown Truckee raised this location as an area to explore in Survey #2.  Downtown Truckee was mentioned frequently in the open-ended responses as a top impact area (location was not included in selection choices).


When asked about the benefits and challenges of tourism, more than 50% of respondents said they “Don’t mind extra people if our infrastructure or user management systems will improve to handle it” in addition to, “Would like to see better management of peak period issues in popular areas”.

Nearly half of Truckee Residents agreed with, “If you know where to go and when, crowds can be avoided.”

Open-ended responses reinforced traffic, parking, crowds, and user behavior as key issues, which were all repeated again when asked “Anything else?”. Comments cited the need for more shuttles, concerns around emergency evacuation routes, lack of parking spots, and an inability to enjoy local events or recreation during peak season. 

Interestingly, comments indicated a somewhat balanced sentiment towards tourism, with roughly the same number of negative and positive comments regarding both the benefits and challenges of being a tourism based economy. 

National Resident Sentiment about Tourism

Longwoods International conducted Resident Sentiment research between 2020 and 2022 to measure public perception of tourism at a national level. Research measured positive and negative perception of economic development, environmental impacts, over-tourism, quality of life and other areas.

Findings mirrored Truckee Resident Survey results in some areas. Notably, traffic congestion, parking, and overcrowding were identified as key issues of concern. Tourism was credited with attracting new businesses and improving recreational, shopping, and leisure opportunities. 

In general, the study demonstrated strong national support for the tourism industry. Most viewed tourism growth as a plus, despite significant generational differences. Interestingly, national resident support for the tourism industry grew after the peak of the pandemic. In 2020, 55% agreed that, “the positive benefits of tourism outweigh the negative impacts” compared to 59% in 2022. 

Additionally, residents expressed support for planned and controlled tourism development but feel they are not consulted about major tourism development decisions. This is something all entities in Truckee, with  jurisdiction and authority over high impact areas, should to take heed of.

For more information regarding national sentiment of tourism, view study results.

About Flashvote

Visit Truckee-Tahoe is using FlashVote to conduct resident surveys in 2023 to help inform the Truckee Stewardship Plan. FlashVote is a scientific survey system that delivers statistically valid community input in 48 hours. Surveys take 1-2 minutes and are available via text, phone, and web in English and Spanish. FlashVote survey results are immediately public after the survey closes, providing transparency for all to see what the community said. View the detailed results of Survey #1 with filtering options at

Visit Truckee-Tahoe presented a summary of Resident Survey #1 to the Nevada County CCC (Convene, Champion, Catalyze) Leadership Forum for Sustainability at their August 2, 2023 meeting. View presentation.

Visit Truckee-Tahoe logo.
E-Newsletter Signup

You’re in! Thanks for joining, stay tuned for news and updates.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

Copyright 2023 Visit Truckee-Tahoe