First flame, then fee: Tahoe evacuees report price cuts


Stateline, Nevada (AP) —Some people encountered unexpected obstacles as the dreaded Lake Tahoe residents packed up and escaped from a fierce wildfire burning towards the California-Nevada border.

Rideshare companies estimate transportation costs from the smoke-filled ski resorts of Heavenly Valley to safe locations at Reno-Tahoe International Airport at over $ 1,500, which is about eight times higher than it is today. A hotel casino in Nevada, outside the evacuation order zone, advertised a two-night stay for $ 1,090.72. This is almost four times the price of the middle of the week the day before.

Report of price cuts occurs on a daily basis during natural disasters. Attracted new attention In the early days of the pandemic, when some companies tried to take advantage of panic in the demand for toilet paper and hand sanitizers.

There is no federal law banning it in an emergency, but at least 12 state capitols have been working on price cuts, including Nevada and California, where Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill banning that practice last September. ..

However, unlike California, the Nevada price cut ban signed by Governor Steve Sisorak in June will not take effect until October. Its start date limits authorities from taking action beyond what they promise to crack down on and monitor the issue.

“I hope good merchants don’t take part in price cuts,” Sisorak said Tuesday in Carson City, where the ash particles of the Caldor fire fell from the sky. “They will participate in making their products available to the widest possible group of people.”

Officials in both states have asked consumers to report the case to the office, with California Attorney General Rob Bonta, Nevada counterpart Aaron Ford, and U.S. Congressman Mark Amodey urging consumers to report the case to the office. Publicly warned the company in the shadow of a large-scale flame.

Ford’s office said on Wednesday that it had not received a particular complaint. Mr Bonta said the information was confidential.

The Caldor fire spanned more than 328 square miles (850 square kilometers) Thursday included 25%.. On Monday, the flames competed so quickly towards California’s resort city of South Lake Tahoe that authorities ordered mass evacuation of all 22,000 residents. People across the Douglas County border were ordered to leave a day later.

Montbrew Resort, Casino and Spa — a 438-room Nevada hotel just a few blocks from the California line — offers discounts for evacuees, $ 60 for firefighters and first responders, and for employees. We have started offering free accommodations.

For everyone else, the price of the room on Tuesday was raised from $ 120 to $ 450 per night before deducting taxes and fees.

The resort’s vice president and general manager, Tim Treton, said in a statement Wednesday to discourage tourists from traveling near wildfires and make rooms available to evacuees. He said the company plans to repay the difference to those who booked at a higher cost.

“We didn’t plan to collect or collect these fees, and we offered refunds or reductions as needed,” says Tretton.

Leaving South Lake Tahoe has also become more expensive for some travelers.

The 60-mile (96-kilometer) Lyft XL ride from the resort town to Reno typically costs around $ 200. On Tuesday, it rose almost eight times as people were in a hurry to defeat the flames.

Furious resident shared a screenshot of the price On Twitter Show $ 1,535 to a minimum of 5 passengers in a minivan or SUV. SF Gate reported The cost returned to $ 230 at noon.

Lyft and Uber said in a statement Wednesday that price spikes caused automatic caps as demand surged around South Lake Tahoe during an emergency evacuation. “We are reviewing and adjusting fares for certain riders affected in the region,” Lyft said.

“If the number of boarding requests exceeds the number of drivers on the road, prime time pricing (high rates designed to take more drivers to high-demand areas) will be automatically enabled. “The company said. Lyft’s pricing quickly capped and eventually suspended prime-time pricing. “

Mr. Uber said fares reached caps in some places on Monday after identifying a public emergency. It set a second cap on Tuesday.

The prices of gas stations around the evacuation zone did not appear to have risen significantly this week.

According to the National Assembly of State Parliament, Puerto Rico, Washington DC, and 39 states have regulations that limit price cuts in emergencies.

Mississippi, some of which have been abused by Hurricane AidaIn 2006, months after Hurricane Katrina left widespread destruction and supply shortages caused a long line of gasoline in the first weeks after the storm, price gouging penalties were tightened.

Attorney General of North Carolina Submission Last week, a ransomware attack closed a price cut against a gas station that raised the price of mid-grade gas and premium gas to $ 9.99 per gallon after the colonial pipeline, the largest fuel supply system in the United States, was closed.

Nevada’s anti-price gouging law was passed by a party vote in May, with Democrats in favor and Republicans against. The law prohibits price cuts in areas where the governor has declared an emergency.

California law generally prohibits businesses from raising prices by more than 10% following a state or local urgent declaration.

“If you see a price cut or suffer any damage, immediately file a complaint with my office online at or contact your local police or sheriff’s office. I recommend that, “Bonta said.


Sonner reported from Reno. Associated Press writers Olga Rodríguez and Joselingecker of San Francisco, Michelle L. Price of Las Vegas, and Emily Wagster Petas of Jackson, Mississippi contributed to this report. Mets Is a corps member of the Associated Press / American Capitol News Initiative Report. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in the local newsroom to report on unreported issues.