RENO (AP) — The COVID-19 pandemic helped expose the growing vulnerability of Lake Tahoe’s increasingly tourism-dependent economy as housing costs balloon, year-round residency declines and more workers commute from afar or seek jobs elsewhere, a new report says.

The Tahoe Prosperity Center says the findings in the study it commissioned with the help of a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration underscore the need to better diversify Tahoe’s economy, build more affordable housing and utilize an increasingly skilled work force.

“Exorbitant home prices, the high cost of living, long-haul commuters, a shortage of workers, and a flat to down economy over the past 10 years point to an economy that is not healing itself, nor resilient to disruptive changes that impact visitor-based economies more deeply,” the study said.

A skier kicks up some powder at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe in 2010. (AP…

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