Mountain Luxury Properties Gives Back – Donates $25,000 Toward a Community Park
Gregory Ochoa and the Mountain Luxury Properties team never expected that the perfect opportunity to invest in their community would present itself in the form of a vacant lot, but many of life’s best opportunities are the result of serendipity.
Three of Ochoa’s close friends, Corey Rich (Co-Founder at Novus Select), Chris McNamara (Founder of OutdoorGearLab), and Cory Hannaford (Co-Founder of Sierra Sustainable Builders), had been heavily involved with Friends of Ski Run, a group designed to positively impact Ski Run Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe. For years, they had their sights set on transforming a vacant parcel of land, previously owned by a large grocery chain, into a neighborhood community park.
Without a community park within a half mile of South Lake, over one thousand kids who live in the Ski Run area currently don’t have a safe place to play, run, and explore. Ochoa had been searching for a charitable initiative that aligned with Mountain Luxury Properties' vision of making a difference in the local community, so he was immediately drawn to the idea when he heard about it.
“There’s a very tight-knit group of entrepreneurs in South Lake who have been here for 15+ years and watched our town evolve. As we’ve built our careers, we’re constantly having conversations about what we can do to give back to our community,” shared Ochoa.
From left to right: Victoria & Chris McNamara, Joseph Irwin (City Manager), Corey Rich, John Friedrich, Kim Carr, Devin Middlebrook (former Mayor of South Lake Tahoe), Gregory Ochoa (Founder / Broker of Mountain Luxury Properties), Elie Alyeshmerni (Owner of Ski Run Marina), Sarah Steele
The project wasn’t as simple as finding the land and breaking ground; it required significant effort to purchase the lot and assemble a team of expert planners, landscapers, builders, project managers, and financial donors. The lot will be donated to the City of South Lake Tahoe once the building of the park is completed.
The project’s momentum inspired Ochoa to get involved, along with sage advice from Elie Alyeshmerni (owner of Ski Run Marina), who is also a donor and closely involved with the park. “He said – ‘When you pay it forward, it will come back to you tenfold. I’ve seen it happen so many times in my life.”
Sierra Sustainable Builders, who will manage the construction of the project and donate their time, will break ground on the park in Spring 2023. The Friends of Ski Run hope the project will be ready to welcome the community in the summer of 2023. Ski Run Community Park, whose design is rooted in suggestions from neighborhood kids, will include a climbing feature, a play structure, a plaza and mural wall, and a community table.
“It’s unique to be in such a tight-knit community where your philanthropic efforts can make much more of an impact,” said Ochoa. “It wouldn’t be the same in a big city, but here in a small town, you can make a much bigger impact for local families.”
For Ochoa and Mountain Luxury Properties, Ski Run Community Park represents the tangible potential of what can happen when you let your core values lead the way.
While the project has made incredible progress, they are still seeking additional funding to make it across the finish line. The Tahoe Fund will match all donations until they reach their goal of $100,000 to fund the custom bouldering wall – donations can be made here.