Lake Tahoe’s Incline Village General Improvement District Drives Informed Internal Decision-Making with OpenGov

POPULATION: 9,000 Permanent Residents  |  AGENCY TYPE: Quasi-Public Agency  |  ANNUAL BUDGET: $39 million

Incline Village General Improvement District (IVGID) is a quasi-public agency in the beautiful Lake Tahoe region of Nevada, providing services to the Incline Village and Crystal Bay communities. The agency’s role includes overseeing Champion and Mountain golf courses, Diamond Peak ski resort, beaches, and various recreation centers, event venues, and parks. With a mandate to provide water, sewer, trash, and recreational services to both residents and tourists, the agency’s staff often finds itself reacting to seasonal tourism trends and weather variability.

IVGID’s management and staff strive to align their day-to-day operations with the organization’s value statement: “We are dedicated people providing quality service, for our community and environment, with integrity and teamwork.” To that end, the team sought new ways to become proactive in forecasting future service needs and revenue to plan its operations accordingly.

This case study will demonstrate how Incline Village General Improvement District leveraged the OpenGov Smart Government Platform™ to achieve the following results:

  • Forecasting Amid Uncertainty. The staff used OpenGov to help address the challenge of anticipating revenues given weather variability by comparing recreation metrics with historical weather patterns and forecasts.
  • Leveraged Decades of Data. IVGID’s team uploaded and analyzed more than 25 years’ worth of ski visitor data, evaluating trends by year, month, week, and individual days.
  • Flexible Internal Reporting. OpenGov provided more flexible reporting than the agency’s ERP software, offering the detail and historical data necessary to create custom reports and drive informed decision-making.
  • Saved Staff Time. The intuitive, easy-to-use interface facilitated quick access to detailed financial data, empowering managers and staff to access their own data quickly.

Opening data to its non-Finance managers helped Incline Village General Improvement District’s team save valuable time and make informed decisions about delivering services in the Lake Tahoe region. (Photo: J. Cook Fisher / Flickr)


Agency Staff Limited by Traditional ERP System


Lake Tahoe’s regional population fluctuates throughout the year. The area’s warm summers attract beachgoers, hikers, and golfers. Its snowy winters lure groups looking to ski and snowboard. For both permanent residents and tourists renting residences or booking hotel rooms temporarily, IVGID is tasked with providing utility and recreation services steadily even as the population shrinks and expands seasonally – and even week-to-week or day-to-day given weather conditions.

Thus, IVGID’s Controller, Lori Pommerenck, and the agency’s staff sought to plan more effectively amid such variability. For instance, weather conditions directly affect recreational revenue, particularly with ski, beach, and golf seasons. The agency wanted to forecast those revenues more accurately, seeking to strengthen its strategic resource allocation and budget planning due to the dynamic nature of seasonal tourism.

While the agency’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software was able to store financial data, the team was unable to use it to create reports that would inform their operational approach. Consequently, they sought a more flexible reporting solution. Pommerenck noted that the system was limited in that it did not offer analysis or “give life to data.”

IVGID used OpenGov to better understand and forecast its revenues for Diamond Peak ski resort, given fluctuations in visitors levels due to weather. (Photo: Diamond Peak Ski Resort / Flickr)


OpenGov Empowers Staff to Look Ahead

Pommerenck and her team selected the OpenGov Smart Government Platform as the solution for better leveraging their data. With OpenGov, they were able to successfully upload, access, and analyze over 25 years’ worth of historical data and trends, such as with ski visits and golf rounds over time. The platform’s reporting flexibility enabled staff to compare those metrics with historical weather patterns and future forecasts, which facilitated their ability to make revenue projections with increased accuracy. “OpenGov makes it possible for the staff to compare trends with weather patterns and project future recreation revenue in easy-to-understand charts,” Pommerenck noted.

She and her team also benefited from the platform’s detailed, interactive visualizations. It illustrates relevant trends, even on a weekly basis. Having access to such interactive data empowered IVGID’s department managers to plan with greater accuracy, set appropriate expectations, and answer questions. “I can quickly drill down into data in the OpenGov platform for immediate answers,” she said. “I use OpenGov more than our financial software when we need to answer a question.”

OpenGov’s flexible internal reports helped IVGID’s management team analyze operational data deliver more effective services such as water and sewer maintenance to residents and visitors. (Photo: iStock)

Results

  • Forecasting Amid Uncertainty.

    The staff used OpenGov to help address the challenge of anticipating revenues given weather variability by comparing recreation metrics with historical weather patterns and forecasts.

  • Leveraged Decades of Data.

    IVGID’s team uploaded and analyzed more than 25 years’ worth of ski visitor data, evaluating trends by year, month, week, and individual days.

  • Flexible Internal Reporting.

    OpenGov provided more flexible reporting than the agency’s ERP software, offering the detail and historical data necessary to create custom reports and drive informed decision-making.

  • Saved Staff Time.

    The intuitive, easy-to-use interface facilitated quick access to detailed financial data, empowering managers and staff to access their own data quickly.

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