Glenbrook, Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Pray Meadow, Glenbrook, Nevada
Glenbrook is Lake Tahoe's oldest settlement is located on Tahoe's East Shore, about midway between Incline Village and South Lake Tahoe. This hamlet is a blend of old Tahoe blended with cottage style architecture, reminiscent of a New England village. Beyond the gated entrance of this private community, grand views open up at the edge of Shakespeare Glade looking out over Pray Meadow and Lake Tahoe beyond. It's easy to miss this community hidden from the road, marked only by a Nevada Historical Marker and the tall flag pole waiving Old Glory at the entrance off Highway 50.
The Historic Glenbrook Community comprises an area of approximately four square miles at Lake level elevation of 6,250’, with a full time population of less than 250 residents. Of the approximately 750 acres within the community only about 150 acres have been developed. The half mile of sandy beach leads to the crystal waters of the sunny, protected bay. Additionally, this peaceful glen is surrounded by over 600 acres of privately held and forest service lands, lending to its isolated feel far removed from traffic and commercial development.
Named for the protected meadow (glen) and year-round stream that flows through it (brook), the original settlement was founded in 1860. During the late 1800’s Glenbrook was home to the largest and most productive lumber operation in the Tahoe Basin. When the mining rush in the Comstock ended around the turn of the century, the lumber and mill town gradually transitioned into a summer resort community. With just a few small inns in the meadow and at the shore of Glenbrook Bay, the first visitors to the area arrived by stagecoach and by steamer from the West Shore. In 1906, the Bliss family assembled the Glenbrook Inn which included buildings from the original Jellerson Hotel and Lakeshore House. By the early 1900’s the once busy lumber operations had all but disappeared and Glenbrook had become the bucolic site of the Glenbrook Inn and Ranch. With railroad service from Truckee to Tahoe City and steamer service across the lake to Glenbrook, the Inn became the fashionable summer resort of affluent vacationers from around the country.
Over the years, the Bliss family sold off some large tracts of their land holdings round the lake to wealthy individuals such as George Whittell and the Fleischman family and about 40 or so parcels along the shoreline and around the golf course in Glenbrook to friends. Families began to build summer cabins and homes and even some estates over those years, establishing the tradition of summers at Glenbrook. Over the years, the Inn hosted Presidents, politicians, dignitaries, celebrities, and families. Activities included swimming, boating, hiking, horseback riding and even rodeos. In 1926 the Glenbrook Golf Course, the oldest in Nevada, was built and remains to this day. Generations of the Bliss family operated The Inn and Ranch until the mid 1970’s, when they sold the property to a developer with a plan to develop a low density, single family residential community, preserving most of the open meadow and the historic appearance and quiet beauty of the area. (Saga of Lake Tahoe, George Wharton James)
Today, Glenbrook is a private gated community with less than 300 homes. The original properties sold by the Bliss family prior to the 1970's remain, which constitute the Glenbrook Property Owners Association. The newer Glenbrook Homeowners Association includes the cottages, townhomes and custom home parcels that were developed after the land was sold by Bliss. The golf course was privatized and membership to the Glenbrook Club are available to all Glenbrook residents. The club becomes an active social center of Glenbrook in the summer serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to members. There is also a private tennis facility with seasonal, monthly and weekly fees.
Summer is magical in Glenbrook. Residents and visitors use golf carts as the main source of transportation in the community. Boating is enjoyed by many with HOA members having access to a large buoy field and the community pier, with summer shuttle service from the pier to each mooring. The long stretch of protected, sandy beach includes racks for storage of kayaks, canoes and paddleboards. There is a lovely park and playground and access to miles of hiking and biking trails for all levels of ability, and this walkable community nurtures friendly interaction with friends and neighbors. Residents look forward to many events, parties, fund raisers and an annual rodeo held on the old ranch property.
Glenbrook attracts families coming to create new traditions and legacies, and where long-time residents and newcomers alike forge life-long friendships. Many of the homeowners are leaders in industry and finance, entrepreneurs and professionals, but live a low-key lifestyle in Glenbrook where high profile people are just part of the community. In this relaxing environment people can just be themselves and enjoying an old fashioned kind of comfort and familiarity and sense of community. Many refer to Glenbrook as “Adult Camp” due to the large number of social activities that go on during the summer months and among those who stay on throughout the year. Friends and neighbors truly look out for one another here, and for an older individual, there is no better place to be welcomed into a family of friends.
There is a variety of residential property within the gated Glenbrook community. There are homes with sweeping lake, mountain and meadow views, lakefront estates, ranch property, wooded parcels, homes overlooking the golf course and beautiful forest settings. Currently, there are properties available from just under $1 million to $15 million. The average home sales price increased by 33% from $1,622,950. In 2012 to $2,160,765 in 2013, with number of units sold up 70% over the prior year. The average offer price is 87% of list price, up from only 79% in 2012, a 12% increase. The highest priced sale for 2013 was $5,880,000 for 2216 Lands End Road, up from $2,300,000 for 239 Enginehouse Circle in 2012. (Data from NNRMLS, deemed accurate but not guaranteed).