50 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE
The Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance began as a few wooden boat owners coming together to share their passion. Since then, Concours has consistently raised the bar year after year to earn the title of North America’s premier wooden boat show.
The show has spanned across four marinas and nearly five decades. It was 1972 when that handful of Tahoe Yacht Club Members and their friends gathered at Chamber’s Landing for the first ever Concours. The show moved to Tahoe City’s Tahoe Boat Company in 1976 and then to the Sierra Boat Company in Carnelian Bay in 1993. In 2014, Concours came full circle and returned to the West Shore and the birthplace of wooden pleasure boating on Lake Tahoe. It now calls Obexer’s Boat Company – the first wooden boat dealership in Tahoe and as classic as the Concours boats themselves – home.
In 1994, Concours was given a cause with the founding of the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation. TYCF’s mission is to raise money to help preserve the environment and history of the Lake Tahoe Basin. The Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance is the Foundation’s largest event. Since it’s induction, and thanks to the Concours community, the Foundation has been able to award over $410,000 in grants to various maritime-related, charitable, and cultural organizations.
In the beginning, the purpose of the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance was simple – enjoy the past-time of wooden boat tradition. The show quickly became a must-see display and a way to educate the public about classic watercraft from the past and present. It evolved into a way to give back to Lake Tahoe. The Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance is now a benchmark of the wooden boat community, renowned all over the world for its quality of boat exhibits and high judging standards and practices. Through the prestige, Concours remains true to its roots. Its main purpose was, is, and always will be to share the passion of wooden boats with the world.
The Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance and the Obexer’s Boat Company are a perfect pairing of maritime tradition. With a legacy that traces back to 1911, Obexer’s is steeped in the history of Lake Tahoe and wooden boats. Its wide-open, landscape views of the lake create an unsurpassed backdrop to display mahogany works of art. It is thanks to these incredible facilities, but more importantly, to the support and dedication of Obexer’s management and staff, that the Tahoe Yacht Club Foundation is able to present a world-class wooden boat show on the scenic West Shore of Lake Tahoe.
The Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance is the most acclaimed and prestigious wooden boat show in North America. But the show doesn’t rest on reputation. The Concours experience is enhanced every single year to earn it. Over the course of its 49-year legacy, Concours has created its own meticulous 100-point judging system and expanded its exhibitor showcase while consistently displaying the most well-preserved wooden boats on Earth. Each show is designed to draw in a distinct group of boats with a celebration of a different Marque Class each year. The move to Obexer’s Boat Company established a now iconic boating tradition – the Roar-Off under the Olson Bridge. In just the past few years, the Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance has added an intimate tour of the exhibitor boats with our Chief Judge, Terry Fiest.
The enhancements to the Concours experience go well beyond the boats. Guests of the show can sip wines expertly picked from wineries across the Western United States, cool off with a handcrafted cocktail as they shop luxury brands and high-end boutiques, and listen to live jazz as they indulge in a meal catered by a local chef. It is all tailored around the beauty of mahogany and Lake Tahoe to create an immersive ambiance of elegance.
Off the docks, Concours created history with its first ever virtual boat shows in 2020 and 2021. The online displays of classic and antique boats featured high definition photographs and videos, the roar of engines, and detailed stories to be enjoyed by boat lovers around the world.
In 2020, Concours launched a completely remodeled website and new Concours branding. The updated brand blends old into new, taking the classic style of Concours and reinventing it for the future. This isn’t just a show. The Lake Tahoe Concours d’Elegance is a lifestyle.