Local Pressure Convinces Homewood To Ditch Plan To Go Private
A radical move to make Homewood Mountain Resort fully private has crumbled in the face of local opposition, and the plan now calls for access to all on the slopes of the Lake Tahoe resort.
Plans right now call for day and season tickets to be sold to anyone, and a lifetime membership program to begin in 2024-2025. In addition, the replacement of the 1982-era triple Madden chair with a gondola now appears possible. According to LiftBlog.com, some of the gondola has been delivered.
The endemic lack of skiers and riders on the hill remains, but owners say construction of base condos, a West Shore shuttle, a 270-vehicle parking garage and lifetime memberships should begin to ameliorate that issue.
In 2022, owners of the 1,260-acre ski and snowboard area that rises out of the west shore of Lake Tahoe said that the inability of non-locals to get to the slopes because of heavy weekend traffic off I-80 had resulted in a precipitous decline in day and season ticket sales. They put much of the blame on multi-mountain passes that drew more weekenders to Squaw Valley, now Palisades Tahoe, and Northstar clogged the shortest route from the Bay Area to Homewood.
The pivot to private was to happen this season, with tickets sold only to property owners at Homewood and area HOA members.
However, community members formed several groups in the past year that protested furiously against the plan. When the local planning commission turned down the design of condos to be built at Homewood, owners acquiesced to keep the mountain public.
Opponents remain skeptical that ownership JMA Ventures, a commercial real estate developer based in San Francisco, will follow through with the new plan.
Opened in 1962, Homewood offered a local alternative to the big mountains around Lake Tahoe. With 1,650 feet of vertical drop and the region's only snowcat tour service, Homewood has one of the oldest high-speed quads in the nation -- installed in 1982 -- three triple fixed-grips and a couple of platters.
Half of the trail map is rated blue, with dozens of hidden stashes to take advantage of 400-inch snowfalls in good years. Plus, the mountain is often sheltered from high-ridge winds because it crouches 1,000 feet below the 8,740-foot-high summit of Ellis Peak.