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.
JMA Ventures President Art Chapman remembers the days when Homewood Mountain Resort had six or eight ticket windows open with lines leading up to each window.
As we close the book on 2021, we’ll get off to a busy snow start for the new year. A storm treks from coast to coast delivering new snow from the Southwest to Quebec. Details in this week’s SnoCast.
As temperatures begin to shift, Ski California resorts are gearing up for the 2021-22 winter season with investments in infrastructure, facilities improvements, and technology that will continue to allow for fast, contactless lift access, reservations and payment, and high-quality experiences.
So much to cover in this week’s SnoCast as we dig out from feet of snow in the west, and eye new snow in the Midwest and Northeast—everyone gets something to finish off January.
A few improvements have sprung up at California resorts this season but, more importantly, state officials said that ski and snowboard mountains can stay open regardless of which Covid "tier" their county falls under.
Early-morning fire consumed South Lodge at Homewood. (North Lake Tahoe Fire District/Facebook)
UPDATE 12/19/16: Homewood lifts will be opening Thursday with top-to-bottom skiing starting at 9:00 a.m. Guests can access the upper mountain via Madden Chair, which is located at the North Lodge.
The South Lodge at Homewood Mountain Resort was engulfed in flames early in the morning of Dec. 28, forcing the California mountain to close temporarily.
North Lake Tahoe firefighters responded at 3 a.m. to the day-trip mountain on the shores of Lake Tahoe, finding one of two base lodges at the resort “heavily involved” in flames.
“No injuries have been reported, and fire suppression efforts managed to keep the fire isolated to a single structure,” fire officials said on the district’s Facebook page.
Mountain officials shut off the lifts and barred any visitors for the day, as firefighters remained to keep the fire isolated and to clean up on location. The building was a total loss.
Statements later in the day indicated that officials hope to get the 1,260-acre ski and snowboard mountain on the west shore of the lake up and running for Dec. 29.
The South Lodge is located at the base of the Quail Chair and housed a restaurant and administration offices. The larger North Lodge, just up the road with the bulk of visitor parking, was not damaged.
Updates will be forthcoming on SnoCountry.com as to when Homewood will reopen.
A number of Rocky Mountain resorts and companies run off-piste snowcat powder tours, and now Homewood Mountain Resort will become the first in California to haul powderhounds to their heaven.
The scenic chairlift ride, the downhill mountain bike run and the alpine hiking trek have long been standard fare at summer mountain resorts – but the focus has moved off-mountain lately.
A seven-year public and legal battle over transforming day-skier Homewood Mountain Resort into a major player among Lake Tahoe destination resorts has been settled.