Downhill Ski Resort Subcommittee Update

Downhill Ski Resort Subcommittee Update

Association News, Capital Projects, Downhill Ski Area, Member News

By The General Plan Committee

Over the past three years, the General Plan Committee’s Downhill Ski Resort Subcommittee has worked its way through the capital projects process and recommended amenity improvements that support the Tahoe Donner Vision of “a vibrant and desirable mountain community, providing attractive and well-maintained facilities, events, programs, and leading customer service to its members, guests, and public, all while maintaining accessible and healthy natural surroundings.”

The current recommendation from the Downhill Ski Resort Subcommittee to the Board of Directors, for their review and decision, is to rebuild a new Downhill Ski Lodge instead of remodeling it.

Because the building, originally constructed 48 years ago as the Dart Corporation sales office, has operational and design deficiencies that, as a ski lodge, were tolerable when Tahoe Donner was 25% or 50% built out, but have become significant drawbacks at today’s 90% build out. Every year, it becomes more challenging to provide leading customer service and member satisfaction in an outdated and crowded building, and to keep up with building regulations.

This recommendation will be the focus of intensive scrutiny, discussion and debate among the board of directors and members because whether the lodge is rebuilt or remodeled, it will be the largest-ever investment in Tahoe Donner infrastructure.

Member contributions via the annual assessment pay for Tahoe Donner capital investments. It’s the belief of the General Plan Committee, Downhill Ski Resort Subcommittee and Board of Directors that every member deserves to know what’s behind the decisions that will determine the future of the Downhill Ski Resort.

Here’s that essential information.


The Best Place to Begin 
Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort is known regionally as The Best Place to Begin. It’s the perfect place for families, beginners and those looking to improve. Extensive program offerings, fun events and a relaxed vibe make the downhill ski resort a place for life-long memories and family traditions.

Important to Members
According to the 2019 Member Survey, about 85% of TD members believe that amenities improve their property value. And 69% say that Tahoe Donner should invest to enhance existing amenities. When asked for suggestions to improve or enhance amenities, more members named the Downhill Ski Lodge than any other amenity.

Recent Improvements 

  • New Snowbird Chair Lift
  • Snowmaking for Snowbird ski trails
  • Peak period pricing favors members

Future Improvements 

  • Snowmaking at Eagle Rock for Christie Bowl ski trails (in process)
  • Regrading Mile Run to consistent 8% slope (in process)
  • Rebuild new Downhill Ski Lodge (recommended)

Public Use Update 
Public use turns out to be approximately 40%, rather than the 60-70% previously thought, a discovery made during the 2018/2019 ski season. What happened? In the past, the pricing differential between member and public was not as significant, and for guest products there was only one product – the adult all-day ski ticket. Beginning in the 2018/2019 ski season, guest products were expanded to all age ranges for both full-day and half-day ski tickets. Further, the pricing differential between member, guest and public has increased substantially.

Public Revenue 101
Public revenues in the 2018/2019 ski season were approximately 55% of total, even though public skier volume was approximately 40%. Why is that important? Ski area operational costs are relatively fixed for the season, and excess capacity sold to the public generates incremental net cash flow that benefits members. How? By improving overall operating results, which ultimately keeps all owners’ annual assessment lower than it would be without the revenue from public skiers.

Peak Period Pricing Favors Members
2018/2019 ski season pricing also saw the introduction of price elasticity during peak periods, which meant that during the most popular ski days the pricing differential increased for the public compared to member and guest pricing. Public usage decreased, members and guests were not crowded out, and public revenue remained the same or greater.

The Tahoe Donner Board of Directors will review the Conceptual Design Decision Paper and either approve moving on to Final Design or provide further direction. Your opinion matters! Write to the board at

Get Involved in the Discussion
If you want to learn more about plans for the future of the Downhill Ski Resort, consider attending a Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort Discussion Group meeting. Bring a group of neighbors or show up solo. Email Jim Beckmeyer, Downhill Ski Resort Subcommittee Lead, for more information at

Visit and click on Members, then on Downhill Ski Resort Improvements, where you’ll find summaries of current work as well as a comprehensive list of links to supporting documents.


  • Membership Communication Process began
  • Ecosign Ski Industry Master Planning Consultant engaged
  • Lodge Expansion Structural Feasibility Report by Linchpin Structural Engineering
  • Lodge Expansion Architectural Feasibility Report by Todd Gordon Mather
  • Downhill Ski Resort Subcommittee created by General Plan Committee


  • Eagle Rock Snowmaking and Mile Run Regrade approved by board in 2019 budget
  • Pricing model adjustments approved by board of directors in 2019 budget
  • Construction industry information requested
  • Conceptual Design began
  • Project Analysis Decision Paper approved by the board
  • Ecosign Ski Industry Master Planning Consultant Report presented
  • Member Discussion Groups began
  • Snowbird Chair Replacement installed


  • Subcommittee presented Conceptual Design Decision Paper to the board for review and approval or further direction
  • Snowmaking and Mile Run Regrade Projects staged for 2020 implementation
  • Lodge Sourcing Timeline completed Ski Resort Benchmarking Analysis performed
  • Resort Master Plan draft completed
  • Lodge Needs Analysis completed by staff
  • Lodge Size Modeling provided by finance committee
  • Current User Statistics gathered by staff
  • Lodge Remodel Option rejected by subcommittee and GPC