The Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Resort is widely known and awarded as “the Best Place to Begin,” much in part to extensive learning programs, a concentration of beginner-friendly terrain and long-standing commitments to safety that has Tahoe Donner Downhill Ski Area rated as one of the safest ski areas in the region according to Ski California.

Originally built in 1971 to be a real estate sales office for the Dart Corporation, the ski lodge is now littered with issues that have caused it to be studied for remodel or replacement. In December 2019 after extensive review, the board of directors voted to replace, not remodel, the facility due to the challenges associated with its unique snowflake design and extensive building requirements that would be needed to comply with current ADA and California Building code regulations making a remodel cost-prohibitive.

Throughout the history of this replacement project, which spans many years, various member-led committees and task forces have helped lead the work done to date. Staff and the board have contracted with several third-party experts to help us understand issues related to ADA standards, best ski industry practices, community engagement and more. You can see their reports and findings in the documents linked below.

In September 2020 consultant Ward Young Associates presented the findings to their Building Program Refinement Study. After extensive conversation and analysis, the board authorized staff to move forward into the schematic design phase and procure a design team through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process.

In October 2020 Tahoe Donner entered into an agreement with PROS Consulting to conduct a thorough outreach program focused on comprehensive and unbiased gathering, analyzing and disseminating of information. The consultant has extensive experience coordinating public outreach and assisting in projects across the country. They will work collaboratively with staff, the Lodge at Downhill Ski Ad Hoc Task Force and the future design team. Work throughout this process includes:

  • Member Outreach: Focus groups and a member survey
  • Data Gathering and Consolidation: As documents and surveys are completed, data on the lodge will be consolidated and shared with the membership and board
  • Business Plan Development: Based on member feedback, we will begin business planning that reflects the winter operations and potential uses beyond the ski season that may be identified in outreach and research
  • Lodge Design: Will work with the design team to ensure the key findings are integrated into the design plan

At a recent board meeting, the board directed staff to evaluate a lodge sized in the 22,00 to 26,000 square foot range. Before the board makes a final determination on size, a schematic design needs to be approved. The design team will take the information that the outreach consultant provides and, based on crucial member outreach and previous studies, develop a conceptual plan or schematic design that meets the needs of our membership. This phase will include the potential cost to construct the lodge.

As the membership, committees, staff and board work together to provide necessary feedback on our future ski lodge, the management team looks forward to hearing everyone’s input.

Over the past several years, the project has worked its way through the Capital Projects process. This includes multiple independent studies to determine the facility needs and optimal functionality of the space. Some key milestones are shown below:






This portion of the Lodge Replacement webpage is dedicated to documents generated and referred to by the Lodge Task Force, launched in January of 2020. Thus far, this section contains material used by the Task Force from inception up to the board workshop in September 2020. Documents are listed in chronological order for readers to capture an understanding of the analytics and critical thinking made by the Task Force through the year.

PROS Consulting is developing an important member survey that will be distributed to all members in December. Please watch your email inbox this month to participate.

You may also provide feedback via our online form. Member feedback is an important component in the process of rebuilding the ski lodge, and we hope all interested members will participate. The consultant will consolidate all survey data and feedback for presentation to the board and members.