Fire engulfs Homewood Mountain Resort's South Lodge
Homewood Mountain Resort is expected to be “up and running” Thursday, a day after a morning blaze tore through the business’ administrative offices, resort marketing director Missy Frey said Wednesday.
The reopening of the resort on Lake Tahoe’s west shore will include the opening of the Tahoe Ski Bowl and partial lift operation.
“I can’t comment specifically on what lifts will be open, but I can assure you that we will have top-to-bottom skiing available for our guests,” Frey said via email.
Firefighters from the North Tahoe Fire Protection District were sent to the resort’s South Lodge, north of Tahoma, just past 3 a.m. Wednesday, the district reported. When they arrived, responders saw heavy fire coming from the building.
Additional crews from the North Lake Tahoe Fire, Truckee Fire, Squaw Valley Fire, South Lake Tahoe, Lake Valley Fire and Placer County Sheriff’s Office were called to help contain the two-alarm fire.
No injuries were reported. Crews remained at the scene throughout Wednesday, foaming the building to contain the aftermath of the fire, according to a district news release.
“It’s been a difficult building due to the size and the volume and loading inside the structure,” said Battalion Chief Steve McNamara of the North Tahoe Fire Protection District.
The building primarily housed Homewood Mountain Resort’s administrative offices and a restaurant, Frey said. She said the two-story building was also used as a venue for special events and weddings. No one was in the building at the time of the fire, she said.
The cause of the fire will be investigated by the North Tahoe Fire Protection District and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, according to Beth Kenna, a spokeswoman for the North Tahoe Fire Protection District. Kenna said the lodge was the only building affected by the blaze.
Highway 89 remained open while crews responded to the scene. Homewood Mountain Resort lift operations and the Tahoe Ski Bowl were closed Wednesday.
Founded in 1962, the ski resort is scheduled to undergo a $400 million-plus redevelopment including a hotel, condominiums and an upgrade of the ski facilities.
Frey said the fire isn’t expected to pose a setback to the project.
“As of right now, we’re scheduled to break ground in spring,” she said.
The redevelopment project is scheduled to take several years and is the brainchild of JMA Ventures, a San Francisco real estate developer that bought Homewood in 2007. JMA, which is also working with the Sacramento Kings to redevelop the area around Golden 1 Center, has said the Homewood project would help turn the resort into more of a destination with a wider customer base.
The project received the approval of Placer County and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency but was held up after a lawsuit was filed by the Sierra Club and Friends of the West Shore. A federal judge temporarily halted development in early 2013, although the suit was settled in 2014.
As part of the settlement, JMA agreed to leave a portion of the land off-limits to development. It also reduced the number of new condo units by 13, to a total of 325.
Many Tahoe community leaders have said the lake’s resorts need upgrades to bring in new tourists. The “drive-up” market from Sacramento and the Bay Area has stalled over the past 15 years because the south shore casinos have lost business to Northern California’s Indian casinos.