Will Homewood Ski Resort Go Private?

Lake Tahoe has more than its fair share of ski resorts—it actually boasts the largest concentration in a 100-mile radius in the whole country. Still, Homewood, a local’s favorite on the west shore, manages to stand out. It’s not because of all its high-speed lifts (it only has one), or the incredible lodge (all original), or the bevy of apres-ski options (basically, you’ve got the cafeteria or tailgating). No, it’s because Homewood has long been a holdout to the ski resorts of yesteryear. Now, with plans to turn this local’s paradise into a private, members-only resort, Homewood is set to become a millionaire’s paradise. 

The Developer’s Plan

In 2011, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) approved a redevelopment master plan for the resort, which included a hotel, luxury condos, expanded parking, and community features such as a bike share program, amphitheater, and expanded trail access. A big deal was made of the plan’s renewable energy sources, employee housing, and improved public transportation.

Today, close to 20 years after initial approval, developer JMA Ventures is changing things up. A new hotel, infrastructure upgrades, and housing developments is still the plan at Homewood, but JMA wants to make it a largely private resort. That means a membership-based model based on property ownership in the area.

Enter Keep Homewood Public

Locals are pushing back. Residents of the West Shore formed Keep Homewood Public, a community organization that’s actively fighting the developer’s new plan. Members say they’re open to community enhancement projects at Homewood, but oppose limiting all the new benefits to members only.

JMA Ventures counters that while Homewood would no longer sell individual lift tickets, meaning only pass holders and members would have access to the resort, it would still be open to residents on scheduled days every month (excluding holidays and weekends). There are also plans to host “community days” with day tickets available and proceeds going to local nonprofits. According to the developer, this aligns with the original proposal, and the proposed changes to the plan aren’t enough to warrant a second approval process.

JMA also points out that things have changed in the past 17 years, and the business model that sustained Homewood is no longer viable. With Palisades and Northstar now accepting Ikon and Epic passes, traffic congestion prevents day trippers from reaching Homewood, and local skiers just aren’t plentiful enough to make the resort economically viable.

While the developer has yet to announce membership fees in the new Homewood Mountain & Lake Club, they say that local homeowners will be able to secure season passes through some existing homeowner’s associations. If Keep Homewood Public fails to halt the new plan, the developer expects the new membership model to begin for the 2025/26 season.

At this time, the TRPA has asked for clarification on the new plan—no fewer than nine pages of what they’re calling “master plan components of concern”—but has yet to require a new master plan from JMA. Being as this is a real estate blog, we’d be remiss to not point out there is a great deal of speculation going on for properties in and around Homewood, whether it passes or if it fails. There’s always someone looking to capitalize on a location change for better or worse. How this one plays out you can be sure we’ll be watching and reporting on. Stay tuned!

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