This piece sources information from original reporting conducted by Moonshine Ink
Homewood Mountain Resort in California is changing and they are not hiding it.
Resort owner JMA Ventures has said the mountain will adopt a semi-private model following a 10-year 40% decline in skier visits and a 64% decline in season passholders, as reported by Moonshine Ink. The five to seven year plan will combine with a development plan to add on-site housing to the ski area along with several other additions.
By the time the semi-private plan is all said and done, day ticket sales will be a thing of the past and season pass sales will be limited to only the owners of new Homewood residences and full-time residences of several coming West Shore homeowner associations, SAM Magazine reports. JMA president Art Chapman said the model would be implemented gradually and there would not be any changes to the pass program or day tickets for the next season.
“If we are going to keep the ski area open, we can’t do it as a public ski area that requires a lot of employees and having to rely on fewer skiers,” Chapman told local news outlets. “We are not in the least bit interested in trying to promote Homewood as a competitor to Squaw [Palisades Tahoe] or Northstar,” he said when discussing how heavy weekend traffic going to those neighboring ski areas makes it difficult for commuter skiers to get to Homewood.
The new semi-private model will operate alongside the resort’s five- to seven-year development plan which was approved in 2011, according to SAM Magazine. The plan currently includes 185 homes, a base lodge, and a small boutique hotel for guests of Homewood residence owners. The construction of seven homes at the North Base will commence this summer.
JMA also plans to invest $15 million to replace two lifts: The Madden Chair will be replaced next year with a new gondola, and the Ellis Chair will be replaced with a new detachable quad in a few years, SAM Magazine wrote. Plans are also underway to develop more summer operations such as additional hiking and mountain bike trails. Once all this is said and done, pass prices will likely increase, according to Chapman.
According to local news service Moonshine Ink, community support for the resort redevelopment plan was initially strong in 2011 but has since waned as some residents feel wrong about how the resort is switching from public to now private access. Only those able to afford properties at Homewood will be able to ski there, which is an entirely different tax bracket of skiers.