Alterra Mountain Co. Remains Committed to Stalled Development of Palisades Tahoe, CA

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Palisades Tahoe, development, California
Artist’s renderings of the planned development at Palisades Tahoe, CA. Credit: SCN Strategies

At a Town Hall meeting in Olympic Valley Saturday, Alterra Mountain Company doubled down on its stalled development project, promising to seek a new round of approvals for its massive Tahoe proposal in 2023.

Alterra owns the resort now known as Palisades Tahoe, formerly Squaw Valley, including most of the land at the mountain base. Their massive Olympic Valley development proposal, first proposed in 2011, would remake Tahoe with a series of highrise condo and hotel buildings, a roller coaster, and an indoor waterpark.

Tahoe conservationists rallied around Sierra Watch and its campaign to Keep Squaw True, mounting a successful grassroots effort to stop Alterra’s proposed development and encourage responsible planning.

After years of public hearings, citizen advocacy, and legal challenges, Sierra Watch secured a court victory over Alterra’s project in 2021. The Third District Court of Appeals ruled that Placer County’s 2016 approvals violated state planning law, failing to adequately assess the project’s impacts on Lake Tahoe, fire danger, noise, and traffic.

The ruling put a halt to the project and sent Alterra back to the drawing board.

“Our hope is that Alterra will finally set aside its failed project and work on a collaborative plan for the future of Olympic Valley. Tahoe deserves no less.”

– Tom Mooers of Sierra Watch

There’s a new sticker in town – Sierra Watch unveils the new name of its ongoing campaign.

At Saturday’s Town Hall, however, Alterra’s new lead developer, Jason Hansford, said they were seeking to address “deficiencies in the EIR” so they could apply for new approvals from Placer County “sometime next year.”

Palisades President Dee Byrne offered some tempering language, committing to “do development on the right scale.”  But she reinforced that “we really do want to develop the Village” because she hears from visitors that there is not “enough to do” in Olympic Valley.

Other speakers at Saturday’s forum addressed specific issues facing Olympic Valley – each of which would be impacted by Alterra’s proposed development: fire danger and public safety, workforce housing and short-term rentals, Tahoe traffic and public transportation, and drought and water supply.

“The Town Hall was a great opportunity to come together and hear about pressing issues facing the Tahoe Sierra. We’re committed to applying that same spirit of togetherness to regional planning in order to ensure that any new development respects the timeless values of our mountains.”

– Tom Mooers

The Friends of Olympic Valley posted a recording of the Town Hall at:

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7 thoughts on “Alterra Mountain Co. Remains Committed to Stalled Development of Palisades Tahoe, CA

  1. Maybe there’s “nothing to do in the Village” because people have grown tired of shopping as a recreational activity.

  2. There is no pressing need for more Disneylands or Magic Mountains, and certainly not in the fragile Sierra high country. Only a tone-deaf (and mindlessly greedy) corporation could imagine that such project would provide any meaningful benefit the the land or its local communities.

    The California Court of Appeal reversed a trial court approval of this abominable plan, based on the likely impacts the project would have on the area’s fire danger, noise, and traffic. Of course, Alterra’s shareholders probably don’t give a damn about such local impacts.

    Keep up the good work Sierra Watch.

  3. Big developments should have affordable housing in their plans. Or is just going to be for the the rich Bay Area ppl.

  4. President Dee Byrne said she heard folks say there wasn’t enough to do? It’s the freaking Sierras! If you can’t find “enough to do”, go to Disneyland.

  5. I wonder what all these lawsuits and delays will do to future real estate, food and lift ticket prices at Squaw?

    Maybe they will cause inflation similar to Biden’s Build Back Better economic over-stimulus plan?

  6. Finish the Village for Alex’s sake. Build over the entire parking lot. Leave no room for anyone who isn’t staying in the village or living in the valley (which I do, hehe haha). Then maybe the lines will disappear and we can enjoy doing hot laps again without waiting 30 minutes to catch a chair. Expand the lifts deeper into the Granite Chef Wilderness and make it a world class ski resort. I know you Sierra Clubbers would LOVE that. Then once the Grizzly Bears return we can watch the spring snow turn red from all the gapers that they maul. Hey, if you are going to dream, dream big. Alex Cushing had a vision, let’s keep his legacy alive.

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