“We will get out of this [day ticket] Company. The day skier model doesn’t work for Homewood, just like it doesn’t work for many small ski resorts across the country, so we had to come up with a new model to support Homewood.– Art Chapman, President of JMA Ventures (owner of Homewood Mountain Resort).
Many independent ski areas have seen recent success due to the resurgence in popularity of skiing and snowboarding during the pandemic. This rise in popularity has caused heavy traffic, which has hurt a few Lake Tahoe ski resorts. The Tahoe Daily Tribune reports that Homewood will phase out day pass sales over the next few years and move to a semi-private, members-only model. This follows a Moonshine Ink article in March that reported on Homewood’s plans to move to a semi-private model.
Their main reasoning was the rapid decline in day ticket sales, which was caused by guests being unable to access the resort on peak days due to Lake Tahoe’s notorious traffic. The road to Homewood is packed with drivers trying to get to Palisades Tahoe and Northstar. This has caused a 40% drop in skier traffic and season pass sales over the past ten years. On their busiest days, the mountain only sees 1,000 skiers, while some days saw only 115 people on the mountain (including seven employees). Some minor changes will be made to the pass holder program for the 2023-24 season, and major changes will take place for the 2024-25 season.
JMA Ventures, which has owned Homewood since 2006, hopes the members-only model will help give them the capital they need to pump money into the mountain. $15 million will be spent to replace two major elevators. In 2023, they hope to replace the Madden chair with a gondola. In the following years, a fast quad chairlift will replace the Ellis chairlift. Some of their other development plans include a small boutique hotel, 185 homes, a new base lodge, a new mid-mountain lodge, adding new hiking and mountain biking trails, and building a small grocery store ( which will be open to the public). Seven housing units will begin construction at the North Base this summer as part of their first phase of construction. The big question is whether the 1,800 pass holders who are currently committed to the resort will still have access to the mountain once it becomes a members-only club. Chapman said membership is open to anyone, but I imagine the price will leave a lot of people dumbfounded. Season passes will remain open for nearby West Shore HOA communities, but they said prices will increase once new amenities are added. If they don’t make sure the locals who have supported the mountain have a chance to be part of Homewood at a reasonable price, it ruins the reputation of the ski resort in the community. Luckily, Chapman says they’re flexible with the details, so they need to make sure each of their pass holders isn’t cheated by this new model. Art Chapman said the following about residents’ concerns:
“Our intention is not to exclude the public. Since we know that most skiers come from the local community, we intend to work with HOAs to ensure that a number of residents can obtain ski passes. ski pass. We go into this with rigid rules but trying to create a hybrid model that works, that allows us to make Homewood work. For people who come for a day or two, we no longer go do that.Picture credits: Homewood Mountain Resort