Streamlined Squaw Valley Base Project Detailed; Review Underway
Despite a second straight low-snow season in the Sierras, the owners of Squaw Valley, Calif. remain resolute about the future with a redevelopment plan for the resort’s base area.
Originally unveiled in spring 2013, the Village of Squaw Valley’s “Specific Plan” focused on bringing commercial, lodging and recreational facilities up to date at the 65 year-old northern California resort.
The plan went back to the drawing board after heavy criticism over the size, density and impact of the project. A revised plan now awaits a long environmental impact statement process through the Placer County Planning Department, exptected to last through 2014.
The latest plan calls for an overhaul of retail outlets, and about 1,500 new beds in some 750 lodging units. Nearly two-thirds of the 101 acres would go for commercial and the bulk of overnight accommodations into high density, while both the venerable Member’s Locker Room and Olympic House will be preserved.
The initial work on the project would include ski in/ski out lodging, fractional cabins on the west side of the base area, and the Mountain Adventure Camp – a 90,000 square foot rec center that sits partially on the previous center’s footprint. A portion of the parking will be above-ground, after comments from day skiers and snowboarders, according to Squaw officials.
“After over two years of unprecedented community outreach and input into our village expansion plans, we’re very excited to now complete the entitlement process and look forward to building more world-class experiences at Squaw Valley,” Chevis Hosea, vice president of development, told SnoCountry.com. “We believe this plan achieves the right balance of expanded development and preservation of lifestyles within Olympic Valley.”
The project at the Lake Tahoe resort reflects a trend among Western resorts to upgrade into order to keep up with their international competitors. One of the stated goals in the Squaw plan is to “reposition the resort to compete effectively with its international word-class peers land competitors.”
The project sits on 22 parcels owned by KSL Capital Partners, which bought the resort in 2010 from closely held interests that stretch back to the 1949 opening of the mountain. KSL then combined operations of Squaw Valley with neighboring Alpine Meadows.
You can view the new plan online.
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Photo: Rendering of new Village at Squaw plan (Squaw Valley)