The following FAQs are deemed reliable but not guaranteed; all answers are given to the best of our knowledge and updated as information is refined and as timely as possible.
Who operates Tahoe Cross Country (Tahoe XC) ski area?
Tahoe Cross Country (Tahoe XC) is a 501(c)7 non-tax exempt organization that operates the cross country ski recreation area, generates income and accrues expenses. Tahoe XC upkeeps facilities, parking lot and snow maintenance. The TCCSEA Board of Directors is an integral part of decision making, seasonal transitions and organizing the non-profit Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association.
What is Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association (TCCSEA)?
In 1999, several local residents, parents, business owners, coaches and athletes entered a concession agreement with the Tahoe City Public Utility District to operate Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area and founded the Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association (TCCSEA) as a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation with the mission to promote the sport of cross country skiing through educational activities for children and adults. Along with strong management, staff and a multitude of volunteers, the TCCSEA Board of Directors has worked year-round to create some of the most welcoming, challenging and perfectly groomed trails in the nation.
TCCSEA, a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation, has lease agreements with Tahoe City Public Utility District (TCPUD) to operate Tahoe Cross Country ski area, a 501(c)7 corporation, which is non-tax exempt. All tax deductible donations should be paid to Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association (TCCSEA).
What's this talk of a new lodge?
In 2015, Mr. John Mozart purchased an estate known as Paradise Flat located in Rubicon Bay. He wished to make the property his own but believed the Schilling Residence was too beautifully constructed and historical important to tear down. He offered to donate the home to the nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association (TCCSEA).
Does the public know?
In 2014, TCCSEA held a preliminary public outreach meeting with the Highlands neighborhood homeowners to see if accepting the Schilling Residence and turning it into the new Tahoe XC lodge (out of which all TCCSEA programs operate) would be in the best public interest. The overwhelming feeling was yes, accept this historically significant donation. At the time, no site location was decided upon by landowner TCPUD (Tahoe XC leases 45 acres of TCPUD land). The Schilling Residence was presented exactly as the building stood in Rubicon Bay since 1936.
In January 2017, TCCSEA initiated 6 public outreach workshops at the Fairway Community Center to discuss 5 possible site locations and to present adjusted building plans to the public. Workshops were advertised in newspapers, radio, email, newsletters, public flyers, various websites, at Tahoe XC and by word of mouth.
What’s wrong with the current Tahoe XC lodge facility?
Tahoe Cross Country faces major difficulty with the size of its current facility. On busy weekends customers wait outdoors or in awkward makeshift lines for the rental shop and ticket area—an issue augmented on busy holiday weekends. Season pass holders often skip the lodge altogether because it is too small and lacks adequate facilities, comfort and appeal. The hope of any ski lodge, especially TXC, is that customers will feel welcome, relaxed and will perhaps stay a while.
Storage is also a main issue and limitations create undue wear and tear on equipment, tools and staff. Below is a list of items TXC currently stores in and around its facility year round:
- Approximately 600 sets of rental skis, boots, poles (daily and seasonal rentals)
- kid chariots for rent & mobile lockers for passholder chariot storage
- trail signs
- race equipment: fencing, stakes, flags, signage, timing equipment, pop-up tents
- warming huts, propane tanks, portable gas stoves, cups, spoons, hot drinks, 5 gal water jugs,
- picnic tables, chairs, trash cans (on trails and at lodge)
- customer wax station and workbench (currently outside and under eave)
- staff wax station and work bench
- 2-3 snowmobiles
- 2 grooming machines
- BBQ and accessories
- special event pop-up tents, tables, chairs, trash cans
- tools for emergency repair, building and equipment maintenance (currently there is no indoor workspace for repairs)
- manager's office, computer, filing system (currently about a 3x3 foot area)
- ticket sales, cash register, day passes, season passes, cookie passes...
- retail items, storage for back-stock
- staff area or break room (none currently exists)
- Free Heal Cafe: cafe supplies (cups, plates, dishes, utensils, back stock food)
- yurt dinner silverware and glassware
Why not renovate the current facility?
While renovation has certainly been considered over the years, the configuration and layout of the current building has never lent itself to an easy remodel. Regarding comprehensive customer flow for ticket sales, ski rentals, wax station and the cafe and lounge, an entirely new footprint would be best. To renovate the current facility to satisfactory condition for a nordic ski lodge, the cost might be somewhere nearing $2 million. The current building could be torn down and rebuilt from scratch, but land owner TCPUD has decided not to conduct studies at this time to confirm these estimations because a new historic building has been donated and is being considered.
The donation of the Schilling Residence has launched changes TXC has been needing for years. It is also the main reason TCPUD is not considering renovating the current facility. Upon TXC's acceptance of the Schilling Residence as a donation, TCPUD has filed a resolution to provide land for the historical lodge, and TXC's nonprofit has filed a resolution to work with TCPUD and the building donor, Mr. Mozart, to reconstruct the Schilling Residence as the new TXC lodge. Along with the donated building, Mr. Mozart has already donated nearly $1 million and we are bound to honor his donation and both board resolutions.
What will happen to the current building?
The current Tahoe XC lodge, also known as the Highlands Community Center, is owned by TCPUD. It is up to them to decide how that space will best serve the community. Any changes would go through the public process.
Who else uses the Highlands Community Center (current Tahoe XC lodge)?
TXC is the main user of the Highlands Community Center in the winter and leases the building to a sub-concessionaire for bike rentals in the summer. The Boy Scouts of America hold meetings there. The Highlands Homeowners Association holds annual meetings there.
Why expand the footprint?
After initial assessment regarding the needs of Tahoe XC for future use, storage and comprehensive customer flow, the hired civil engineer and architect added an additional 3,100 square feet to the existing summer home’s 4,200 square feet, to include a ski rental shop, ski storage area, indoor guest wax room and work bench, first aid room, 24 hour locker rooms, showers, improved restroom access, workout room for ski team members, and an entry way with a donor wall and historical display. The additional 3,100 square feet are deemed necessary to make what was once a summer home into a functioning Nordic ski lodge.
Two years ago Tahoe XC asked the public for donations and now you're building a new lodge?
In 2015, Tahoe Cross Country had endured two drought winters, used all reserve funds, was facing another snowless forecast and reached out to the community for support. We thank every single person who donated because you allowed Tahoe XC to open for the 2015-2016 operating season. Luckily, good snowfall aligned with holidays and Tahoe XC recouped what had been lost that year. This could not have been done without community support.
One year prior, in 2014, Mr. Mozart approached Tahoe XC's nonprofit (TCCSEA) to discuss the possibility of donating the Schilling Residence. Tahoe XC discussed the feasibility with landowner TCPUD and the Highland's Homeowners Association, and the donation became official in September 2015. Initial progress regarding the Schilling Lodge Project has been funded by Mr. Mozart himself, and our capitol fundraising campaign to fund the rest will begin shortly. All finances regarding the Schilling Lodge Project are independent from Tahoe XC's operations.
This is a massive undertaking for a small nonprofit, but this historical lodge will allow Tahoe XC to be creative when winters do not cooperate. Tahoe XC's best product has always been world-class grooming; we will continue to provide perfect grooming as best as we are able. The Schilling Lodge is a beautiful community resource that will provide additional opportunities for revenue in the form of workshops, meetings, presentations, retreats, etc. If you have more ideas on how such a building could be used, please contact us.
Where will the new lodge be located?
Five possible sites were initially selected for assessment. Score cards and public input helped narrow Tahoe XC’s preferred sites to site A (current site) and site D (Polaris Road). See Candidate Sites page for details. Please note that the environmental review process under CEQA has not yet commenced.
Why look beyond the current location (site A)?
For an investment of this size, it is prudent to consider and review all possible sites for operational benefits, public impact, environmental impact and esthetic value.
Who was involved in the scoring?
Those who scored each site include the project engineer, project architect, project land use planners, other cross country ski area managers, the current Tahoe Cross Country manager, Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association Board Members and local business leaders. Each professional scored the section that involves his/her expertise. The scores were consolidated and averaged. TCPUD staff analyzed all input.
How was the score card organized?
The score card was divided into 4 sections: operations, community, environmental and jurisdictional/design/build, broken into 30+ line items of equal value. The card was patterned after score cards used by the TCPUD for other projects and helped analyze the pros and cons of the five possible locations.
Will inputs from the Highlands residents be weighed differently?
Yes. Tahoe XC is very aware of their impact on their neighbors. The community section of the score card has four specific questions that emphasize the impact on the Highlands homeowners, which cover traffic, light spill/visual impact, sound and community input. The most effective way for Highlands homeowners to add input will be by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How is this project funded?
The Schilling Lodge project will be funded with a Capital Fundraising Campaign targeting private and public donations, as well as by federal, state, and corporate grants.
What is the long term vision for the Schilling Lodge?
The Schilling Lodge will be used year-round as the Tahoe Cross Country ski area lodge, home to TCCSEA programs, kids mountain bike programs, science-based educational programs, summer bike rental concession area, as well as an upgraded Free Heal Cafe. Other longterm possibilities include workspace retreat venue, meeting area for community groups, and creating an historical community apex for the Tahoe region.
Imagine the possibilities! If you are inspired by what this building could be, please contact us with your ideas. Our long-term vision will continue to develop based on input from the community.
What has Tahoe XC recommended to TCPUD?
At the TCPUD April 21, 2017, meeting, Tahoe XC presented their score card and public input findings and recommended site A, site D, or no project as the 3 considerations with which to move forward. TCPUD motioned to accept Tahoe XC’s proposal. See full TCPUD meeting agenda and minutes here.
Now that two preferred sites have been selected, as well as a no project option, the CEQA process may begin. More public hearings will be conducted. Tahoe XC will begin the permitting process with building construction plans, civil engineering plans and land use agencies within the Tahoe Basin. A capitol fundraising campaign will be initiated.
We are hopeful that you and the community will join us in making this unique project happen. We are excited to share this wonderful opportunity, and participation of all levels is welcome and necessary to complete our project. Financial contributions, fundraising efforts and hands-on campaigning will be extremely helpful. If you would like to be involved in any way, please get involved!
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