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August 13, 2014
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Ambitious Tahoe ski resort master plan 1 month from IVGID vote

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Incline Village General Improvement District continues to seek feedback on an upgraded master plan for Diamond Peak Ski Resort.

On Sept. 10, resort staff and the SE Group (IVGID’s hired planning firm) are scheduled to present for approval a final document that includes plans for increased summer operations, improved facilities and added terrain at the district-owned ski area.

Many of the potential additions — such as canopy tours, an aerial challenge course and an alpine coaster — are designed to bring year-round revenue to a resort that currently only makes money or breaks even in winter, officials said.

While some have supported growth at Diamond Peak, others are skeptical of the potential for increased traffic and noise, as well as a perceived likelihood residents would pay for amenities that mostly only tourists would enjoy.

“The real critical issue we want people to understand is the master plan is merely a conceptual document, and we’re asking the board to approve it knowing that every element in that master plan, the community will have many, many chances for input on,” Diamond Peak General Manager Brad Wilson said.

The master plan proposes $18.2 million in capital upgrades, spent across four phases across many years, all while not raising resident recreation fees.

The first phase would add the aforementioned and other summer recreation options. Phase two includes a brand-new, 8,500-square-foot Snowflake Lodge, while the third phase focuses on winter upgrades, including a new detachable lift for Lakeview. Phase four would look at enhancing terrain.

The master plan’s goal is to let revenue from phase one help fund phase two, and so on.

It calls for roughly $8 million in bonded debt, half for each of the first two phases, which the district would need to pay back, perhaps through the taxpayers. With that, the concept also assumes the upgrades will eventually pay for themselves through revenue gained from increased visitation.

Moving forward, if the board approves the master plan on Sept. 10, staff can look at potential elements — meaning not everything written in the plan could be proposed in the future — in Phase One before presenting them for board approval.

“It’s easily going to be an 18- to 24-month process, and within that process, there will be time for feedback on every single one of the elements proposed in Phase One,” Wilson said. “Everything will be looked at from the board’s standpoint, and those elements must fit within our community values and the values of regulatory agencies. The board will ultimately approve the items ... and funding of those items.

“There are many, many steps in that process … in no way does (approving the master plan) mean carte blanche of $18.2 million of improvements.”

Residents can learn more by viewing the proposed plan and the SE Group’s July 30 presentation to the IVGID board at diamondpeak.com/about/master-plan-update-process/.

Comments prior to Sept. 10 should be emailed to brw@ivgid.org.

The resort’s master plan has not been updated since 1986.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Aug 13, 2014 06:52PM Published Aug 18, 2014 05:08PM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.