Incline businesses pleased about Ritz-Carlton project |

Incline businesses pleased about Ritz-Carlton project

INCLINE VILLAGE – East West Partners’ announcement last month that construction was imminent on its five-star, ski-in/ski-out Ritz-Carlton hotel in its Northstar-at-Tahoe redevelopment got local hotel managers talking.

Hospitality industry reps are optimistic that the new 172-room, $300-million resort will benefit the entire basin.

“We’re excited,” said Fred Euler, general manager of the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort Spa and Casino. “The north end of the lake needs more high-end facilities and it’s going to help us all.”

Bill Hanley, marketing director for the Cal-Neva Spa and Casino, agreed.

“Now we’ll have another luxury hotel and another restaurant to attract upscale clientele to the basin,” he said.

Euler said people visiting from major markets like L.A. and San Francisco are looking for higher-end services when they go on vacation.

“It’s going to be a beautiful facility,” he said. “They have very ambitious plans and I think it’s going to help bring up the entire market, just like the Resort at Squaw Creek remodel did.”

Hanley noted the major difference between destination resorts, such as the new Ritz-Carlton Highlands and the Resort at Squaw Creek, and local hotels such as the Tahoe Biltmore and the Cal-Neva.

“If you stay with us you’re on the lake and have access to six or seven world class ski resorts,”Hanley said. “If you stay at Squaw Creek or the new Ritz at Northstar you’re not going anywhere but there.”

Bruce Kranz, a member of the Placer County Board of Supervisors, said the development will enhance the entire Tahoe community.

“The fantastic new complex at the Highlands will give the region not only a grand new hotel and increased luxury lodging and real estate options, but a host of new jobs, an increase in the tax base and a positive economic impact,” Kranz said.

Construction of the hotel is scheduled to begin this summer. The lead design architect said it will differ from Ritz-Carlton’s more traditional properties.

“It will be an upscale mountain lodge, a contemporary legacy of the great mountain lodges originally built in the West at the turn of the 20th century,” said Mark Hornberger of San Francisco-based Hornberger & Worstell Architects.

In addition to the hotel, the resort will include 75 homes for sale and 77 other residences available as time-shares.

“We are very pleased to add the Ritz-Carlton portfolio of luxury properties our first ski resort and spa in Northern California,” said Simon F. Cooper, Ritz-Carlton’s president and CEO.

The resort will border the 1,450-unit Highlands community that East West Partners and Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. are co-developing at Northstar. It will have gondola access to the Village at Northstar, a collection of condominiums, shops, restaurants and ice skating rink at the base of the mountain.

– The Associated Press contributed to this story

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