My Turn: Town should OK Tahoe Donner cross-country upgrade
Ryan Summerlin February 13, 2014
I just wanted to take a minute to write and express my support for the new cross-country ski center building in Tahoe Donner.
My wife and I have lived in Truckee since 1996 and the Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center has been a major part of our lives in the winter as it has been for so many in our town. We often joke that we raised our kids at TDXC.
The ski center provides a wonderful place to connect with others in the community during the cold winter days centered around a healthy outdoor activity. Truckee would not have the same quality of life for it’s residents if TDXC did not exist. It truly is one of the best cross-country ski centers in North America run by a tremendous staff.
This said, the current lodge is out of date and lacks the kind of space needed to truly foster the benefits users have by skiing at TDXC which the new lodge would provide. With the added room and modern services, it truly would become one of the coolest places to gather with friends and family in Truckee for both skiers and non-skiers.
Guests could obviously enjoy the world-class groomed trails for skiing and snowshoeing, but they could also gather by the fire to talk and share a meal with others while winter is held at bay outside the windows. It also is a place where parents can gather while their children play together and learn to ski through the wonderful kids programs that TDXC provides.
It is also important to point out that even though Tahoe Donner is a private home owners association, the center has always been and will continue to be open to the public to use and enjoy. I can see no reason why the town of Truckee would not support this project when everyone in our community stands to benefit recreationally, socially and economically from a project which is being paid for exclusively by Tahoe Donner home owners, which my wife and I are.
I also happen to be the head Nordic ski coach for Truckee High School, and Tahoe Donner has always supported my team and the Alder Creek Middle School team by providing us with storage and team space in the center and given our athletes discounted season ski passes.
However, this space is in converted horse stalls that are not heated and lack modern conveniences like bathrooms and changing areas. When planning the new lodge, Tahoe Donner staff kindly invited us coaches to meet with the architect so we could give feedback on the new floor-plan, which included new team meeting room(s) to support groups like ours.
The Truckee High and Alder Creek Middle ski teams have about 100 kids using this center on a weekly basis, and the new lodge would be a huge asset to our programs, which would not exist without their support.
For these reasons and many others I am sure people will share with you, I ask that the town of Truckee fully support this project and not delay its progression so it can get built right away. The sooner it starts, the sooner everyone in Truckee, whether resident or visitor, will get to enjoy all the benefits the Tahoe Donner Cross Country Ski Center Lodge will provide.
Jon Halvorsen is a Tahoe Donner property owner and head Nordic ski coach for Truckee High School.
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