Hundreds show up to share memories, break ground at Tahoe City Lodge (VIDEO) |

Hundreds show up to share memories, break ground at Tahoe City Lodge (VIDEO)

As soon as the fences went up last week around the Henrikson building at 255 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City, reservations for the Tahoe City Lodge’s groundbreaking ceremony began flooding in.

Hundreds of locals ended up showing up to the event, sharing memories of the property — and offering up a Sierra Community House donation to pick up a hammer and bust up some of the walls inside.

“It’s extremely gratifying the way that the community has — not only tonight, but really since day one — the community has been such a big part of the process of helping us make the project better, of being there to support us at all the hearings, and just really pushing and pushing,” said Samir Tuma, managing member of Kila Tahoe LLC, the owner of the lodge. “Tonight was a demonstration with 300-plus people here from the community who were just here to celebrate the next chapter.”

Tuma said he first had plans of turning the dilapidated property into a new lodge roughly seven years ago. Since that time, he’s had to overcome lawsuits and several other hurdles along the way to making the project a reality.

“(Tuma) has shown the true grit for what it takes to have a passion for Tahoe, and to have a passion for community, and to have a passion for a town that needs to transform itself in some ways,” Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Executive Director Joanne Marchetta told the audience. “And this is truly a transformative project and it was hard not to support this when it walked in the door.

“Success in Tahoe absolutely doesn’t happen without partnership and collaboration and Samir took it to that place every step of the way. His team, Placer County, our planners, the community, you the community took collaboration and partnership to a new height here, and that will transform our beloved Tahoe.”

Tahoe Tap Haus and FiftyFifty Brewing Co. donated beer and wine for the event, and food was donated by The Buck Stops Here. All donations went to the newly formed Sierra Community House.

“We are four long standing social service nonprofits that serve the entire North Lake Tahoe-Truckee region,” said Sierra Community House Executive Director Paul Bancroft. “We’ve come together, we’ve joined resources to have a bigger impact and to provide better services to our community.”

The organization was formed earlier this summer when the Family Resource Center of Truckee, North Tahoe Family Resource Center, Tahoe SAFE Alliance, and Project MANA merged.

The Tahoe City Lodge will be a $60 million boutique hotel with 118 rooms. The project also includes a restaurant, rooftop hot tubs, a bar, conference and meeting facilities. The project will also include improvements to the neighboring Tahoe City Golf Course, including improved parking, a new clubhouse, and shared facilities.

“It’s going to be a really great improvement for the community, not only in terms of this property improving, but also the golf course improving,” Tahoe City Public Utility District President Dan Wilkins said during a speech at the event.

The project is slated to begin construction next spring with a timeline of 16 to 18 months before completion.

“There’s a lot of history in these buildings,” said Tuma. “Everybody I talked to tonight had a story about the record store, or the bar, or the restaurant, or somewhere where they had a business in here. There’s a lot of history and a lot of people who’ve been around here 30, 40, 50 years are a part of that history. So, I think there was some sort of a sentimental journey ending here, but people are really excited about the rebirth.”

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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