Tahoe cross-country ski area exceeds fundraising goal with $146,075

Margaret Moran

If you go

What: Tahoe XC season kick-off party

Where: Jake’s on Lake Tahoe, 780 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City

When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6

Cost: $25 for adults, includes buffet and a special cocktail, with $10 going to support Tahoe XC. $15 for children, includes buffet and soda, with $5 going to Tahoe XC.

More online:

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Thanks to the generosity of others, Tahoe City’s nonprofit cross-country ski area will be able to cover its operational expenses for this winter season.

Since launching a fundraising campaign in May, Tahoe Cross Country Ski Area has raised $146,075 from local and out-of-state donors, exceeding its goal of $80,000, resort officials said.

“It’s a relief,” said Jim Robins, president of the Tahoe XC Board of Directors. “When you have no money in the bank and are trying to open (a) business for the season, it’s pretty scary. It’s impressive how people stepped up, and we’re very pleased.”

Its original campaign, “Low Snow Fundraising Campaign,” raised $57,192, leaving the ski area at 925 Country Club Drive with more than a $20,000 shortfall.

In response to the deficit, an anonymous North Tahoe donor came forward, pledging to match $40,000 if the community could raise that amount by the end of November.

Starting Aug. 14, Tahoe XC launched a second campaign that garnered $48,883 by the deadline, securing those matching dollars.

Funds will go toward covering expenses such as management and employee salaries, equipment maintenance and fuel for grooming machines for Tahoe XC’s 2015-16 winter season, Robins said.

In addition, a portion of the funds ($48,883) is being earmarked for a down payment for a future grooming machine, as one of Tahoe XC’s snowcats is nearing the end of its useful life, he said.

As a partner, the Tahoe City Public Utility District contributed $28,000 in late October to cover utilities, insurance and other facility expenses this season, according to the ski area.

In addition, California State Parks and the California Tahoe Conservancy waived last winter’s trail fees that Tahoe XC still owed, a savings of roughly $12,000, Robins said.

For the past two years, Tahoe XC has been drawing down its reserves to cover fixed costs due to poor weather conditions not allowing the area to be open as often as it would in a good snow year.

The winter of 2010-11 was the last good ski season for Tahoe XC — and all the Sierra Nevada, for that matter — with 150 days of operation.

Due to a snowstorm hitting the Lake Tahoe/Truckee region last week, Tahoe XC opened Thanksgiving Day and has remained open due to cold temperatures helping to maintain the snow.

“We’re very optimistic,” Robins said, referring to Tahoe XC’s outlook for this winter season. “I think we’ll have a good winter.”

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