Meet Your Neighbor: Rick Brown | SierraSun.com

Meet Your Neighbor: Rick Brown

Kara Fox
Sierra Sun

Ryan Salm/Sierra SunRick Brown

Vice President of JMA Sierra Ventures

Homewood

I am basically overseeing the projects that we’ve got as far as Homewood Mountain, Hotel Avery in Truckee, and the Tahoe Inn on the North Shore that we purchased a couple months ago. And [I’m] looking into workforce housing issues.

Are you thinking about a workforce housing development for the Tahoe Inn property? We are looking at all the different options now. We need to talk with all the different agencies.There is a lot of research to be done. It is a big undertaking. We closed escrow a couple months ago. We have already talked to some of the agencies and will talk to the rest of the them soon.

My grandfather owned Homewood Resort. He bought it in 1938 and built up the ski hill in 1961 for his grandchildren. I grew up as a child on Homewood Mountain. I just have a lot of fond memories and I know Art Chapman [president of JMA Ventures] is sincere with what he wants to do. We are looking at bringing back the old Homewood the way it used to be.

We used to have the snack bar at the end of the pier. It was created for my uncle and mother to sell tuna fish sandwiches and lemonade and it kept [them] out of the lobby and away from the guests. As a child, one of my first jobs my grandfather gave me was to pick up cigarette butts on the beach, and at the end of the day he would give me a penny a piece for each butt I picked up. When I was nine or 10, I progressed to being able to re-stock the Coke machine. Apparently I would fill it up every time someone bought a Coke. I guess it shows how bored we were. We had rowboats on the beach there and it was a central meeting spot. There was a sense of community.

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The restoration of the hillside and roads. Re-forestation and forest management. They are also looking at a biomass effort.

Very much so. We are also bringing the community and second homeowners in and asking their input and what they would like to see it become.

Right now it is a blank piece of paper. We are working with some architects and planners. We are just kind of trying to get a feel for the lay of the land and what we want to do. Financially, it loses a lot of money each year it opens. It cannot remain open if we stay in the current situation. A real estate arm would help that. We want to create a community center. We’re looking for a very modest development in that area.

I think that definitely helps, but it really helps me in going out to the community to get what their thoughts and desires are. No matter where it is ” Truckee, North Shore or Homewood ” it does benefit me having friends and professional contacts. Without that advice you are up a river with no paddle.

Very much so. It was a great experience for me being field deputy for District 5 Supervisor Bruce Kranz. It was a great way of seeing the insides of planning and building to make things happen at the lake. They have certainly improved under Supervisor Kranz’s leadership there.

The Sierra Sun’s Kara Fox interviewed Brown for this week’s Meet Your Neighbor. Please send suggestions for Meet Your Neighbor to kfox@sierrasun.com.