Resort at Squaw Creek converts to condos
January 24, 2006
The Resort at Squaw Creek has completed a $53 million renovation, including the conversion of its hotel rooms into private condominiums.The resort will continue to operate as a resort and hotel, since management estimates that approximately 90 percent of the privately owned units will still be part of the rental program at the hotel. Staffing levels at the resort have not changed, said Doug Phillips, director of marketing and sales for the resort.In converting 405 hotel rooms to condominiums, the Resort at Squaw Creek followed a national pattern in the hospitality business that is often used to raise money to improve properties, said Steve Teshara, executive director of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.
Phillips said the trend is popular at resorts and in downtown hotels. But the changeover to condominiums doesn’t concern Teshara, since the rooms will continue to contribute transient occupancy tax to Placer County and most of the condos will still be available as lodging.”They will still be one of the major [transient occupancy tax] generators in the area,” Teshara said. “It’s a strategy that works for them and works for the community.”The 405 hotel rooms are now 238 condominiums, of which more than 200 have already sold, said Phillips. But with separate entrances to each room of the two-bedroom and penthouse condominiums, the resort still has the ability to rent out 405 rooms. The resort expects to regularly rent out approximately 375 units, said Phillips.”The sale has allowed us to finance a massive renovation of the property,” Phillips said of the 14-month project that included upgrades to the resort’s conference facilities and grounds.
“Every detail of the resort is practically brand new,” Phillips said in a prepared statement.Teshara said that renovations that keep resorts up to date are important in the competitive resort market of the Tahoe region.”To stay competitive you have to continue to upgrade your property,” he said.The Resort at Squaw Creek has additional plans to expand its property. A second phase of 160 condominiums, a four-story parking garage and 50 employee housing units is still planned for the resort, said Phillips, although he was unsure when construction on the second phase would begin.”It is in the works,” he said.
Tax talk Transient occupancy taxes are collected from businesses that provide lodging to vacationers.Placer County directs 60 percent of the taxes collected within North Lake Tahoe to support tourism marketing and promotions, transportation, visitor support services and infrastructure development. The remaining 40 percent of the tax revenue is used to help offset additional tourism-related services to the area, according to the county.North Lake Tahoe projects that have benefited from the tax recently include the Tahoe City sidewalk project, Commons Beach improvement project, planning for the Kings Beach core improvement project, Alpine Meadows to Squaw Valley bicycle trail extension project and the Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe, according to Placer County.