SOLD: JMA Ventures finalizes purchase of Alpine Meadows | SierraSun.com

SOLD: JMA Ventures finalizes purchase of Alpine Meadows

Joanna Hartman
Sierra Sun
Ryan Salm/Sierra SunAlpine Meadows ski resort, pictured here in an aerial photo taken earlier this summer, ecompasses 2,500 acres.
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A San Francisco-based company has completed a deal to buy a second Lake Tahoe ski area, part of an initiative to develop a handful of Tahoe-Truckee properties.

JMA Ventures, which purchased Homewood Mountain Resort last year, will close its deal today to purchase Alpine Meadows. The company will now work to cross-promote both resorts.

“I think in owning two ski areas in close proximity to each other, there are certain [benefits] that come with them,” JMA President Art Chapman said Thursday in a phone interview.

“We felt that Alpine really represented an opportunity to reconnect with the local community, to bring it back to the stature that Alpine held 10 years ago,” he added.

Because JMA Ventures is a private company, Chapman would not disclose the ski resort’s purchase price.

Alpine Meadows’ previous owner, Powdr Corp., struck a tentative agreement with JMA in April to sell the ski resort and agreed to finalize the purchase in June, Chapman said previously.

Powdr Corp. will continue to own and operate Boreal and Soda Springs ski areas on Donner Summit and five other resorts in Washington, Nevada, Utah and Vermont, said Jody Churich, general manager of the Truckee resorts.

Alpine Meadows occupies 2,500 acres of land near the Sierra Crest, 500 of which are private. The remaining 2,000 acres are split equally between the U.S. Forest Service and California Tahoe Conservancy, Chapman said.

Chapman spoke before the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club early in July about his plans to makeover the ski area.

“Alpine Meadows, to us, is a skier’s place … [it] was the place where local people went,” Chapman said. “We’re trying to make it the destination for locals again.”

Developers will modernize current facilities like the lodge, expand food and beverage services and eventually replace some of the chairlifts, he said. To the delight of many local skiers, JMA will also cross-market Homewood and Alpine Meadows, including selling a pass that can be used at both ski areas.

Ticket and pass prices have not been determined yet, but Chapman said skiers and riders should benefit from the two resorts being owned by one company.

Alpine Meadows spokeswoman Rachael Woods agreed.

“I think it offers a lot of opportunity for people who live in the area,” Wood said. “If they’re headed in the direction of offering some sort of cooperative pass, it could really be a lot of fun.”

JMA Ventures plans to retain current Alpine Meadows employees.

“We’re keeping all the employees who are there,” Chapman said.

Matt Janney, who managed Alpine Meadows, Boreal and Soda Springs under Powdr Corp. since 2003, left in May to oversee Mt. Bachelor operations in Bend, Oregon. A new general manager from Colorado will come on board shortly, a hiring the company will announce next month, Chapman said.

There won’t be any major changes in store for the upcoming ski season and JMA plans to meet with the Alpine Meadows community to discuss its plans. Alpine Meadows employees are excited that JMA Ventures intends to maintain the friendly, neighborly character that has given the ski resort its name, Woods said.

“We’re really excited. They [JMA Ventures] seem like great people who love this mountain,” Woods said. “We’re excited to see what they’ve got in store.”