How much will the project cost and how long will it take?
Answering these questions is difficult because there are so many contingencies. How fast will the funds be raised? What will be the community response? What unknown difficulties will arise? Will the weather cooperate and how long will the working seasons be in the next few years?
We expect that the restoration to take between 3 to 5 years and cost between 2.5 to 3 million dollars. If you know about projects like this, you know that these dollar amounts are very low, maybe naively so. Since technically the public owns the lodge, we are thoroughly committed to making its restoration a community effort. This will require that people be willing to give of their time and money for the good of the community. This strategy stands in continuity with the lodge’s origin as a Civilian Conservation Corps project. CCC workers sought to restore our nation’s natural wonders and built facilities to improve our ability to enjoy them. We stand in that spirit.
Once completed, who will own the lodge and how will it be supported?
The restoration of the lodge is not a private enterprise. The lodge and surrounding property are and will always be owned by the U.S. Government and administered by the U.S. Forest Service. When restored, the 501c3 nonprofit Friends of Santiam Pass Ski Lodge will continue to serve as a support organization for lodge maintenance. Susan and Dwight Sheets are the Special Use Permit holders and will manage the day-to-day operation of the lodge. By necessity, the lodge will need to generate income, and will do so through a small café, gift shop and venue rental.
What will be the source of the funds to restore the lodge?
The 501c3 organization Friends of Santiam Pass Ski Lodge is the entity that will oversee the fundraising, promotion, restoration and maintenance of the lodge (Determination Letter is pending). Most of the funds will come from grants, but we also solicit donations from the public. So many people love Santiam Pass Ski Lodge, and want to be a part of its return. We will regularly recognize those people and organizations that help in this effort. We have a “Donate” link on our web site, and will sponsor annual “event” opportunities for giving from the public.
Will the lodge have rooms for overnight stay?
There are no plans in the present to have overnight facilities in the lodge. The vision is that the lodge be available to as many people as possible most of the time. The building is not large enough to be open to the public and also have private rooms for overnight stay. The possibility for future overnight facilities on the permitted area is not ruled out, but the plans in the present do not include this. Any facilities development would need approval by the U.S. Forest Service.
How will the lodge be used once it is completed?
The restored lodge will be an all season multipurpose facility. The ground floor lounge will be open to all free of charge. It will serve the public as a traveler rest and information area with ADA facilities. The lodge will highlight the Santiam Pass area and its many opportunities for recreation. It will display the history of Santiam Pass Ski Lodge and the CCC program. The lodge will be a shelter for those involved in all-season recreation, and will be open for educational and cultural activities. We expect it will be a base for emergency/rescue situations, as well as fire and severe weather road closings.
Income for the lodge will be a necessity lest it once again fall into a state of disrepair. The large rooms in the lodge will be available as rental venues for families, businesses, religious groups, clubs and any who would like to meet in the facility. The rental venue along with a small café and gift shop will support the lodge’s maintenance. It is our desire that Santiam Pass Ski Lodge model hospitality to all visitors and be accessible to people of every economic status.
How can I personally help?
Please tell your friends about this project. This is a community effort, and we need the involvement of many. For some this will mean giving of funds and/or their time and work. Some of the work will involve cleaning and clearing; other work will require special training. The lodge needs all the major utilities restored (electric, water system and septic), restored/replicated windows, and siding. It must be cleaned and sanitized, and will also require asbestos and lead abatement. The lodge needs structural repair, masonry work, wood refinishing, and the list goes on. We need people in the skilled trades: plumbers, electricians, structural engineers, carpenters, painters, abatement contractors, etc. If you are in these and other specialized trades, please consider how you might help. We have to ask this: if you know of anyone who you think would have a special interest in this project and would like to donate, please tell them about it.