Santiam Pass Ski Lodge Restoration
Opened in 1940, the Santiam Pass Ski Lodge quickly became beloved by visitors for its warm, welcoming atmosphere and affordable accommodations. Here, guests could enjoy a delicious meal, rent ski equipment, or simply enjoy the breathtaking views from a cozy fireside seat in the main lounge.
However, over the subsequent decades, the lodge faced financial challenges and closed in the late 1950s. While it was used periodically by private groups, it had largely sat empty since the 1980s, and had fallen victim to vandalism as well as the disrepair caused by time and the harsh winters of the Santiam Pass. That’s where the Friends of the Santiam Pass Ski Lodge stepped in.
Friends of the Santiam Pass Ski Lodge
Dwight and Susan Sheets launched Friends of the Santiam Pass Ski Lodge, a volunteer-based non-profit committed to restoring the lodge. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department awarded Friends of Santiam Pass Ski Lodge three Preserving Oregon Grants, totaling $60,000, to rehabilitate 35 windows, restore the log entry and staircases, and replace the siding. The Oregon Lottery provided the funds for the grants.
When fully restored, the lodge will feature an open area on the ground floor with a café, a gift shop, and ADA-accessible restrooms. The upper level will be transformed into a gathering space for music and arts events. The Sheets’ goal for the lodge is to see it bustling with visitors once again.
The Men Who Built the Lodge
President Roosevelt’s New Deal program established the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a work relief project that put thousands of young American men to work during the Great Depression. Across the country, these men established state parks and constructed lodges to support the growing ski industry. In Oregon, the CCC’s legacy includes projects like the Santiam Pass Ski Lodge, as well as Silver Falls State Park.
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
As part of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register of Historic Places was established to support efforts to identify, assess, and protect historic properties across the U.S.
The Santiam Pass Ski Lodge is representative of an important period in public land development for outdoor recreation. This unique property is one of the few remaining ski lodges built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the Pacific Northwest. The ski lodge was built in the rustic style, an architectural style known for cohesiveness with its surrounding environment by utilizing locally sourced materials. Most of the timber and rock used in the construction of the lodge were sourced from the local area.
In 2018, the USDA Forest Service nominated the Santiam Pass Ski Lodge for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Later that year, the National Park Service—which maintains the National Register—accepted the nomination. Inclusion in the register gives the Friends of Santiam Pass Ski Lodge access to state and federal grants.
Hoodoo Ski Area
Dwight and Susan Sheets of the Friends of Santiam Pass Ski Lodge hope to re-open the lodge for partial operations by the winter of 2023-24. Located off Highway 20, the historic ski lodge was originally built to support the Hoodoo Ski Area, which had opened just two years prior in 1938.
The Hoodoo Ski Area offers a wide range of exciting activities. Families with children will love the thrill of gliding down the snow tubing lanes at the Autobahn Tubing Park. For those who love the serenity of the slopes under the moon and stars, Hoodoo is the only ski area in Central Oregon that offers night skiing. On your next visit to the Hoodoo Ski Area, make sure to stop by the lodge for a warm cup of hot cocoa.
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