2019 Summit Master Plan
In 2018, R.L.K. and Company, operators of Timberline Lodge and Ski Area, acquired Summit Ski Area. The vision for Summit is to continue to operate as a family-oriented, affordable, community friendly ski area, while upgrading facilities to connect Government Camp with Timberline. Upgrades are also planned to create a year-round recreation hub for outdoor activities fostering experiences and education, with an interest in increasing engagement with youth and underserved communities so as to increase opportunities and diversity in the outdoors.
The history and future of
Summit Ski Area
Established in 1927, Summit Ski Area is the second oldest continuously operating ski area in the United States and the oldest ski area in the Pacific Northwest. In 1959 a T-bar was installed and in 1966 the present lodge was constructed. In 1980 the current 2,300 feet long chairlift was built, providing access to approximately 3.5 miles of trails. Summit’s base elevation is approximately 4,000 ft.
R.L.K. and Company, Operator of Timberline Lodge and Ski Area, purchased the iconic Summit Ski Area in Government Camp, Oregon, in July 2018. Included in the sale is Snow Bunny, a snow play area and parking lot, approximately 1.5 miles east of Government Camp. Both Summit Ski Area and Snow Bunny will operate under a special use permit issued by the Mount Hood National Forest, USDA Forest Service.
Jeff Kohnstamm, Timberline President and Area Operator, says, “We are very pleased with the acquisition and plan to operate Summit Ski Area as a family oriented, affordable, friendly mountain resort.” Kohnstamm sees Summit as a place to “break down the barriers to skiing and snowboarding surrounding accessibility and affordability“. With Portland’s population growing rapidly and more people visiting Mt. Hood, Timberline also views Summit Ski Area as an opportunity to help address public transportation and parking needs while having a greater connectivity to Government Camp.
In the short-term, R.L.K. and Company will roll out Summit with an updated brand and website. Summit will operate under its current footprint with ski and snowboard rentals, lessons, snow tubing, and an expanded food and beverage offering with some basic lodge upgrades to get ready for the upcoming ski season.
The long-term view for Summit includes exploring expanded product offerings for both summer and winter. “We look forward to an open-minded approach and discussing opportunities with the community,” says Kohnstamm, “We will provide quality recreation within the capabilities of the ecosystem. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for Summit, Timberline, Government Camp and all who visit.”
Public Engagement & Stakeholder Input
R.L.K. and Company hired Sustainable Northwest, a regional non-profit, to organize and lead a series of public engagement meetings focused on gathering stakeholder input on projects proposed for inclusion in the updated Master Plan. The meetings served as a venue to gather feedback, but also as an important opportunity to reconnect with community leaders and key members of the public.