By Jim Ryan

The Oregonian

Mt. Hood Meadows announced on Friday plans to build a new $15 million, 23,500-square-foot lodge on the southeast flank of Oregon’s largest peak.

The new lodge, dubbed “Sahale,” will be adjacent to Meadows’ South Lodge in the resort’s existing base area. It’s Meadows’ first major commercial improvement since the resort’s South Lodge expansion in 1999, according to the resort.

The building will house Meadows’ learning and rental centers, as well as a new restaurant and bar. It’s targeted to open during Christmastime 2020.

The expansion will help alleviate congestion at the resort, which is bustling on peak winter and spring weekends. The new building and a redesign of existing space will increase lodge seating by 60 percent, according to the resort.

“That addresses one of the main complaints guests have — finding seating for dining on busy days in over-crowded lodges,” Meadows said on its website.

Meadows will also add 250 new parking spaces for the 2019-20 season — a welcome development for a resort prone to running out of available parking spaces on its busiest days.

The new spaces will be on the north side of the access road to Meadows’ Hood River Meadows Lot. They’re part of an overflow lot that will eventually be home to the resort’s nordic operation and have the capacity to hold 1,000 cars.

Meadows said it’s also offering 1,250 Sahale Gold Memberships — or five-year, all-access passes — to raise the money necessary to break ground on the new lodge this summer.

The new passes, which offer more perks than existing ones, will be sold April 1 to May 31. Pricing will be announced April 1.

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