Historic Rainbow Lodge reopens | TheUnion.com

Historic Rainbow Lodge reopens

The historic 1920s’ Rainbow Lodge will reopen today after septic problems caused the building to shut down for five months.

The lodge provides a winter haven for skiers and a summer respite for travelers on Interstate 80 who stop for the French-California cuisine and popular Sunday brunch.

Heavy rainfall and flooding in February caused the closure of the lodge, located on a bend in the Yuba River near Donner Summit.

“We had so much water. It just impacted the whole system,” said Carol Ellis, director of human resources for the lodge.

The replacement of a tank and other infrastructure was put on hold until after the snow melted, said Mike Livak, program manager for Royal Gorge. He described the lodge made of local granite and wood timbers as a one-of-a-kind building from another era.

“It had a neat old septic system, too,” Livak said.

The closure put the sale of the lodge on hold temporarily. But now that the septic issue is repaired, owners will actively market the building again, Livak said. Rainbow Lodge is selling for $7 million.

Owners Todd Foster and Kirk Syme bought the lodge and Royal Gorge Cross Country Ski Resort, located on 9,000 acres. They are selling the lodge to focus their attention on the ski resort, the newer Ice Lakes Lodge and the controversial “conservation community,” a proposed development of 900 homes, Livak said.

The 32 rooms at the lodge are typically booked during the winter months, said Ellis, who would not give specifics on how much revenue was lost by the closure. A number of reservations were transferred to Ice Lakes Lodge, and employees sought part-time work during the closure, Ellis said.

Quite a few people have made reservations to stay in the lodge this weekend, and travelers have been stopping to get a bite to eat, Ellis said. She said a number of the old staff, including the chef, will return.

“A lot of the staff are back. We have a lot of staff who love working here,” Ellis said.


To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail lbrown@theunion.com or call 477-4231.

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