Cal Lodge Opens Following Two-Year Closure





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This coming ski season, Sierra-bound UC Berkeley students won't have to scramble for as much cash before heading up to the mountains.

An ASUC-owned ski lodge on Donner Summit reopened last week, promising low nightly rates and friendly accommodations.

Richard and Kathy Wegner signed a six-month lease with the ASUC Auxiliary last week, which paved the way for the Cal Lodge to reopen its doors.

The lodge was once a cheap place for people in the UC Berkeley community to stay during ski season.

But the ASUC Auxiliary closed the lodge nearly two years ago for financial reasons. The building had electrical and plumbing problems, which have since been fixed by the new management.

The Wegners both worked in a ski lodge next door owned by the Sierra Club.

"It was way too crowded," said Kathy Wegner. "My husband and I decided that we needed to open (Cal Lodge) to fulfill the need."

ASUC Auxiliary was happy to hand the management of the place to someone else.

"(ASUC Auxiliary) felt (the Cal Lodge) could be managed more effectively by a private third-party vendor," said ASUC Auxiliary director Tom Cordi. "We follow the same model with our food services and bookstore operations."

The ASUC Auxiliary hopes to make a small profit from the transition.

"But more importantly, members of the Cal community will have a place to stay in the Sierras for less than $25 per night," Cordi said.

The lodge is now undergoing a large-scale transformation. The Wegners have started to refurbish the run-down mountain lodge.

They repainted entirely, remodeled the kitchen and turned the dining room into a sports bar with college pennants and a television.

The new and improved lodge can host around 45 guests at a time. Most of the sleeping areas have bunk beds, but a few singles and private rooms sleep six or seven people.

The lodge charges UC students $20 a night, and the faculty, staff and alumni $25 a night. For guests not affiliated with UC the cost per night is $38.

Cal Lodge is located within a few minutes of big ski resorts, such as Sugar Bowl and Donner Ranch. Rural Gorge, a bustling cross-country ski resort, is also nearby.

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