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SANTIAM PASS, OR-A new $5 million lodge is underway at the Hoodoo Ski Area at the top of Santiam Pass. The work is part of a $10-million, five-year master plan approved by the U.S. Forest Service in 1996.

Owner Chuck Shepard hopes the lodge, scheduled for completion December, along with two new chair lifts, a tubing area and a new beginners slope will attract more patrons and help offset a poor ski season this past winter. Hoodoo’s numbers were down 42% from 2000 to only 40,000 visitors, a far cry from the 470,000 visits to its much bigger brother to the southeast, Mount Bachelor, which saw attendance drop 15%.

Hoodoo’s new lodge is replacing a smaller North Lodge that already has been razed. The new chair lifts and the tubing area are scheduled for completion in late 2002. As well, the mountain is catering to parents of smaller children with a ski carousel and a day care center.

Hoodoo, opened in 1938, is the second-oldest ski area in Oregon behind Timberline, which opened in 1937. Shepard purchased Hoodoo for about $1.6 million in May 1999. The ski area has five chair lifts and 806 skiable acres under permit, of which 120 acres are maintained, as well as nordic trails.

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