Built in 1939, the Bavarian style lodge was the pinnacle piece of founder Hannes Schroll's dream of developing a Tyrolean style resort in the heart of the Sierra Nevada. For a few exciting years, Sugar Bowl was a rarefied Hollywood outpost where high society, powerful businessmen and movie stars signed their names to Sugar Bowl's front desk registry with fair regularity. Levi Strauss, King Vidor, Robert Stack, Norma Shearer, Margaret Sullivan, Jean Arthur, James B. Conant and Doris Duke were just a few of the regular guests. Some came to ski, some just to relax, some to party and some to sit out Nevada's easy divorce requirements. Some, like Claudette Cobert, spent more time preening for the slopes than skiing on them.
Here are just a few of the notable celebrity stories found in "Skiing with Style" by local author, Robert Frohlich.
In 1942, actor Errol Flynn stayed at the lodge accompanied by his bodyguard. This caused a great deal of excitement.
Stockholder Walt Disney visited Sugar Bowl on occasion. One evening, the famed illustrator was in the bar when the bartender begged to be excused for a break and Disney agreed to take his place.
In February 1946, fur-clad actress Norma Shearer visited Sugar Bowl with her husband Marty Arrouge. Shearer introduced herself to the lodge's receptionist, Fred Morrison. Noticing a photograph of the teenage girl on the clerk's desk, Shearer remarked. "What a pretty face; she should be in pictures." Morrison explained that it was a photo for his daughter, Jeanette. Shearer asked if she could have a copy to take back with her to Hollywood. Returning to Southern California, the influential film actress showed the photo to MGM talent executives. Jeanette was summoned to the studio for a screen test. A contract was signed, a new name proposed and the daughter of this Sugar Bowl employee was cast as the lead actress opposite Van Johnson in the Civil War drama, Romance of Rosy Ridges. Thus began the film career of Janet Leigh.
The Lodge has been improved over the years and offers all the modern amenities desired by the overnight or week long guest. The snowbound lodge is accessed via snow cat or gondola and offers fine dining, spa and slope side accessibility. Guests are also encouraged to take a tour of the historic photographs hanging through out the Lodge.