A LEGACY ON THE WEST SHORE
Homewood High & Dry is a long-standing business that has thrived on the West Shore since the early 1960s. A legacy on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe, the Homewood name was born in 1961 as a ski area founded by Ron Rupp with two rope tows and a ton of passion. In the summers Rupp taught water skiing on the lake and it was easy see the potential in building a Marina and bringing year round recreation to the Homewood area. Rupp partnered with Helen Aldridge and her son George and in 1966 they began construction of a showroom and harbor on the lakefront lot across from the ski area.
Taking an innovative approach to boat storage, the Homewood High & Dry Marina was the first in the area to utilize dry rack storage. Borrowing the concept from marinas in Florida, which are often subject to harsh weather, dry rack storage would prove beneficial in keeping boats safe during Tahoe’s unpredictable weather.
In 1977 Nate Topol purchased a swath of lakefront property that included the Homewood High & Dry Marina and the neighboring motel and over the next few decades he began developing the property into a destination area. After many years running the Truckee Lumber Mill, a business that brought his family to the area in the 1940s, Topol envisioned developing the property that brought a unique attraction to the West Shore.
In addition to expanding the Marina to include outdoor dry storage, he built the Topol Pavilion, an outdoor venue that was home to the Lake Tahoe Music Festival for many years. Topol also expanded the original West Shore Café to include outdoor dining on a private pier and created a new dining experience on West Shore. The area grew into a public access point to recreation on the lake. The business was a family affair with Topol’s wife and five children working in the West Shore Café and Marina.
Throughout the years the property has evolved to fit the evolving West Shore area. Today the Topol Pavilion no longer exists. The West Shore Café has grown into a destination, wedding venue including an intimate inn and luxury dining options. The Homewood High & Dry Marina continues to be a convenient and customer service-oriented access point to the lake and the protected waters of West Shore’s McKinney Bay.
Topol envisioned a day when the Marina and West Shore Café would operate harmoniously with the neighboring Homewood Mountain Resort and in 2010 he sold the restaurant to JMA Ventures, which currently owns and operates both the restaurant and resort to this day. He continued to operate the Marina until his passing in 2013 at which point his son, David took over operations.
In 2016 JMA Ventures purchased the marina and hired David Topol as the Marina Director and keeping the family legacy alive.