I would warn people about staying in Soda SPrings or Sugar Bowl; you would want to avoid traveling on the 80 on a snowstorm day as much as you can due to a possibility of it being clogged by a closure up the summit. Also staying in Soda means going over the actual Donner Summit, which again may or may not be an issue. If the "frat house" people are thinking of staying in Truckee, consider renting in Tahoe Donner, which is a nice community with LOTS of houses for rest and a short drive to Squaw, Alpine, and NStar. The houses in TD tend to be quite nice too. From previous experience, the rate per bedroom comes to around $50-70/ night.
That is why I suggest Tinker's Station http://www.tinkersstation.com/home.html. It is only 10 minutes to Truckee and about 5 minutes to Sugar Bowl. Cost no more than $30 a night and you can have the whole place when you have enough people.
You can do the same thing at Rockstar Lodge at Kirkwood, which is ski-in/out
I usually travel from one side to the other side at the end of the day. it is much easier in the morning to get to the resort.