For the mountain community, February has been like Christmas Day over and over again. The gift? Snowstorm after snowstorm dumping the wonderful white stuff to the tune of more than 100 inches of snow this month – a record since records started being kept decades ago. And the month isn’t over yet.
There has been so much snow atop Baldy that the Ski Patrol shack is literally buried What is a gift to recreationists, though, provides some pretty enormous challenges to the team keeping our winter white playground functioning and safe under extreme conditions. The outstanding men and women...
The multimillion-dollar remodel of the historic Sun Valley Lodge is entering the final stretch. The new lodge will welcome its first guests in a mere four weeks, when the doors officially re-open June 15th.
With the countdown on, the excitement is growing—and so is the pressure. Having now been lucky enough to tour the remodel twice in the last few months (including earlier this week with Jack Sibbach and Shannon Besoyan of Sun Valley Resort), a large team of talented and pretty darn hard working tradesmen have made a lot of impressive progress. But this is, after all, not just a remodel, it’s really a rebirth. So there’s still a lot of work to do as the deadline to open comes speeding down the track like an old Union Pacific train.
But as we joked with a painting contractor just before out tour ended, it wouldn’t be right—or in keeping with the lodge’s history—if the first guests didn’t start arriving in the front door, just as the last construction workers scurried out the back.
The original lodge was built in an astounding seven months in 1936. The remodel, including a 30,000-square-foot spa and fitness club addition, is going to be done in an almost as impressive nine months.
Touring the lodge remodel is like watching history rise up from the ashes, dust itself off and don a killer new outfit. It almost feels like you’re walking around Disney Land while it’s being built.
“We’re definitely upping the ‘Wow Factor,’” Jack said.
In keeping with the tradition of America’s first mountain resort, the devil of the new Sun Valley Lodge is in the details. From the tile work in the new Gretchen’s to the granite flooring of the lobby or the heated pavers by the pool and the big baths and flat screen TVs in the rooms, just about every inch of the new remodel is being done with class, character and an eye for detail.
“It’s really grand,” Shannon said as we stood in the middle of the expanded and updated lobby.
One of the other impressive aspects of the new lodge is how open it is and the great views it affords of the downright stunning surroundings.
“They’ve done a great job of letting the natural beauty into the lodge,” Shannon said.
“Not too many fitness facilities have views like this,” Jack said, as we toured the spa addition, which overlooks the new lodge pool with Mount Baldy in the background.
The general décor of the new lodge is inviting and has a mountain elegance vibe. It is full of natural woods and rich earth tones. Of course, it takes a bit more effort to add and refine details as large as stone fireplaces and an elevator to the new and improved bowling alley (check out next week’s blog about the family-friendly enhancements of the new Sun Valley Lodge) or as small as LED bedside reading lights.
That’s why it wouldn’t be surprising if members of the construction crew, as well as the spa and hotel staff, were caught mumbling those famous Robert Frost lines, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep. And miles to go before I sleep.”
As the lodge remodel heads down the homestretch, it’s almost like you can feel the old magic of the place seeping through the walls. The “grand dame” of the ski industry, as some folks call Sun Valley Lodge, is almost ready to kick off it the next chapter of its glorious history.
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