This last season The Wisconsin Snow Bunny and myself visited the new Big Powderhorn Mountain Lodge. I did not ski, but simply visited the lodge, and this article tells you what I think of the new lodge.
It was fire and the complete destruction of the old lodge spurring the construction of the new lodge. While that is not a good thing that is also history and we will no longer dwell on that. The first thought I had when entering the new Big Powderhorn Lodge, was goodbye 1970s and welcome 2010s!.
More photos and thoughts below the fold!
This essentially what greets you as you enter the new facility, nothing special but it serves as a good illustration of the color and decor throughout the building. The colors as you see are earthy and no where does the interior (or the exterior for that matter) deviate from that color palette. Being a ‘Dead-Head I am fond and open to vibrant colors, but most of my fellow denizens of the Upper Midwest shy away from vibrant primary colors. I suppose I could go down to the Taos or Ski Apache for such colors in the lodge, not happening.
The lodge does have a large-scale resort map with LED lighting to indicate the state of each run, I found that interesting, my recollection of is the management sets the lights depending on each run’s state indicating open, closed for maintenance, and closed-closed. The most vibrant colors were present on that map in the form of the LED lights! I do like this feature adds a bit of tech (just a bit) to the place.
There is plenty of room for lounging at Big Powderhorn and there is also plenty of room to change into and out of one’s gear. Notice too, the gas fireplace, I did not see any wood burning fireplaces, but gas is cheap and it would be a pain logistically speaking, still I have to say harrumph! The wing we are looking at is on the second level and I found it pretty much straight forward to finding the stairs to get up there and there is an elevator as well, which makes sense in a resort that will see its share of people with broken legs and tore up knees.
What resort of any sort in the Upper Midwest is complete without a bar? Big Powderhorn is no exception, however, this bar strikes me as small. However, there is plenty of room for people to sit in the ample lounge, the problem is if things are busy I doubt it will be easy or quick to get refills or even ones initial fill. Still, the bar looks nice with contemporary decor and of course it has products we are looking for in a bar. I also do not like that sitting at the bar means we do not have a direct view of the hill, I would much have preferred some sort of island bar, where the patrons could sit at the bar and directly view the hill rather than the mirror image they will see.
This photo is again from the second level taken from the lounge, there is plenty of tables for people to sit down at and I assume on the second level bar patrons may take their drinks from the bar to the table. You also get a glimpse of the downstairs lounge which is very similar to the upstairs lounge sans the bar, so again a I assume the lower level is “dry”.
I do not recall seeing any dedicated areas for dining and given the state of our ski resort dining scene would guess one can only find standard bar & cafeteria fare. However, the atmosphere of the place makes me look for some upscaled dining.
Overall, I like Big Powderhorn’s new lodge and the few criticisms I have made, congratulate Big Powderhorn’s ownership and management on the new lodge!