One of the true pleasures of ski season and skiing is the fireplace that most lodges have. In addition, Wisconsin Skier Ski Headquarters also has a fireplace.
However, I give a lot more bonus points for wood fireplaces and this is what I see in most ski lodges and what we have in the Wisconsin Skier Ski Headquarters.
The fireplace is first off about providing heat to make the living space comfortable, but in my opinion a real fireplace does much more that simply serve as a source of thermal energy. It provides warmth. Not the same, not close.
I really enjoy that faint hint of wood smoke one detects in places heated by wood burning. It is a very welcoming odor. Coming in from the cold and snow to the lodge to be greeted by the scent of burning wood adds a lot to the experience.
Then the sight of the flames dancing and hearing the occasional crackle of the fire. One of the on-hill places I frequent has old-fashioned pot-belly stoves. Employees will check them out occasionally perhaps adding a stick or two of wood. Those stoves are not even close to the zero-clearance high efficiency fireplaces new constructions will install. They are nice though. They heat up quickly, the provide the warmth and while you do not see the flames you certainly smell and hear them. If you are sitting the right place you can see the flames through cracks in the stove door or when an employee loads it up (or if you open it up yourself to get your cold fingers closer to the heat).