By Cameron Rasmusson
If you’ve ever fancied having dinner with a full view of three states and two countries, you’re in luck—Schweitzer Mountain Resort announced Tuesday a long-anticipated summit lodge is scheduled for construction.
Resort officials announced Tuesday the Schweitzer board of directors has approved the $3.8 million summit lodge at the top of Great Escape Quad. According to the plan designed by Sandpoint-based architect Tim Boden and engineered by Dave Thompson, the 8,000-sq. ft., two-story building will feature a restaurant and full-service bar with a 360-degree view and indoor and outdoor seating for 180 people on its second floor. The main floor will set up Ski Patrol dispatch with new digs for its safety and assistance operations. As an added bonus, skiers and snowboarders with full bladders will no doubt appreciate the addition of some summit bathrooms.
“We really can’t thank our ownership and board for supporting us with this project, especially after such a challenging winter,” said marketing manager Dig Chrismer. “It’s a huge sign that they are behind us in the continued growth and success of Schweitzer. That’s awesome.”
A project long in the making, the concept first underwent seriously development 18 months ago. Last year, the team pitched the lodge to the board, which cleared the way for further planning and design. The idea was to get full use out of Schweitzer’s spectacular mountaintop. For instance, the new venue could provide a great spot for private parties or weddings.
“The top of the mountain has always offered such a special appeal to visitors (and locals) and the new lodge will make it possible for us to enjoy that space and place in both the winter and summer months,” said Chrismer. “Our guests will have a place to really gather and enjoy the summit in comfort. This is something that we’ve been missing.”
Local company Idagon Homes will handle construction of the project.
“Idagon has a solid reputation and has already done some amazing work in the area,” said Bill Williamson, Schweitzer mountain operations director, in a press release. “One such project was the recently completed restoration of Sandpoint’s historic train depot. We feel they have the experience and the vision to help us create yet another iconic structure in the Pacific Northwest.”
One outstanding question is the fate of the Wang Shack, which may need to be removed to clear way for the new development. Long appreciated by locals as a quick and easy spot for drinks and refreshment, the shack’s future is still being determined.
“Our local skiers have such a strong emotional attachment to the Wang Shack and we know how important this rustic/easy spot is to our Schweitzer family,” Chrismer said. “At this point, the future of the shack is to be determined & in terms of replicating the same service, there are some potential options but again nothing has been finalized at this point.”
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