For the second year in a row, our company chose to host our annual Christmas party at the Alta Peruvian Lodge. We view it as a time of celebration and thankfulness for the opportunity we have to work in the wonderful vacation rental and ski travel industries. Two years ago some of our party planning committee were skeptical of a change of venue from a hotel ballroom to the Peruvian, but since much of our company history is grounded in the ski vacation industry, our executive team thought it made perfect sense.
If you haven’t visited the Peruvian, you are missing out on a great opportunity to stay overnight in one of the most classic American ski lodges in the West. My job takes me from ski town to ski town and I’ve toured dozens and dozens of ski lodging properties and rarely see one as classic as the Alta Peruvian. The lodge, built in 1948, is loyal to its roots of classic ski lodge culture. Each room includes breakfast, lunch and dinner in one price, allowing the hard core skier to focus on getting the most out of their stay and ski as much as possible.
Upon arriving, you are warmly greeted by the front desk staff, someone like Hannah McIlwain who checked us in. You often see Patrick Pike, the Reservations Manager or Todd Collins, the General Manager pitching in to assist the front desk staff during a busy time. There are complimentary hot chocolate, coffee, tea and hot cookies in the lobby. You can sip on a cup while gazing up through the wrap around the ceiling windows at a breathtaking view of the mountains. The lodging options include shared baths down the hall, private bathrooms and one and two bedroom suites.
My boyfriend Jim and I were lucky to have secured a suite with a corner sitting area and a beautiful view of the mountain. Our room had brand new furniture and a Starbucks coffee maker. The view struck me because of the ability to watch the groomers light up the mountainside late at night. I stayed up later than I should have watching them prep for the next day’s skiing. The view made me feel like a mountain town insider, privy to a private world not seen by many.
Each lodging reservation comes with all-inclusive food served family style in their dining room. Our company dinner consisted of a delicious buffet of crab legs, shrimp, roast beef and a dessert menu that made me want to start there and leave the crab legs for later. The staff was wonderfully attentive and efficient. Our group of 170 was seated at 7:30pm and everyone made it through the buffet line (some several times!) within an hour. A few toasts and cheers later, we moved from the dining room to the space across a small lobby and enjoyed dancing with a DJ and after-dinner drinks. A few folks played ping pong downstairs and some enjoyed the outdoor hot tubs and pool.
If you haven’t been to the Peruvian Lodge, find a few nights this winter to head up, stay and have someone else cook for you. At a minimum, you should stop by after skiing at Alta, wander through the lobby and swing by the Alta Peruvian Bar, affectionately nicknamed the “P-Dog.” There you’ll mingle with hard core skiers back from a long day on the hill, or locals stopping by on their way back to the valley.
Have you stayed in a classic ski lodge? If so, where and what was your experience?