Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
03:20 PM Beirut time
30 °C
Blom Index
Travel & Tourism
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Ski lodges going for more modern look
Associated Press
Hotel Terra’s contemporary look is a contrast to the rustic chalet-style designs traditional in ski lodges. (AP Photo/Hotel Terra, Cameron Neilson)
Hotel Terra’s contemporary look is a contrast to the rustic chalet-style designs traditional in ski lodges. (AP Photo/Hotel Terra, Cameron Neilson)
A+ A-

SNOWMASS, Colorado: The rustic ski lodge has been a staple of ski towns pretty much since the first resort was erected on the side of a mountain. But a drastic design shift has taken place the past few years. Chandeliers made of antlers, animal trophies and paintings of cowboys and snow-covered buffalo are out. Clean lines, modern art and open floor plans are in.

After decades of rustic traditions, the ski lodge is getting a contemporary upgrade to keep up with new travelers.

“Things are changing so fast in our business world that even keeping up in the hotel world is very difficult,” said Hugh Templeton, general manager of the Viceroy Snowmass in Snowmass, Colorado. “That younger person is expecting to have something in their travel experience that reflects who they are, not who the hotel wants them to be. I think that’s been a very big change.”

The transformation has been relatively recent in the ski resort industry, following a generational shift in clientele. Baby boomers grew up with rustic, chalet-style ski lodges, so ski resorts stuck with those designs because that generation was where the money was coming from.

But over the past several years, there’s been a shift in demographics as millennials came of age and started spending money. They’re more tech-savvy than their parents, and so plugged-in at home that they expect fast Internet connections in hotels and just as many cable channels.

Their tastes in design are different too, often preferring clean, minimalist decor over quaint and cozy. In response, some ski resorts feature stone floors instead of wood, contemporary lighting and furniture, and art and decorations that are not necessarily winter scenery themed.

Hotels like Viceroy Snowmass, Hotel Terra in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and The Ritz Bachelor Gulch in Beaver Creek, Colorado, are examples of U.S. resorts that have gone a more contemporary design route. The trend is taking off internationally as well, seen in places like The Omnia, Chedi Andermatt and the W Verbier in the Swiss Alps, and the Hotel Altapura and Hotel Le Kaila in the French Alps.

Viceroy Snowmass and Hotel Terra also sometimes offer a twist on the rustic look, encasing the typical wooden beam in steel, painting rock walls in a variety of colors, and featuring artwork with wildlife – but as abstract images instead of the typical moose standing next to a pond in the snow.

Some resorts are updating in sections instead of a major overhaul to keep from overwhelming their returning guests.

“The aging baby boomers who are now retired, semiretired or the empty nesters, they have a little bit more of an old-fashioned design desire because of when and where they grew up,” said David Kingston, general manager of Hotel Terra. “I think the millennial population, which is large and starting to spend money, is going to dictate how seriously or deeply that design concept goes.”

Some of the older design concepts were the result of necessity. Resorts and lodges built on mountainsides had to be made from wood and small stones because it was too hard to get materials or machinery up winding roads and too difficult to build with large, bulky materials on the slopes.

Advances in technology have made construction easier these days, even in tight mountain spaces. Builders can now take a pair of 4,500-kilogram concrete walls and piece them together with relative ease instead of building wooden frames with enormous cedar or oak I-beams across the ceiling.

The new designs are not only “stylish and contemporary,” said Templeton, but they allow hotels to be more energy efficient with easier upkeep. “You try to maintain an all-wood building, it’s very difficult,” he added.

Because skiers expect the rustic look, anything different has an impact.

“Not having that, we create a lasting memory,” he said. “You can’t wait to get back because it’s so different.”

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 05, 2013, on page 13.
Home Travel & Tourism
skiiing / lodge / United States of America

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Baabda 2014
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Thursday April 24, 2014
View all view all
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
For Christians, blessed are the dividers
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
An Iran deal is close, but we’re not there yet
View all view all
Click to View Articles
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS