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Elk Camp Restaurant photography by Jeremy Swanson

Elk Camp Restaurant photography by Jeremy Swanson

Hyder Wins Two Industry Awards for Elk Camp Restaurant

January 15, 2014

The 2014 ski season is underway and Colorado is enjoying better snow than it’s had in almost a decade. With all that snow comes hungry skiers. Where are they going this year? If you’re at Snowmass, chances are you’ll stop in at the award-winning Elk Camp Restaurant. This past year, the project was awarded construction excellence merit awards from both ENR and AGC. Want to find out what made this project so special? Read on… 

Fresh powder. To the ski enthusiast these words are often synonymous with “sick day”! And of all the places to go, Aspen/Snowmass stands out as the quintessential American destination for snow, sun, celebrity sightings, and luxury ski vacations. The winter resort complex is owned and operated by the Aspen Skiing Company (Skico) and has great skiing over four mountains, a world-class lift system, and a vibrant community where mountain recreation and arts thrive year-round.

Since the 1990s, Skico has envisioned and planned for expansion on the east side of Snowmass Mountain, Aspen’s largest ski area. The Elk Camp Gondola was the first major piece of that expansion, followed by new summer biking trails and the relocation of the beginner skiing facilities. Now, a campus of buildings is being created around the terminus of the gondola, with the new Elk Camp Restaurant at its heart.

What truly sets the Elk Camp Restaurant project apart? Overcoming challenges presented by the unique design and on-mountain location. Utilizing green construction practices and material re-use to limit carbon footprint. Enhancing the prestigious Aspen/Snowmass brand and experience.

At 9,970 feet above sea level, the 17,480 square-foot Elk Camp restaurant is located at the Elk Camp gondola terminus and replaces the old Café Suzanne. The $8,800,000 restaurant is part of Skico’s 10-year, $30 million master plan to improve their on-mountain restaurants to heighten Snowmass Mountain’s level of guest service. 

The restaurant seats 250 visitors in the main “great” room, 150 guests outdoors and 75 children in the fun kid’s dining area “tent” on the lower level. The bar, with massive windows and focused views to the Hanging Valley, is warmed by a gracious indoor fireplace and provides casual seating and intimate gathering. Enhancing the guest experience, Elk Camp’s cuisine features many organic and locally harvested menu items exquisitely displayed under superior lighting and enticing graphics. 

The restaurant utilizes visual expression and quality to embody the Skico brand. The venue features a trademark curved roof design as its defining element, which is rooted in several key principles – establishing a base camp to nature and adventure, integrating a “cool” factor that exudes energy, and most importantly creating a memorable, multi-generational experience that is central to the values of Snowmass. Natural and tactile building materials, like walnut timbers, stone columns, stamped concrete, and metal siding, showcase contemporary architectural elements in harmony with the alpine setting. 

“We aspired to have something contemporary but felt like it belonged there,” said David Corbin, Skico’s vice president. 


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