The Lodge at Breckenridge completes $3.7 million renovation, hosts grand reopening
If you go
What: Grand reopening of The Lodge at Breckenridge
When: 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5
Where: The Lodge at Breckenridge, 112 Overlook Drive, Breckenridge
Cost: Free and open to the community
More information: Visit http://www.thelodgeatbreckenridge.com, or call (970) 453-9300
Sneak Peak lodging special
The Lodge at Breckenridge is offering a special Sneak Peak lodging deal to celebrate the grand reopening of the property. Stay through Thursday, Dec. 18, to experience the new property, with rates starting at $99 a night from Sunday through Thursday and $129 for the weekend, plus taxes and resort fees. Call The Lodge directly at (970) 453-9300 and ask for the “Sneak Peak” deal to take advantage of these season-best rates. For more information, visit http://www.thelodgeatbreckenridge.com.
The Lodge at Breckenridge will host a grand reopening event on Friday to celebrate its recent $3.7 million renovation.
The community is invited to taste complimentary samplings from the new Traverse Restaurant & Bar, tour the property, take part in raffles and giveaways, jam to the beats of local band The Pine Beetles and rub elbows with Ullr, the Norse god of snow, who will be in attendance to christen the site.
GETTING A FACELIFT
Guest Services Inc., a private hospitality company and National Park Service concessionaire based in Fairfax, Virginia, purchased The Lodge last summer with plans to build it back into a premier property in Breckenridge, a “boutique luxury hotel,” said Rhonda Profaizer, general manager.
“The property was built in the ’70s,” she said. “It was built more as an athletic area for this community up here on Boreas, and then they expanded it into a hotel and kept expanding through the early ’90s to get us where we are now.”
The Lodge is situated just off Boreas Pass Road southeast of Breckenridge town center, with a full-service spa and 45 guest rooms. As part of the full interior and exterior facelift, the rooms were completely transformed, with new energy-efficient windows, carpet, paint, furniture, lighting fixtures, electronics and appliances. Beetle-kill pine was incorporated into the room interiors, and a gigantic new fireplace greets visitors in the entryway of the lobby.
“The fireplace is a big thing,” Profaizer said. “It was a huge undertaking for us; it almost doubled in size and really made it a huge welcoming attraction when you first walked in. Now, it’s the grand fireplace that sets that ambiance for our guests when they are checking in.”
TRAVERSE RESTAURANT & BAR
The fresh look extends to the restaurant and bar within The Lodge, a space that hasn’t been used since 2006, when the previous establishment was shuttered. What was once called Top of the World has been reopened as Traverse Restaurant & Bar under new executive chef Brent Turnipseede, originally from Texas and most recently was a chef at Sweet Basil in Vail.
“The restaurant was a huge focus because we didn’t have one, and this space being here as it was, we needed to utilize the hotel as best we could,” Profaizer said.
The restaurant was completely gutted and redone, starting from scratch from front to back. The dining room was outfitted with everything from new tables, chairs and booths to flatware and plates, and the kitchen was stocked with new ranges, pots and pans, blenders, hot boxes and more.
“Three months ago, there wasn’t a single piece of equipment in there,” Turnipseede said of his kitchen. “We’ve gone through everything from getting the design from the ground up and imported everything from equipment to cookware.”
Without a doubt, the best feature of the space is the view, with sweeping panoramas of the Ten Mile Range and Breckenridge Ski Resort. A new deck is under construction for outdoor dining, and the menu caters to social, sharable dishes that can be enjoyed outside in the Colorado sunshine.
“We definitely wanted to utilize the views during the day, so our initial thought was to have a big appetizer menu,” Turnipseede said. “Sit on the deck, enjoy some bites, all while taking in the view and the surroundings. Going off that, we created a menu that was largely focused on small bites and tapas, obviously being able to use any local ingredients, produce and proteins whenever possible, focusing on what’s in season.
“Being up in the mountains, that presents somewhat of a challenge, but we have some great vendors in place to help us reach that goal and focus. Drawing on my background, you’ll see a lot of smoke and spice, sweet and savory, the flavors of the mountains with a Southern twist.”
SHOWING OFF THE MENU
The grand reopening event will include an expo of the Traverse menu to give visitors a taste of what the new restaurant is trying to accomplish with its food service — elevated Colorado cuisine in an elegant setting, Turnipseede said.
Menu highlights include the pig and pineapple, a house-smoked pork belly with pickled pineapple and charred jalapeno salsa verde; house-made pimiento cheese with bacon jam and grilled bread; and the Traverse “Tatonka” burger, a blend of house-ground bison chuck and brisket with Tillamook cheddar, house-made pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion and fries.
“We have a big selection of proteins, everything from wild boar, to elk, bison, pork belly,” Turnipseede said. “I definitely take kind of a snout-to-tail approach with everything I do, including the vegetables, using the beet tops to make a vinaigrette and all the trimmings of the elk to do a tartare. My approach to food is using all aspects of whatever ingredients I’m using.”
To accompany the food, Traverse has a craft cocktail menu, with many drinks featuring vodka and bourbon from Breckenridge Distillery, as well as other top-shelf liquors. The wine list covers all of the bases from red to white to bubbles and will expand and evolve as the restaurant gets rooted, and beer drinkers will also find something tasty to sip on.
“Along with the restaurant, in the bar, we’ve got 12 beers on tap; 11 of those are from Colorado,” Turnipseede said, gesturing to the open area with high-top tables. “We like to focus whenever possible on utilizing the bounty of everything that Colorado’s got around us to offer. And that includes all the decor, too. The whole bar is beetle-kill pine. All that wood up there is unstained and beetle kill in its natural form and state.”
The unpretentious vibe of the space and format of the menu are meant to be casual and welcoming, a feeling that will extend to Traverse’s daily happy hour, with a tapas menu and drink specials from 3 to 6 p.m.
“It’s going to be a situation where locals feel at home,” Turnipseede said. “A nice cozy, casual place to hang out, but sit down and have one of the best meals in town.”