Holiday skiers and snowboarders at Heavenly Mountain Resort can enjoy lunch in the new Tamarack Lodge. The lodge, scheduled to be finished by Feb. 1, opened six weeks earlier than the resort had originally announced.

Construction of the new 15,000-square-foot on-mountain restaurant, located at the top of the gondola, ran ahead of schedule. "The resort set a real aggressive timeline with the contractor, and the guys worked around the clock when they could before the weather turned to winter," spokesperson Russ Pecoraro told OnTheSnow.

The new Tamarack Lodge opened Dec. 18. It is accessible for skiers, snowboarders, and visitors on foot, as it sits about 150 yards from the top of the gondola and at the base of the Tamarack Lift.

"When people step into the lodge, they'll notice the quality and detail is there," said Pecoraro. "I think people will really be impressed." The bar countertop is made from a giant pine tree cut in half, and floor-to-ceiling windows admit natural lighting. The slate bathrooms are roomy with plenty of stalls. Heavenly is seeking LEED certification for the many environmental considerations that went into the building's construction.

The restaurant serves cafeteria-style cuisine in stations. You can find the usual burgers, chilis, salads, and soups, but with high quality ingredients. The Smokehouse Grill smoker, which sits adjacent to the lodge, provides one station with barbecued meats served with specially-created sauces.

More information. Or call 775-586-7000.