The sounds of hammers signaled changes at Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area in September, as the resort added to their historic base lodge. The expansion aims to seat more diners while preserving the rustic ambiance of the original lodge.

In 1941, the Civilian Conservation Corps built the original lodge at Lookout Pass under commission by the U.S. Forest Service. The early building, a small single-story wooden structure, has been expanded with additions many times, but the original structure with its cedar interior remains. It is one of the oldest ski lodges in the Pacific Northwest, erected about five years after Mt. Hood's Timberline Lodge and Sun Valley Lodge.

The current expansion, which is expected to be ready by opening day on Nov. 17, adds space for more diners indoors plus a large deck for outdoor seating.

"The new deck is on the sunny side of the building, so it'll be great for barbecues and hanging out," Spokesperson Bill Jennings said. The deck faces upslope, a perfect location for watching jibbers in the new advanced terrain park. "It'll be like a mini-X Games every day,"

Lookout Pass lodge addition

The new deck will allow diners to watch advanced jibbers in a new terrain park. Photo courtesy of Lookout Pass.

The day lodge contains an International Food Court, the Loft Pub and Grub, and a retail shop. But the larger indoor seating area will be able to accommodate 80 more people.

"It'll make a big difference for group activities. We'll be able to host them more effectively and provide a special area for lunches," Jennings said.

Lookout Pass lodge addition

The Lookout Pass day lodge will be able to fit 80 more diners indoors. Photo courtesy of Lookout Pass.

In addition to the lodge expansion, Lookout Pass is embarking on big plans for enlarging the ski hill in the future. The ski area seeks to increase the skiable terrain by 2,000 acres across two more peaks and add a second base lodge. Last spring after the ski season ended, the U.S. Forest Service accepted the resort's Phase One expansion concept.

Phase One seeks to erect two double chairs on Eagle Peak, a mountain straddling the Idaho-Montana border. The expansion will add about 700 acres to the ski area and provide 1,400 vertical feet of intermediate and advanced runs. Specific timelines have not been set yet due to the required environmental studies currently underway.