MARYSVILLE — The Great Divide Ski Area has dealt with many changes to maintain COVID-19 precautions, one of those changes includes a new building.
“Everything about this facility is different than down below is our main base area," says Travis Crawford, the General Manager of the Great Divide.
This new Huggins Lodge sits atop the Meadow Mountain chairlift. The stretched skin structure is energy efficient and can resist the mountain’s high winds while seating over 40 people, but this space has another purpose, to maintain COVID-19 precautions.
"We knew that we were going to have a lot of congestion in that main lodge when it comes around lunchtime and we're packing the entire mountain in there,” says Crawford. “So when we can take 11 tables, spread them out, that has gone a really long way to helping us."
The new lodge has helped maintain the congestion of the main building. Great Divide says they are averaging the same amount of people compared to 2019’s ski season. They opened this season in October 2020 averaging 200 people on busy weekends. Now, they are averaging 900 people on busy weekends and they’re still weeks away from being 100% operational.
“Last weekend, we got our south side opened up for the first time in the year, that's our Rawhide chairlift, and the feedback has been really good out there,” says Crawford. “As soon as we get a little bit more snow, then we'll start to look at our WildWest area and hopefully get that open. At that point, we're looking at 100% open."
Although the Great Divide is not ready to end their winter season, they do have plans for this summer including using the lodge as an event venue and possibly starting the idea of incorporating mountain biking to the ski area.