High Alpine expansion
An article in The Aspen Times from January of 1980 introduces skiers to the newest restaurant offering at High Alpine Restaurant by George and Gwyn Gordon, who previously helped run the Merry-Go-Round at Highlands for six years before coming to Snowmass. “George and Gwyn Gordon are offering an alternative to the ‘hamburger joint on the mountain with posters on the wall.’ The Gordons, who have taken over the High Alpine Restaurant at the top of the Alpine Springs chairlift at Snowmass, have a menu that includes fresh vegetables daily, at least one vegetarian soup and casserole each day, and fresh-baked desserts. There are hamburgers too (George said 65% of the customers will order them no matter what else is offered), but even those are special…..Instead of posters on the wall, photographs are offered for sale, and there’s even a hang-glider with a 40-foot, wing span hanging from the ceiling inside….The only problem, it seems, is a lack of space. The capacity — inside and out — is 350 now. An outdoor grill relieves pressure on the inside line somewhat and gives skiers an alternative, but more seating is needed. There were 9,700 skiers on the mountain last Saturday, George said, eating at the four restaurants on the mountain. ‘We get about 2,000 to 2,500 of them,’ he said. Next year, along with the Ski Corp. the Gordons plan to expand High Alpine to 550 seats inside and 250 outside.” A photograph from 1980 shows the restaurant prior to the expansion. Gwyn’s High Alpine is undergoing its first major renovation since this one. Work started as soon as the lifts stopped running and is expected to finish in time for the restaurant to open at its usual time next ski season.
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This weekend we go local. After the bacchanalia that was the Food & Wine Classic last week, we turn to Snowmass for a kinder, gentler wine gathering as the 19th Snowmass Wine Festival gets underway.