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Snowy Range Ski Area bartender Maira Ruhther pours a glassful of coffee porter, one of the resort’s in-house beers, in the newly renovated bar area.

Potentially record-breaking opening-day snow depths aren’t the only surprise waiting for skiers and snowboarders at the Snowy Range Ski Area, co-owner Becky Maddox said.

“Every year we make a little change — painting chair lifts, the initial remodels, upgrading our employee locker room,” Maddox said. “This year we decided to renovate our kitchen, dining and bar area.”

After using the space for several years, Maddox said she and her husband, Aaron, decided to streamline the resort’s kitchen and serving areas.

“Since we were remodeling the eating area, we wanted to also remodel the bar area with the same efficiencies in mind,” she said.

The couple added friers in the kitchen for more capacity and rearranged the space for speed and efficiency to combat the congestion of diners that tends to build up during peak visitor hours, Maddox explained.

“In the bar and grill, we decided to make it easier for our wait staff and servers to move around the space as well as adding more seating,” Maddox said.

While efficiency might have been the primary focus of the renovations, it wasn’t the only focus.

“We hired Deerwood Log Homes out of Centennial to give the space a rustic and homey feel,” Maddox said. “It’s important to us to support local business. The choice was quite simple, honestly. We wouldn’t go out of state if we didn’t have to, and we are so very lucky to have such a talented woodworking company right here in Centennial.”

Using corrugated metal, beetle-killed pine and repurposed barnwood, Deerwood reinvigorated the rich western theme running through the lodge.

“We also added a large slab of beetle killed pine as the bar top with our map wood burned into it,” Maddox said. “And Bill Haley, state representative and Centennial resident, crafted horseshoe supports for the bar top.”

The ski area is also home to one of only two breweries located on federal land, she added.

“We produce seven different types of beer. Right now, we have a coffee porter on tap,” Maddox said. “Our in-house beers have been very popular. For a while we couldn’t keep up with demand, so last year, we increased our capacity to match the breweries growing popularity.”

For visitors with a sweet tooth, she said the first-floor cafe added ice cream to its menu, which is also made in Centennial.

Supporting local business and reinforcing Albany County’s tourist economy is just the beginning for the dynamic duo.

In 2017, the Maddox’s purchased the airport in Saratoga, dubbing it the Saratoga Jet Center.

“Our background is a little more in aviation than skiing,” Maddox said. “Aaron is a pilot, and his family owns air ambulance service out of Steamboat Springs, (Colorado).”

Despite several irons in the fire, she said they plan to keep improving the ski area with a possible facade upgrade in the near future.

Visit www.snowyrangeski.com or call 745-5750 for more information about the 2018-2019 ski season at Snowy Range.

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