GRANGEVILLE – Recreationists hitting the slopes at Snowhaven this season may have more to choose from the beverage menu: specifically, beer and wine.
Approval was granted at the Nov. 18 Grangeville City Council meeting for Snowhaven Ski and Tubing Hill to move forward on acquiring a beer and wine license. The city is currently filing its application with the state, and at this point, the date is pending for moving forward with alcohol sales at the hill.
Seeking a license for the city-owned and operated facility was Mark Vandlik, who starts this season as manager for Snowhaven.
“This is the first resort that I’ve ever seen without it [offering beer and wine sales],” Vandlik said, and is a part of the culture. He said they get skiers from out of the area, such as Moscow, who are disappointed to find this isn’t offered, “so, we hope to assuage this.” People are already drinking wherever they want, he added, so this is a way to better control this and also profit from it.
The move for alcohol sales on the hill is part of Vandlik’s planned facility improvements to increase usage and improve income.
“We’re limited in the way the lodge is set up; we don’t have the time to make any big changes this year,” he said, but his plans look ahead to next spring to begin beautification projects at the hill.
“This could be a venue for a number of things in the summertime that create revenue,” Vandlik said, “and having this license would be a way to start.”
Pending license application approval, the plan this season would be to restrict the lodge deck for adults only to consume alcohol, and to equip it with propane heaters.
“How do you plan to monitor this so skiers are not coming across beer cans on the hill?” questioned councilor Amy Farris.
“This is not as difficult as you would think,” he replied. All alcohol cans will be opened at point of sale – “They won’t walk away with an unopened can” – and staff, primarily at the T-bar line, will be monitoring activity. “At the end of the night, we do comb the slopes anyway, and at that time we’d be picking them up…. I don’t really envision it being an issue, because I haven’t noticed this at any of the other hills I’ve been to.”
Mayor Wes Lester said discussion has been on building a second deck, and having the lower one for alcohol consumption, which should be easier to control the activity.