Summit Lodge SnowbirdThe summit of Hidden Peak at Snowbird can be a cold spot, but this season there’s an oasis for tramway riders to warm their toes and get a bite to eat before heading downhill.The new Summit Lodge -- all 23,000 square feet of floor space and seemingly acres of glass windows -- will be ready once the Snowbird Tramway starts running for the new ski and snowboard season.

It replaces the venerable ski patrol shack that’s been at the top of 11,000-foot Hidden Peak for more than 40 years but has had only enough room for the most needy skiers and riders.

This season, nearly 200 people can find a seat in the first floor cafeteria of the new lodge, which also has rest rooms, a coffee shop and new ski patrol office. Upstairs, there’s a private function space that seats 180 guests.

When the weather permits, a new 10,000 square-foot, heated deck awaits for expansive views of the Wasatch Range and beyond.

Old Summit Lodge Snowbird“The lodge is going to provide a spacious refuge,” Snowbird’s Brian Brown told “It’s going to disperse people off the tramway better, perhaps allow some to pause to check their Go-Pro and plan their way down the mountain. It’ll be a comfortable place to hang out.”

The construction of the Summit Lodge is part of a $35 million upgrade project this summer at the Utah resort. New owner Ian Cumming, whose family owns Powdr Corp., has also committed money for upgrades at the base-area Cliff Lodge, more snowmaking equipment, and a paperless ticketing system.

Around Utah, skiers and ‘boarders will eat at several new and renovated restaurants, including the Miners Camp and Red Pine Restaurant at expanded Park City Mountain and Solitude’s Moonbeam Lodge Restaurant.

Photos: Top -- That's the new glass enclosed Summit Lodge at Snowbird with 360-degree views (Snowbird); Left -- Remember the old ski patrol shack? Here it is just in case you forgot (Snowbird)