The base lodge is the focal point of most ski areas and resorts particularly smaller and medium size locations. Learning centers may be housed in the base lodge or, in some cases, in a separate facility.
In most cases, the base lodge will house a retail shop, bathrooms, a coffee shop, a restaurant or two, tables for meals and a cafeteria where you can purchase sandwiches, soups, pizza, burgers, hot chocolate, snacks and a variety of other foods. Breakfast foods also are generally available at many lodges. Most lodges also allow brown bagging.
Base lodges are called that because they generally are situated at the base of the mountain. In a few cases the lodge is situated at the top of the mountain but that is rare. Lift ticket booths are typically located at the base lodge. Lesson learning packages either are offered there or at a separate learning center.
Popular ski areas and resorts, especially those located near a large metropolitan area, have large parking lots for those who drive cars. Typically, there will be a shuttle service to bring skiers and snowboarders to the main facility.· Generally there is a drop off area for those who have their own equipment or those who are part of a large group that arrives by bus.
In some cases, there will be a “greeter” kiosk. Greeters answer questions and provide basic information for those who are unfamiliar with the layout of the facility. Guest ambassadors provide the same service and some will give tours of the mountain.
Most ski areas and resorts offer tubing in addition to skiing and snowboarding. Tubing areas are separated from the slopes. Tubing areas consist of several snow covered lanes where children and adults ride a large inner tube from the top to the bottom. A “magic carpet” transports tubers back up the hill.
Many ski areas also have learning programs for those who are physically challenged. These photos are from Eaglecrest in Juneau, Alaska which held an "adaptive day" during Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.