Fireside Café & Lounge. Rendering courtesy of FRANK Architecture

Panorama Mountain Resort ready for winter

Revamping of food and beverage offerings at Invermere’s area ski hill

Panorama Mountain Resort is prepping for another winter season. The Columbia Valley’s top ski resort is already making snow and putting the finishing touches on a huge renovation in the resort’s restaurant offerings.

Steve Paccagnan, Panorama’s president and CEO, said the resort has put a focus on snowmaking technology over the last few years, taking over the reins from Mother Nature on when the hill opens and closes each season. This year, they have added some high-efficiency, automated, tower-mounted fan guns to the arsenal, as well as a new snowcat for grooming.

“We continue to reinvest in the resort. This past year’s (capital) investments are close to $6 million,” Mr. Paccagnan reported. “Every year we just keep reinvesting … It’s created real insurance for the mountain in terms of when we open on time and we close on time … We’re really able to give our guests, our customers, a great product.”

Panorama will have three or four new runs in Taynton Bowl by season opening, Mr. Paccagnan announced.

“Panorama’s now really rounded out and balanced the winter terrain with great beginner, lots of intermediate, and now a true big mountain experience in the alpine with the expansion of Taynton Bowl and the monster cat.”

After solid work on the slopes over the last few years, Panorama management is now turning attention to the village area.

“It’s going to be a complete refresh of our whole core food and beverage offerings,” said Mr. Paccagnan.

Working with FRANK Architecture (based out of Calgary and Banff), Panorama is creating a brand new restaurant named Alto. The current facility is more than 45 years old and is “long overdue for a refresh,” Mr. Paccagnan said.

Before, the resort was trying to be all things to all people. Now, they are going to focus in on providing a “full-service, boutique-type restaurant, with artisan pizza as the anchor – great wines, and food, and fun for the whole family.”

The feature element in Alto will be a Forno pizza oven, straight from Italy. The gas and wood-fired oven has a rotating deck that will pump out a fresh pizza every 90 seconds. They are also building a new coffee shop, Fireside Café & Lounge, for the mountain village.

Kristen Lien, principal architect at FRANK, told the Pioneer it has been an amazing collaboration with Panorama to work on this project.

“Panorama came to us with the idea that they wanted the food and beverage spaces elevated to the level of the world-class terrain that’s there right now,” said Ms. Lien. “We were challenged with the idea of making an amazing food and beverage offering.”

She described Alto’s atmosphere as a comfortable, eclectic mountain vibe that will give patrons a home-away-from-home feel.

“The detailing of the space has a lot of wood tones, and the materiality of the space gives a nod to mountain culture,” said Ms. Lien.

For the final touch to Panorama’s food and beverage revamp, they welcomed a new executive chef this year as well as a food & beverage leader.

“We have a strong, dedicated professional food and beverage team as a whole,” said Mr. Paccagnan. “I’m very proud of the team, and I know that they are going to be able to execute and deliver exceptional food, culinary experience and service.”

* Story updated to reflect correct naming of the new Fireside Café & Lounge

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