These 3 Gondolas Will Be Used For Privated Dining Experiences at Mountain Tap Brewery
Though the temperatures are hot and dry now, that’s not keeping Mountain Tap Brewery from planning for the winter. Faced with the likelihood of 50% capacity for indoor seating due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mountain Tap Brewery has brainstormed a creative use of its spacious patio to accommodate additional winter guests. This fall the company will transform several out-of-use gondola cars into private seating booths and install them on the patio.
The gondola cars previously shuttled skiers at Killington Ski Area in Vermont. The ski area upgraded the cabins on its K1 lift in 2018, and the old cabins eventually made their way to Colorado. Mountain Tap Brewery worked with a gondola restoration company on the Western Slope to obtain three gondola cabins. Much of the mechanical equipment in the cabins – such as the door mechanisms and cables – is being removed. Then the cabins will undergo a rigorous cleaning, will be equipped with a heater, lights and a table, then semi-permanently installed on the patio for the winter season. The gondola’s original bench seating will remain intact.
“It’s been a challenging year for businesses, to say the least,” said Mountain Tap Brewery brewmaster and co-owner Rich Tucciarone. “Going into winter is daunting. We need to have a little fun with it. We think this unique concept of utilizing our outdoor patio for additional seating in gondola cabins is going to provide us and our guests with that fun factor, while also keeping everyone safely distanced!”
Mountain Tap Brewery looks forward to giving the gondola cars new life. Repurposing and reusing old equipment is consistent with Mountain Tap Brewery’s core values. Old electric cable spools from Yampa Valley Electric Association’s “boneyard” were utilized to create the signature bar top and high top tables. All of the indoor community tables and benches were crafted from Routt County beetle kill, old bicycle parts were transformed into décor and beer signs are made from pallet planks. The whiskey barrels that form the “barrelcade” on Mountain Tap’s patio first held whiskey, then held barrel-aged beer for a Boulder brewery. The building itself was even repurposed after serving for decades as Yampa Valley Electric Association.
While the pandemic and its resulting seating restrictions is what prompted the gondola cabin seating idea, Mountain Tap’s owners believe the cabins could help them increase their profitability for winters to come. The company is working with the City of Steamboat Springs to permanently permit the use of the gondolas on the patio in the winter.
“More than half of our summer seating is outdoors on the patio,” said Mountain Tap Brewery general manager and co-owner Jeff Goodhand. “Space and seating are always the limiting factor in the wintertime, even without restrictions. Throughout the pandemic, we have focused on the good that can come out of it. With challenges come opportunities, and we’re super excited to welcome guests to a totally new experience this winter!”
Mountain Tap Brewery expects the gondolas to arrive in Steamboat in late September. More information will be available in the coming weeks at mountaintapbrewery.com or facebook.com/mountaintapbrewery.