Skiers and snowboarders: You thought you outgrew that treehouse phase years ago? Well, Montana's Snow Bear Chalets just invited you to think again, opening the first slopeside, ski-in, ski-out treehouses in the world just in time for the 2017-2018 ski season.
The three treehouses, the brainchildren of local developer and skier Gail Goodwin, are a welcome new wrinkle in the world of cookie-cutter slopeside condos and hotel chains, located trailside along the Hope Slope at Whitefish Mountain Resort in Whitefish, Montana.
“At some point in our lives, I think we’ve all dreamed of living in a … treehouse,” says Goodwin. “Just because we’re adults, doesn’t mean that dream has to end.”
Ok ok, these aren’t proper treehouses, but perched 25 feet off the ground, the elevated chalets feel like forest hideaways.
“We love the trees on property and decided to build around them and in them rather than cut them down, to keep the beauty of the land intact,” says Goodwin. “The only way to keep the majority of the trees was to go up - so we built our chalets as ‘treehouses’ … with a picturesque bridge leading the way into your luxurious chalet.”
These getaways offer private treetop decks, hot tubs, a kitchen that will keep any aprés chef busy (did somebody say Vitamix and gas burners?), and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Glacier National Park.
The two “smaller” units sleep up to six people in 825 square feet, and the larger Cedar chalet can fit up to 10 of your best ski buddies.
But the best part of the new lodging project is its location. Plopped on a plot once owned by ski-resort founder Ed Schenk, the houses are less than a turn off the trail.
Butting up against over 3000 acres of terrain that gets blessed by over 300 inches of snow a year, these chalets make it easy to roll out of bed and into first tracks. For most of us, that means that scoring opening bell has never been easier.
Running up to $1,300 a night, these forest chalets definitely aren't the budget lodging option, but if you've got the cash to crash (or a group that likes to throw down a little extra on the annual ski trip), Snow Bear Chalets is one stop that should bless every powderhound's list.
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