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What do you do in Denver when the ski bug hits, but you can’t make it to the mountain? Well, come February 2023, you can grab your boots and head down to the Lemon Lodge Ski Bar. Whether you want to save the several hours or the several hundred dollars necessary to head out to the mountains, the Lemon Lodge at 111 E. Pikes Peak Ave. in Colorado Springs will offer the area’s only exclusive SkyTechSport indoor ski simulator.
According to a conversation with co-owner Melanie Hexter (who will be opening the bar with her husband Matthew), an agreement with the German manufacturer guarantees that the Lemon Lodge Ski Bar will be the only SkyTechSport ski simulator offered to the public within 15 miles of Colorado Springs. Strapping on your own or rented boots and facing the large display screen, participants can fly down the slope in tandem with a platform that allows for shushing back and forth. Apparently it’s quite a workout, especially the 100-turn challenge.
“It’s quite hard on the quads,” Hexter said. “The equipment is awesome. The machine has six levels, going from novice to Olympic professional. You even have the ability to change the tension of the surface from East Coast ice to Colorado groomed to Utah powder.”
On the SkyTech simulator, users will be able to go from skiing Beaver Creek to the Alps and all the way to New Zealand. Many different additional challenges and additions like moguls and flag races are also available. The centerpiece of the new Lemon Lodge, the tavern plans to organize leagues and friendly college team and military branch competitions after opening. Eventually, the simulator will even be wheelchair accessible.
The Hexter’s chose the Colorado Springs location not only for its near-walking distance proximity to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum and Weidner Field multipurpose outdoor stadium, but for the massive growth and revitalization underway in the city. This includes dozens of new apartments opening and in the planning stages along with several established and coming hotels.
Inside the Lemon Lodge, the SkyTechSport simulator will be the focus of the interior design to provide not only patrons with a quality view of the massive screen, but to the area’s many pedestrians who might get a peek at the action through the renovated building’s large front window.
“I have this image of people walking by and pressing their noses up against glass, wondering what the heck that is on the screen, and what in the world those strange noises are coming from inside,” Hexter said.
Some of those sounds will be yellow cowbells, provided to first-time participants and available for everyone to ring while their favorite simulated competitor rips down the hill.
For fans and participants alike, Lemon Lodge will include distinct food and drink offerings. Unique wine cocktails will be complemented by citrus wines via the Hexters’ other business, Evergood Adventure Wines. Founded in 2018, Evergood’s wine, “made from lemons, not grapes,” now sells its cans in 300-plus retail wine locations across Colorado. Craft beer cans and bottles from multiple neighboring Western states will appear behind the rail on a rolling basis with taps planned for down the road. The menu, like the Lemon’s design, will adhere to the ski lodge aesthetic — homemade craft beer cheese, pretzels, soups, grilled cheese sandwiches with Denver chip company chips, and chili with elk meat. Because some of these can be carb bombs, Hexter said that the Lodge will be trying to keep its eats as gluten-free as possible.
The Lemon Lodge Ski Bar aims to open for its experiential experiences in early to mid-February 2023. The simulator will be by reservation only with 20-minute stints on the machine. The dining room will hold a maximum of 50 people inside with plans for adding sliding doors and a patio in the springtime. If the place is just as much a hit as Evergreen Wine, the Hexters would love to add a second simulator at a later date.