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Dining Secrets of Snowbowl

Many of us in Flagstaff are skiers or snowboarders and enjoy getting up to Arizona Snowbowl to get in some runs once in awhile. But did you know what goes on there so that you can get some nourishment into your body and a frosty beer now and then?

I spoke with Dave Smith, Snowbowl’s director of sales and marketing, and Greg Klause, executive chef, about the numbers and facts about dining at Snowbowl.

Approximately 3,000 meals are served per day at Snowbowl. This number can vary depending on the ski season, of course. Snowbowl staff puts together an estimate based on past years to help guide them to make sure those chicken strips are hot and ready for when you show up at one of the three lodges to eat. Of course, lean snow years mean fewer diners, and lush snow years, such as the one we have now, translate into a higher number of diners (hence the 3,000 per day figure). Snowbowl’s three lodges included in the count are the Hart Prairie Lodge, Agassiz Lodge, and the Ski Lift Lodge hotel right down the road.

Greg Klause reveals that the cheeseburger is the most popular menu item, hands down. “We run mid-week and weekend specials in addition to the regular fare. The most popular of those specials are burritos, enchiladas, and the chicken green chili. Often on the weekends, we have a barbecue out on the lodge decks. This is a relaxing way to enjoy the scenery while eating some great food.”

“We sell about 340 bottles of water a day. Skiing can get dehydrating and you’ve got to keep your liquids up. Another liquid that sells well is Miller High Life beer. We have already gone through 300 kegs of it just in 2010. Typically we go through 700 kegs total for the ski season. It may not be as hydrating, but it is popular!” he laughed.

Right now, Snowbowl is running an afternoon “Après Ski” special menu at the Agassiz Lodge until they close out the season on April 11. This menu consists of appetizers, and the chicken wings are the most requested.

Dave Smith described the large selection that the Ski Lift Lodge offers. “Besides the regular extensive menu, each night of the week there are specials like taco night Tuesdays, the Thursday wing night always does well, and it’s a good place to come for breakfast or lunch on the weekends and avoid some of the crowds at the mountain lodges.” Who knew?

Besides being a southwest food town, as evidenced by the most popular specials at the ski lodges, apparently Flagstaff is chicken wing crazy too. Over 20,000 wings are sold each year at the Snowbowl lodges.

The demand for good food doesn’t end with the skiing season. The summer will find Snowbowl busy with weddings and banquets.

“In fact, we are nearly sold out for all of the summer weekends with bookings,” Dave said.

One of their biggest events is the Climb to Conquer Cancer to be held on August 21, and just the next day is the well-attended NAU Wine & Dine in the Pines, a wine and food tasting event fundraiser.

“The goal for Snowbowl all year long is to meet your needs, whether skiing, snowboarding, or coming in for a banquet, and to leave you with great memories too,” said Dave Smith.

Until next time, keep on eating, Flagstaff! FBN

Hottie & The Fatso are a Flagstaff-based couple that produce audio restaurant reviews on The Eagle 103.7 FM, and operate a restaurant review website at www.hottieandthefatso. com. Podcasts of Hottie & The Fatso’s reviews can be heard at www. eagle1037.fm. The pair is also a frequent guest on the Flagstaff News video show, seen at www.flagnews.com.

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