The Alta Peruvian Lodge at the base of Alta Ski Area looks like it's from another era. That's because it is, having been repurposed from its original use as a World War II nurses' barracks. Upon entering the lobby the welcoming aroma of the wood fire and rustic nature of the wood paneling evokes comparisons to European mountain hospitality. Round chess tables and comfortable sofas encourage conviviality among guests who can keep immediate tabs on snow conditions as they develop outside the large windows facing the Wildcat tree runs.
The Alta Peruvian Lodge is a throwback, no doubt about it. It's noisy, rambunctious, has shared bathrooms for some types of rooms and could use some upgrades but the amenities they do have are extensive and there's something about the ambiance that engenders an intense loyalty. Indeed, many families come back each year to their oasis in the woods.
The best features of the Peruvian are those that foster group bonding, both for families traveling together and acquaintances who just met. Three meals a day are included in the communal dining room at large tables. It's a free-for-all during the breakfast and lunch buffet but at night seating is assigned and guests are seated at different tables each night to provide the opportunity to meet new friends. Of course, everyone is there for one reason, skiing, so discussions about snow quality, best runs and upcoming weather come naturally. The bar, located on the second floor, is a boisterous favorite of locals and rooms in the vicinity can expect to join in the frivolity whether one is in the bar or not. At 10 p.m. the music ends and everything quiets down miraculously so there's no trouble sleeping. Besides, everyone wants to be up early to get fresh tracks so there's a shared understanding of priorities. Movies are shown at 9 p.m. every night in a large recreation room across from the dining hall. It might be a Bond movie or recent release but they generally have broad appeal.
The Peruvian has ski-in, ski-out access to Alta's Collins and Wildcat lifts, being located at the end of the large parking lot at the base area. Ski lockers are provided for each room, the room key being the same key that opens the lock for numbered lockers. A door opens from the locker room on the basement level to the snow and a left turn takes skiers to the lifts after a short shuffle.