It all started with the dream of a young man named Jack Barron, who rode this magnificent country as a youth. He wanted to share the experience of this land with others. He began construction of his dream of a mountaintop resort in 1965 and opened the original Sun Mountain Lodge in 1968. The location chosen was a 3,000-foot high mountaintop with 360-degree views of mountains, wilderness, and valleys. He wanted to make the lodge blend in with its surroundings, so he used huge local boulders, fossil-embedded stones and mammoth timbers in its construction. The main facility of Mr. Barron’s Sun Mountain Lodge included a dining room, lounge, front desk and public meeting rooms with adjacent pool and hot tub. This building was designed by well known Pacific Northwest architect Roland Terry. There were two two-story buildings for guest rooms, one facing Gardner Mountain and the other facing Patterson Lake, with a total of 50 rooms. The original “lodging” facility was actually on the valley floor and consisted of a cluster of cabins near the Sunny M Ranch. The cabins were moved to Patterson Lake.
In 1987, the Haub brothers of Germany purchased the Lodge with the adjacent Sunny M Ranch. When they decided that Sun Mountain needed renovation and expansion to meet the needs of today’s traveler, they did not want to alter the original vision or style. They hired the Seattle-based design firm NBBJ to design the “new” Sun Mountain Lodge, using natural materials and huge dimensions throughout, in keeping with the original structure. The magnificent wooden beams were made of Douglas Fir and the stone floor was constructed of Idaho Quartz. The new Sun Mountain Lodge opened in May of 1990.
Besides the original dining room and lounge, the main lodge now includes expanded and modified meeting rooms, a hot tub and outdoor swimming pool, full service spa, an exercise room with universal-type equipment, an activity/recreation center, a full line gift shop, a secluded library with a fireplace and many outdoor recreation facilities. The expanded lodge building contains 47guestrooms, and in the totally rebuilt Gardner building are 28 rooms with wet bars and gas fireplaces. The Robinson building, which opened at Christmas 1996, has 24 deluxe rooms with stocked refreshment centers, gas fireplaces and whirlpool tubs in each room. All accommodations have spectacular views of either the North Cascades Mountains or the scenic Methow Valley below.
Handcrafted items new and old add to the atmosphere at Sun Mountain Lodge. The antique key rack located at the Front Desk is circa 1910, from an old bar in the Ballard District of Seattle. The arts and crafts displayed in our rooms are all from local artists ranging in age from 4 to 94 years old. Local artists and local craftsmen’s products were used throughout.
In 1999 the old swimming pool area was transformed into the free-form swimming pool and hot tub on the bluff, and the surrounding patio area was renovated and enlarged. This is a lovely area to sit and enjoy the view on a warm summer evening. The Wolf Creek Bar & Grill deck was also expanded in 1999 allowing for casual outdoor summertime dining, and a new kitchen was added. The Activities Shop and game room were both renovated and enlarged.
In 2002, Sun Mountain embarked on a 2.5 million dollar reconstruction and refurbishment of its Main Lodge guestrooms and Patterson Lake cabins. According to interior designer Deb Maenner, the rooms have an entirely new feel, with a warmer, brighter look. In keeping with Sun Mountain Lodge’s founding objectives, the $900,000 project at the main Lodge was completed by local craftsmen and contractors. The new armoires and tables were fashioned out of maple and cherry by local furniture makers Cliff Schwab and Michael Martin. The upholstery and duvet covers were made by Twisp residents Julie Langeberg and Evelyn Oakford, new paint by Sharon Cohen and David Blum, and ironwork by D.J. Stull of Winthrop.
The remaining $1.6 million was spent down at our sister resort at Patterson Lake, where all of the old studio cabins were replaced. We now have ten one-bedroom units, four loft suites, and two Grand Suites. Each cabin has a gas fireplace, full kitchen, living and dining area, and a lovely veranda overlooking the lake. Designed by Boe Architects of Tacoma, each new cabin will sleep five people and feature a full bedroom, kitchen, living room with gas fireplace and deck. The four Loft Suites have two bedrooms, 1 3/4 baths, full kitchen, living area and gas burning fireplace, plus a lovely verandah. These suites sleep up to six people. Two Grand Suites have the same layout as the loft suite plus an expanded living area ideal for informal gatherings or meetings and sleep up to eleven. Wade Perrow Construction of Gig Harbor and Winthrop was the general contractor of this 1.6 million dollar project. A new office has also been built.
In 2007, the Lodge doubled the size of its primary conference facility to 3,900 square feet. This increased its meeting, wedding and banquet capacity to 300 people, more than double its past capacity. It can also be divided in half to make two rooms seating 150 guests each. The new Pasayten Room features large picture windows showcasing the spectacular views over the Methow River Valley and the 8,000 foot peaks of the Okanogan National Forest. A full range of the latest audio-visual equipment is available including two drop-down LCD projectors, four large LCD video monitors, and wireless Internet service, which is already available throughout the resort.