CASPER, Wyo. — Casper Mountain’s Nordic Ski Lodge construction project is in full swing, with Caspar Building Systems Inc. already undergoing site preparation in the Trails Center parking lot. Local visitors will have noticed the parking lot closure over the past few weeks as the company carries out demolition and site clearing.
Set for completion by January 2025, the new lodge will serve as a much-anticipated addition to the mountain’s facilities. Wes Hayden of Caspar Building Systems Inc. highlighted potential weather-driven delays.
“We are probably going to stop by the end of October for the season, depending on the weather,” Hayden remarked.
The relocation of the hut earlier this month marked another crucial milestone in the project. Moved from its original position at the future lodge’s site to Montana Shed Center on West Yellowstone Highway, the hut has found a temporary home. Natrona County Parks Director Michael Brown expressed gratitude to Montana Shed Center for its generosity. “The business agreed to house the hut at no cost to the county,” Brown stated.
Despite these advances, there are several challenges on the horizon. Notably, the Bureau of Land Management, in collaboration with Natrona County, plans to widen and pave a 2.68-mile stretch of County Road 505, from the Hogadon turnoff to Circle Drive, next summer. Hayden is preparing to ensure this roadwork won’t interfere with the lodge’s construction.
“I’m hoping it’s not going to be an issue,” Hayden said. “We are planning to talk to whoever ends up contracted to do the road construction.”
The road construction for next summer is not as far along. There have been talks with the organizers of the Beartrap Summer Festival and T-Bird Trek to ensure those annual events have plenty of time to make alternate plans.
“The project has not gone out to bid yet. Until I know who the contractor will be and how he is going to approach the project, I can not be specific about any closure or detours etc. The project will not impact any winter events on the mountain,” Superintendent of Natrona County Road and Bridge Mike Haigler said in regards to the road construction planned for next summer.
County Commissioner Dallas Laird also weighed in, acknowledging the potential for interruptions. “Most everything will be open this winter. Road and building construction will commence when weather allows. … Once they start on the mountain, there will be a slowdown for mountain travel. Some parking lots will be closed due to the parking of road construction equipment,” Laird said.