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‘A labor of love’: New design revealed for Mount Charleston Lodge

Updated March 21, 2024 - 7:42 pm

The iconic mountainside A-frame building that’s long been associated with the nearby Spring Mountains will be back as architects and builders of the Mount Charleston Lodge prepare to move forward with design and construction, several years after an accidental fire destroyed the restaurant.

Officials with Ellis Island Hotel and Casino, which owns the lodge along with the Village Pub chain, are moving forward with a two-story lodge and restaurant plan that will expand the restaurant, add more patio space and include an attached bi-level parking garage. Architecture firm Steelman Partners, whose work can be seen in Las Vegas at Resorts World and Circa, as well as elsewhere around the globe, is leading the redesign.

“The design of the building was a labor of love. We love the area,” CEO Paul Steelman said. “We love the nature of it, and we certainly didn’t want to put anything that was Las Vegas-styled into it.”

Design plans and renderings call for almost 11,000 square feet of lodge space and a parking garage with about 190 spaces that builds into the natural grade of the mountainside property. Inside the restaurant, guests can expect the same iconic A-frame with fireplaces, wood and stone design and big windows that put the mountain’s beauty at the center.

But some changes will be improvements that many have called for. The new building will have additional kitchen, bathroom and back-of-house spaces, as well as private rooms for weddings and other parties.

“When people hear that I’m designing it over the last year, they always say, ‘Can you make the restrooms bigger?’ ” Steelman said with a laugh.

An accidental fire destroyed the lodge restaurant on Sept. 17, 2021, leaving rubble in place of the iconic A-frame. No one was injured. The lodge’s neighboring 23 cabins were unaffected by the fire and remain open.

The former lodge was built in 1962, though another structure operated there from at least 1948 before it was destroyed in a 1961 fire.

Concepts to replace the building have been in the works for several years and were presented to the mountain town community. The current design, approved by Clark County in December 2023 and expected to be completed by August, incorporated that feedback, Steelman said. The project could break ground in early 2025.

“The Ellis family was dedicated to this effort,” Steelman said. “They never varied from their opinions of that it is good for the community, and for Las Vegas. And it has to be part of the overall tourism and part of the fabric of the neighborhood.”

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on X.

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