Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort’s growth to a year-round recreation operation has taken another step, and this one is not in the Elkhorn Mountains but in downtown Baker City.
The resort’s nonprofit owner recently bought a historic Main Street building that will serve both as a business office and what marketing director Chelsea Judy calls a “one-stop recreation hub.”
The goal, Judy said, is to create a place where outdoor enthusiasts can get everything from details about local hiking trails to a mountain bike tuneup to a season pass for the Anthony Lakes ski area.
“The idea is to fill the void and have a place where people can find information on hiking, biking, camping, snowmobiling,” Judy said.
Baker County Development Corporation, the nonprofit that owns the resort, bought the Mint Fox Building, 1830 Main St., in March for $136,000, according to the Baker County Assessor’s Office.
(Although it’s a single tax lot, the property includes two buildings — the Mint, built in 1888, and the Fox, built one year later.)
The location, on the east side of Main between Valley and Court avenues, “was the perfect choice,” Judy said.
“We have so many people that come in from off the freeway,” she said. “We have trails within 10 miles of the freeway.”
Judy said the building is slated to open around mid- June.
Anthony Lakes officials have been striving for the past few years to expand the resort’s offerings beyond the ski season, which typically runs from early December through early April.
(Sunday is the resort’s final operating day this season.)
John Wilson, president of the Baker County Development Corporation, said the corporation’s board of directors about four years ago approved a strategic plan that endeavors to make Anthony Lakes “a true year-round business focused on the outdoor recreation needs of people in the area as well as tourists.”
Opening the recreation center on Main Street is a key part of that strategy, Wilson said.
“This gives us a foothold in achieving the goals of the strategic plan,” he said. “This is a great first step.”
For the third straight summer Anthony Lakes will open the Starbottle Saloon, in the ski lodge, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from July 6 through Labor Day.
The menu includes wood-fired pizza and local beef burgers.
The resort has also built mountain bike trails and started an annual mountain bike festival — this year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 4, and coincides with the grand opening of the Broadway Flow Trail, a downhill-only bike trail that generally follows the Broadway ski run.
Another milestone happened in December 2017 when the U.S. Forest Service awarded the resort a five-year permit to operate the campground complexes at Anthony Lakes and at Phillips Reservoir in Sumpter Valley.
The permit gives the resort a new source of revenue during the summer.
Judy said the campground concession also fulfills the company’s goal of being able to employee key ski area workers year-round, rather than only during the winter.
See more in the April 6, 2018, issue of the Baker City Herald.