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Some additional remarks on the Peruvian over the years
David Eggler

     As Derrill and Kate and Dan Chess say in the accompanying pieces, in 1978 the students were not happy with the food or the quality of the facilities at the Alta Peruvian Lodge.

     The field school did not return to the Peruvian until 1981. By then, the facility architecture had changed considerably, David Egglermuch closer to its present configuration.  The school subsequently used the Peruvian, except for 1987, through 2000.  After 2000, the Peruvian essentially suspended all summer activities.  I stayed at the Peruvian from 1984 through 2000, except in 1987 when we stayed in the Alta Lodge up the road.  The food ranged from pretty good to very good.  For the most part, the cooks were professionals, although we had to deal with our share of summering ski bums.  And the "endless fruit salads" -- there would be a reception, conference, or wedding at the resort, after which we'd get the excellent leftovers.  The leftovers lasted for a meal or two, but the fruit salad would be put in the refrigerator and added to for days and days afterwards, appearing nightly at our meal.  On the other hand, for several years, the Peruvian had a Sunday brunch.  For a slight premium, we could dine with the "real people" on linen tablecloths, with piano music in the background, on an excellent brunch buffet.  And on Sunday evenings, although we had to barbecue them ourselves, we'd have burgers and steaks.  I have heard rumors that in years past field camp would foot the bill for a keg on weekends.

     Alumni from various eras will remember the cast of characters at the resort, including RT, Ed, and Jerry, although sometime in the 1990s the staff became much more "corporate."  The characters started with the owner, John Cahir.  He would appear occasionally in his Porsche, in his earlier years accompanied by young women and in later years talking up marathons and biking.  He also would occasionally treat the faculty, in earlier years, to dinners at his restaurant near the foot of the canyon, La Caille, with its resident peacocks.  Those dinners were, unfortunately, before my time.

     The physical facility improved over the years, particularly in the 1990s, when the resort used more professional construction people and fewer summering ski bums.  The plumbing system, which dated from the time that a pair of wooden, three-story barracks buildings were hauled up the canyon from the shuttered Bushnell Hospital at Brigham, was reworked several times, although some of the hot/cold faucets were still reversed.  The Alta Peruvian is today an excellent and relatively inexpensive place to stay for skiing in some of the most wonderful snow on Earth


Click on the thumbnails to view the images from the Alta Peruvian website:


Alta Peruvian
Alta as a mining town
Back of the old lodge
The lodge without front pillars and the Fort
Rear of the modern lodge
Front of the modern lodge