SeventyOne: Snowbird's Time Capsule

Image: Becks Falk
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SeventyOne: Snowbird's Time Capsule

1971 was a landmark year on many fronts. NASA launched its Apollo 14 mission to the Moon, Ray Tomlinson invented internet-based email, Etch-A-Sketch was all the rage, Brown Sugar was blaring on the radio and founders Ted Johnson and Dick Bass opened the doors to Snowbird for the first time.

SeventyOne photos showing the history of Snowbird

Snowbird opened to the public in December of 1971 with The Aerial Tram, Wilbere, Gad I and Gad II. Bass’ dream of opening a year-round resort, which encapsulated and respected the existing beauty of Little Cottonwood Canyon, “A place dedicated to increasing human understanding through the enhancement of body, mind and spirit,” was realized.

SeventyOne photos showing the history of Snowbird

Snowbird offers a plethora of mountain-side dining options including the newest restaurant, SeventyOne, which pays tribute to the year Johnson and Bass’ dream resort came to fruition. The fabulous diner, which opened in 2019, beautifully dovetails the present with 1971 through both design and menu offerings.

SeventyOne photos showing the history of Snowbird

SeventyOne exists as a time capsule, nestled on the Lobby level of The Cliff Lodge. The moment you walk through the doors, you are immediately transported back in time to Snowbird circa 1971.

The details usher that era back to life, bringing back fond memories for those who lived it and a sense of longing to those who came after.

SeventyOne photos showing the history of Snowbird

As I walked in, I was met with the bright pastel palette of oranges, yellows, browns, blues and greens. Every light fixture has its own unique flair and design. The burnt orange pleated booth backings tie the whole room together in a standout piece. The booth cushions are composed of a plethora of shapes and designs—holding true to the restaurant’s color scheme—adding a retro flair to the notable element of banquet seating at SeventyOne. The herringbone wood flooring adds a rustic touch, reminding you that you are in the midst of the mountains of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

SeventyOne photos showing the history of Snowbird

SeventyOne truly embodies the year it celebrates, down to the finest detail. The menu balances retro with modern exquisitely. Guests have the option of ordering everything from a classic cocktail to an IPA. David, my server, recommended the Mai Thai, which encapsulated the perfect harmony between sweet and sour.

SeventyOne photos showing the history of Snowbird

The dinner menu has something for all in your party, whether you are gluten-free, vegan or have an allergy to nuts. As far as small plates go, SeventyOne Head Chef Carlos Perez has intricately designed a menu that everyone will love. If you are keen on nachos but want the flavor punch of sushi, the Ahi Tuna Nachos are a no-brainer. The crunch of the wonton chip, combined with the delicate ahi and slight kick from the wasabi cream, is an unbeatable combination. If you are looking to warm up with a comfort meal after a big day on the mountain, the Warm Spinach & Artichoke Dip, complete with perfectly toasted baguettes, is the right call.

SeventyOne photos showing the history of Snowbird

For entrées, guests have the option of a flatbread, soup, burger, steak and much more. After a day spent traversing Path to Paradise on the mountain, I opted for the Grilled Baseball Steak, complete with rosemary butter, IPA mushrooms and onions, mashed potatoes and vegetables. The steak was cooked to perfection, the potatoes were drizzled with a veal stock and the crisp vegetables tied all the flavors together.

SeventyOne photos showing the history of Snowbird

Nothing feels more reminiscent of a diner in 1971 than a Classic Chocolate Malt Shake. Chef Carlos let the creamy flavors of the malt speak for themselves, not adding much to the mix besides whipped cream. Adeptly placed on top of the malt were two doughnut holes that added an extra level of texture and modernity to this classic dessert. If you are looking for a treat fresh out of the oven, the Warm Chocolate Brownie hits the spot. This dessert is complete with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and caramel corn, adding a twist to this classic favorite.

SeventyOne photos showing the history of Snowbird

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the entire restaurant is the bathroom. Yes, the bathroom. The intricacies of design extend into every last detail of the locale, leaving no space or micro detail excluded. As you walk into the bathroom, you are instantly greeted by the warm crackle of Warren Miller’s “Any Day, Any Mountain” playing on the vintage RCA Victor television. Patterned orange, brown and white walls are met with white tile and wooden bathroom stall doors, transporting you back in time. I quickly became entranced by the scenes of tight mogul skiing and Warren Miller’s calming narration playing on the television, almost forgetting where I was in the bathroom. As I sauntered back to my table, I was met with a hallway of photos of Ted Johnson, Dick Bass and memories of the resort when it first opened. It became somewhat of a game to insert myself into each photo and imagine what that day or moment could have been, back in the 1970s at Snowbird.

SeventyOne photos showing the history of Snowbird

Whether you want to sit outside and admire the stars while you dine or gaze upon the warm fire at your window-side table, SeventyOne restaurant has the best of both worlds. The outside patio looks up into the vastness of Peruvian Gulch, giving guests the ultimate dining and sight-seeing experience.

SeventyOne photos showing the history of Snowbird

The design, décor, lighting and food all come together to take each guest back in time when visiting SeventyOne. This groovy restaurant allows those that were here for the opening of Snowbird to reminisce and others to fall in love with it for the first time. SeventyOne pays homage to the hard work and dedication it took to open the doors to this special place we all love; its significance is amplified with Snowbird’s 50th Anniversary on the horizon for the 2021-22 season. SeventyOne is more than a restaurant; it is nostalgia preserved in the details, for people from all walks of life to come to one place to relate and enjoy.

SeventyOne photos showing the history of Snowbird

About the Author

Born and raised in North Lake Tahoe, Becks is an avid skier, hiker, wake surfer, kayaker and all-around outdoors person. A photographer and writer, she loves to combine her skills to share the art of storytelling through her perspective. Becks is passionate about film photography and its slow, artistic process. She has joined the Marketing team as the Communications Coordinator, where she is able to create compelling and strategic communications material as well as multimedia content at Snowbird.

 

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