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A Chic Overhaul of Yellowstone Club’s Original Restaurant

The Rainbow Lodge gets a modern makeover



Photos courtesy of Yellowstone Club

Situated on 13,600 acres of spectacular Montana landscape, the Yellowstone Club—a private residential community and ski and golf resort—is booming with rustic-chic elegance.  To stay on par with luxurious mountain living, the Club quite frequently looks to one-up itself in the style department.

Its most recent remodel was the renovation of the mid-mountain, all-log Rainbow Lodge building, the first erected at the Yellowstone Club and a favorite among skiers, diners, and fun-loving neighborhood families.


Rainbow Lodge before

“The Rainbow Lodge has a deep history as the club’s main building before everything evolved to what it is today,” says Boz Boswell, the Vice President of Architecture and Planning at the Yellowstone Club. “This is where our very first members had their dinner and made great memories. One of the biggest challenges was how to reinvent and modernize the space while also respecting its quaintness and nostalgic factor.”

The first step was assembling the team of key players: Centre Sky Architecture, builder Dick Anderson Construction, design firm Discovery Home Services, and interior designer Tracey Byrne.


The dining area before

The big question: “Do we keep it and expand it, or do we tear it down and redo the whole thing?”

Because of its location, its orientation to Lone Mountain, and how it anchored the entire neighborhood, Boswell and his team decided to keep the building and expand upon—more than doubling the original square footage (the original footage/seating was 4,978/54; the end result was 13,900/166).

To modernize the traditional rustic exterior, the team media-blasted the original golden-hued color, then added a gray stain and gray barn board.  Next came the task of opening up the space and adding more opportunities for natural light, as well as more vantage points—inside and from the additional deck space—to enjoy the Rocky Mountain backdrop.

“If you think about a traditional log structure, it has a tendency to be dark and lacking a great indoor-outdoor experience,” says Boswell. “We opened up the building, added bigger windows, and accentuated the amenities that inherently were already there. I didn’t want it to look like it was an addition to an existing building. My rule with remodeling is to execute the design such that it appears to have been originally designed that way.”

The result is a much larger and more modern hub for all Yellowstone Club activities—whether members are dining, stopping by the bar for a drink, taking a ski break, soaking in the pool and hot tub, pampering themselves at the spa, or playing pool in the game room.  “We hit the improvement button, and everything existing just got better, as well as a handful of key program adds.”


The entry area

A fireplace off to the left and a coat-hanging station off to the right accompany the entry foyer, inviting its guests to feel right at home.

The design team made the original space taller by cutting out some logs and adding a horizontal steel beam. They also lightened up the color scheme and made sure there was enough natural light as an immediate greeting. “One of my rules in architecture is that you should be able to walk into a room in the middle of the day without any lights on, and it should show nicely,” Boswell says.

The stairwell leads downstairs to the exercise room and game room.


The fireplace before

Above is the the original all-stone internal fireplace, which had been quite the icon of the Rainbow Lodge, says Boswell.


The fireplace after

Here (above) is a better view of the new and improved fireplace that is one of the first things club-members see upon arrival. “The stones had been hand-picked from the site and had a strong tie back to the property it was built on, but we weren’t able to keep it because of the structural remodel.” So the team photographed the fireplace, documented it, and then went out and matched the stone exactly for the new-and-improved two-sided version.


The wine display in the dining area

“The Rainbow Lodge is a huge favorite amount members when it comes to the dining experience,” says Boswell. “We wanted to showcase not only the wine but also use it as an aesthetic. It’s a vibrant, dynamic space.”


The seating in the bar area

The team wanted the new bar to feel a tad more than typical—a truly inviting transitional space that still felt like home.  The original trusses were kept intact; windows were added between braces to create an indoor-outdoor transparency. The chandeliers compliment the interiors and existing structure without overwhelming the space.


The bar counter

Instead of incorporating a high bar counter, the team kept it low. “We sunk the bar so that it’s normal-height from the bartender’s standpoint, but you can still sit and see the view,” Boswell says.


One of the game areas

“We really wanted to create a cool kids’ area where they could have fun and hang out, so this gaming room has at least three TVs, a cabinet loaded up with candy, and plenty of plush seating.”


The American Spirit room

“We call this area American Spirit, after one of our subdivisions,” says Boswell. Serving as the backdrop to the shuffleboard and pool tables is a rusticated American Flag mural, created by Discovery Home Services.


The outdoor area and deck

The upgraded deck and outdoor space is the perfect relaxation spot, whether it’s summer or winter.

“We used stainless pools with a rustic copper finish. There’s one hot tub that stands alone and looks north and west,” Boswell says. “There’s also a hot tub/pool combination, which has glass railings so as not to diminish the views.”

Both decks provide up-close-and-personal vantage points of Lone Mountain and Pioneer Mountain.

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