Fire damages iconic restaurant at Solitude Mountain Resort

Posted at 3:54 PM, Apr 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-29 23:47:08-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A fire at Solitude Mountain Resort caused major damage to a restaurant that has been a fixture on the slopes since the 1950s.

"It's sad for us that it's burned, it's sad for I'm sure a lot of our guests, it's a really special place," said Susie English, Solitude Senior Marketing Manager.

English is referring to the Round House restaurant, which caught fire Friday. It has been around just as long as the resort itself. Fortunately, the resort was closed to the public and no one was inside at the time.

"It's a really cool old building, and it has a round shape, and all these beautiful glass windows around it," English said.

It was a head-scratching day for Unified Fire Authority. The fire was 700 vertical feet up the mountain, and their fire engines could not reach the scene.

"It's frustrating because you have all this equipment at your disposal, and you just wish you could use it," said David Ulibarri of the Unified Fire Authority.

So one by one, firefighters were taken up the slopes on snowmobiles. However, all they could do is watch, and make sure the fire didn't spread to any of the surrounding trees.

"There are no outside water sources out there on the mountain, so that makes it really challenging," said Solitude General Manager Kim Mayhew.

The firefighters were eventually able to hook up two of their hoses to Solitude's snow making system and use that water to put out the flames.

The damage had already been done.

"Lots of fun memories I'm sure for a lot of people at the restaurant," English said.

The Round House was known for its Himalayan food. More than 500 people would visit on any given day during the season.

"The building isn't a total loss, at this moment we don't know what that means, our insurance person is coming up tomorrow and we'll get it back up and going for sure next winter," English said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Unified Fire Authority said it doesn't appear to be suspicious.