Ski Resort Life

Ski-Through Starbucks Keeps Squaw Skiers Caffeinated

Your venti non-fat, no-frills, upside-down mochachino is ready at the second window. Please ski forward.

These days, it’s not unusual to see a Starbucks on every other street corner in America. In some cities, you’ll find two or more on a single block. It’s a rare ski resort base village that doesn’t have at least one Starbucks handing out everything from standard drip coffees to elaborate lattes, teas and cocoas. So it was really only a matter of time before one popped up right on the ski slopes. That time has come in Squaw Valley, which opened the world’s first ski-in/ski-out Starbucks earlier this month.

Located in the resort’s Gold Coast mid-mountain complex, this Starbucks is unlike any other: Just ski right up to the window, order your cup of Joe, and get right back to your powder day.

“Aside from the fact that you can ski through, it should be the same experience that you’d want at any other location, with a much better view,” said Vicki Boyd, the store manager.

You can come by in shoes, too, for your pick-me-up. The coffeehouse will be open daily 9 to 4, weather permitting, through the ski season. They’re serving Starbucks’ full menu: all the drinks, sugar-rush-inducing pastries, and even hot breakfast sandwiches. There’s also a rumor that in the near future they may offer Squaw-specific items.

“We worked closely with the design team at Starbucks to create a one-of-a-kind experience,” said Andy Wirth, Squaw Valley’s president and CEO. “Nowhere else in the world can skiers and riders enjoy a Starbucks coffee without missing a beat on the slopes.”

So, what does this mean for the future of on-mountain skier services? Who knows? Maybe a ski-through In-n-Out Burger or a NASCAR pit-style ski shop where customers can get a quick binding adjustment and edge tune without ever shucking their boards. After all, KT-22 won’t lap itself.