Hans Courant may just be one of our longest running guests. He’s been visiting the lodge since the 60s; we opened in 62. I’d like you to take a moment to digest that for a moment. Speaking with Hans and his daughter Martha was a treasure I’ll always remember.
Hans was born in Germany and spent his childhood skiing in Switzerland on family vacations. In the early 30s, Hans moved with his family to the US and continued skiing in New York as a child. As a young adult, he moved to Minnesota and learned about Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge. Hans will tell you the Lodge has changed a good deal from the little shack it once was.
As we often hear, Hans states his reason for continuing to visit the Lodge after all these years simply, “The food was good and the skiing was unbelievable. I don’t see why you would try anywhere else.”
Over the years, Hans has tried to visit every year. He now travels to the lodge with children and grandchildren, and though he is no longer able to ski, he still enjoys taking in the view of the mountain from the lodge, watching the skiers, and hearing about his family’s adventures when they return from the slopes at the end of the day. He also enjoys having lunch with former lodge owner Elfriede from time to time.
In learning about Hans’s history at the Lodge, I also spoke with his daughter Martha. Martha remembers Hans discovering Alta during a trip to Utah for a conference. He started bringing his children to Alta once he thought they were old enough to be good travel companions. Martha continued the tradition with her own children. At one point, the family group numbered 12 people.
It wasn’t all family travel for Hans. During solo trips, Hans would stay in the dorm and meet other guests at the lodge. He met many lifelong friends that way, and for years, the group would meet at the lodge.
As we’ve heard before, Martha commented on the specialness of the lodge. The feeling of arriving late at night and being greeted with love and how similar it is to visiting a distant relative.
The staff at Goldminer’s has always been so lovely to Hans. For years, he had a suite, a slopefacing small suite, where he would always stay. The family would bring lunch foods with them, have lunch in the room, and watch the skiers from their window. Hans would hang his backpack out the window to keep the food refrigerated.
It’s been wonderful to come back each year and see the same staff members and many of the same guests. Everybody is so warm, friendly and welcoming. So many of the staff members both at Goldminer’s and the ski lift stay for many years. You can follow along as the staff members move on with their lives.
Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge is a lovely place. It’s not a snazzy, wealthy type of place. It’s for people who love to ski.