Black Mountain Lodge at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area | Summit County Vendor Spotlight



What's your name?

Meredith Smith


What is the name of your business and what do you do?

Black Mountain Lodge at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. I’m the Wedding & Catering Manager. I sell and plan all of the weddings, private events, beach deliveries and A-Basin Sanctioned events. I generate the BEO that acts as the internal communication for events, and I generate the cost estimate and room diagrams for the party patrons.


What is your favorite beer?

I like cocktail drinker’s beers, like ciders and sours. Not too picky about which ones. Just stay away from the hops.


What is your favorite outdoor adventure?

Running – anywhere.


How did you get into the wedding industry?

I started at A-Basin as an Assistant Food & Beverage Manager in the 2007/2008 season. I worked 4 days a week and just covered the General Manager’s days off. At the end of my first season, the Black Mountain Lodge Manager position became available and I moved into that role. At the end of my first summer, we acquired our current Director of Food & Beverage, who had banquet plans for my new building. We hosted our first wedding in the summer of 2008, and our first Full Moon Snowshoe Dinner at Black Mountain Lodge in the winter of 2008/2009. By the end of the summer of 2012, I was booking enough events that I no longer had time to manage the building and staff. So, we hired a new Manager of Black Mountain Lodge, and I moved into the position of solely managing the banquet business.


Who is your ideal client?

We attract great clients. I like couples that are organized and can stick to a planning schedule. I like people who like to have fun. And I like working with couples who are willing to trust the A-Basin staff and myself to pull off a fantastic day.


Tell me your favorite wedding story - either your own or a client’s!

Walking down the aisle at my own wedding, and seeing the look on my husband’s face. I’ve never seen him smile quite like that. I didn’t realize I was shaking until my flowers were jiggling in my face. This is not a very unique story, but it’s a very unique moment in my life. It’s my favorite memory from my own wedding.  


What is the process for a couple working with you?

Usually, we exchange some emails and then tour the venue so they get an idea of what a wedding at Black Mountain Lodge is like. To book the date, $1000 and a signed contract. In the winter prior to their date, we sit down for a planning meeting where we draft a cost estimate with their specific food and beverage choices, a room diagram, and a timeline for the wedding weekend that includes their rehearsal, decorating, vendor load-in schedules and the event timeline. We usually hammer out about 80% of the details in that meeting, and then fine-tune the rest via email.


What's your most frequently asked question from wedding clients?

Am I forgetting anything? Your basic checklist is this: venue, photographer, entertainment, accommodations, food & beverage, attire, and decorations. The rest is optional.


Who or What inspires you?

I am repeatedly inspired by the families I work with. Sometimes, it’s the stories of their playtimes in the mountains when the brides and grooms were younger. A bride’s mother once told me she stopped trying to keep up with her kids on skis when they started saying, “It’s ok mom. Just drop in.” I’m inspired to create great memories with my own children.  And sometimes it’s in watching them freak out under the pressure of the wedding. It’s not always pretty. It’s a good reminder to keep my expectations of my family realistic.


What's your best advice for couples before the wedding?

Be vocal with one another about what you need. One person often shoulders the majority of the planning and they get frustrated with the other for being apathetic. I think most of the time, it’s not that they don’t care, it’s that they don’t know. Most couples have someone that is the “manager” of various things in your lives. That’s ok. And if you’re the manager, assign your staff the duties you need them to fulfill.


What's your best advice for couples on their wedding day?

Carve out 10 minutes of the day for just the two of you. At Black Mountain Lodge, couples often take a lap on the chairlift after their ceremony. It’s a great photo op, and it’s the only 12 minutes of peace they’ll have all weekend.


What's your best advice for couples after the wedding?

Know that the first year is hard. Even if you’ve lived together already, it’s just different now. But couples don’t stay married for 60 years because they never hit big bumps in the road. Marriage is about commitment, and it’s worth it.


I believe it's more about the marriage than the wedding. So what's your best relationship advice?

Always strive to meet one another’s needs. In turn, your own needs will be met.


What's the best way for a couple to contact you?

Email is best;