You would think Friday and Saturday nights are a fun time at the Mineshaft Saloon, but who would have thought that weeknights are almost as busy? The restaurants and outdoor patio areas at the Gateway resort are great for families or quiet conversations, but for guests and employees who are looking to cut loose after a day of learning, exploring and massages the Mineshaft is the place to be.
Guests always ask if it is really a renovated mine. Built up into the hill and covered with materials that would have been traditional for an old mill or mine in this area, composed of concrete, timber, and steel. It was designed to look and feel as if it has been there forever, but it is no older than the rest of the resort. The old rail road car loaders along the entry path and the old pickup in the front add to the aged feeling. There is a large faded logo on the wood sign to draw you to the entry. A tribute to the area’s mining past with all of the amenities of a new building.
Right when you step in they serve you a beverage. It makes sitting in the entry area or at the bar go very quickly. In fact, some people don’t get any further than that when they visit. Larger groups who want to sit together usually take a table in the main room. If the seating takes some time and the bar and entry area are full, a trellis at the front entry offers an inviting area to wait.
This space is just what people looking for fun want. Pool, Foosball, and Shuffleboard are all available in the back or even just for watching as people sit and talk. Visible duct-work, historic wood trusses with cables along the bottom, and a large shed roof add to the mine appearance and give the place a distinct feel from any building in the resort. The two most interesting elements of the Mineshaft Saloon are the exterior patios with trellis elements and the angled columns to create interesting spaces; the second is the reused railway car flat bed that is the structure for the upper level and very visible over the pool/game area. Doors allow for access to the lower outdoor patio with a trellis cover if the day or night is comfortable and an upper level in the back is supported by heavy timbers set as they were in mines at the turn of the last century.
The upper level has two stairs for access, placed to give the building the feeling of a mine, one adds to the look on the outside, the other the inside. The upper level itself had some additional seating, pool tables, and an outdoor patio. It also has a ‘tower room’ for overflow on busy days, of which there are many.