In the sunshine of Southern California, Paramount+ managed to make something cool… a hip and happening ski lodge packed to the hilt with a variety of activations spanning 10 different fandoms. Guests would get about 50 minutes to experience as much as they wanted at their own pace.
Attendees who had snagged a time slot lined up close to the building, with a separate line for standby. It was a “Bring Your Own Shade” situation, with the environment providing very little while the sun was overhead. At promptly the top of the hour, ticketed attendees were ushered through the door and into the ski lodge lobby. Adults 21 and up were wrist-banded and each person was given their “lift pass” plus 2 drink tickets and one Good Burger 2 burger ticket.
Once inside the adventure was yours to decide. The main lodge room offered a SpongeBob Squarepants photo op, Special Ops: Lioness puzzles, Yellowjackets Sharing Shack photo op and a Transformers: Rise of the Beasts bar, offering 2 drink choices.
We went straight to to the Yellowjackets sharing shack where after we took our selfie we received tiny jars of honey and a deck of playing cards. We heard that later on Saturday the honey had run out but the cards were still available.
While this room remained fairly open during our visit, the attached room, which featured the CBS Sports bar was packed wall to wall quickly and stayed that way. This was the room that Star Trek fans flocked to for the themed Caricature Studio, where an artist would draw you up as your favorite Star Trek character. This experience was limited to 25-30 people per time slot and instantly filled up. We opted to mingle and see as much as possible.
One small adjoining room held the 1923 “speakeasy” where guests could have an old-timey sepia toned photo taken and get a cocktail or bottled root beer. There wasn’t room in the speakeasy itself to enjoy the drink there though, we took ours back out to the main lodge room where it was still easy to move around.
We never did catch a chance to try the Good Burger. The employees garbed in Good Burger attire with platters of hamburgers were instantly mobbed. A better plan might have been to shorten the CBS Sports bar and offer a walk up window for the burgers, but really, that’s a minor gripe.
We also didn’t get an airbrushed tattoo but noticed that the Ink Masters station had a lot of stencil options available and some of the younger (and even older!) attendees were *very* excited to show off their ink.
The Pet Sematary: Bloodlines photo-op, though inconveniently located, was quick and easy with spooky animal masks you could use and digitally added fog on the file they emailed me.
By the time our 50 minutes was up and they began to usher folks towards the exit we felt like we had experienced everything we wanted to and gotten a great chance to step away from the hubub of the convention center, as well as refreshed from the free drinks. We felt like it was worth our time waiting (we arrived 15 minutes before reservation time) but if you did the standby line, your mileage may vary (especially in the sun). Paramount+ seems to know what attendees like about offsites: a little bit of food and drink, a chance to get something cool and exclusive and a reservation system that provides little wait. On all those aspects, they were successful. They could easily bring us The Lodge experience every year and not change a single thing except the promoted properties. Fingers crossed they do!
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