Idaho ski resorts report record-breaking season
After a snow-intensive winter season, most Idahoans are ready to move on to summer. But this winter season proved to be a lucrative one for Idaho’s biggest ski resorts — Bogus Basin, Tamarack, Brundage and Sun Valley. Read on to learn more of what made this season so great, statistics on skier days and number of snow inches, and what new elements did or will make each resort’s ski season the best.
Boise’s 75-year-old ski resort, Bogus Basin, provides 1,800 vertical feet just 16 miles north of the city.
“In a nutshell, Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area experienced a record winter season,” said Brad Wilson, general manager. “Each month of the winter, December through March, was a record-setting month.”
The resort recorded a record-breaking winter of 371,000 visits, up from 260,000 last season and a previous record of 356,000. Snowfall this season was above the 250-inch average, finishing at a season total of 280 inches — with 144 occurring in February alone.
Located just two-and-a-half hours from Boise, the Tamarack Resort has finally come to life under new ownership that began Dec. 3. For the last decade, the resort sat half-finished due to financial issues, but after being purchased by Tamarack Resort Holdings, the mountain finally opened and experienced the boon the rest of Idaho did with a great snow year.
“We were a little lacking in snow to begin the year, but that seemed to change right as we got toward February where, if I remember right, last year we had 45 inches and this year we had 167 in just that month,” said Jon Reveal, Tamarack president. “That really put a lot of people on notice that the skiing was great, and people certainly showed up.”
With the 2018-19 ski season being Tamarack’s first year of ownership, the company didn’t have time to make any big changes to the resort. But it plans to put in a detachable quad chairlift this summer.
“We’re looking forward to the years in the future,” Reveal said.
Just 8 miles from McCall, Brundage Mountain has great snow and a wide variety of terrain. With 1,920 acres of lift-accessed terrain and 420 acres of lift-accessed back country terrain, there’s something for everyone from beginners to experts.
“It was a great season for us,” said Brundage spokeswoman April Whitney.
The lower mountain opened Nov. 23, the full mountain on Dec. 7, and closing day was April 14. The season saw 337 inches of base area snow, the most since the resort’s 2010-11 season. In February alone, Brundage received 151 inches of snow, roughly three times the average February snowfall, according to Whitney.
No major changes were made to the resort, though about 100 parking spots have been added over the past two seasons.
“We’ve really been focusing on the skier experience, from the moment they pull up in the parking lot,” Whitney said.
The resort hopes to add another 100 or so parking spaces in the future. While February was obviously a highlight, great snow coverage in December made for a fun winter break for skiers and snowboarders and families alike.
“I think it’s important for us to kick off with a good winter break and get that stoke factor up,” Whitney said. “When people came up and got to spend time with their families in December, and then with tons of snow in January and February, the level of passion stayed really high throughout the season.”
The 2018-19 winter season was a strong one for Sun Valley Resort, with record-setting numbers in February and one of the highest skier counts to date. Skiers and snowboarders have always been drawn to Sun Valley’s destination skiing; Bald Mountain has more than 3,400 vertical feet and 2,000 acres of varied terrain, and there’s the more beginner-friendly Dollar Mountain.
This year, patrons came in droves: over 426,500 skier days tallied this season — the highest in the past 20 years. Add that to a record-setting snowfall of 136 inches in February, and Sun Valley Resort higher-ups couldn’t be happier.
“We appreciate the support of our guests, Mother Nature and the dedication of our outstanding resort team for making this an exceptional season,” said Tim Silva, Sun Valley Resort’s vice president and general manager. “We had one of our strongest seasons to date with record-setting snow in February and conditions that kept the momentum going through spring.”
The 2018-19 season was the last for Sun Valley to participate in the Mountain Collective Pass, as the resort plans to join the EPIC pass for the 2019-20 season.