Idaho resorts report successful ski season
BOISE, Idaho – Idaho ski resorts are reporting a successful ski season, thanks to a mix of good snow conditions and an ailing economy that forced skiers and snowboarders to hit slopes closer to home.
Several southern Idaho ski resorts closed their season Sunday, including Bogus Basin in Boise. But significant spring snow dumps enabled resorts like Grand Targhee, Sun Valley and Brundage Mountain to remain open through the rest of the month.
“Financially, it’s one of our top three seasons,” said April Russell, spokeswoman for Brundage Mountain, just north of McCall.
Brundage does not make public its annual skier totals or financial data. But Russell said the closure of Tamarack Resort, shuttered because of financial problems, helped drive higher skier traffic at Brundage this year.
At Bogus Basin, skier visits reached 355,000 through the final day Sunday, giving the mountain its second-best season in history. Spokeswoman Gretchen Anderson said the visitor numbers are notable since the nonprofit ski hill opened in mid-December, a month later than expected.
Bogus’ best season, with 370,000 skier visits, was 2001-2002, when it opened a week after Thanksgiving.
“In terms of profit, we are right on target with budget and very much in line with last year, which was about $10 million. It’s a good season,” Anderson told the Idaho Statesman.
The financial boost will enable Bogus to swap out some of its older rental skis, boots, poles and snowboards for next season, she said.
In central Idaho, Sun Valley Resort spokesman Jack Sibbach said the resort saw a 15 percent increase from last year’s skier count.
Sibbach said Sun Valley made a special effort this year to target in-state skiers, thinking smaller travel budgets would keep skiers home instead of nearby resorts in Utah, Colorado or British Columbia.
“Last year wasn’t that great,” Sibbach said. “But being 15 percent ahead of last year in this economy is a pretty great thing.”
Grand Targhee Resort also plans to stay open an extra week, after a spring storm dumped more than five feet of snow on the mountains over the past week.
Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com