Idaho Resorts Open With A Modest Array Of New Features
Ski and snowboard resorts throughout Idaho are opening for the season, albeit cautiously, and offseason improvements are muted but still significant.
All of the Gem State's 18 mountain resorts have initiated Covid-19 health and safety procedures, including temporary structures and program adjustments. Aside from those, here is what's new at some Idaho resorts.
Starting small, Little Ski Hill near McCall has a new T-bar after an unexpected closure last season. Plus, the 79-year-old local hill got new lights for its popular, six-evening-a-week night skiing.
Just down the road, Sun Valley opens 380 acres of new terrain in the Cold Springs-Sunrise Bowl area off Bald Mountain's Seattle Ridge. The venerable Cold Springs double is now a high-speed quad that extends access to the moderate Broadway area -- where 25 new snowguns are in place -- and off-loads at the Roundhouse restaurant.
Nearby, Brundage Mountain is putting in an overflow parking lot for 150 more vehicles that will be open during peak times. The resort also new self-pay lockers and has upgraded the free shuttle from McCall by doubling potential seating.
Bogus Basin, close to Boise, has doubled the number of runs that receive snowmaking for top-to-bottom coverage and added terrain by summer logging. Plus, night skiing will now run 3-10 p.m. seven days a week.
East of Boise, Soldier Mountain suffered greatly when the Phillips Fire burned through the heart of the ski and snowboard mountain. Crews replaced an access bridge, and the beginner surface carpet-lift is back in operation.
Up in the Panhandle, Schweitzer summer crews logged more than 200 acres on the backside for more skiing and riding on skiers right off the Stella six-pack. There's also a new "ski ready room" for KinderKamp, and a snowcat has been added to the fleet.
And Tamarack has added five new restaurants, due in large part because new ownership has taken the central Idaho resort fully out of debt after years of uncertainty.