Tamarack Expansion Plans Emerge From Long Journey
What various ownerships over the last three decades envisioned may finally see the light of day as Tamarack Resort has filed plans with the Forest Service to reinvigorate the Idaho ski and snowboard mountain.
Tops on the list are more than 3,000 new acres of skiing and riding off both sides of the mountain's 7,000-ft summit. Supplementing the existing seven lifts, a new bottom-to-top gondola, and five chairs would open up more than 2,000 acres in the Grouse Bowl and below Lone Tree Peak to the south. A short chair would access the expert-only section on the other side of the mountain near Overlook Rock.
The plan would also give backcountry skiers and 'boarders snowcat access to the south along Summit Ridge, with future lift-accessed terrain below that. The plan also calls for a new parking area, short chair lifts, and moderate terrain in the South Base residential area.
The proposal, submitted at the end of January, will undergo NEPA examination and public comment periods before any full decision. However, recent such applications to the U.S. Forest Service across the West have universally gotten the go-ahead, with amendments.
“This application represents another step in the process of completing the grand vision of Tamarack Resort," said Tamarack Resort President Scott Turlington.
It's also a strong signal that, after several decades of uncertainty, the new Tamarack Resort Holdings ownership group has the wherewithal to finally get what would be one of the nation's larger ski and snowboard resorts when the expansion is combined with its existing 1,100 lift-access acres.
The proposal also includes expansion of year-round activities, including 20 miles of new hiking and mountain biking trails, rock climbing area, via Ferrata and mountain coaster. And, the infusion of capital will restart the construction of the base area lodges, homes, condos, and townhouses.
Tamarack's history began back in 1988 with the new Valbois Resort's plans for ski mountain, marina, golf course, and housing development. Subsequent owners renamed it Westrock, and it became Tamarack in 2002. The recession took it to a bankruptcy filing in 2008 and closure. A limited reopening in 2010 by homeowners got lifts running again, and Tamarack Resort Holding acquired the assets in 2018.