FAIRFIELD, Idaho — Ever dream about waking up seeing sunlight cresting over a mountain ridge? Or skiing whenever you feel like it? Or helping people live their own adventures out in the forest and powder?
Owning a ski resort would be a fantasy, right? Well, now there’s a place in Idaho where that dream could become reality.
Soldier Mountain Ski Area, located near the town of Fairfield in south-central Idaho, is up for sale … for a turnkey buyer-gets-everything price of $800,000.
Since the 1940s, when it was founded by two ski-loving buddies, this small resort has been the playground of locals, families, and thrill-seeking cat skiers.
“You can truly live what you love here,” said Diane McFerran, one of the ski area’s current owners.
McFerran should know. She and her husband, Matt, bought Soldier Mountain after falling hard for the area and the lifestyle change that came with it. Since buying Soldier, they’ve made continuous improvements to the lodge, cat skiing areas, equipment, and marketing efforts.
“It’s a community ski hill that is being discovered by big-time skiers,” co-owner Matt McFerran said. “We have it all -— space for families in the lift areas and cat skiing for hardcore enthusiasts. We have awesome side country with endless powder, easy terrain, and a great range of runs.”
“It’s a big lifestyle change,” Diane McFerran added. “When you own this place, you live a new adventure every day. It’s new and exciting. You’re introducing people to a new passion in their life or helping people do what they love to do.
The McFerrans have invested their sweat and a loan into Soldier Mountain. But to truly realize the property’s potential, Soldier needs the capital for improvements like snow-making equipment for the main runs.
“A new owner could be as involved as they want to be,” Matt McFerran stated. “This is a turnkey operation. We want to see Soldier Mountain thrive, and we’re willing to help to make that happen.”
“So far, we’ve received some interest from two men here in Idaho – who know how special Soldier is (to the community),” she told us. “And, in fact, we’re meeting with another interested party –- from, Australia.”
A new owner would have the option of keeping the McFerrans on to run day-to-day operations. The future the McFerrans see for Soldier is within view -— the ski area is centrally located between Boise, Ketchum/Sun Valley, and Twin Falls -— with increasing numbers of skiers visiting from out of the area to experience Soldier’s pristine snow. Only twelve skiers at a time can experience Soldier’s 2,000-acre cat skiing area.
Soldier’s new owner will also enjoy a strong relationship with a key partner: The U.S. Forest Service, which leases land to the ski area. “We have the best relationship with the Forest Service,” Diane McFerran said. “It’s a super strong partnership.”
That partnership includes proposed access to a back-country yurt that could be rented year-round. Soldier Mountain offers rec opportunities all year —- in the summer, the area is known for its scenic hiking and mountain biking opportunities are in the works.