Idaho ski resorts eye uncertain future

Posted at 10:42 PM, Feb 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-20 00:42:19-05

Between low snow years and a recession that bankrupted Tamarack in 2008, Idaho ski resorts have felt the pinch.

Even Boise’s own local non-profit ski hill has had to raise pass prices to deal with an increase of operation fees and several tumultuous years of little to no snow.

Although the 2015-2016 ski season has been good due to El Nino, ski resorts have been decreasing in number nationwide since the 1980's.

The old adage of ‘adapt or die’ is the rally cry for ski resorts as they have to come up with new ways to maintain business.

Snowfall is crucial to pay for things like operation costs for slower and warmer months.

The second part of keeping resort’s relevant is to create opportunities and tourist attractions to bring people in when the snow is long gone.

“Summer is actually busier with regards to general visitation than winter time,” Tamarack General Manager Brad Larsen explained.

Concerts, weddings and disc golf result in easing the “slow months” for local resorts and is slowly rebuilding a customer base that may have only appeared at a resort with their skis or snowboards.

Finally, having the resorts back each other up is crucial in maintaining a unified atmosphere.

"Bogus Basin pass holders this spring can come to Tamarack and then Tamarack skiers can get two night tickets to come experience the amazing night skiing at Bogus Basin," Larsen said.

Resorts like Brundage, Tamarack and Bogus Basin all have deals with season pass purchases that not only assist in keeping people on the slopes but supports Idaho business with a future that is  sometimes uncertain.