BOISE, Idaho — Bogus Basin has announced that they plan to open winter operations on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and possibly sooner, depending on mother nature.
A few years ago, it wasn't possible to schedule an opening date this far out, but this non-profit operation installed snowmaking machines two years ago, and this year they are adding more.
"So we actually double the amount of top to bottom trails on snowmaking with six," said Brad Wilson, the general manager of Bogus Basin. "We didn't sit around all summer. Those guys have been busy, we put top to bottom on Morning Star Trail, on Showcase and now we are doing Stewart's Bowl and Sourdough."
This summer Bogus Basin also worked with the forest service and the Idaho Department of Lands to clear dead trees off the mountain's backside.
Logging efforts make the trees at Bogus Basin healthier, but they also make the resort less susceptible to wildfires, and the skiers and snowboarders like it because it opens up the terrain.
"We have a huge amount of beetle kill dwarf mistletoe kill on the mountain," said Wilson. "The longer those trees stay there, the more they are going to get other trees sick, so removing those trees and letting the healthy trees thrive is great."
Bogus Basin is also giving Simplot Lodge a fresh look with new paint and flooring.
Last year they fixed up the Pioneer Lodge on the upper section of the mountain.
However, Bogus Basin will reduce capacity in their lodges by 50 percent because of COVID-19, but they will create four outdoor heated tents.
"We are increasing outside seating by about 8,000 square feet, so we think the balance will be there," said Wilson. "The days of bringing your stuff and eating in the lodge and hanging out are gone for a while."
For more information on what Bogus Basin and other ski resorts in Idaho are doing to prepare for winter operations during the pandemic, click here.