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New ownership at Brundage continues Judd DeBoer's legacy with a new 10-year plan

Posted at 1:24 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 17:28:29-04

MCCALL, Idaho — Brundage Mountain Resort is preparing to launch its new 10-year plan as it continues to preserve long-time owner Judd DeBoer's legacy.

Brundage opened in 1961 after Warren Brown and Norwegian ski champion Corey Engen were able to convince Jack Simplot to invest in the mountain. After the DeBoer family, a direct descendant of Warren Brown bought out Simplot, DeBoer had a vision for the future of Brundage.

His vision was approved by Adams County in 2009, but DeBoer's projects never got off the ground because of the recession and DeBoer passed away in April 2020.

"Give kudos to the DeBoer family and the history for taking a look and saying how do we keep Brundage and how do we move it forward," said President and CEO Bob Looper. "How do we replace the aging infrastructure and the aging lifts."

The time period following Judd's death was a concerning time for the mountain in an era where corporate conglomerates are taking over the ski industry. Vail Resorts now operates 37 ski resorts across the country, Looper and seven other locals pooled their resources to buy Brundage and keep the mountain locally owned.

"The DeBoer family wanted a group of people that was local that was vested in McCall, vested in Idaho had a history with the mountain instead of running off and selling it to Vail Resorts or Alterra Company," said Looper. "That was a huge decision on their part, but look where we are today.”

Brundage will begin work on their 10-year plan that will feature a new 20,000-square-foot modern lodge, improvement to the mountain with new lifts and terrain and also the first lodging to ever happen at Brundage.

Adams County approved phase one of a new residential area in February that will have 21 single-family home sites, 22 cottages and 45 town homes featuring ski-in and ski-out access in the Northwoods near the base area.

"We are standing in an area that was always part of the master plan that was conceived back in 2006," said Looper. "We are building outside of the resort's traditional boundaries so we don’t impact the regular day to day apres skiing this is what the family envisioned back in 07,08 and 09 so we are keeping the vision, we are keeping the vibe and we are going to make it happen."

Looper and other members of the Brundage team had us ski over to the new area to check it out and you could see skiers and snowboarders riding down Lower Rodeo from where the new development will be built.

In 2018, Judd DeBoer was presented with the Governor's Lifetime Achievement award in recreation and tourism by former Gov. Butch Otter.