FAIRFIELD, Idaho — The new owners of Soldier Mountain have a reason to be optimistic in 2021 as the resort opened on schedule despite a wildfire causing severe damage in August.
The owners needed to replace everything but the towers on chair one, the magic carpet, but thankfully firefighters saved the lodge.
Despite everything, Soldier Mountain was able to open for the holiday season, and skiers and snowboarders have taken advantage of all the new snow.
"The last few months is not what we anticipated, but it all came together," said Paul Alden of Soldier Mountain. "New Year's Day was good, which was unusual, and the Saturday after New Year's was historic for the resort."
The pandemic has also helped bring people to Soldier Mountain because they have smaller crowds, shorter lines, and people can get fresh tracks well into the day.
Soldier Mountain takes the same COVID-19 protocols as other Idaho ski areas.
"The thing I like about Soldier is not that many people come here," said Cody Vaughn, a regular at the mountain. "There are barely any people. It isn't so crowded like at Bogus Basin."
The new owners have listened to their guests and leaned on the staff's experience, but there are some changes, and one of those is Soldier has more groomed terrain this year than in past years.
Alden told us the resort plans on opening their brand new magic carpet ride this weekend, and he also expects their cat skiing operation to start this weekend as well.
Soldier Mountain will finish their holiday schedule this week and return to its usual Thursday - Sunday operating schedule.
However, they also take reservations and will open up the mountain or cat skiing on occasions.