MCCALL, Idaho — Brundage Mountain will break ground on a new base lodge this summer kicking off its new 10-year plan.
The current lodge at Brundage still has the original A-Frame build and although there have been several renovations the time has come to build a new modern 20,000 square foot base lodge with a mountain adventure center, new food concepts, Smokey's Bar & Grill.
The work will start this summer on a project that could last for three years, the first step will be to move dirt because Brundage wants to create a flat grade so guests don't have to climb a mountain of stairs to access the lodge.
"It will be great for ADA access, great for our awesome adaptive ski program it is going to be a better experience for dropping people off and getting them into guest services and getting them out on the mountain," said Bob Looper, the president and CEO of Brundage. "The current lodge is tired it needs to go."
The new lodge will also feature a 435-thousand gallon water tank that could be used for snowmaking in the future, but the main reason for the tank is to protect Brundage against wildfires.
"It will bring the whole resort up to current fire standards we will provide a firewise zone and a fire mitigation plan for where the resort interfaces with the forest service," said Looper.
Brundage has other improvements in mind for their 10-year plan including replacing the aging Centennial Lift, adding a lift to the east side giving skiers and snowboarders access to new terrain on the backside of the mountain and improving access to Sergeant's Peak which is now a back country area.
Brundage would also like to connect more trails and make merges on the mountain safer, but in order to do these improvements, they will have to generate more capital.
"We need to have an investment in equity and we need to sell some real estate," said Bob Looper. "That is really the big transition for Brundage."
Brundage has always been a day resort, but in February Adams County approved phase one of a new residential development for low-density housing near the base area.
This development will happen on 37 acres of the 388 private acres Brundage owns, the development will include 21 single-family homes, 22 cottages and 45 townhouses that people can ski in and out of accessing Lower Rodeo.
Idaho News 6 asked Brundage's Real Estate Director about the development and what would he say to the people who are concerned about growth and changes on the mountain.
"I would say we are listening," said Kyle Looper. "We care about this mountain quite a bit and we hear what this means to everybody else and what it means to us, we have to be very careful on how we approach that."
Traditionally Brundage has been happy to send their guests to McCall or New Meadows for food and lodging and they say the goal is not to change the day-to-day operations for skiers and snowboarders.
"You are not going to see huge high-rise motel buildings, you are not going to see us give away our parking that is at the base of the mountain," said Bob Looper. "That is super important, especially to the over 65-year gang I ski with is that easy access to the mountain."
For more information on the real estate opportunities at Brundage click here, 12 of the 21 single-family homes have already been reserved through a pre-sale process.