Ski Idaho license plate program celebrates 20 years

Posted at 3:08 AM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 05:08:00-04

BOISE, Idaho — In the midst of peak car-buying season as U.S. automakers introduce new models for the coming year and sales leap upwards of 15 percent, Ski Idaho has announced its license plate program is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The Ski Idaho license plate debuted in January 1999, and Brundage Mountain Co. president and Idaho Ski Areas Association board chair Bob Looper says it is an important revenue stream for the nonprofit, which represents 18 alpine resorts.

"Nearly half of Ski Idaho's funding -- about 45 percent -- comes from our license plate program," he says. "It's our biggest source of income and allows Ski Idaho to do important work like marketing our fantastic resorts to potential visitors and offering our acclaimed Idaho Peak Season Passport that lets 5th and 6th graders ski or board 18 mountains for only 18 bucks.

According to the Idaho Transportation Dept., nearly 5,000 Idahoans proudly display their love of skiing on their vehicle by purchasing a Ski Idaho license plate.

"The Ski Idaho license plate is one of the oldest specialty license programs in Idaho," DMV vehicle registrations program supervisor Brian Hokanson says. "We are proud to help promote Idaho's ski industry, as well as the other specialty license programs that raise money for worthy causes."

Ski Idaho's publicist, Tony Harrison, says Idaho may have the distinction of being the first U.S. state to issue an automobile license plate featuring a skier.

"I've tried to track down experts on the subject to confirm this to no avail," Harrison says. "However, when you search the Web for ski-themed car license plates, the oldest I've found is a 1947 one from Idaho that says 'Vacation Wonderland' and sports the silhouette of a skier in mid jump with two snowy mountain peaks in the background. The next oldest ski-related license plate I've been able to find dates back to 1958 in Colorado."

Visit your local DMV or online to order Ski Idaho plates for your vehicles.