BOISE, Idaho — While most of Idaho's mountain resorts plan to open at the end of June, Tamarack Resort has already begun their summer recreational opportunities.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the resort to close down, construction stopped for 60 days, and the ski season ended prematurely because of Idaho's response to the virus.
"We didn't want to close because we are used to being open, but the circumstances dictated a different direction," said Scott Turlington, the President at Tamarack Resort.
The team at Tamarack used that as an opportunity to come up with a plan to reopen as soon as possible.
They held a soft opening Memorial Day weekend, and now they are back up and running as construction continues at the village.
"It was an exercise of re-imagining what Tamarack could be in this post COVID environment, there is a way to coexist with it and we are striking that balance," Turlington. "There is a lot of construction going on, but that's a sign of vibrancy, things are happening here."
The resort is taking measures to guard against the coronavirus, including social distancing in their shops, wearing masks indoors, managing their lodging in a new way and sanitizing their recreational equipment.
The mountain is open for lift service mountain biking, zipline tours, golf and all sorts of adventures on the water.
"We are up to 40 non-motorized pieces of equipment and six brand new awesome boats," said Dustin Simons, who runs the water recreation aspect at Tamarack. "There are about a half-million dollars in new boats down there."
That is one of the things that makes Tamarack unique: people can go from the top of the mountain to the meadow and then down to Lake Cascade, Turlington told us it is the only resort in North America that combines those three amenities.
Tamarack is also working on a plan to build a new marina, it's a project they are working in conjunction with the Idaho State Parks who will receive revenue when people visit as the marina will be in a state park, Tamarack looks at it as a way to help Valley County recreate on the lake.
"We are looking to do 40 to 50 boat slips, a big building down there, and take over that area to bring a marina and fuel to Lake Cascade," said Simons. "Currently, there is no access to fuel on Lake Cascade."
Tamarack hopes to have the marina ready for the summer of 2021, but in the meantime, they invite people to their mountain getaway, and they say the boundless pass is the best value for year-round recreation.