A Trying Year For Southern Idaho Ski Areas

Southern Idaho ski areas are wrapping up their seasons.  Bogus Basin and Sun Valley have closed their lifts.  Brundage has one more weekend, possibly more, if the snow holds.  This ski season has been a trying year for them.   

Bogus Basin and Brundage Mountain had a late start to their ski seasons.  Bogus opened January 19th, the latest opening day ever.  That means it missed the crucial Thanksgiving and winter holidays when attendance is highest.  Alan Moore manages the ski area.  He says, "It was so far outside of the norm that it really took us by surprise and we weren’t quite ready for it."

Near McCall, Brundage Mountain opened at the tail end of the winter holidays.  Since then snow has fallen consistently.   Resort spokeswoman April Russell says, "Of course, missing December except for two days, really takes a big chunk off our total."  The holidays account for roughly a quarter of the season’s revenue according to Russell.

For Bogus Basin, missing that period entirely cost the ski area more than $2 million in lost sales.  Moore says Bogus Basin had to cut costs and let some people go to dig out of a financial hole.  "And as far as the bottom line that’s probably about a $500,000 loss by the time we complete our fiscal year which is May 31st."

Although Sun Valley opened Thanksgiving Day, they saw a dip in visitors this year.  Jack Sibbach directs marketing and public relations for the resort.   He says,  "In terms of skier numbers we will be down probably about 5% from last year." 

Brundage and Sun Valley are privately-owned so they don’t divulge financial information.  Bogus Basin is a non-profit.  Moore says the Boise ski area had its worst season in at least six years.

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio