Skiers and snowboarders have something extra to give thanks for on this holiday: enough snow for two local ski resorts to open — one ahead of schedule — and turn on the chairlifts. Brundage will be operating three of its chairlifts beginning Wednesday and Bogus is getting all 10 up and running on Friday.
“This has been Bogus Basin’s lucky year for early snowstorms, and snowmaking conditions,” said General Manager Brad Wilson. “It’s pretty amazing to be opening this early with great coverage throughout the area.”
Access to the area over the opening holiday weekend will be limited to season pass holders only; no lift tickets will be available for purchase. “We want to thank our season pass holders, and show them how much we appreciate their early and ongoing support during these challenging times,” Wilson said. Limiting opening weekend access to season pass holders only will also provide the opportunity for the area to fine tune operational adjustments that have been made due to COVID-19. After the weekend, Bogus Basin will close for two days. On Wednesday, Dec. 2, the area will open for seven-day-a-week operations.
COVID-19 safety precautions
As part of a comprehensive safety campaign against COVID-19, Bogus Basin will strongly encourage skiers/riders to stick to the slopes and “consider their car their base lodge” this season.
Favorable snow conditions and long-range forecasts should help achieve that goal. Access to lodge facilities will be limited to takeout food and beverage, restroom access, and briefly warming up. The area has invested in large, heated outdoor tents where guests can consume purchased food and beverages, and briefly warm up.
Bogus Basin has closely followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and Central District Health and National Ski Areas Association safety guidelines, meeting or exceeding recommended COVID-19 safety protocols, according to a press release.
Guests will be required to wear face coverings, physically distance, and sanitize/wash hands regularly. To encourage visits at nonpeak days and times, an additional hour has been added to night operations, and full access season pass sales were limited. Over the summer, Bogus Basin implemented a range of practices, successfully protecting guests and employees from COVID-19.
“I can say with certainty that our team has done everything we can to keep our staff and guests safe. Now we need the community’s support. The success of the season depends on our collective willingness to follow our guidelines. It’s that simple,” said Wilson.
Over at Brundage
Brundage Mountain announced that its ski resort will open for Sneak Peek operations with three chairlifts in action Wednesday, Nov. 25 for season passholders and Select 4-Pak holders.
The plan is to run the Easy Street Triple, the Bear Chair and the BlueBird Express. Grooming will be limited on the frontside runs. More specifics on grooming efforts are posted on the Snow Report Page on the website. Early season conditions exist. A series of storms has deposited a base of 16 inches at the 6,000-foot base level and 25 inches on the upper mountain.
At this point, Brundage will be open to 2020-21 Season Passholders and Select 4-Pak users, along with 2019-2020 Season Pass and Select Card Holders who qualify for make-good tickets. Day tickets will not be available until further notice.
“We’re all chomping at the bit to get outside and enjoy some recreation on the snow,” said General Manager Ken Rider. “We’re stoked to be able to offer that experience to our most loyal guests, those who’ve already purchased season passes and Select 4-Paks.”
Lifts will run 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Wednesday. Brundage will be closed on Thanksgiving, but back open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Brundage Mountain will close on Monday and Tuesday to assess the prospects for continued operations starting Wednesday, Dec. 2.
COVID-19 safety precautions
Brundage Mountain’s Guest Services, Rental, Retail and Restroom facilities will be open in the Main Lodge, along with grab and go food service in the Smoky’s Bar & Grill area. There will be no indoor seating this week. Guests should plan to spend more time than normal outdoors. Face coverings are required in all indoor facilities, in all lift lines and through the entire chairlift loading process.
The Ski + Ride School will offer private lessons Friday, Saturday and Sunday with advanced reservations required. Call 208-634-6631 or go to brundage.com/private-lessons to reserve.
Brundage Mountain asks all guests to get familiar with the new COVID-19 protocols prior to arrival.
“Our top priority this season is the health of our staff, guests and community. We all need to work together to keep everyone healthy so we can keep the lifts turning and the good times rolling in our natural outdoor playground,” said Rider.
Wednesday’s opening will mark the first time since 2005 that Brundage Mountain has opened before Thanksgiving. It’s the second piece of exciting news to hit the resort in the last few days.
On Friday, USA Today honored Brundage Mountain as the first runner up in its 2020 10 Best Reader’s Choice contest for Best Ski Resort.
Brundage Mountain placed second overall among nominees from across North America, with only Sunshine Village in Banff, Alberta, receiving more votes.