Upgrades and Expansions at Idaho Ski Areas Welcome Skiers This Season

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Idaho is a popular winter destination for skiers and boarders with 18 ski areas offering beautifully groomed runs and glades of feather-light powder for all skiing and boarding abilities. With more than 28,000 leg-burning vertical feet, 20,000 skiable acres and a wide array of Nordic trails, terrain parks, cat ski trails, heli-ski opportunities and tubing hills, Idaho has become a hub for skiers and boarders seeking blue skies, fresh powder and few crowds. Learn more about Idaho’s ski areas at http://www.skiidaho.us, or explore all of Idaho’s winter recreation opportunities at http://www.visitidaho.org/winter.

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Idaho is a popular winter destination for skiers and boarders with 18 ski areas offering beautifully groomed runs and glades of feather-light powder for all skiing and boarding abilities. With more than 28,000 leg-burning vertical feet, 20,000 skiable acres and a wide array of Nordic trails, terrain parks, cat ski trails, heli-ski opportunities and tubing hills, Idaho has become a hub for skiers and boarders seeking blue skies, fresh powder and few crowds. Learn more about Idaho’s ski areas at http://www.skiidaho.us or explore all of Idaho’s winter recreation opportunities at http://www.visitidaho.org/winter.

A family does not need to live in Idaho to take advantage of the Ski Idaho Fifth and Sixth Grade Passport Program. With the passport, any fifth grader can ski or ride free three times and sixth graders can ski or ride free two times at participating ski areas. Families may learn more and submit passport applications at http://www.skiidaho.us/5th-grade-ski-or-ride-free-passport.

Here’s a look at what’s new for Idaho’s 2012-2013 ski season.

Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Sandpoint
Schweitzer’s 2,900 acre playground will benefit from more than $1 million in improvements for the 2012-2013 ski year. The resort completely remodeled and expanded the Ski and Ride Center, doubled the size of the Gourmandie market and upgraded the rooms at the Selkirk and White Pine lodges to include new LCD HD televisions, media chests and new bedding. On the snow, beginners will enjoy new, highly efficient chairs on the Musical Chair beginner chairlift, and two Surly Pugsley Snowbikes will be available to rent at the Ski and Ride center for use on Schweitzer’s cross country terrain.

Schweitzer Mountain’s snow cat operation, Selkirk Powder Company, has added a second 10 passenger snow cat, increased snow cat access points and thinned tree areas. This season, backcountry skiers and boarders can swiftly glide through Selkirk’s 3,000 acres of powder. http://selkirkpowder.com

For budget-minded skiers and boarders, Schweitzer is offering many ways to save, including a limited time offer purchase price for a packet of three single tickets for $162 (20% discount off window price - offer available through November 11). Most Sunday afternoons, skiers and boarders who hit the mountain after 12:30pm pay a reduced price of $25 online or $35 at the window. Season pass holders may take advantage of various “passholder perks” this year including a 50% discount at Whitewater Resort in British Columbia and 5 days of free skiing at White Pass Ski Resort.

During National Learn to Ski and Snowboard month (January), Schweitzer will offer introductory packages beginning at $39 for first time skiers and riders ages seven and older which include lessons, rentals, and a beginner lift ticket.
     Dave Kulis, 208.263.9555 x2210, dkulis(at)schweitzer(dot)com, http://www.schweitzer.com
     Sean Briggs, 208.255.3031, sbriggs(at)schweitzer(dot)com, http://www.schweitzer.com

Silver Mountain, Kellogg
Silver Mountain offers two mountains, 73 trails and 1,600 acres of terrain, 2,200 vertical feet and more than 300 inches of snow annually. Over the summer, the glades in the Chair 4 Basin were expanded to add a new intermediate level run. Skiers will also enjoy upgrades to Silver’s seasonal locker room area at the Mountain House; the added space enhances skier comfort and convenience.
     Jeff Colburn, 208.783.1111 x8209, jeffc(at)silvermt(dot)com, http://www.silvermt.com

Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area, Boise
This winter, Bogus Basin boarders and skiers will instantly notice the freshly painted exteriors and updated signage. Also new this season, the Mountain Dew sponsored “Top to Bottom Terrain Park” has been relocated and includes features suitable for all ages and ability levels. Off-trail skiers and riders can cruise through expanded terrain thanks to the resort’s new brush cutting machine, “The Masticator.” Beginner skiers and boarders can learn to glide on a new lesson knoll located near the Coach lift.

Bogus Basin’s popular Stay and Play program is back this season. Stay at a participating Boise area hotel, and play at Bogus Basin Mountain for FREE! Buy one alpine lift ticket or Nordic trail pass and get another one FREE (of equal or lesser value). Mention “Stay and Play” when making your reservation at a participating Boise area hotel. (No blackout dates, but some restrictions may apply.)
     Alan Moore, 208.332.5131, alan(at)bogusbasin(dot)org, http://www.bogusbasin.org

Lookout Pass, Wallace/Mullan
The big story at Lookout Pass for this season is the installation of a new triple seat chairlift serving the beginner terrain. The Success chairlift will replace the existing rope tow, providing comfortable uphill transportation and an enhanced learning experience for beginning skiers and boarders.

The Snow Sports School program at Lookout Pass has added a new age group, the Polar Bears, for kids ages 7 through 9. Additionally, Lookout Pass will offer its EZ Ski & Ride 1-2-3 package this year for first time skiers and riders ages 13 and older. The package includes three rentals, three lessons, one rope tow and two lift tickets for only $99. New for 2012-2013: graduates completing all three EZ Ski & Ride lesson sessions will receive a bonus offer of one FREE season pass.
     Christopher Barrett, 208.744.1301 x21, christopher(at)skilookout(dot)com, http://www.skilookout.com

Sun Valley Resort, Sun Valley
This season, the Adventure Trail System, themed adventure trails designed to excite skiers and boarders ages six through twelve, has been expanded to include two additional runs: Pine Martin Plunge and Deer Hollow. Skiers and riders might also be interested in Bald Mountain’s new “So You Want to Be a Ski Patroller?” program. Each week, two ski patrol enthusiasts will be selected through a drawing for the program and will experience the life of a ski patroller presented in two safety-focused sessions.

Sun Valley’s Dollar Mountain
With recent developments, Sun Valley’s Dollar Mountain is quickly becoming “Park Central.” This season, Dollar Mountain will boast an expanded 22 foot super pipe, 76 rails, two cross courses, and three parks. Dollar’s state of the art super pipe is now Olympic standard size, one of only a few this size in North America. Additionally, the Family Cross Course has been extended and the new Competitive Cross Course will be located on Otto’s Run.

Sun Valley will kick off its 77th ski season year with superb ski packages offered almost all winter long. Stay at the elegant Sun Valley Resort this winter and save! Kids 15 and younger can Stay and Ski Free at Sun Valley Resort. (One child per skiing parent staying in the same room, blackout dates apply.)

November 21 through December 20, skiers can book Sun Valley’s Pre-Holiday Package. Beginning at $79.50 per person (double occupancy), this package includes one night lodging and one daily lift ticket. Also, guests staying in the Sun Valley Lodge or Sun Valley Inn between January 3rd and March 31st can ski free, starting at $139. The Ski Free Package includes one night lodging (double occupancy) and one daily lift ticket. (Blackout dates apply.)
     Jack Sibbach, 208.622.2183, jsibbach(at)sunvalley(dot)com, http://www.sunvalley.com

Brundage Mountain, McCall
This season, skiers and boarders can relax and unwind in 1,000 square feet of additional indoor space at Brundage Mountain’s main lodge. The expansion to the third floor cafeteria comes just one season after a major remodel of Smoky’s Bar and Grill, transforming it into a full-service restaurant. Skiers can have Brundage Mountain snow conditions at their fingertips with a new mobile app, custom daily weather forecasts from http://www.snowforecast.com and an upgraded webcam system featuring both summit and base coverage.

Learn about the colorful history of skiing in McCall in Eve Chandler’s new book, Brundage Mountain: The Best Snow in Idaho. The book recounts the history of skiing in McCall with hundreds of vivid photographs and touching stories. Perfect for a holiday gift, the book can be purchased on-line at http://www.brundage.com/book.

Brundage is offering more ways to ski and save this winter with special pre-season deals and ticket packages. Early birds who buy season passes November 7th through 21st will receive a $100 gift card with their purchase. Also, for a limited time, skiers and boarders can save on multiday lift tickets with Brundage Mountain’s flexible Select Cards and mid-week skiers and locals will love Brundage’s Mid-Week Club Card, now with fewer blackout dates.
     April Russell, 208.634.4151 x120, AprilRussell(at)brundage(dot)com, http://www.brundage.com

Grand Targhee Resort, Teton Valley
Situated on the western slope of the Tetons in Wyoming, Grand Targhee Resort’s 2,600 acres are accessible only through Teton Valley, Idaho. This winter, families can take advantage of two new programs aimed at making family skiing effortless. Grand Targhee’s Youth Ski and Snowboard Lease Program offers discount ski and snowboard packages for kids, allowing families to lock-in next year’s rate and save. Parents can carve out their own ski days at Targhee when youngsters enroll in the new Youth Multi-Weekend programs. During the five week program, kids can have fun on the slopes, make friends, and learn to glide with Grand Targhee’s professional ski and snowboard instructors.
     Ken Rider, 307.353.2300 x1312, krider(at)grandtarghee(dot)com, http://www.grandtarghee.com

Tamarack Resort, Donnelly
There is a lot going on at Tamarack this season. Six lifts, with the addition of Buttercup this year, will give skiers access to the resort’s 900 acres and 2800 vertical feet of spectacular skiing. Opening day is scheduled for December 15, 2012 with lifts turning 9:00am–4:00pm Thursday – Sunday and holidays. The resort will be open daily December 20th through January 6th for Christmas break, adding seven consecutive days to the 2012-2013 season. Tamarack has increased its snowmaking capabilities, guaranteeing a December 15th opening regardless of mother nature. Lodging is available at the resort seven days a week, and skiers who stay four nights ski free! Also, for the first time, groups may rent the mountain for a fun-filled day on the slopes -- available Monday through Wednesday and non-holidays. Also new this year, smartphone users will have easy access to snow reports, web cams, and more when using the resort’s new mobile website.

This season Tamarack will continue improvements at the terrain park. Numerous hips and rails will be added and a special park for younger, more inexperienced riders will be available in the Discovery learning area.

The Nordic trail system has doubled in size to offer approximately 20 km of groomed trails including a new golf course loop with bi-weekly grooming. Nordic trails are open seven days a week. New this season, skiers may purchase Nordic season passes individually for families, adults and youth. Additionally, access to the Nordic trails is included with the purchase of a 2012-2013 alpine season pass.

Tamarack will be offering two multi-week lesson programs: The Trailblazers ski school program is geared for youth ages 4 – 11. This program is expanding to include higher level competitive, multi-day skiing. The Beginner’s Mountain Adventure Program is for ages 13 and up. Both options include multiple lessons, rentals, and a season pass for the 2012- 2013 season.
     Wolfe Ashcraft, 208.325.1067, washcraft(at)tmaidaho(dot)com, http://www.tamarackidaho.com

Lost Trail Powder Mountain, Idaho-Montana Border    
Workers were busy removing brush over the summer, opening almost 300 new acres of tree skiing for Idaho powder hounds this season. Thinning also opened up new glade terrain that will be a hit with anyone who likes off-run powder.
     Chris Johnson, 406.531.3336, chrisjohnson(at)losttrail(dot)com, http://www.losttrail.com

Idaho Winter Giveaways
Idaho winters promise bluebird skies, rays of sunshine, fantastic snow and spectacular skiing and boarding. Idaho Tourism and Ski Idaho want to offer everyone a cure for the wintertime blahs with spectacular skiing in Idaho. Beginning in October and running through early March, 2013, visit http://www.idahowinter.org to enter to win Idaho winter getaways. New offers are available every Friday and you can enter online with an email address. See the site for complete offer information and to register today.

Idaho Ski Areas Association
The Idaho Ski Areas Association (http://www.skiidaho.us) is a consortium of all Idaho ski areas with the goal of increasing the overall awareness of skiing and snowboarding in Idaho, developing new skiers and snowboarders at Idaho ski areas and promoting the interests of Idaho's alpine and Nordic snow sports industries.

Idaho – Adventures in Living
Idaho is home to thousands of miles of biking trails, mountains to climb, lakes to fish, 18 ski resorts and more whitewater than any other state in the lower 48. So take a break from it all and come out to play. Idaho—adventures in living. Visit http://www.visitidaho.org for more information and vacation ideas.

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Laurie McConnell