Area Ski Resorts Want More Snow, but Still Keeping Busy
HANSEN, Idaho (KLIX) – There hasn’t been much snow on the valley floor, but for the most part area ski resorts say they’re doing good business this season.
Magic Mountain Resort opened Dec. 26, and according to co-owner Suzette Miller the resort has been drawing steady crowds.
“We were thankful to be open for the holidays. Business has been amazing,” she said. “The season has been great.”
She said the resort, which sits on 120 acres and has three lifts and 11 trails, will likely stay open until late March.
Jody Burrows, co-owner of Pomerelle Mountain Resort near Albion, said her resort also is keeping busy.
Pomerelle opened Dec. 22, and while she hasn’t seen the amount of snow as in previous years, there’s enough to draw people from all over south-central Idaho.
“We book schools in from all over the Magic Valley and beyond, seven days a week and five nights a week,” she said.
Burrows said in the 35 years that she’s been with the resort she’s never seen it close due to lack of snow. It helps that it has a snowmaking machine, something the resort purchased about 10 years ago. For this season, the resort started making snow in November.
But even without the machine, at some 8,000 feet elevation, Pomerelle Mountain has more snow than people who haven’t visited might expect. On Tuesday, Burrows said there was about 50 inches of snow at the base and around 57 inches at top.
When the resort does close for the season, it’s only because activities die down as people shift their interests to spring's warmer weather activities. The resort will stay open until late March, but possibly longer, depending on the crowds.
Until then, the resort has several activities planned to pad out the season, including a Ladies Day on Feb. 6, Kids Race Day on Feb. 17, and Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day events.
Another regional ski resort also is open, having recently experienced its first weekend of the season.
Soldier Mountain Ski Area in Fairfield, which has a top elevation of 7,200 feet, delayed its opening to Jan. 28 as it waited for enough snow, and as of Thursday had about 28 inches of powder, according to Diane McFerran, who owns the resort with her husband Matt.
"We were waiting on more snow; it was the soonest that we could open,” she said, though it did open cat skiing the week before. “It was nice. A lot of people, both guests and staff, have been waiting to get out and play in the snow.”
There are still some patchy areas without a lot of new snow, McFerran said Thursday morning, but she said all of the mountain's 35 trails were open.
McFerran said the resort, which does not own a snowmaking machine, has not planned any winter events right now because of the unpredictability of this season’s snowfall. The last two seasons the mountain was open to skiing from mid-December to late March.
“We’d sure love to be open until the end of March this year,” she said, but that depends on Mother Nature.