Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lodging Deals – Ski, Stay and Save!

Spring is the time for the best lodging deals in the season.

Bogus Basin -

Stay and Play
Stay at a participating Boise-area hotel this winter, 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 less value).
No blackout periods
One lift ticket voucher per guest, per night of stay in Boise
Lift tickets valid during time of stay only
Mention the "Stay and Play" offer when placing reservations at participating hotels

Stay and Play is offered through a partnership with the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau with underwriting grant support from the Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor, Tourism Division.

Also at Bogus—Pioneer Condominiums – stay slopeside, buy one alpine ticket and get another at 1/2 price.

Brundage -

Ski Free – Stay Free
Brundage Mountain is pleased to partner with to offer our customers a great way to enjoy a mini-vacation in the McCall, Idaho area. When you reserve 2 or more nights of lodging and 2 or more days of skiing, will buy an additional night and day of skiing at Brundage Mountain Resort for everyone reserved for the lodging stay.

Midweek Ski & Stay Packages 2007/2008 Starting at $134.60 per person:
2 full-day lift tickets for each person + 1 night's lodging at McCall's brand new AmericInn. (Price based on double occupancy, non-holiday, midweek, price does not include lodging tax.) For Reservations: Call 208-634-2230 or

Grand Targhee -

Internet Special – reservations accepted online only – save money, time and make it easy with Targhee’s online reservation system.

Midweek Lodging Special - Limited time offer - Book now!
Stay with us on a lodging/skiing package anytime Sunday through Thursday nights and enjoy discounted rates.

Season Pass Holder Deal for Select Partners
Bogus Basin, Ski the Summit at Snoqualmie, Pepple Creek, Deer Valley, Welch Village, Northstar, Sierra, and Powder Ridge Resort season pass holders can ski and snowboard for FREE at Grand Targhee Resort when lodging at non-discounted rates. 1 free lift ticket for each overnight stay, with a 2-night minimum. To book your reservation or for more information simply call toll-free 1-800-TARGHEE (827-4433)

Any North American ski area season pass holder can ski and snowboard for FREE at Grand Targhee Resort when lodging at non-discounted rates. 1 free lift ticket for each overnight stay,ket for each overnight stay, with a 2-night minimum. To book your reservation or for more information simply call toll-free 1-800-TARGHEE (827-4433) – this offer is not available through online booking. Please mention this offer and the discount code "BE" when making your reservation. Each pass holder must show their valid 2007-08 photo season pass at check-in. The offer is not valid with any other offers or promotions, and is based on availability

Lookout Pass -

Mention the Ski Idaho e-newsletter for ski packages starting at $109.00 plus tax!

The Wallace Inn ( and Stardust Motel in historic Wallace Idaho have the best and least expensive ski packages in Idaho and the surrounding northwest area.

Wallace Inn- queen bedded room for #2 persons with ski passes to Lookout Ski Resort including a complimentary glass of wine or beer each.

Stardust Motel- even more economical; a single bedded room at the Stardust with the same offer- $86.00!!!!!!!!!!!!1

*special group rates also available.
**silver mtn packages also available

Pebble Creek -

Buy one, get one free, lift tickets when you stay at participating Lava Hot Springs Hotels conveniently located less than an hour from Pebble Creek Ski area. Take advantage of Ski Packages all winter long.

Schweitzer -

Schweitzer Ski Week Deal Lodging Reservations: 877.487.4643

Experience Schweitzer with a Ski Week! 6 & 7 night stays available (including a weekend) for midweek rates!

Stay Slopeside & Ski Free from only $64 per person at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. Your package includes a one night stay for up to four people and free skiing for each person. Package is based on quad occupancy.

Silver Mountain -

From March through the end of the ski season, kids under 18 can ski for no additional charge with a minimum two-night stay at Morning Star Lodge.

Have a current season pass from another ski resort??
Ski FREE when you book a 3 night room package at Silver Mountain’s Morning Star Lodge. Must present valid and current season pass upon check-in. Offer valid now through end of season.

Ski & Stay Packages starting at $85 pp/do
Includes 1 night lodging and 1 day lift ticket.

Romance Packages
Enjoy an extraordinary evening or two at Morning Star Lodge with your sweetheart. Luxurious condo, Chilled Champagne or Huckleberry Wine, 2 complimentary Wine Glasses, Heart Shaped Bath Gel for the tub, souvenir candle and sweetheart chocolates.

Soldier Mountain --

Prairie Inn Ski/Stay Special
Stay at The Prairie Inn and ski with us and you will get $10.00 off your room rate. You will also receive a voucher good for a $10.00 discount on adult tickets and $5.00discount on youth tickets. Call (208) 764-2247 for reservations.

Soldier Mountain Ranch Ski/Stay Special
Stay with Soldier Mountain Ranch and ski with us and you will get $10.00 off your room rate. You will also receive a voucher good for a $10.00 discount on adult tickets and $5.00 discount on youth tickets. Call (208) 764-2506 for reservations.

Sun Valley -

Beginning Thursday, March 27, 2008, Sun Valley Resort will offer a special Spring Ski Package. Skiers are invited to stay in the Sun Valley Lodge or the Sun Valley Inn for only $74 per person double occupancy. This room rate includes a one day ski pass and can be booked for multiple days. This offer will continue through the end of the ski season.

Visit the Sun Valley Ketchum Chamber and Visitor’s Bureau for more information about hot lodging deals:

Tamarack -

Spring Packages
Spring Packages are valid from March 23rd – Winter Season Close

Stay & Ski Free
Starting from $124 per person, per night. Package includes a Lift Ticket per person, per lodging night.

March 23, 2008 - Winter Season Close Package
Based on quad occupancy in a three-bedroom Sawtooth or Bitterroot Chalet. One daily lift ticket per person per night booked is included in package. Three nights minimum stay is required for arrivals Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Four nights minimum stay is required for arrivals Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Discovery Package -- March 23, 2008 Winter Season Close
Starting from $133 per person, per night.
Package includes a Discovery Ticket per person, per lodging night.
Valid. Package is based on quad occupancy in an Owyhee Cottage. Two nights minimum stay is required. One-day Discovery Ticket per person per night booked is included in package. Discovery ticket includes access to all lifts, as well as the nordic and snowshoe trails. Package may be upgraded to include a massage at Sante Spa.

Backcountry Discovery Package -- March 23, 2008 - Winter Season Close 2008
Starting from $290 per person, per night.
Package includes a full-day backcountry experience trip per person, per lodging night.
Package is based on 8-person occupancy in an Estate Home. Full-day guided backcountry experience trip per person, per night booked is included in package. Two nights minimum stay is required.

Snowmobile Lodging Package -- March 23, 2008 - Winter Season Close
Starting from $217 per person, per night.
Package includes a guided snowmobile trip off Tamarack's summit per person, per lodging night. Package is based on quad occupancy in a two-bedroom townhome. Half-day guided snowmobile trip per person, per night booked is included in package. Two nights minimum stay is required.

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The end of winter is no reason to stow your gear.

Here’s what’s on the menu in Idaho this spring: Burgers grilling on the deck, corn snow on the slopes, and sunscreen on rosy cheeks—served under blue sky and sunshine. Skiing late March and early April in Idaho is special.

I took a special spring tour into the heart of Idaho shared in this issue. The spring conditions were perfect on a loop through Bogus Basin, Soldier Mountain and Sun Valley. Also featured are the terrain and amenities you’ll find at Tamarack, Bogus Basin and Magic Mountain. There’s also time left to get the best lodging deals of the season—learn all about them here. Take a look at the events calendar to pick your dates.

Blue skies, mild temperatures and hero snow make spring a great time to be on the slopes. In addition to better visibility and better weather, spring skiers can count on shorter lift lines and wide-open runs.

Best of all, 2008 offers spring skiing as good as it gets in Idaho, thanks to the deepest snow packs in years. Most resorts have a base of 10 feet or more. Plus, March is a great snow month. Spring rains in the city mean powder days on the hill.

Spring is also time to think about next winter. Season pass sales have started at all your favorite resorts. Buy now and save from 40-60 percent on next year’s winter fun. And keep your head up. Winter’s done, but the fun will go on in the mountains of Idaho.

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Tamarack: What’s your pleasure: luxury, adventure—or both?

The leadership driving Tamarack Resort are vying to set a new standard for the upscale winter experience in the heart of the scenic Payette River Mountains. The resorts well-heeled credentials include Bliss, a long, fast blue cruiser featured in SKI Magazine last fall. But for the ultimate Tamarack experience, consider a trip into the backcountry.

Tamarack’s attention to luxury amenities gets a lion’s share of attention, but this emerging big time resort is committed to backcountry touring. It’s got great assets to work with—over 5,000 acres of terrain under special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service, with more to come.

Tamarack’s guided backcountry services are designed for strong skiers and snowboarders with a thirst for adventure. Depending on the size of your group, you can ride in a snowcat or experience the thrill of skijoring behind a snowmobile. Professional guides show you untracked powder in glades and open bowls to the north and south of Tamarack’s in-bounds terrain. Half-day and full day trips are available.

Dropping from a ridgetop into the unknown and floating through virgin powder is an unforgettable experience. Your guide won’t steer you wrong. Just tell them what you like. Turn through wide-open spaces and cedar forests. Drop over cliffs or blast through the pillows of snow-covered boulder fields. It’s up to you.

Come back down to earth in-bounds and explore balanced terrain with cruisers, steeps, glades and cornices. Vertical totals 2,800 feet with 41 runs served by seven lifts, including three high-speed quads. Best of all there’s a limit of only 2,000 skiers a day on 1,110 acres.

This season Tamarack has made a big commitment to freeriders. If that’s your scene, don’t miss out on one of just six Olympic-sized SuperPipes in all of North America. The Hells Canyon Pipe opened in mid-January, featuring 22-foot high Olympic-caliber walls and a length of 450 feet.

Stay and Play:
Stay slopeside in two- and three-bedroom cottages, chalets and vacation homes at the base of Tamarack Mountain. Various packages are available all season long. For more information see Rooms are also available in the nearby towns of McCall to the north and Cascade to the south.

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Bogus Basin is a big-time hill with a local feel

Bogus Basin has it all: high speed lifts, night skiing, trees, bumps, double diamonds, cruisers, three terrain parks and great backcountry--all in a non-profit, affordable package.

The slopes are just 16.5 miles from Boise. The scenic, twisting road has over 200 curves from bottom to top. Despite the curves, the drive only takes about 35 minutes from downtown. Book a room in Boise at participating hotels in the mountain’s Stay and Play program and get two for one lift tickets for every night you stay.

With seven lifts and thousands of acres, Bogus Basin is a great mountain fit for any type of skier, whether you like your snowriding long and leisurely or difficult and challenging. Take time to explore. Ask for an escort by a Mountain Host. These red-jacketed guides know every inch of the hill and they love to show you around.

Or hook up with a local and ask for a trip OB and down "Chair 7" or through the infamous Triangle or Waterfall/911 areas on Pine Creek. Beginners enjoy Silver Queen Cabin Traverse. Lift 5 is great for intermediates. If you like long cruisers, Pine Creek is the place to go. For kids, there’s a mountain full of hidden "jump trails" to enjoy.

Enthusiasts agree the place to check out is The Face--several hundred acres of steep black and double diamond terrain with widely spaced trees, cliffs and cornices. Hike to the very top above Superior and follow the crest to cornices, cliffs and Idaho’s signature deep powder snow.

Bogus has three terrain parks. Each park throws out different lines and features to challenge freestyle skiers and riders at any skill level. For newbies to freestyle, Sunshine is a great introduction to park riding. Claim Jumper is geared for intermediate to advanced riders. Playground Freestyle features an exclusive Planet c- bowl wall ride that has Ski Trax as a riding surface - the only feature of its kind here in the west.

This year Bogus Basin is celebrating its Black Diamond Anniversary—65 years as Boise’s winter getaway. The mountain recreation area has been a non-profit, community-based ski area since it opened in 1942. Join the celebration this year for the best of winter in Idaho.


Eight things every skier and rider must do at Bogus Basin:

1. Check out the view of the valley from the top of Deer Point chair #1. Take a picture to send to your friends and family to make them jealous.

2. Eat an order of our famous bodacious chili cheese fries...yummy...

3. Enjoy mountain views from Pioneer Lodge, spectacular at night

4. Go night skiing or riding, a magical experience during a full moon. Chair 3 is open at night and it's your own private Idaho on the backside at night.

5. Scope at the action at any of our 3 terrain parks: the Sunshine terrain park (for beginners and young kids) off of Morning Star #2; or the Playground and Claim Jumper parks off of Deer Point #1 (for intermediate to expert freeriders)

6. Sit by the gas fireplace at the Frontier Point Nordic Center

7. Ride the Pepsi GoldRush Tubing Hill for a different kind of thrill

8. Free popcorn every day at 4pm in Simplot Lodge-just follow the aroma and help yourself!

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Upcoming Idaho Mountain Events


Saturday, March 29 – Spring Slopestyle
Sponsored by the Board Room, the final event in the Bogus Basin Freeride Series.

Sunday, April 13 -- Bogus Basin Season Closing Day Party
Celebrate Bogus Basin's final day of winter operation with a beach party in front of JR Simplot Lodge from 11:00am - 4:30pm. Music, barbeque, snow bar (snow conditions permitting) raffle prizes and tons of fun to celebrate a FABULOUS 2008-2009 season!


April 12-13 – Brundage Mountain Crazy Days
Unlimited fun in the sun to wrap up a great ski season. Events include: Pond Skimming, Poker Run, Ski marathon, live music and much, much more.


March 29 -- King of the Tetons '08
Sponsored by the Grand Targhee Ski & Snowboard Team, this race, AKA "Lady's Waist Nooodle Legs Free Ride Race," will start at the top of the mountain at the Ladies' Waist Trail and will be a 70 Giant Slalom course that ends at the Flats.

April 5 -- Habitat Rail Jam Contest Series (Finals) & Freestyle Clinic
In partnership with Habitat, Grand Targhee Ski & Snowboard School is offering a Freestyle Snowboard Clinic and Rail Jam series. The Rail Jam is open to both skiers and snowboarders. All Freestyle clinic participants receive free entry into the Rail Jam contest.

April 12 -- 8th Annual Cardboard Box Derby
What a great way to end the season!


March 29 - 30 Slush Cup - Pond Skimming Events

April 4 -- Projected last day of the season

Apr. 12 - 19 Possible Saturday operations - Depending on conditions


April 5 – Tropical Daze
Come celebrate the finale to another great season! From pond skimming and the downhill dummy contest; to live music, rubber duck hunt & some great spring skiing.


March 29-30 – Silver Cup Races

April 4/5 -- Founder's Weekend

April 5 -- Spring Carnival: Pond Skimming, Sun & Snow

April 6 -- Last day of Regular Winter Operations


April 5 -- Super Sweet Saturdays of Spring: Ugly Sweater Day

April 10 -- Coleman Open: USSA FreeStyle Comp
Come compete in Moguls, Dual Moguls, SlopeStyle and SuperPipe (and if not Pipe- comp will be a Big Air). This is a USSA sponsored event, so you must be registered with USSA to compete.

April 12 -- Super Sweet Saturdays of Spring: Dummy Downhill and Flashback Day


March 28/29 -- Holding Cup
The Annual Holding Cup Intercollegiate Alumni Handicap Race begins March 28 with some new rules. Teams will be composed of 4 members over the age of 21 who have attended the same university. The first 3 places win money for their college ski team. Visit for further details or call Sun Valley Events at 208-726-2777.

April 4 – Sun Valley Telemark Race Series
Hawaiian Nationals: Duel GS and Tandem Telemark Challenge

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Magic Mountain offers a great family experience

It’s not the biggest hill--or the highest. But Magic Mountain compensates for it by other means.

Magic Mountain is the type of place you want to take your kids so that they know what skiing is all about. It’s one of several small community hills in Idaho that are just as important as the big time hills in terms of fueling passion for the sport.

With 280 acres of territory, Magic is a great little area with no crowds, lots of groomers, friendly people at work, and lots of snow. Even with a summit at just 3,200 feet, yearly snowfall averages almost 15 feet. Best of all skiing here is affordable for the whole family. An adult pass is only 25 bucks and kids under six are free.

But the slopes aren’t all mellow. Some are steep. There’s great new tree runs, and even cliffs to jump. The "terrain park" is a charming hangout with hand made rails local kids have built in their welding lab at school. Plus, the new tubing hill is a hoot. Magic has enough variety to keep you going all day.

This season at Magic the lodge and restrooms are newly remodeled. A new diesel motor for the chair lift makes it faster and smoother. The snow and ski board rental inventory has also been updated.

Magic Mountain is a hidden gem, but its easy to find and easy to get to, 28 miles South of Hansen on Rock Creek Road. Numerous hotels in Twin Falls are less than an hour away. Anyone looking for a great family ski experience at a great price should make the trip.

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The Best of Idaho continued…

Spring skiing in the heart of Idaho

Springtime is a wonderful time for skiing. For the best spring skiing in the world, the place is Sun Valley. To get there from Boise you drive by a couple of great mountains along the way. This time I pulled over at Bogus Basin and Soldier Mountain.

Drive or fly to Boise and the slopes of Bogus Basin are just 16 miles from downtown. I traveled with my wife Claire downstate by car. We drove past turnoffs to four ski areas en route. The next morning we were skiing at Bogus, 45 minutes after leaving the hotel. About four inches of snow fell overnight.

Springtime is a wonderful time for skiing. For the best spring skiing in the world, the place is Sun Valley. To get there from Boise you drive by a couple of great mountains along the way. This time I pulled over at Bogus Basin and Soldier Mountain.

Drive or fly to Boise and the slopes of Bogus Basin are just 16 miles from downtown. I traveled with my wife Claire downstate by car. We drove past turnoffs to four ski areas en route. The next morning we were skiing at Bogus, 45 minutes after leaving the hotel. About four inches of snow fell overnight.

We were treated like royalty. Bogus marketing executive Gretchen Anderson set us up with a team of Mountain Hosts. Mountain Hosts are a team of expert locals who cruise the piste, showing people how to find what they’re looking for.

Bogus Basin has 2,600 acres with ridgelines running to two main peaks: Deer Point and Schafer Butte. Our mountain hosts showed us a representative sample of Bogus terrain accessed by six lifts. You need more than a day to see all of Bogus.

My wife veered off with two hosts to go cruising. I followed a trio of red jackets off piste. We skied glades until it was time to have grilled burgers in a yurt at the summit of Deer Point.

After lunch we warmed back up with a few speed runs down Shaker Ridge and Wildcat, then returned to the trees. We did as much as we could in a day—including cold beer and free popcorn in the Simplot Lodge. Leaving Bogus we reeled in Boise, winding our way down the road in late afternoon sunshine. Later Claire and I checked out nightlife downtown.

Next morning we drove into the sunrise down I-84 to Mountain Home. There the route leaves the desert into the mountains east on highway 20. At Fairfield we had breakfast at the Sawtooth Inn before driving north 12 miles to Soldier Mountain.

Soldier Mountain has 1,200 acres of fun for $30, high up in the Sawtooth National Forest. You can see great fall lines for a hundred miles. In-bounds, south facing slopes are wide-open bowls. Glades line the north aspects. I stayed in the sunshine, skiing off Soldier Peak, Pioneer Peak and Mill Point.

Again and again I cruised by the outdoor grill on my way to the lift. Finally the aroma of charbroiled burgers won out over one more run. Cold beer sat in tubs full of ice. Claire and I ate a late lunch on the deck, soaking up the afternoon sun. We hated to leave but we had to keep rolling. Our next stop was the Sun Valley Lodge.

Continuing east from Fairfield, highway 20 is crossed by highway 75, the road to Sun Valley. Drive to this classic destination, the Sawtooth range closes in. Bald Mountain is an iconic backdrop to Ketchum and the resort of Sun Valley.

The Sun Valley Lodge defined alpine elegance in 1936 and still does. Its rich history gives it a special aura. Hallways are lined with over 70 years of photographs showing Hollywood stars, Olympic legends and world leaders returning to earth at Sun Valley.

We rendezvoused with my in-laws, John and Janet Peterson. John has been skiing Sun Valley since 1950. He made reservations for dinner at the Ketchum Grill. From the looks of the crowd, it had to be the most popular restaurant in town. After drinking the wine and eating the food, I wasn’t surprised.

As dawn broke I looked out the window and saw a perfect day at Sun Valley. A shuttle that runs every 15 minutes took us to River Run, one of two main access areas to the slopes. Claire and I placed ourselves in the capable hands John. He showed us the best way to enjoy the mountain on a perfect spring day.

John Peterson is a youthful 77. He prefers to spend the morning carving in the sun on Seattle Ridge. To get there one must first go to the top of Baldy, where we looked out on a panorama of the Sawtooth Range bathed in sunshine.

After a gourmet lunch in the Seattle Ridge Lodge, we redeployed. Failing to sustain a run top to bottom down Warm Springs, my quads cried in pain. Not sure what I was thinking. If there’s a faster surface in bounds than Picabo’s Street, let me know.

On the deck in the sun at River Run, we had a cold pint of Gretchen’s Gold. The bus took us back to the lodge and a nap. Later John treated us to a memorable feast at the Ram in the Challenger Inn, about a five-minute walk from the Sun Valley Lodge.

One of the coolest things about the Sun Valley Lodge is Sun Valley Serenade, a classic Hollywood romance made on location in the early 1940’s. It plays again and again 24 hours a day on a cable channel piped into your room.

Sun Valley Serenade could be the first ski movie ever made. Filmed in black and white, the familiar vistas take on an ethereal quality. The skiers performing on camera in place of the actors were the best of their time. The movie inspired adventure in the golden age of film. After a perfect day at Sun Valley, that will never change.

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