Carly Chandler, 208.651.1861, email@example.com
Tony Harrison, 208.880.9814, tony@COMMposition.biz
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ski Idaho this summer
Over half of Idaho’s ski resorts offer summer mountain biking adventures
BOISE, Idaho (May 22, 2020) — In concert with Gov. Brad Little’s Idaho Rebounds phased approach to reopening the state economy in the wake of COVID-19, 10 Ski Idaho resorts will offer summer mountain biking adventures and more. In fact, some will open just in time for Memorial Day weekend.
Tamarack Resort in Donnelly began scenic chairlift rides May 21, opens its Waterfront Cabana for motorized and nonmotorized boat rentals May 22, and initiates lift-served mountain biking May 28 depending on mid-mountain snowmelt. The lift will operate Thursdays-Sundays for scenic rides and mountain biking through Sept. 13 and on Memorial Day and Labor Day. The International Mountain Bicycling Association created the resort’s 25-mile trail system.
Beginning June 6, also depending on mid-mountain snowmelt, Tamarack will offer zip line canopy tours that explore 3,500 feet of terrain, including eight different zip lines, two suspension bridges, and a 105-foot-high tree house. The resort’s guided whitewater rafting trips on the Cabarton stretch of the North Fork of the Payette River will kick off mid-June.
Tamarack resumed its dining and lodging services, opened its meadow hiking and biking trails for complementary use, and restarted real estate tours May 16.
Visit TamarackIdaho.com for more details about the resort and https://tamarackidaho.com/covid-19-health-and-safety-plan for its COVID-19 plan.
Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area, close to the historic town of Wallace, is opening the Route of the Hiawatha Memorial Day weekend on May 22.
Considered the crown jewel of the nation’s rails-to-trails initiative, the 15-mile Route of the Hiawatha’s gentle 2-percent, all-downhill ride straddles the Idaho-Montana state line, delves 10 tunnels, crosses seven sky-high train trestles, and sports shuttle service. Attracting more than 60,000 riders last summer, the Route of the Hiawatha is by far the most popular ski area bike trail in the country.
It is accessible daily through Sept. 20 and is offering full-moon night rides June 5, July 5, Aug. 3, and Sept. 2 by reservation only. Phone (208) 744-1234 ext. 19 to reserve a full-moon night ride.
New this summer, Lookout Pass will begin offering scenic chairlift rides on its new Peak 1 Quad June 12 and lift-served mountain bike trail rides from the summit June 19. Both will operate Fridays-Sundays and over all holiday periods through early October.
The resort will construct more trails and enhance existing ones over the course of the summer. However, there is still a fair amount of snow on the trails, so construction on mountain biking trails can’t begin at the moment. At the beginning of the season, Lookout Pass visitors can ride down existing trails and access roads, with the resort adding new trails (very old cross-country trails that will be cleaned up) throughout the summer.
The Wallace Inn, a lodging partner with Lookout Pass, is offering three deals this summer:
- Ride and Stay — One night of lodging in a deluxe single queen room for $159 weekdays / $169 weekends includes two adult trail passes and two adult shuttle passes for the Route of the Hiawatha.
- Hiawatha Extravaganza — Two nights of lodging in a deluxe single queen room for $218 weekdays / $239 weekends includes two adult trail passes and two adult shuttle passes for the Route of the Hiawatha.
- Family Fun Package — One night of lodging in a double queen room for $259 weekdays / $279 weekends includes two adult trail passes, two child trail passes, two adult shuttle passes, and two child shuttle passes for the Route of the Hiawatha.
Visit TheWallaceInn.com for more details about the hotel.
Meanwhile, 27 miles west of Lookout Pass, Silver Mountain Resort in the North Idaho town of Kellogg is opening for summer over Memorial Day weekend, too. Weekend operations — which include mountain biking and scenic rides on North America’s longest gondola — start May 23, with daily operations commencing June 26-Sept. 7. Weekend operations will continue through Oct. 4.
Snow still remains in the resort’s Chair 3 Zone, so mountain biking will only be open for gondola-served top-to-bottom runs on opening weekend. Since Silver Mountain’s easiest mountain bike trails all reside in the Chair 3 Zone, the resort has reserved opening weekend for experienced bikers only.
Voted Best in the Northwest on four separate occasions in the MTBparks.com Riders’ Choice Awards as recently as 2017 and earning second place last year, Silver Mountain Bike Park maintains almost 40 singletrack trails that span 3,300 vertical feet. This year the resort has rerouted some trails to improve flow and added some bigger berms and jumps on the advanced trails.
The resort also boasts the state’s largest indoor waterpark, Silver Rapids, which opens Memorial Day Weekend, too. However, due to COVID-19 concerns, the resort is limiting waterpark access to Silver Mountain lodging guests only.
Activities at Silver Mountain also include trail hiking and running, and the resort’s exquisite nine-hole Galena Ridge Golf Course is tucked away in the mountains of the Silver Valley.
Although many summer events at the resort have been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, the resort currently plans to host its Friday night Ride & Dine mountaintop barbeques that feature live music and 360-degree views of the surrounding peaks.
The Northwest Cup, a premier mountain bike race series for all ages and abilities, is still slated for July 17-19. Brewsfest, Silver Mountain’s mountaintop craft beer-tasting event, is slated for Aug. 15. And Silveroxx, a three-day celebration of all things mountain bikes, will take place Sept. 25-27, the closing weekend for the resort’s summer operations.
Silver Mountain will open its newly renovated hotel, the Silver Inn, June 6. A less-expensive option than the resort’s Morning Star Lodge, the Silver Inn is only two minutes away from the Gondola Village by car.
Visit SilverMt.com for more details about the resort and https://silvermt.com/mountain-news/details/covid-19 for its COVID-19 plan.
Kelly Canyon Ski Resort in Eastern Idaho is targeting May 29 as opening day for its second summer season. Like last summer, the resort will operate Thursdays-Saturdays. Kelly Canyon is planning a grand opening event (date TBA) this summer since 2020 will be its first full summer season of operations.
Kelly Canyon is currently smoothing and refining the initial 18 miles of lift-served mountain bike trails it completed last year, and more trails and features are in the works. Riders can also explore less steep trails at the foot of the mountain without using the lift. World-renowned bike trail developer Alpine Bike Parks out of Whistler, B.C., provided initial design consulting.
Citing a growing number of National Interscholastic Cycling Association teams and hundreds of local youth joining, Kelly Canyon will complete a 4-mile loop designed especially for NICA teams to practice their riding skills on days the lifts are not turning in the bike park.
In addition, the resort announced it is in the design phase of its first-ever overnight lodging facilities. Kelly Canyon hopes to roll out some lodging units in late summer.
Visit SkiKelly.com for more details about the resort.
Just across the border in Alta, Wyo., Grand Targhee affiliates with the Idaho Ski Areas Association because the resort is only accessible via Driggs, Idaho. It will open for downhill biking on June 19, conditions permitting.
Ranked among the Northwest’s top-five bike parks in the MTBparks.com Riders’ Choice Best Bike Parks Awards for six consecutive years, Grand Targhee offers 2,200 vertical feet of lift-serviced downhill and more than 60 miles of multi-use trails.
Other activities include scenic chairlift rides, a nature center, horseback riding, trail hiking and running, and an 8,000-foot-long, 18-hole disc golf course.
Grand Targhee is not selling pool season passes this summer due to COVID-19 concerns, but it will offer 90-minute pool sessions with 30-minute breaks between each so employees can clean the pool area, changing rooms, and restrooms.
The resort has also canceled its annual music festivals this summer, including Targhee Fest, Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival, and Targhee Music Camp. In addition, all other events and group functions have been cancelled through July 13.
Grand Targhee has not yet determined if it will offer a summer kids camp, bungee trampolines, climbing wall, or gold panning.
Vacation rentals at the resort will resume June 1, and it is currently working through the final details for on-mountain lodging and summer food and beverage services.
In addition, Grand Targhee will offer RV, sprinter, car, and tent camping this summer, and a designated number of spaces may be purchased online.
Visit GrandTarghee.com for more details about the resort.
In Southwest Idaho’s West Central Mountains near the resort town of McCall, Brundage Mountain is targeting June 20 for its opening day this summer. The BlueBird Express lift will operate the last two weekends of June and then Wednesday-Sunday from July through Labor Day.
Brundage Mountain Bike Park has a fresh experience to offer all types of mountain bikers this year as trail crews improve and expand options for downhill and cross-country riders. Last summer, the resort completed Lakeview Vista, a new 4-mile XC trail at the top of the mountain, as well as a base-area XC trail, Hammerhead, bringing the bike park’s total mileage to 26 miles.
This summer, work will focus on creating a new XC trail that connects to Thorn Creek and a new downhill trail, Wildcat, off the existing Elk trail. Crews will also break ground on a new stretch of trail that skirts around the mountain linking Lakeview Vista on the south side with Grouse near Sargent’s Peak and traverses the entire bike park area.
The mountain also offers scenic chairlift rides that afford a 360-view at the summit that includes silhouettes of Idaho’s Seven Devils Wilderness, Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness, and sweeping vistas of the Payette Lakes.
Hikers can take the chairlift to the top and explore short, scenic trails from the summit or choose longer, multi-use routes to soak in more of the mountain’s beauty.
Brundage also boasts a 2,500-foot-long, nine-hole disc golf course in the base area, outdoor dining at Smoky’s Bar & Grill, and a grassy amphitheater that provides a charming, spacious, fresh-air environment for summer concerts.
Biking season at Schweitzer Mountain Resort in North Idaho near Sandpoint begins June 26, with daily operations continuing through Sept. 7. The resort maintains more than 40 miles of mountain bike trails, and it also offers a 2-hour hosted E-bike tour daily.
Schweitzer’s summer visitors also can take side-by-side rides on dual, 700-foot zip lines, play disc golf on its 18-hole course, and enjoy scenic chairlift rides on the Great Escape Quad to the summit. The latter serves up breathtaking views of Lake Pend Oreille and the Selkirk, Bitterroot, and Cabinet mountain ranges.
Other summer activities include hiking and trail running, geocaching, bungee trampolines, a 25-foot climbing wall, gold panning, huckleberry picking, and horseback riding.
Schweitzer still plans to host its Northwest Winefest July 18-19, the Huckleberry Color Fun Run Aug. 9, and Fall Fest over Labor Day weekend. All events are subject to change.
Bogus Basin in Southwest Idaho near Boise plans to open for the summer June 27. It will operate seven days a week through Aug. 16 and will remain open Fridays-Sundays through Labor Day weekend. From that point, the resort will open Saturdays and Sundays through the first weekend of October, weather permitting.
MTBproject.com ranks Around the Mountain at Bogus Basin as the number-one mountain bike trail in Idaho. The recreation area also serves as the main access point to the Mahalo and Dry Creek trails, collectively ranked number two in the state.
The nonprofit recreation area currently maintains 23 mountain bike trails, but it is developing a new bike park off its Morning Star Express high-speed quad chairlift. Alpine Bike Parks, the world-renowned Canadian bike trail developer that assisted Kelly Canyon, will construct four new downhill trails designed to serve a range of skill levels that are scheduled to be complete for use this summer.
Bogus Basin has spent nearly $22 million on infrastructure improvements over the past four years, transitioning the area into a year-round destination for recreation and education.
Beyond biking, Bogus Basin operates the Glade Runner, the Pacific Northwest’s first mountain coaster. The recreation area also offers scenic chairlift rides, summer tubing, gold panning at the Shafer Butte Mining Co., and trail hiking and running.
Bogus Basin has currently suspended its Music on the Mountain series for this summer as a precautionary measure. In addition, the area’s climbing wall and bungee trampoline will not operate — at least for the beginning of the summer.
World-famous Sun Valley Resort in South Central Idaho has not announced when it will begin lift-served mountain biking this summer. However, it did begin a phased reopening May 16, and the resort’s three championship golf courses and most area driving ranges are already open for daily operations. Lodging is expected to resume May 30.
The nation’s first destination ski resort and global birthplace of lift-assisted skiing, Sun Valley boasts hundreds of miles of singletrack and more than 3,000 vertical feet of descent. Riders also have easy access to more than 30 miles of paved, car-free bike paths throughout the Wood River Valley. In addition, the resort offers an array of activities, scenic gondola rides, a spa, a shooting range, bowling, fly fishing, hiking, trail running, ice skating, tennis, paddle boats, fishing, beach volleyball on Sun Valley Lake, three outdoor swimming pools, and concerts at the Sun Valley Pavilion and River Run.
The resort has cancelled its ice shows for this summer due to COVID-19 concerns.
Pomerelle Mountain Resort in Southern Idaho near Albion hasn’t determined the extent of its summer operations yet. An announcement is forthcoming in the next week or so.
During typical summers, the resort offers lift-served mountain biking, but Pomerelle has no rentals so riders must bring their own cycles. It also maintains an 18-hole course that serves up some of the finest high-altitude disc golfing in the state. Discs are available for rent, but play is free unless visitors want to ride the chairlift to the top of the course. They also can play volleyball, enjoy scenic chairlift rides, and hike and run trails.
Visit Pomerelle.com for more details about the resort.
Re: COVID-19 plans
Ski Idaho resorts have collaborated with the Idaho Ski Areas Association to create and implement COVID-19 operational and safety guidelines to address the spread of the novel coronavirus and to ensure the safety of staff and the public. The sources for these protocols are CDC-guided policies and best management practices along with OSHA guidelines, state and federal rules and guidelines, and guidance from the National Ski Areas Association.
With the health and wellness of staff and guests the top priority, Ski Idaho resorts have established COVID-19 taskforces that meet daily to develop and implement safety protocols.
For employees, these protocols include: Required COVID-19 testing for all employees; completion of a daily health survey prior to work; extensive training on proper disinfecting, sanitizing and PPE use; requirement to wear face masks when unable to maintain physical distance guidelines, or in a communal area, such as restrooms; instructions to deep clean and disinfect all areas, using cleaners approved by the EPA; and a specific COVID-19 janitorial department to assure frequent, effective sanitizing and disinfecting occurs in all areas, and on all equipment, especially where guest contact occurs.
For guests, these protocols will include: Requirement to follow physical distancing guidelines; requests that anyone experiencing potential COVID-19 symptoms refrain from visiting; strong recommendations to wear face masks when in line or in designated communal zones; and implementation of a range of precautionary measures, such as hand sanitizer, reduced contact at points of purchase, satellite first-aid services, and more.
About Ski Idaho
Founded in 1982, the Idaho Ski Areas Association, a.k.a. Ski Idaho, is a nonprofit association funded in part by the Idaho Travel Council via the state’s 2 percent lodging tax paid by travelers and collected by hotel, motel, and private campground owners. Boasting 28,000 vertical feet of terrain spanning more than 20,000 acres, Idaho is the birthplace of lift-assisted skiing, home to America’s first destination ski resort, and often considered the soul of skiing. Its 18 family friendly Alpine ski resorts offer trails and backcountry for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and skill levels, breathtaking views, hundreds of inches of fresh powder, and short lift lines. Many Ski Idaho resorts open for the summer season, as well, to serve up lift-served mountain biking, scenic chairlift rides, hiking and trail running, disc golf, and more. Visit skiidaho.us for more details.
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VIDEO + PHOTO ASSETS
- photos — flickr.com/photos/commposition/albums/72157705224527392
- Bogus Basin video — https://youtu.be/K59az_d-Jts
- Brundage Mountain video — https://youtu.be/7pLh9xwaGv4
- Grand Targhee video — https://youtu.be/J4bfNS4_8no
- Kelly Canyon video — https://youtu.be/YMpsYWwGAeQ
- Lookout Pass / Route of the Hiawatha video — https://youtu.be/1e0hOY8C-wY
- Pomerelle video — https://youtu.be/cStFEIy4VZM
- Schweitzer Mountain video — https://youtu.be/mOf2LtBiqKg
- Silver Mountain video — https://youtu.be/iHoffprlQvc
- Sun Valley video — https://youtu.be/DTZtKF8WQbI
- Tamarack Resort video — https://youtu.be/cL8xzFG7uQ0
- More Ski Idaho videos — youtube.com/user/Idahosoulofskiing