Sunday, December 14, 2014

Brundage Wants New Snowmaking Machines Within Two Years

Posted By on Sun, Dec 14, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Southwest Idaho should see another significant change in the weather in the coming week, beginning with a good amount of fog in the early morning hours of Monday, moist air pushing in more precipitation by mid week and a much greater chance of sustained snowfall in higher elevations by Wednesday. 

And the region's resort operators couldn't be happier—ski opportunities have been spare with only the Sun Valley Resort approaching near-normal operations. But that, in large part, is due to Sun Valley's massive snow-making machinery.

And managers at the Brundage Mountain Resort are now saying that they hope to have their own snowmaking equipment in place within two years. The McCall Star-News is reporting that Brundage operators dread a repeat of December 2013, when there was ample snow on upper slopes but inadequate levels closer to the lodge. But now, the Star-News reports that Brundage is looking to have snowmaking guns for the lower third of Brundage slopes by the 2016-2017 season. In particular, they want more snowmaking around the Bear chairlift and at the base area.

But first things first—Brundage officials say they first need to rework the resort's current master plan by sitting down with officials of the Payette National Forest.

Brundage boasts 1,500 acres of in-bound and 18,000 acres of backcountry skiing, and had 125,000 visitors last season.   

But as of Sunday morning, Brundage had reported three inches of new snow in the past 48 hours, resulting in a total of 28 inches at the summit. That's still not enough for an opening.

"We will open for the winter season as soon as mother nature gives us enough snow to properly pack and groom our slopes," Brundage wrote on its web page.

Historically, Brundage has made as much as 25 percent of its seasonal revenue before Jan. 1, all the more reason to motivate operators to get new snowmaking equipment within a couple of years.

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