Skiing and riding returned to Tamarack Resort last winter after a 21-month closure. Tamarack Municipal Association (TMA), the local homeowners group that stepped in to get the lifts running again, closed out a successful season and stands poised to run them again if a buyer isn't found.
"We are just really trying to stay positive and keep the place open until they find a buyer," TMA Chairman of the Board Doug Dvorak said. "There are still several interested parties looking to buy."
TMA deemed last year's operation successful based on closing out the season with $1,000 in the black.
"We had an 80 percent positive response from the Tamarack homeowners, and the real positive news is that we put 80 people to work," Dvorak said. "We now have all our ducks in order for continuing operations for this winter."
Those ducks include keeping the lifts up to par.
"We've invested several thousand in upgrades to lifts to meet inspection and maintenance schedules," Dvorak said. "We had to roll the dice and hope that our partners will say 'yes.' There's no guarantee, but it's looking positive."
Skiers enjoy the Grove at Tamarack Resort. Photo courtesy of Tamarack Resort.
The homeowners group is still working with Credit Suisse and the State Land Board of Idaho to nail down terms for operating this year. But TMA is hoping to open Dec. 15 and run the lifts on the same schedule as last year: Thursdays through Sundays, holiday weekends, two weeks at Christmas and spring break.
Season passes have been on sale since last spring. Dvorak reports that more than 1,000 have already been sold. Similar to last year, the money is being held in escrow until the resort opens for the season. Season pass purchasers can get a full refund should Tamarack not open this winter.
Two of Tamarack's lifts, repossessed by Bank of America, did not run last year. The threatened sale of those lifts failed to materialize, and Dvorak indicated that TMA is working to keep them.
The Tamarack drama has bounced through bankruptcy court after majority owner J.P. Boespflug defaulted on loans. If a buyer does not come forward, the ski area could go to a sheriff's sale.
"The best speculation is March or April at the earliest," Dvorak said. "In the meantime, we're just trying to be a solution to our homeowners and hope for a new buyer to operate the resort."