Let us make sure we have our facts straight. Lift tickets and season passes at 49, for adults, are notably less expensive than both Schweitzer and Red Mountain. This can’t be argued; go to their websites and see for yourself. The drive, if you are anywhere near Spokane, is always going to be just over an hour to 49. Schweitzer and Red can’t claim this. You will be spending more time in your car and less time on the hill when driving to either Sandpoint or Rossland. And as much as they try to market it as a unique amenity, waiting in line to ride a gondola just to get to the base area of Silver Mt isn’t exactly convenient. Lastly, is 49 really the ONLY ski resort out there that publishes suspect snow reports? Really? I doubt it.
49 isn’t perfect. They should spend more time maintaining their existing lifts and improving their sub-par terrain park than needlessly extending Chair 2 three towers and expanding their parking lot. However, they legitimately have the shortest lift lines than any mountain I’ve ever been to, their glade skiing on a pow day is awesome, and they’re not susceptible to windy weather causing lift closures (unlike Schweitzer or Silver).
I’ve spent my fair share of days at all of the aforementioned resorts and I often wish I could cruise up to 49, stress-free, rather than fight the traffic and parking lot madness that I deal with now that I live on the west side of the state. Small-town ski hills aren’t necessarily a bad thing.