Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area has seen 25,000 visitors so far this ski season. This time last year? It hadn’t even opened.
“We’re euphoric,” said Susan Saad, director of development for the ski area.
Bogus has received 71 inches overall this season and currently has a 38-inch base. National Weather Service forecasts show the ski area could get up to 24 inches of new snow by the weekend.
Bogus opened the Friday after Thanksgiving and had two strong weekends after that — thanks to all the snow, said Bogus General Manager Brad Wilson. That was the earliest the ski area has opened since the 2010-11 season.
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Wilson said this season is pivotal for the ski area, which has struggled the past four years due to poor ski conditions.
“Because we are a nonprofit, we don’t have a giant corporation backing us up,” Wilson said. “It’s hard to speculate, but it would have been fairly devastating for us to have another year like last year.”
The ski area does a lot of business during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Current conditions and the forecast bode well.
“Being 100 percent open leading into that time is terrific,” Wilson said.
Bogus Basin season pass sales were down 40 percent in 2014. Sales are up about 22 percent from last year, but ski area officials declined to release season pass sales numbers.
Wilson believes pent-up demand from the past few years is helping drive numbers up this year. Bogus logged 173,000 total visits during 2014-15, down about 29 percent over the previous season and more than 50 percent from 2009-10.
Bogus will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2017. A “Beyond 75” feasibility study was done on operations, market conditions and enhancing customer experience.
Wilson said customers surveyed for the study indicated they wanted to see Bogus increase its snow-making capabilities. The ski area has purchased a couple new snow guns — a single snow gun costs $25,000 — but there are infrastructure and water issues that still need to be worked out. Bogus officials plan to expand programs and events during the summer, including more mountain biking.
Bogus will be expanding its terrain parks this weekend, adding more jumps, rails and boxes. They hope to have a top-to-bottom terrain park off the Deer Point Express Chairlift completed by Christmas.
“We’re far ahead of where we expected to be,” Wilson said. “This is really something special, and I hope everybody gets a chance to come up and see how good the skiing is.”
Bogus Basin annual visits
Source: Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area