Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area has raised more than $6 million during its capital campaign, the popular ski area announced Wednesday.
Of that money, $5 million will be earmarked for installation of a snowmaking system that will guarantee openings for the Deer Point and Morning Star chairlifts before Christmas in future years.
The announcement was timed to coincide with the ski area’s 75th birthday.
“This year was the poster child for snowmaking,” said General Manager Brad Wilson, who has been unable to start running lifts this season because of a lack of natural snow. “We would be open and providing top-to-bottom skiing on Deer Point and Morning Star and doing robust business at this point. More importantly, it would give our pass holders and winter enthusiasts something to ski on. It is a major priority of ours to get into snowmaking. I knew we’d be able to figure out how to do it, but I never had any idea how we’d pay for it. ... This is super-exciting for us and the community.”
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There’s a lot of work still to be done, including the permitting process, so snowmaking likely won’t arrive at Bogus Basin until 2019-20 or later.
The capital campaign continues. The next priority: Replace the Morning Star lift, a slow triple chair that is a key access point to the Pioneer Lodge, parking lots and the back side of the mountain. The new lift is expected to cost from $2.5 million to $3 million, Wilson said.