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Camp Rainbow Gold

Camp Rainbow Gold children and staff members are pictured in summer 2018 at Cathedral Pines near Ketchum.

FAIRFIELD — After a few months of due diligence, nonprofit Camp Rainbow Gold announced Monday it will proceed with the purchase of Soldier Mountain Ranch and Resort north of town.

In November 2018, Camp Rainbow Gold announced it reached an agreement to purchase the Camas County property for $1.3 million. The purchase was conditional on the findings of a 90-day period, which is now complete.

The site in Fairfield will be the permanent home for Camp Rainbow Gold’s oncology, sibling and family camps.

“We feel confident we have considered every detail, reviewed every inspection report and carefully taken the time to ensure the right fit,” Camp Rainbow Gold executive director Elizabeth Lizberg said in a statement Monday. “We want to thank everyone for the outpouring of support and excitement throughout this process. We’re thrilled for this opportunity to secure the future of Camp Rainbow Gold.”

The approximately 150-acre property has 26 buildings, including 21 cabins. It’s unaffiliated with Soldier Mountain Ski Area, also near Fairfield.

Camp Rainbow Gold was founded in 1985 by Twin Falls general surgeon Dr. David McClusky II with the goal of offering children who’ve been diagnosed with cancer the chance to experience the outdoors.

The organization has operated summer camps for children who have cancer — and for their siblings and families — in the Sawtooth National Forest near Ketchum for many years. It currently leases facilities at Cathedral Pines and Camp Perkins.

The nonprofit’s goal was to build a permanent home on a 260-acre site in a rural area near Ketchum. But in a split decision in December 2017, the Blaine County Commission denied an appeal from Camp Rainbow Gold, siding with an April 2017 decision by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

During a meeting, commissioners said it was a land-use issue, but that everyone in the room supported Camp Rainbow Gold. After that, Camp Rainbow Gold officials moved forward with looking at other options.

Camp Rainbow Gold is putting together a development committee and establishing a master plan for construction and renovation of the property, the nonprofit said in the statement.

It will also launch its capital campaign, “A New Place Like Home.” For information on how to get involved, visit anewplacelikehome.org.

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