BOISE — A summer update will get more people on Bogus Basin’s ski slopes next winter, and much more quickly than before, officials said Thursday.
The Boise-area mountain will update its heavily used Morning Star chairlift prior to the 2019-20 season in hopes of cutting down on wait times and traffic jams, spokeswoman Susan Saad said.
“It’s really a bottleneck on the mountain right now, so (the update) is going to have a major impact on the flow of guests through the area,” Saad said. “It will be great on our busy days.”
Morning Star, which takes skiers and snowboarders to a variety of novice runs on the front of the mountain and more challenging runs on the back, is currently a fixed-grip chairlift that seats three guests, Saad said. It will be replaced by a high-speed detachable quad lift, which is both faster and higher capacity.
“It’s going to take the ride time from 11 minutes to 3 minutes,” Saad said.
The existing lift was installed in 1965 and rebuilt in 1999, according to a Bogus Basin news release. Its replacement has been a common request from customers.
Construction on the lift will begin this spring and be completed in early December, Saad said — just in time for next year’s ski season. Bogus is working with Austria-based chairlift manufacturer Doppelmayr on the upgrade. It will cost roughly $5 million.
According to the news release, it will be the first new chairlift since 2011.
In addition, Bogus will regrade and widen the Pioneer Trail at the top of the lift, creating a larger novice area adjacent to the mountain’s existing beginner terrain.
“Providing an exceptional learn-to-ski experience is one of the most important things we can do for our guests, for the future of Bogus Basin, and for the entire ski and snowboard industry,” General Manager Brad Wilson said in the news release.
Saad said this project is the latest in a series of improvements Bogus Basin has taken on as part of its comprehensive master plan, which was approved in 2016. Past years have seen the construction of the Glade Runner mountain coaster and infrastructure for the mountain’s snowmaking operations, which began this year.
This year’s season likely will conclude on Sunday, April 14, officials said.