Bogus Basin

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Bogus Basin
Location Boise National Forest
Boise County, Idaho, U.S.
Nearest city Boise - 16 miles (26 km)
Coordinates 43°45′50″N 116°06′14″W / 43.764°N 116.104°W / 43.764; -116.104Coordinates: 43°45′50″N 116°06′14″W / 43.764°N 116.104°W / 43.764; -116.104
Vertical 1,790 ft (546 m)
Top elevation 7,582 ft (2,311 m) AMSL
Base elevation 5,790 ft (1,765 m)
Pine Creek - (Chair 6)
6,150 ft (1,875 m)
main base area - (Chair 1)
Skiable area 2,600 acres (10.5 km2)
Runs 53
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg - 22% easiest
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg - 45% more difficult
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg - 33% most difficult
Longest run Paradise
1.5 miles (2.4 km)
Lift system 7 chairlifts
- 3 hi-speed quad - (# 1,3,6)
- 1 triple - (# 2)
- 3 double - (# 4,5,7)
2 Magic Carpet
Terrain parks 3
Snowfall 200–250 in (510–640 cm)
Snowmaking portable, for patching
Night skiing 5 chairlifts - (# 1,2,3,4,7)
until 10 pm - 7 nights / wk
165 acres (0.67 km2)
Website Bogus Basin.org
BogusBasin is located in United States
BogusBasin
Bogus
Basin
Location in the United States
BogusBasin is located in Idaho
BogusBasin
Bogus
Basin
Location in Idaho, near Boise

Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area is a ski area in the western United States, located in southwest Idaho in Boise County, 16 miles (26 km) north-northeast of the city of Boise.

Bogus is operated by the Bogus Basin Recreation Association, a non-profit organization, on private and leased land in the Boise National Forest. Ski season generally runs from Thanksgiving weekend until the weekend preceding April 15, depending on snow conditions. The area also has cross-country skiing on 23 miles (37 km) of Nordic trails.

Ski area[edit]

Alf Engen, the father of the American powder technique, selected the site for the ski area at Bogus Basin in 1939.[1] Bogus opened to the public in December 1942 with a 500-foot (150 m) rope tow; a 3,300-foot (1,010 m) T-bar was installed in 1946.[2][3] In the early 1950s, Bogus had a 30-meter Nordic ski jump, designed by Corey Engen,[4] and his brother Sverre was Bogus' ski instructor.[5]

The first chairlift at Bogus was installed in the fall of 1959 at Deer Point[6] and night skiing debuted in December 1964.[2] The resort currently operates 7 chairlifts and two Magic Carpets. Three of the chairlifts are high-speed quads (#1 Deer Point, and #6 Pine Creek) were installed in 1996 and 1999, and the newest on #3 "Superior" in the fall of 2011.[7]

Bogus Basin has 2,600 acres (10.5 km2) of mixed runs, bowls, and glades, with 900 acres (3.6 km2) groomed. The lift-served vertical drop is 1,790 ft (546 m) on the east-facing "back side," with a summit elevation of 7,582 ft (2,311 m) above sea level at the top of Shafer Butte, the highest point of the Boise Ridge mountains. This back side of Shafer Butte was opened in January 1977, following the installation of Pine Creek (#6), a double chairlift, the previous summer. A fixed-grip double for 23 seasons, it became a high-speed quad in the summer of 1999.[8][9]

On the front side, Bogus Basin's southern lift-served summit is at "Doe Point," adjacent to Deer Point, which is slightly higher and covered with communications towers at an elevation of 7,070 feet (2,155 m). Both vantage points overlook Boise and the entire Treasure Valley, over 4,000 vertical feet (1,220 m) below. Bogus' base area and main day lodge (J. R. Simplot Lodge, formerly Bogus Creek) are at 6,150 ft (1,875 m), at the base of the north-facing slopes served by the Deer Point Express (#1), a high speed quad installed in the summer of 1996. The original double chairlift on #1 was installed in 1959 and upgraded in 1981. Showcase (#4), a double chairlift that had replaced a surface poma lift in 1972, is east of and parallel with the Deer Point Express. The original Deer Point lift was relocated and renamed Coach (#7) in 1996, servicing the beginner learning area. It honors Bill "Coach" Everts, an early area manager (1953–58) and longtime director.[2]

At mid-mountain, a second day lodge (Pioneer Lodge - 1973) sits at 6,800 feet (2,073 m) with a sizable parking lot, a cluster of condominia (1975),[2] and the Jason Harper Training Center. From this Pioneer area, there is direct access to the gentle south-facing slopes served by a triple chairlift, Morning Star (#2) and the north-facing slopes of the Bitterroot (#5), a double chair lift (vertical: 525 ft (160 m)), which runs only on weekends and holidays. In addition, there is connecting trail access to the base of the Superior Express (#3) lift. With its 1,500-foot (457 m) vertical rise, chair, the Superior Express serves the advanced & expert terrain on the northern face of Shafer Butte, unloading at 7,480 feet (2,280 m). The lift replaced a Riblet double chairlift built in 1965[10] and cut the ride time of the original lift in half.[11] Night skiing was added to the Superior area with the installation of lights in the summer of 1986, and Morning Star was converted from a double to a triple chairlift in 1999.

Bogus Basin's average annual snowfall is 200–250 inches (510–640 cm). Due to limited water resources, there is no significant snow making, only small portable units for patching. Night skiing is available on 165 acres (0.67 km2) on runs served by five of the chairlifts (none on #5 or #6). Three terrain parks are also available; two on the Deer Point mountain, one for advanced, the other for beginner to intermediate skill levels. The Sunshine Park is located on the Morning Star side of the mountain.

The main day lodge at Bogus Creek was built in 1962 and expanded in 1991; its ground floor contains the ticket office and ski lockers.[2] In 2002 it was named for agribusiness magnate J. R. Simplot, because without him there might not be a Bogus Basin. When the fledgling ski area was struggling to pay its debts in 1953,[12] Simplot bought its ski lifts and other mountain improvements from the Kingcliffe Co.[1] and leased them back to the Bogus Basin Recreational Association for $1,500 per year for ten years.[2] His intervention averted almost certain financial demise and won the everlasting gratitude of a generation of skiers. Simplot was later the driving force behind Brundage Mountain northwest of McCall, which opened in November 1961.

The Name "Bogus Basin"[edit]

How Bogus Basin actually earned its name is a matter of debate. One version dates to the 1880s, when two prospectors loaded a shotgun with a few dollars' worth of gold dust and blasted it into the walls of a worthless cave near Shafer Butte. They galloped down to Boise where they slammed their "find" on a local bar and sold shares in the "mine" to gullible patrons. By the time the new owners realized that they had been fleeced, the swindlers had disappeared.

Another version is a two-paged story of a hard-to-find drainage and an 1863 mining claim. Captain Tom Morgan and a group of no-accounts, filed a claim in the area of the current base facilities, near Shafer Butte. Later they returned to Boise with the fruits of their labor, reportedly as much as $50,000 worth of gold. After a legendary spending spree, it was discovered to be Fool's Gold (iron pyrite) that had been chemically tuned up. The group was neither caught nor ever seen again.

Chairlifts[edit]

Lift Name Vertical
Drop
Length Type Ride
Time
Hourly
Capacity
Gradient Year
# 1 - Deer Point 880 ft (268 m) 3,905 ft (1.190 km) High Speed Quad 4 min 22.5% - (13.0 deg.) 1996 (1981, 1959)
# 2 - Morning Star 625 ft (191 m) 3,108 ft (0.947 km) Triple (1999) 7 min 20.1% - (11.6 deg.) 1965
# 3 - Superior 1,500 ft (457 m) 4,480 ft (1.366 km) High Speed Quad 4.5 min 33.5% - (19.6 deg.) 2011 (1965)
# 4 - Showcase 640 ft (195 m) 3,520 ft (1.073 km) Double 7 min 18.2% - (10.5 deg.) 1972
# 5 - Bitterroot 525 ft (160 m) 2,566 ft (0.782 km) Double 6 min 20.5% - (11.8 deg.) 1973
# 6 - Pine Creek 1,780 ft (543 m) 5,800 ft (1.768 km) High Speed Quad 6 min 30.7% - (17.9 deg.) 1999 (1976)
# 7 - Coach Double 1996

Other activities[edit]

The GoldRush Tubing Hill opened in the fall of 2003, constructed just west of the main parking lot for about $100,000. Annual revenues from the hill were expected to be four to five times that figure; revenues for its fourth season (2006–07) were just under $140,000.

Some summer activities are available at Bogus, including hiking, mountain biking (no lift service), and a disc golf course. The disc golf course opened in July 2005, centered at the mid-mountain Pioneer Lodge; the upper area of chair 5 (Bitterroot) hosts the north nine, and the south nine is on the upper area of chair 2 (Morning Star).[13]

Bogus Basin Road[edit]

Bogus is accessed by Bogus Basin Road (an extension of Harrison Boulevard), which twists 16 miles (26 km) from the Boise city limits to the resort, only 10 miles (16 km) NNE as the crow flies.

The two-lane road turns 172 times[1] and gains 3,400 feet (1,036 m) in elevation as the terrain changes from dry sagebrush foothills to snow-laden mountain forest. Originally a gravel road constructed by CCC crews (funded by the WPA) from 1938–40, Bogus Basin Road was first paved in 1962 and improved in 1998. Before it was paved it was a one-way road, with the direction changed to downhill in the early afternoon.[2]

Season Passes[edit]

In March 1998, Bogus' general manager Mike Shirley reduced the cost of an adult season pass from $500 to $199, lowering the break-even point to just seven visits (and kids' season passes fell to just $29). Bogus Basin sold nearly nine times as many passes for the 1998–99 season versus the previous year, halting the pass sales at 25,000 (2,854 for the 1997–98 season).

The new pricing strategy generated almost four times as much revenue (nearly $3.6 million) from season pass sales, all before June, six months before the season would begin. Total skier visits went from under 192,000 to over 303,000 (up 58%). Although the sales of day tickets ($31 each) expectedly fell (almost 50%), Bogus' total revenue increased by $2.6 million (up 55%) to $7.3 million for the 1998-99 ski season.

Shirley's deep-discount strategy was effective: resorts from coast to coast lowered their prices for multi-day, multi-area, and season passes. Locally, ski equipment sales increased significantly as skiers upgraded their gear.[14][15][16][17]

The $199 price was in effect for 15 years, until raised to $229 for the 2013–14 season.[18]

United States Ski Team[edit]

Members of the U.S. Ski Team from Bogus Basin include:

General Managers[edit]

After 21 seasons, Mike Shirley announced in February 2012 that he was stepping down as general manager and president. He was succeeded by Alan Moore, the former vice president of finance.[20] Shirley was a former vice president with Morrison-Knudsen Co.[21] and initially hired as an interim manager after the resignation of Terry Lofsvold in November 1991. After the search committee determined he was the best candidate, he was hired in April, the first general manager at Bogus with an extensive background in finance.[2]

General
Manager
Ski
Seasons
Years
Bill Everts, Jr.^ 5 1953–1958
Bob Loughery 26 1958–1984
Terry Lofsvold 7 1984–1991
Mike Shirley 21 1991–2012
Alan Moore 2012–

^ unpaid volunteer[2][22]

Video[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Chandler, Eve (October 31, 2007). "Still Bogus after all these years". Boise Weekly. (as told to Shea Andersen). Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Building Bogus Basin," by Eve Brassey Chandler, Donning Co., 2009, ISBN 978-1-57864-561-9
  3. ^ "Bogus celebrates 50 years". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Associated Press. December 1992. p. 3B. 
  4. ^ "Ski jump adds to Bogus facilities". Deseret News. November 29, 1951. p. A15. 
  5. ^ "Bogus Basin lures weekend skiers". Deseret News. United Press. December 13, 1952. p. A5. 
  6. ^ "Idaho officials to dedicate lift". Spokane Daily Chronicle. UPI. December 21, 1959. p. 18. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ bogusbasin.org - history - timeline
  9. ^ "Bogus Basin to replace ski lift, plans to sell some chairs as souvenirs". Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. April 9, 1999. p. B8. 
  10. ^ "Bolivian heads ski school". Spokesman-Review. December 23, 1965. p. 9. 
  11. ^ Idaho Statesman - Bogus Basin replacing Superior lift with high-speed quad for next winter - 2011-04-17
  12. ^ "Bogus Basin ski area closed for lack of aid". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. September 2, 1952. p. 9. 
  13. ^ "Bogus Basin". Gem State Disc Golfers. Professional Disc Golf Association. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  14. ^ Trinker, Greg (October 1999). "It's the Price, Stupid". SKI (magazine). skinet.com: 33–34. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  15. ^ Slough, Andrew (September 2002). "Bogus Basin". SKI (magazine). skinet.com: 82–84. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 
  16. ^ Russell, Betsy Z. (March 28, 1998). "Needing a mountain of cash to ski is totally Bogus". Spokesman-Review. p. B1. 
  17. ^ Russell, Betsy Z. (December 19, 1998). "Great Bogus Basin deals give skiing fortunes a lift". Spokesman-Review. p. B2. 
  18. ^ "Bogus Basin raises pass prices for 2013-14". The News-Tribune (Tacoma, WA). (Idaho Statesman). February 13, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Injured U.S. skier reported improved". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. August 8, 1966. p. 15. 
  20. ^ Idaho Statesman - Mike Shirley to retire as Bogus Basin president at end of ski season - 2012-02-16
  21. ^ "Business People; An Instiller of Discipline At Morrison Knudsen". New York Times. August 8, 1989. 
  22. ^ "Hometown Hills: Bogus Basin history". Idaho Public Television. Outdoor Idaho. Retrieved March 12, 2014. 

External links[edit]