BOISE -- Bogus Basin officially closed the 2011-2012 season Sunday after offering skiers and boarders a bonus weekend. The non-profit winter recreation area is looking forward to next season after experiencing one of the worst seasons in its history.
"You know, it's not a perfect season when you start so late, but it's better than no season," said Nancy Caspersen, a Bogus Basin season pass holder. "They can't control the snow, but they do the best they can, so we think it's a great ski area."
Bogus Basin began the 2011-2012 season January 19, the latest opening date on record. There were 56 fewer days of skiing this season compared to last. Gretchen Anderson, a spokeswoman for Bogus Basin, said missing the Christmas holiday break really hurt the non-profit recreation area. She said the delayed season resulted in a $2 million dollar loss in revenue.
"I was a little nervous for a while because I was like, 'Wow, the first year we decided to buy a pass and it's not going to open up,'" said John Connor, a Bogus Basin season pass holder. "But then after it opened up, everything was okay."
"The last few weeks have been some of the best weeks this year because the weather's been nice and the snow's been fast," said Henry Shulz, another Bogus Basin season pass holder.
Anderson said Bogus also took a hit in the number of skier visits. The total skier count for the 2010-2011 season was 354,931. The skier count for the 2011-2012 season, not counting the bonus weekend, is 235,991.
"You know, our theory is it's better to be up here," said Caspersen. "Whatever we're doing is better than working in town. So we love coming up."
To offset losses, Anderson said every Bogus employee took a 10 percent pay cut. She also said several top-level administrative positions were eliminated. Anderson said seasonal workers were eliminated April 7. The two bonus days of skiing were operated by year-round staff.
Despite the disappointing season, next year's is already looking up. Anderson said so far Bogus has sold more than $4 million in season passes for the coming year.
"This was my first year for the season pass and I already bought one for next year," said Connor.
"I think next year's going to be great," said Caspersen. "I think everybody should buy their passes and support this place. It's a great local ski area."