Tamarack set to open, despite difficulties

Credit: Mike di Donato/ KTVB

Tamarack set to open, despite difficulties

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by Stephanie Zepelin

Bio | Email | Follow: @ktvbstephanie

KTVB.COM

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 3:58 PM

DONNELLY, Idaho -- Tamarack homeowners remain steadfast in their determination to start up the lifts once again this winter.  Despite losing hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars last season, according to published reports, the ski lifts will be running come December 15.

Just a few days ago, people were golfing at Tamarack resort. With the latest blanket of snow, many locals are now thinking about skiing there.

After all the controversy, legal actions, and foreclosure, folks at the resort and nearby homeowners' association are trying to stay focused on the upcoming ski season.  

The Tamarack Municipal Association runs Tamarack resort. Tim Flaherty is the executive director. Flaherty says plans have been underway to open the resort this season, despite the challenges.

"Through the summer we've been doing regular maintenance on the chair lifts and snow-making," Flaherty told KTVB, adding "as a homeowners' association, we see a lot of value in operating the resort, and as an association we have 400 members and we have power with those members."

The money from members of the homeowners' association helps operate Idaho's newest ski resort.

However, it has not been smooth sailing for Tamarack. The original owner, Jean-Pierre Boespflug, fled the country in spring 2011. Afterward, financial troubles and foreclosure threatened the resort. Tamarack closed one of their lifts after the end of last season. Now the owner, Credit Suisse, is trying to sell the resort.

"Yeah we're always worried, but we're always optimistic that something will be worked out," said Flaherty.

Flaherty said they are waiting to see when the courts will issue paperwork to start the foreclosure process. They are also waiting for a new owner.

"We really don't know anything about a potential buyer. Credit Suisse is in closed-door negotiations with potentially several people who would be interested in buying the resort. But we're not party to those discussions or negotiations," he said. "And so we just keep our head down and focused on keeping the resort maintained and operational because we see the fact that if it's well-maintained and operating, that it'll be worth more money and potentially could be sold faster."

Flaherty said they have an agreement that says if they start the season, they will end the season. Even if a buyer purchases the resort in the middle of ski season, they cannot take it over until after the season closes.

There are still many elements of this story. One of them has Credit Suisse possibly taking control of the resort through an ordered "Sheriff Sale." An Idaho judge cleared that last month.
 
One positive note amid the controversey: this season, Tamarack is opening up a new lift called the "Buttercup Lift."
 

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