Soldier Mountain reopens as nonprofit ski area

Credit: Soldier Mountain

Employees and volunteers test Soldier Mountain's newly improved lifts.

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by Karen Zatkulak

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KTVB.COM

Posted on December 27, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 18 at 7:26 PM

FAIRFIELD, Idaho -- Soldier Mountain reopened as a nonprofit ski area on Wednesday.

The business realignment came after 16 years of private ownership and management under Hollywood actor Bruce Willis.

About 200 skiers and snowboarders took part in the season's first day of regular operation.

Conditions included groomed runs, powder, and packed powder.

Rod Pridmore says, "I've been skiing here since I was 14, a long time ago."

The ski area is a staple for those like Pridmore. People who live nearby, and think of Soldier Mountain as their second home.

"12 miles from home, grandkids play here, I've been here a lot of years playing here," says Pridmore.

Soldier Mountain is where both Russ Schiermeier and Will Varin learned to ski.

Schiermeier says, "If you ski Soldier Mountain it's goign to be your favorite hill forever, especially if you learn here."

They are now two of the five board members, who help own and operate the ski area.

It's part of the non-profit that wants to improve the skiing experience for both kids and adults.

Varin says, "It's a community mountain where people come and learn to ski, it's about getting families here, with a relaxed vibe, great snow."

New amenities for the 2012-2013 season include a beginner "magic carpet" lift, new lodge and cafeteria updates, and several upgraded snowcats for the mountain's backcountry skiing and snowboarding operation.

Ski patroller Ryan Bentley reports the area has received over 17 inches of snow in the past 36 hours. The mountain is reporting 36 inches of snow at the 7,400 summit, and 26 inches at the base. 

Soldier Mountain opened 39 runs and 1,400 feet of vertical terrain on Wednesday.

For more information, check out Soldier Mountain online.

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