BOISE, Idaho — The day after Thanksgiving does not only mark the countdown to the December holiday season for Treasure Valley winter enthusiasts.
Friday marks the first day Idahoans can hit the slopes at Bogus Basin Recreation Area, something many skiers and snowboarders have been looking forward to all year.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, the opening is limited to season pass holders, according to Brad Wilson, CEO of Bogus Basin Ski Resort.
Opening weekend has been limited to season pass holders for two reasons: loyalty to pass holders and a trial run of the COVID-19 protocols implemented at Bogus Basin.
“We are abiding by all the COVID guidelines requested by Central District Health and the CDC," Wilson said.
While visiting the resort, visitors will be required to wear face coverings at all times, except when eating, drinking or skiing. J.R. Simplot Lodge access will be limited to take-out food and drink, restroom use and briefly warming up.
Tents have also been added outside to add more heated space to allow for physical distancing.
“We’re kinda moving everything into an indoor-outdoor environment where it has much better ventilation and it's much safer," Wilson said.
Skiers are encouraged to treat their vehicles as their 'base lodge' since there is no longer storage space available in the lodge facilities.
For the first time in many years, the recreation area has enough snow to operate all 10 of its lifts.
“We were blessed, we had over four feet of natural snowfall in November and then we had fantastic snowmaking temperatures and basically covered all the terrain we could with snowmaking," Wilson said. "Between those two, we’re in great shape and conditions are fantastic.”
Opening weekend at Bogus Basin goes until Sunday. The facility will be closed Monday and Tuesday to fine-tune pandemic operations.
“There’s no directions for how to operate under COVID, and like everybody else, we’re learning as we go," Wilson said.
Beginning Wednesday, Dec. 2, Bogus Basin Recreation Area will be open seven days a week.
Regular season passes may be sold out, but night season passes and midweek season passes are still available. If you're looking to avoid traffic on the slopes, Wilson said night passes are the way to go.
Night sessions will begin Dec. 12.
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