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Bogus Basin's new snowmaking system means Mother Nature no longer in charge

Ski area officials are planning to start construction this summer on a 60-foot-tall dam and holding pond.

BOISE - Boise's ski resort shut down for the year 10 days ago, but the news about its future is far from ending.

Mountain officials say now that a new snowmaking system has been approved, which means the guessing game on when Mother Nature will allow for an opening date will soon be over.

"This will give us an opportunity to open every year before the Christmas and New Year holidays, pretty much guaranteeing that early opening," says Bogus Basin General Manager Brad Wilson.

It's a new snowmaking system designed to offset Mother Nature.

Officials at Bogus Basin are planning to start construction this summer on a 60-foot-tall dam and holding pond.

"The surface area of the pond will be about two and a half acres and the total volume is about 42 acre-feet of water," says Wilson.

To put that in perspective, picture a pond about the size of a football fields and 32 feet deep.

The dam will be built near the tubing hill and Simplot Lodge in the Bogus Drainage Creek, and will collect snowmelt in the spring to store for the following fall to make snow.

"So we will have pumps at the dam and pond site that will pump water up to the top of the mountain and then we will use snow guns to make snow," says Wilson.

Snow generated from the dam and pond will cover up to about 62 acres on the mountain.

"That's basically two runs on the deer point side, two runs on the morning star side, and then when we get natural snow, we can actually augment natural snow with snowmaking and put snow on other areas within that area," says Wilson.

The state sold the land where the dam and pond will be built to Bogus Basin 45 years ago but Bogus still had to get the state to sign off on the idea because of a clause in the contract that requires Idaho's approval for any major construction projects.

Pending final approval from the Army Corps of Engineers, construction is slated to be finished this September.

"The whole idea of snowmaking is to give us an actual opening date no later than mid-December and prevent the type of situation that we saw this year when we actually opened after Christmas," says Wilson.

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