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‘Home-grown vision’: Homes, new lodge, ski upgrades and more planned for Brundage

Brundage Mountain Resort could see significant upgrades in coming years, under an expansive plan for future upgrades.

New owners took over the resort in November of 2020. With that came an updated master plan and vision that still keeps what Skiing Magazine called the ‘last great place.’

“The overarching thing is to do that carefully in a very planned manner and keep yourself as the ‘last great place,’ and we are up for the challenge. You have to keep the fundamentals that make it that way,” Brundage President Bob Looper said. “Access is one, the value proposition is another one. People like the feeling that they can go there and not spend $500 a day on skiing.”

Looper said the resort’s focus on the entire family is another key.

“You make certain that the beginner runs, the daycare, the food, and the bathrooms all work. You focus on the family experience. Our value proposition is family, great access and value — and we are blessed with great snow.”

Brundage Mountain Lodge
New lodge at Brundage. Via Epikos Design.

[Ski resorts around Idaho announce upgrades ahead of winter season]

Brundage plans to break ground on a new base area lodge facility to replace the current one next year. The new lodge would be 20,000 square feet with a food court, coffee shop, and a casual sit-down restaurant with a bar, and a ‘Mountain Adventure Center.’

The new lodge would sit near the existing lodge, but the old facility won’t come down until the new lodge is finished – which officials hope will happen in time for the 2023-24 ski season.

“We’ve had a lot of thinking going into this. We need to keep the current day lodge in operation while we do this,” Looper said. “We will renovate the kids center, which is where the daycare and ski patrol is, and tie the new lodge onto that building, then build a new ski patrol building, then the new day lodge.”

Once the old lodge comes down, a condominium hotel could go up, Looper said. He also said that the existing parking lot will remain, to help ensure skiers could still drive up, unload and quickly get on the slopes.

New homes at the base

Brundage Mountain resort upgrade map
Map of the planned improvements at Brundage Mountain Resort in McCall. Via Epikos Design

Brundage is now planning a low-density development it calls Northwoods. The project will include nearly 90 homesites in the first phase.

However, Looper said the homes will all sit on private land Brundage owns around the base area, and won’t be visible from McCall or Payette Lake. Trident Holdings saw significant public pushback after it proposed a large-scale land trade with the State of Idaho, and indicated it would build homes around the lake.

Northwoods would include 21 single-family homes, 22 cottages, and 45 townhomes with ski-in-and-out access from Lower Rodeo. The single-family sites will allow for lot owners to build their own custom homes, while Brundage will design and build the cottages and townhomes.

[Tamarack hopes to open for Thanksgiving, announces upgrades for 2021-22 season]

“We are developing about two-thirds of the (approved) density,” Looper said. “We will have more open space and that is because if you are going to accommodate true ski-in ski-out — you have to have open space and you have to have trails. These aren’t three-foot-wide trails – but sixteen-foot wide trails.”

Looper said the housing development would be “prudent and compatible” with the surrounding land. The resort won approval in 2009 from Adams County to build as many as 1200 homes, but Looper said Brundage would ultimately build far less than that number.

The resort plans to break ground in the summer of 2022.

Brundage will be in front of the planning and zoning commission for preliminary plat approval of Northwoods later this month on November 29.

Year-round upgrades

Brundage Mountain expansion
View of the new lodge from the snowfront. Via Epikos Design

The mountain will also undergo terrain and lift expansion, enhance snowmaking capabilities, and add a new access road.

“We’ve got a plan to build out the mountain in accordance with the master plan, plus we are updating that plan with the US Forest Service now,” Looper said. “That’s where the focus of the ski facilities are going to be – bike trails, hiking trails, and the development is all the base.”

Brundage is working on several other upgrades including a new access point, an upgraded child facility, and parking lot improvements.

“People can see that things are happening here at Brundage Mountain,” General Manager Ken Rider said in a news release. “It’s exciting to be able to create a home-grown vision and make concrete plans to bring that to life in the not-so-distant future.”

Initial work started this fall to move some ground, relocate utilities and begin parking lot upgrades. After the ski season, work will begin, and should be in full swing during the 2022-23 ski season, before wrapping up in time for 2023-24.

BoiseDev’s Don Day contributed reporting.

Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at autum@boisedev.com.

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