The non-profit organization that bought Soldier Mountain in Idaho from Bruce Willis wants out after three years. Now the entire ski area is for sale for just $149,000 (that’s the amount the organization owes its bank.) Included are two Stadeli double chairs built in 1970 and 1974. I’ve also heard Soldier has at least one lift from nearby Sun Valley in storage for expansion. The ski area’s master plan includes four new lifts that we may never see.
Doppelmayr and Skidata think they have perfected gondola loading with the “easy boarding gate.” The system uses multiple ‘pods’ with turnstiles to enter. Flat screen monitors display how many spaces remain in each pod and guests self-select where to go. As gondola cabins enter the loading area, full pods are assigned to cabins with LED lights directing riders. I’m sure it works but why would a ski area want to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to do what a $9 an hour lift operator can do?