County Schedules October Auction of Tamarack High Speed Quads

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The Tamarack Express is a 2004 Leitner-Poma detachable quad 8,061′ long x 1,839′ vertical.
Valley County, Idaho has seized Tamarack’s two remaining high speed chairlifts and plans to auction them on October 17th over nonpayment of taxes.  Tamarack Resort owes the county $4.7 million in back taxes and the auction is for assets on which hundreds of thousands of dollars are more than three years past due.  The auction includes 24 lots that will be sold to the highest bidder including two Leitner-Poma high speed quads that are located on state land.  Other items include a zip line, mid-mountain lodge and assets related the Osprey Meadows golf course.

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The Summit Express is a 2004 Leitner-Poma high speed quad 3,694′ long x 996′ vertical.
Tamarack built six Leitner-Poma and Doppelmayr CTEC lifts in 2004 and 2005 before filing for bankruptcy in 2008.  Bank of America re-possessed two Doppelmayr lifts in 2011 after Tamarack missed numerous lease payments.  The Tamarack Municipal Association purchased the Buttercup quad from the bank for $400,000 but determined it could not afford to buy and maintain the Wildwood Express detachable quad.  Bank of America Leasing wanted more than $2 million for that lift and instead sold it to Brian Head where it debuted as the Giant Steps Express in 2014.

Remains of Tamarack's Wildwood Express.
Highlander Ski Lift Services of McCall removed the Wildwood Express in 2012 with fewer than 2,000 hours on it.  Bank of America later sold it to Brian Head.
Now Tamarack’s last two major lifts are facing a similar fate.  The Tamarack Homeowners’ Association and owner New Tamarack Acquisitions Corporation say they are working with the county to avoid the sales and open the ski resort seven days a week this winter.  General Manager Brad Larsen told KTVB, “I don’t think the owner’s association is going to let [the auction] happen. They’re going to work with the county to make sure that we’ve got all the assets to operate.”  A Doppelmayr CTEC beginner chairlift named Discovery and Leitner-Poma platter called Rock Creek don’t appear to be on the auction block.

The sale is scheduled for Monday, October 17th at 1:00 pm with no reserves for the items.  The two lifts cost nearly $6 million new from Leitner-Poma in 2004.

10 thoughts on “County Schedules October Auction of Tamarack High Speed Quads

  1. Cameron Halmrast September 3, 2016 / 10:55 am

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Brundage Mountain acquired one of these lifts based on its expansion plans, although they have stated that they don’t intend to install any additional high-speed quads.

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    • Peter Landsman September 3, 2016 / 11:52 am

      I was also trying to think of other places that could use a more affordable high speed quad or two. Discovery, Grand Targhee, Sugarloaf and The Summit at Snoqualmie come to mind. If Tamarack does lose these lifts at least they will go somewhere else rather than sitting idle.

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      • Reed Lehto September 6, 2016 / 1:31 pm

        Lutsen Mountains for sure. Bridge lift is an ancient Riblet double, and Lutsen badly needs express capacity on Eagle Mountain. I hope the Skinner family has their eyes on this sale.

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  2. RMurphy September 3, 2016 / 12:58 pm

    If Tamarack does lose the lifts, are they likely to buy some fixed grip lifts to replace them, or just call it a failure and be done?

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    • Peter Landsman September 3, 2016 / 1:09 pm

      New TRAC and TMA still have until the auction to come up with the money or reach a settlement. If the lifts really do get removed I don’t see anyone ponying up for new ones. There was talk of replacing Wildwood with a fixed-grip lift but that never happened. $236 million has already been spent on Tamarack and some would say enough is enough. The whole thing is a shame because the skiing is excellent.

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  3. d howe September 3, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    Why don’t the sponsors of Stagecoach jump in and pay off the taxes and take it over. Tamarack has more going for it than a ski area that failed 42 years ago, is in the middle of nowhere and is just a few miles from an established, successful destination resort. This is a misallocation of resources.

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  4. Peter Landsman September 5, 2016 / 10:05 am

    In response to a comment on Facebook that today might be the last day lifts ever spin at Tamarack, the resort posted the following: “We’ll be operating 7 days a week this winter as planned. The Tamarack Municipal Association is working to ensure we secure all necessary assets for full winter operations. Projected opening day is Friday, December 9th, depending on snow conditions.”

    It sounds as though Replay Resorts is no longer in control and the homeowners are left to pick up the pieces again. Tamarack Municipal Association operated the resort from December 2010 until April 2015. Apparently TMA has retained Replay Resorts’ General Manager Brad Larsen.

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