Tamarack Proposes Vast 3,300 Acre Expansion

Idaho’s Tamarack Resort today announced the submission of a special use permit application for thousands of acres of new ski terrain and six new lifts in the Boise National Forest. A flagship 10 passenger gondola would rise from Tamarack’s existing base village to Lone Tree Summit with a mid-mountain unloading station. Three new detachable quads and two triple chairlifts are also envisioned for the Overlook, South Bowl and Poison Creek areas. Another new lift would occupy private land at a new South Base Area and yet another on state land between the existing Tamarack Express and Wildwood Express lifts.

Tamarack Resort Holdings purchased a distressed Tamarack in November 2018 and immediately got to work restoring the Wildwood terrain pod and resuming construction of the Tamarack Village. Now the investor group is ready to look beyond the current ski terrain, which occupies state and private land rather than National Forest. “This application represents another step in the process of completing the grand vision of Tamarack Resort,” said Tamarack Resort President Scott Turlington. “We’ve all worked hard to get to this point, and we know a lot of work remains to be done. We look forward to continuing to work with the professionals at the U.S. Forest Service, and we are eager to begin engaging the public and other stakeholders in the public process that will soon follow the submission of this application.”


33 thoughts on “Tamarack Proposes Vast 3,300 Acre Expansion

  1. David January 28, 2021 / 10:20 am

    Looks pretty cool but are the investors willing to take losses until they can attract more visitors? Current crowds won’t be enough to pay for this I’m assuming.


    • Paul January 28, 2021 / 8:20 pm

      I just want to be hopeful, dammit. ;_;

      Liked by 1 person

      • David January 29, 2021 / 12:53 pm

        Wouldn’t mind them joining Ikon and spreading the west coast crowds out a bit more :)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Doug Brown January 28, 2021 / 11:13 am

    Probably a real estate play. The exodus from big cities and WFH trend are lifting the appeal of resort real estate.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Donald Reif January 28, 2021 / 1:02 pm

    I’m guessing that lifts B, D, and E are the proposed high speed quads, based on their lengths. Lifts F and G will be the triples.


    • Myles Svec January 28, 2021 / 1:49 pm

      B will probably be called Canoe Express since that was in old master plan.


      • jaytrem January 28, 2021 / 7:35 pm

        I think one of their old plans also had a funitel to unload near there. The mountain could definitely use some width to go with it’s vert. I missed out on Wildwood both times I was there though, so I assume that helps a bit.


        • Morris July 5, 2021 / 7:09 pm

          A funitel? God I gotta find a copy of the old valbois/WestRock master plan somewhere


  4. Big if's January 28, 2021 / 1:30 pm

    1) I would have to think about the effects of climate change on these inland resorts with lower snowfall than places like Whistler, if I was spending big on real estate.

    2) It’s so far from an airport. Will they fund an expansion of McCall Municipal for commercial service at least with Alaska’s turboprops from SEA/PDX/SFO, or DL jets from SLC?


    • Tom January 28, 2021 / 2:32 pm

      For a “dying industry” the industry is sure getting a lot of capital investments, a new place in Utah, expansion at tamarack, east coast copy areas reopened, timberline, saddleback, maybe another one reopening in Maine, rebirths at magic Mtn and Bousquet, maybe more places that I am not aware of, I guess Chris diamond is right that their is a renaissance in the ski industry

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald Reif January 28, 2021 / 8:28 pm

        All of which shows that the phrase “if you build it, they WILL come” is relevant.


        • Anthony January 29, 2021 / 5:22 pm

          Or we’re in a speculative bubble just like we were in 2006-2007.


    • skitheeast January 28, 2021 / 3:50 pm

      Whistler will likely take a bigger hit from climate change than most mountains. While the upper half of the mountain will likely be fine, the glaciers that allow for summer skiing may recede and the freezing level will likely be pushed up the mountain.

      Tamarack lacks the name recognition to bring in many prospective buyers from outside the state, so an airport is not a key issue. Perhaps they could target the Boise metro area for people looking for a second home with a reasonable drive and reasonable budget. Their only competition would really be Sun Valley, which is extremely expensive due to it targeting a national audience. Prices that max out at six to seven figures instead of eight still bring in money, and this model has successfully been done before across the east coast from West Virginia to Maine.


      • Big if's January 28, 2021 / 10:12 pm

        It seems to me like they are going for a national market, based on the high-6-figure to mid-7-figure luxury listings in the current village. There just can’t be that many people who can buy second homes in that price range who live in Boise, the nation’s 78th largest metro statistical area… especially who don’t already have a place in Ketchum. It’s an 8.5h drive from Seattle but would be an easy ~1h Horizon flight, like SUN, or RDM for Mt Bachelor/Sunriver. I suppose the truly rich will fly private.


        • skitheeast January 28, 2021 / 11:09 pm

          People who fly private to reach their ski house are not doing so to Tamarack. People who fly commercial to reach their ski house are also not doing so to Tamarack. Boise is absolutely a small market, but they are really the only player in town with Sun Valley out of most people’s price range. Ketchum and Sun Valley have very few second homes that are owned by people in Idaho because of the price and national appeal. Plus, even those Idahoans who do have places at Sun Valley may be tempted to switch seeing as they can get 2-3x more bang for their buck at Tamarack. It just makes perfect sense for them to appeal to the 800 thousand people a little over two hours away.

          I do see there are some condos the resort lists above what I would expect, but the land plots are roughly in line with what I was thinking. Perhaps they do go for a national approach, I am not a part of their team so I cannot say for sure. However, I am fairly confident that this will fail based on my years in real estate (albeit not in Idaho).


        • Peter Landsman January 29, 2021 / 5:05 am

          I was living in Seattle when Tamarack began construction the first time. All of the real estate offerings were heavily marketed in that region.


    • David January 29, 2021 / 12:57 pm

      The region’s issue is less low snowfall but rain. Tamarack is pretty high up with a base of 4500 feet and highest point of 7700 feet which is well positioned for climate change. Tamarack has less snowfall than Whistler of course but much more than nearby Sun Valley and on par with Telluride, Aspen, Big Sky, and Park City at 275 inches annually to compare with the big boys.


    • Nathan January 29, 2021 / 7:25 pm

      Why so much concern about an airport? Boise is less than a two hour drive. Breck, Keystone, Copper, Winter Park, Vail and Beaver Creek all made it to the big time with similar drive times. Heck, avoiding the i70 mess might make Tamarack look much easier to access.

      Now will they actually build it, who knows? But if they do, I think it will do well. I was already thinking of visiting as low crowd gem.


  5. Ryan Murphy January 28, 2021 / 5:52 pm

    I’m assuming they want some summer traffic given the gondola. What does the tourism season look like in the summer in that part of Idaho?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joe Blake January 28, 2021 / 9:14 pm

      Not sure about out-of-towners, but Valley County is veritably smothered by 1A and 2C plates in the summer. McCall and Cascade haven’t been “secret” for many decades. Boise is regularly between 95 and 105, whereas the Long Valley rarely hits 90.


  6. awconrad January 28, 2021 / 10:47 pm

    When it says an additional 3300, does that mean it will be 5300 acres when finished? If so that’ll be massive.


    • Peter Landsman January 29, 2021 / 5:24 am

      3,307 acres of Forest Service land + 1,100 existing = 4,407 acres. Vertical would also increase from 2,800 to 2,930. If this mountain was in Colorado it would have 10+ lifts already.


  7. Mike B January 29, 2021 / 3:45 pm

    Interestingly, they seem to have an alternative lift layout in that same document with more lifts depicted for the southern half of the mountain and no Overlook Express between Wildwood and Tamarack Express. Aside rom the omission of Overlook, this seems more logical to me b/c otherwise the only means of access to that whole side of the resort is via taking the gondola to the top and then skiing down halfway. No redundancy for access from the main base if the gondola goes down.

    Click to access OML-1.pdf


    • Myles Svec March 14, 2021 / 3:37 pm

      I can’t see the alternative master plan you posted it’s just a blank screen for me. Do you have a link to it?


      • Mike B March 26, 2021 / 2:25 pm

        Ah shoot. It was there when I posted it. Will see if I can find again.


      • Utah Powder Skier March 26, 2021 / 2:50 pm

        Try viewing it on an a mobile device. It should show up there.


    • Morris July 2, 2021 / 8:33 pm

      Someone uploaded the PDF in question to the web archive in February, I have attached the archived version to this post below.

      Click to access OML-1.pdf


  8. Myles Svec March 26, 2021 / 1:05 pm

    It makes me wonder if when Tamarack builds the gondola and they go with Doppelmayr on it, if the gondola will be D-Line. This could make sense as it would be their flagship lift and a 10 passenger gondola.


    • Morris July 2, 2021 / 8:34 pm

      I would hope so, but I would expect them to go with Uni-G. I hope they go with Doppelmayr at least, I’m not a big fan of the sigma cabins.


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