Announcements | New Chairlifts Summer 2024

Bogus Basin In Boise Idaho Featuring Newly Illuminated Slopes in 1965

We are thrilled to announce plans to install two NEW chairlifts at Bogus Basin in the summer of 2024. You read that right – not one but two chairlifts are slated to be upgraded over the summer at your favorite local non-profit mountain. Typically, one chairlift is a large enough project, but thanks to the Treasure Valley’s ongoing support and engagement in not-for-profit recreation, we are continuing to reinvest every dollar where it counts – THE MOUNTAIN!

UPLIFTing The Valley – New Chairlifts at Bogus Basin

Chairlift Construction At Bogus Basin In Boise Idaho In 1959

Over the past decade, Southwestern Idaho’s Treasure Valley has experienced a remarkable population surge. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of the Boise Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses much of the Treasure Valley, grew by approximately 25.3% between 2010 and 2020. With this explosive population growth, we’ve noticed a substantial uptick in year-round mountain recreation at Bogus Basin. From skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking and mountain biking in the summer, outdoor enthusiasts are flocking to our local mountain playground. On any given weekend, the slopes are buzzing with excitement as both long-time season pass holders and new locals alike take to the slopes. Bogus Basin is rising to this occasion, continually enhancing our product offerings to ensure everyone has a special experience on their local mountain.

Opening Of Chair 1, Deer Point, at Bogus Basin Located In Boise Idaho In 1960

Yes, the Treasure Valley is booming, and so are we. To stay ahead of increased demand, we decided to replace and upgrade two historic chairlifts – Coach Chairlift and Bitterroot Chairlift in the summer of 2024.

Many families and first-timers spend the bulk of their time on Coach’s Corner learning their new sport – only to find a longer than necessary lift line for the ride back up the mountain. It is clear to us that we need larger chairs and more terrain to handle all that learning!

The same is true for the Bitterroot chairlift, which was constructed in 1973. The Bitterroot chairlift wasn’t intended to accommodate more than 1,800+ school-age racers on peak weekends, along with the influx of skiers and snowboarders looking to ride lower intermediate terrain. We have big plans in store as we replace both chairlifts – Read on to learn about how we are continuing to write history by replacing two new chairlifts at Bogus Basin in summer 2024!

Fixed Grip Vs. High Speed Detachable

Curious minds want to know: what type of lifts are replacing the historic Coach and Bitterroot double chairlifts? With a focus on features more than the manufacturer, some are wondering if these lift upgrades are high-speed detachable four-person lifts or fixed-grip four-person lifts. Both Coach and Bitterroot chairlifts will be upgraded from fixed-grip double chairs to fixed-grip quad chairs.

The four most recent lift upgrades at Bogus Basin replaced long-standing fixed-grip chairlifts with high-speed detachable lifts. Why wouldn’t Coach and Bitterroot chairlifts be replaced with the same technology? The summative answer is cost. A fixed-grip chairlift costs about half that of its high-speed equivalent, but there is much more than price that goes into the purchasing decision.

In 2015/16, Bogus Basin introduced a new master plan, scheduling both of these high-speed lift upgrades. At the time, the estimated cost of a high speed lift replacement was approximately $4,000,000 – the Morning Star Express installation in the summer of 2019 cost $4,300,000.

In 2024, the cost of a high-speed lift is substantially higher. Initial bids from two top lift manufacturers for a detachable quad on Coach exceeded $6,000,000. This left us wondering: Do we really need a detachable lift for a beginner hill with a vertical rise of and rope length of just over 300′ and 1,400′, respectively?

On one hand, fixed-grip lifts offer an easy load and unload experience with quick ride times whereas detachable lifts have fewer chairs, resulting in more guests on the slopes and in line. Considering our ambitious plans for Bogus Basin – which include up to five chairlift installations and numerous snowmaking and facility upgrades – we decided to explore the cost of installing a fixed grip chairlift for the Coach area.

To our surprise, the bid for the Coach chairlift came in a bit over $2,500,000, which begged the question: could we complete the next upgrade on our list, Bitterroot, in the same summer within our planned budget if we purchased two SkyTrac fixed-grip quads?

As explained in the video above, both fixed-grip lifts and high-speed detachable lifts have the same uphill capacity; the difference is chair density versus on-trail and lift line density. The biggest perk of a detachable lift is the shortened ride time when the chairlift is not operating at capacity.

Considering that we could install two of our desired lifts for a price lower than that of the single installation we had initially planned for this summer and knowing that this decision wouldn’t impact the mountain’s uphill capacity or guest experience, transitioning to fixed-grip lifts was an obvious choice.

New Lifts Made Possible By You

Early Technical Drawing Of Bogus Basin Master Development Plan

Bogus Basin is the largest non-profit ski area in the United States, and we don’t take that title lightly. We reinvest every dollar earned from community recreation back into mountain operations and improvements – which is how the installation of two new fixed grip quad chairlifts this summer is possible. We are here for the community, not-for-profit.

Your favorite not-for-profit mountain is dedicated to serving you now and in the future. All purchases, especially season passes, are investments in the future of accessible year-round recreation for Treasure Valley residents. Since 2017, Bogus Basin has invested over $60,000,000 of community support back into the mountain operation, installing chairlifts, snowmaking, summer recreation opportunities, and more. Our belief is that mountains are for everyone, not-for-profit!

Coach Chairlift

The History Of An Iconic Chairlift

Everyone starts somewhere, and for many, that somewhere was on Bogus Basin’s Coach Chairlift. This cozy 1981 YAN double chair has bore witness to countless memories, both day and night. From parents playfully convincing their little ones they’re astronauts during evening outings to the occasional first-ride meltdown, Coach chairlift is much more than a lift from point A to point B.

Fun Fact: The Coach chairlift wasn’t new at the time it was installed in its current location. The chairlift we currently know as Coach was once the Deer Point double before it found its new home at Coach’s Corner in the summer of 1996. Interestingly, Coach’s Corner didn’t even exist until the chairlift was relocated – learn more further down!

Photo right: Lower base area before the creation of Coach’s Corner

Bogus Basin Base Area In The 1980's Before Coach's Corner

Coach Chairlift has been in operation for a total of 43 years, 28 of which have been in its current location. Running some rough napkin math, that is over 19 million chairs that have arrived at the top of Coach’s Corner and over 65,000 hours of run time during its 43 year long life at Bogus Basin!

Who was ‘Coach’?

Back in 1953, Bill Everts was a visionary Boise City Recreation Director who also played a crucial role in Bogus Basin’s legacy. Everts managed Bogus Basin from City Hall as a volunteer during the area’s difficult financial times.

Tasked with providing technical guidance to the Bogus Basin Recreation Association (BBRA), Everts wore multiple hats—from greasing the bull wheel to selling tickets and even splicing rope tow haul ropes. It was a testament to his dedication and passion for Bogus Basin and to local youth and families.

It was “Coach Everts’” dedication to the young people of Boise that became his greatest legacy at Bogus Basin. Everts’ commitment to ensuring that all kids, no matter what their financial means, had the opportunity to experience skiing, baseball, or whatever their recreation passion was and to turn that passion into a lifetime of health and enjoyment. That spirit lives on today at Bogus Basin and is solidified in our not-for-profit business model.

“I kind of ran everything…I prayed that the road would stay open. I spliced the rope on the rope tow, greased the bull wheel, sold tickets, loaded the buses, and packed the hill.”

– Bill Everts, Building Bogus Basin – 2009

Bill was never formally named general manager of Bogus Basin, but he dedicated five years (1953 – 1958) to developing the mountain recreation area, a beloved community treasure. Responsible for the installation of two Poma Lifts, doubling the skiable acreage of the mountain, and countless youth programs, Bill Everts showed the valley Bogus Basin’s true potential as a community hub of health and happiness!

Bill Everts An Early Director Of Bogus Basin Located in Boise Idaho

Many times throughout the mid-40s and into the early 50’s, Bogus Basin struggled to turn a profit or break even, something that inevitably led to the demise of the Kingscliff Corporation and the sale of all the mountain’s assets to J.R. Simplot Company in 1953. Bill Everts (Coach) turned all that around with his “can do it” attitude.

“Everts’ didn’t say it can’t be done–he just did it. I called him ‘Cardboard and String Everts’. He got so much done with so little money.”

– Dick Nelson, Building Bogus Basin – 2009

The installation of the two Poma lifts in 1957 not only doubled terrain but also reduced wait times substantially from their previous thirty-minute wait. The new Poma lifts increased the uphill towing capacity of the mountain by over 400%. Through aggressive team building and creative new programming, Coach Everts dramatically increased visitation, cementing Bogus Basin as a provider of accessible recreation in the Treasure Valley for generations to come.

At the end of his tenure at Bogus Basin, Everts had successfully put Bogus Basin back in the black, repaying the debentured bonds once sold to fund the instalation of the two Poma Lifts, with operational profits before handing off Bogus Basin’s management to Robert (Bob) Loughrey in September 1958.

Coach’s Corner

Coach’s Corner wasn’t always the welcoming gradual hill it is today. After all, mountains don’t just come pre-shaped for novice riders! Back in the early days of Bogus Basin, chairlifts were scarce, and beginner-friendly slopes were next to non-existent. In those times, if you mastered the high-speed rope tow off the Peanut Hill or lower Morning Star, your next step was simply to “send it” down whatever slope you could find. Oh, how times have changed since 1942.

Fast forward to today, and now new skiers and snowboarders alike have many beginner and intermediate options for riding. With three conveyor lifts in the base area offering a gentle introduction to winter sports, beginners can build their confidence before ever getting on a chairlift. Once they do graduate to the Coach chairlift, they arrive at the top of an inviting, consistent low-angle pitch with strategically located relief points to capture excess speed.

How did we get here from there? After years of offering an “old-school” style of learning, in 1996 our team realized that there had to be a better way to teach – and that better way included long days operating heavy equipment and plenty of dynamite to re-contour the mountain!

Building & Blasting Coach’s Corner For A Better Future

Bogus Basin Ski Resort In Boise Idaho Base Area Rebuild During A Summer  Of Two Chairlift Installation and Various Terrain Changes

As we mentioned, the Coach chairlift originally operated as the Deer Point double chairlift from Winter 1981/82 until Winter 1995/96. The soon-to-be-renamed Deer Point double chairlift was removed to make way for the brand-new Doppelmayr high-speed detachable quad chairlift, now known as the Deer Point Express.

In the summer of 1996, your local mountain team pulled off a remarkable feat: installing not one but two chairlifts at Bogus Basin, all while recontouring several areas on the lower front side. This involved sculpting the perfectly graded slope that would become Coach’s Corner, home to a world-class learn-to-ride experience.

FIRE IN THE HOLE! Numerous blasts, long workdays, and countless truckloads of dirt created several new terrain features on the front side of Bogus Basin. Upper Ridge was extended downward to form a newly named and cleared trail, Sourdough, and Stewart’s Bowl was created as a bypass for more advanced skiers to avoid the new Coach’s Corner when skiing Sourdough.

Most notably, the old Deer Point double found its new home atop Coach’s Corner. Securing both these lift improvements and terrain developments were significant milestones in what is today Bogus Basin’s 81-year evolution of terrain and infrastructure.

Bogus Basin's Original Base Area In The 1940's – Boise Idaho
Bogus Basin Ski Resort Original Base Area – In Boise Idaho

Bogus Basin’s Original Base Area In The 1940’s – Boise Idaho

At one point in time, there was an open creek that ran right through the base area, aptly named “Bogus Creek.” Today, Bogus Creek runs underground and out of sight in culverts, eventually flowing into our snowmaking pond where it is recycled back into snow.

Before the creation of Coach’s Corner, guests had to deal with crossing the low point of Bogus Creek before hiking up a large set of stairs to reach the now 2nd floor or J.R. Simplot Lodge. All of these changes in terrain during the summer of 1996 created a lot of excess dirt, all of which was repurposed to fill in “The Flats”, forming the base area that we have today.

Coach's Corner Being Build Summer of 1996 When Bogus Basin, Located In Boise Idaho, Installed Two Chairlifts And Rebuilt The Base Area In A Single Summer
Blasting And Building Of Coach’s Corner Being Built – Summer of 1996
Bulldoser moving Dirt Into The Flats While Coach's Corner Being Built Summer of 1996 When Bogus Basin, Located In Boise Idaho, Installed Two Chairlifts And Rebuilt The Base Area In A Single Summer
Bulldozer Moving Dirt From The Build Of Coach’s Corner To Level And Fill The Flats – 1996
Coach's Corner Being Built Summer of 1996 When Bogus Basin, Located In Boise Idaho, Installed Two Chairlifts And Rebuilt The Base Area In A Single Summer

introducing The New Coach Chairlift

Drone Pan Of Coach And Base Area At Bogus Basin

We are not getting a fancy high-speed detachable lift to replace the Historic 1981 YAN double chair? Proudly, No!

Bogus Basin is charged with the fiduciary responsibility of the community’s investments to ensure excellent and sustainable recreation for the Treasure Valley. When analyzing the statistics of the Coach chairlift upgrade, opting for a fixed-grip quad translates to a slightly longer ride time of 1.5 minutes compared to a high-speed quad, while saving over $2,500,000 for a second lift upgrade.


More elevation, More Terrain, More Runs

The new Coach chairlift allows us to continue building upon what previous generations started. We are slightly adjusting the location of the bottom terminal of Coach and more than doubling the vertical rise, all while creating a beginner run that is almost 3.5x as long and adding a new low intermediate run. This terrain expansion opens up 12+ acres of groomed and gladed terrain off the riders left of Sourdough. These changes in terrain transform the learning experience for new users and, coupled with the Bitterroot upgrade, provide plenty of diverse terrain for newcomers and families.

New Coach Chairlift Alignment And Trail Pod From A South East Facing Angle
New Coach Chairlift alignment (dotted red line) And Trail Pod From A South East Facing Angle
New Coach Chairlift Alignment And Trail Pod From A East Facing Angle
New Coach Chairlift Alignment (dotted red line) And Trail Pod From An East Facing Angle

During this upgrade, snowmaking and lights are planned to ensure that the Coach chairlift and its runs are accessible at all hours. As an added bonus, Coach will now be a perfect starting point every season, offering access to beginner terrain and intermediate terrain via Sourdough and Stewart’s Bowl.

New Coach Chairlift Alignment And Trail Pod From A South West Facing Angle
New Coach Chairlift alignment (dotted red line) And Trail Pod From A South West Facing Angle

Bitterroot Chairlift

If you’ve taken a ride on the Bitterroot chairlift, you know how fun it is to explore the Bitterroot Basin’s blend of intermediate terrain. You also know that you often spend less time on the runs than riding the lift back to the top.

Bitterroot’s current “claim to fame” is its popularity among our many racing programs – delivering thousands of racers to their courses during race season. The Bitterroot Chairlift currently runs weekends and holidays only, but we may see that change in the future with this upgrade.

1970's Bitterroot Chairlift At Bogus Basin, Located In Boise Idaho
Bitterroot Chairlift – 1970’s

The History of The Bitterroot Chairlift

The Bitterroot chairlift came to Bogus Basin during the summer of 1973, just one year after the installation of the Showcase Chairlift (currently the oldest chairlift at Bogus Basin). Approval to expand the mountain with the new Bitterroot chairlift came with Bogus Basin’s 640-acre land acquisition to expand terrain as well as develop the Pioneer Lodge & condominiums.

Pioneer Lodge at Bogus Basin Ski Resort, Boise Idaho 1970's
Pioneer Lodge – 1970’s

During this process, Bogus Basin acquired one square mile of land from the State Land Board, which permitted parking lot expansions, Pioneer Road developments, the Bitterroot Basin terrain expansion, installation of our on-mountain water treatment facility, and construction of the fan-favorite mid-mountain Pioneer Lodge. The parking lots along Pioneer Road remain coveted among locals, offering a more private experience and direct on-snow access from your vehicle to the lifts.

The importance of Bogus Basin land acquisition should not be downplayed; without it, many recent improvements like snowmaking, Morning Star Express upgrade, parking expansions, summer activities, run regrading, and The Basin Gravity Park would not exist. We are grateful for the foresight of previous management!

Bogus Basin Boise Idaho Overhead Image With Property Line And Chairlifts
Bogus Basin From Above With Private Property (red) And US Forest Service Special Use Permit (yellow)

After they were built, the Pioneer Condominiums were sold in an effort to keep Bogus Basin afloat, and in 2006 the land the privately owned condos resided on was sold during challenging financial times. Bitterroot Basin, however, remained an excellent pod of terrain for low intermediate to intermediate guests. Early into the long-running School Race Program, teams relocated to the Bitterroot Basin, to take advantage of the moderate slope and friendly fall line. The School Race Program continues to grow and thrive, providing a world of “firsts” for up-and-coming youth experiencing winter recreation at Bogus Basin.

The New Bitterroot Chairlift

Drone Pan Of Bitterroot Basin And Pioneer Lodge

The Bitterroot Basin is a beloved section of Bogus Basin, consisting of fun, friendly terrain. The Bitterroot chairlift, on the other hand, needs an upgrade to shine its best. With the carrying capacity of only two guests at a time and often overrun by racers, guests often avoid the Bitterroot Basin in favor of runs off of Morning Star Express. On busy race Saturdays, lines at the base of the Bitterroot chairlift create unnecessarily long wait times.

The Riblet double fixed-grip chairlift installed back in the 70’s is no longer equipped to handle the increased demand at Bogus Basin while preserving the on-hill experience. Thankfully, the stipulation to reinvest all operation profits back into the mountain allows that demand to drive capital projects like these upgrade chairlifts, which support sustainable growth for the future!

New Bitterroot Chairlift Alignment From a South East – Bogus Basin Boise Idaho
New Bitterroot Chairlift Alignment (dotted red line)
New Bitterroot Chairlift Upper Unload Alignment From a South East – Bogus Basin Boise Idaho
New Bitterroot Chairlift Upper Unload Alignment (dotted red line)

Just like the Coach chairlift, replacing the new Bitterroot chairlift with a quad also provides the opportunity to realign the lift terminals for a more pleasant loading and unloading experience. Bitterroot quad delivers riders to the Morning Star Express side (North) of the Pioneer Lodge. Guests will now have more convenient access to the lodge’s amenities as well as the runs that access Morning Star Express, Bitterroot quad, and Superior Express chairlifts.

New Bitterroot Chairlift At Bogus Basin Planned Profile Overhead - Summer 2024
New Bitterroot Chairlift At Bogus Basin Planned Profile Overhead
New Bitterroot Chairlift At Bogus Basin Planned Profile Side - Summer 2024
New Bitterroot Chairlift At Bogus Basin Planned Profile Side

The new quad chairlift is going to significantly reduce lift lines by more than doubling the uphill capacity. Now guests can enjoy quicker laps on this great intermediate pod of trails, offering a more diverse experience for all new locals and young families! Additionally, your mountain operations team plans to regrade and reconfigure the enterence & exit to Snoozer, adding a green beginner trail off of Smuggler.

While nothing is official yet, we are investigating the idea of increased operating days and hours of the new Bitterroot quad chairlift. Wouldn’t it be neat to be able to access the Bitterroot Basin midweek or even at night?!

New Snoozer Alignment Looking East
New Green Snoozer And New Bitterroot Chairlift Alignment (dotted red line) Looking East

About Bogus Basin
Opened in 1942, Bogus Basin winter operations offer 2,600 acres of daytime skiable terrain and 200+ acres for night skiing; eleven lifts – including four high-speed quads – and three people-mover surface lifts; an 800-foot tubing hill. The Nordic Center offers 37 kilometers of groomed trails. Environmental education and community outreach programs serve over 20,000 individuals annually, primarily youth. Bogus Basin is located 16.5 miles north of Boise, Idaho, and operates under a special use permit with the Boise National Forest.

Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area is one of the largest non-profit recreation areas in the country. It is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to engaging the community to provide accessible, affordable, and fun year-round mountain recreation and education. Bogus Basin summer activities include a challenge course, mountain coaster, summer tubing, climbing wall, bungee trampoline, gem panning station, The Basin Gravity Park, cross-country mountain biking and hiking, free community events and educational programs, chairlift service to access hiking and biking trails, and guided nature hikes.