Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area announced cost-cutting plans to offset revenue losses as the ski area waits to open because of the lack of snow.
The ski area, 16 miles north of Boise, has a meager snowpack of a few inches and no major snowstorms in the near future, making for a record late opening.
In a special board meeting and a meeting with all year-round employees, Mike Shirley, general manager, and Alan Moore, chief financial officer of Bogus Basin, made the announcement about cost-cutting. Both executives will work without pay for an extended period.
While several hundred seasonal employees have been recruited and trained, none will be on the payroll until there is sufficient snow to prepare for an opening, Gretchen Anderson, ski area spokeswoman said in a press release.
Bogus Basin's management proposed, and the board approved, the following plans to reduce costs and cash outflow, while maintaining the ability to open immediately with professionally staffed operations when snow conditions allow:
- Besides no pay for the general manager and the CFO, other positions have been eliminated.
- Compensation for all other year-round employees will be reduced by 10 percent, and hours will be reduced or eliminated where appropriate.
- Arrangements will be made to eliminate or defer as many other significant operating costs or payments as may be possible.
- There will be no capital spending on the mountain this coming summer, and staffing will be appropriately reduced.
"As snow arrives, it is management’s plan to open—as quickly as possible—all of the mountain that is safe to ski; and full operations will be resumed at the earliest possible time," Anderson said.
Bogus has been sidelined during one of its most lucrative times of year - the Christmas holiday. During the holidays, the ski area takes in as much as $100,000 a day, Anderson said. When the ski area opens it will be the latest opening in its 69-year history.
Snow depths range from 3 to 10 inches, Anderson said. Bogus has opened with 16 inches in the past — but 24 inches would be preferable. Last year at this time Bogus had between 53 and 60 inches.
"Bogus Basin is fortunate to have a staff of professional management and supervision that is truly unmatched in the industry, and our intent is to do everything possible to get through this rough patch with this wonderful team intact," said Mike Shirley, Bogus Basin general manager. "As the community knows, we have a brand new high-speed quad on Superior ready to go when we get the snow and we have also added new equipment to the grooming fleet."
Shirley also addressed a question from several Idaho Statesman readers who wondered if Basin gives refunds on season passes for lack of snow.
"There are no refunds for season passes, except for pregnancy, injury or relocation, and that point is made explicitly at the time of purchase, with an acknowledgment from the purchaser, either in person, on line or on the phone," said Shirley.
Photo: Bogus Basin as seen from town Jan. 4 - by Pete Zimowsky/Idaho Statesman