It appears that the couple from Bend, OR who bought Soldier Mountain Ski Area in Idaho for $149,000 three years ago might have bitten off more than they could chew as it is back on the market again.
The resort, which celebrated its 70th birthday last year and at one point was owned by Bruce Willis before he donated it to a non-profit in 2012, suffered from a poor snow year last winter. They only opened 60-days and received less than 50″ of snow all season. The current owners, having already pumped an additional $600,000 of their own money into the project have decided enough is enough, and that investing more of their personal capital is no longer an option.
The current owners have experienced the typical startup challenges that come with operating a ski area that has been undercapitalized, under managed and under marketed for many years. Then came the non-winter of 2017-2018. It rained, the snowmaking system was (is) non functional and access to and egress from the elevations where skiing was possible did not exist.
According to the official listing, on Mirus Resort Advisors:
Perfect for a no-frills ski/ride/telemark/cat ski experience, located between Boise, ID and Sun Valley, ID, Soldier Mountain (www.SoldierMountain.com) is available for acquisition. Add some of the best snowmobiling locations anywhere, coupled with a unique cat skiing operation and you have Soldier Mountain today. Located 11 miles from Fairfield, ID on about 1,100 acres of us forest service leased land, Soldier Mountain was Bruce Willis’ planned ideal winter retreat for a ski/ride/telemark/backcountry skiing experience.
Soldier has a history going back to 1948 and has survived the challenging weather and business world known as ski area ownership and operations. Soldier attracted well-known personality Bruce Willis as its owner for several years. Bruce decided that developing Soldier Mountain was not for him and he gifted the area to a local non-profit. The non-profit was unable to generate the necessary visits or the capital required to operate and grow Soldier Mountain. It, too, decided to move on from operating a ski area. The most recent transaction involved the non-profit that was gifted the area selling Soldier Mountain to its present owners.
The current owners have experienced the typical start-up challenges that come with operating a ski area that has been undercapitalized, under managed and under-marketed for many years. Then came the non-winter of 2017 -2018. It rained, the snowmaking system was (is) nonfunctional and access to and egress from the elevations where skiing was possible did not exist.
CONCLUSION BY THE OWNERS: investing more of their personal capital was no longer an option.
GOAL: Find a Buyer.
Soldier Mountain ownership is well suited for skier/riders/Nordic participants with capital and passion. Those who are looking for untracked natural snow, few crowds, rustic facilities, and camaraderie. A new owner-operator must be well capitalized to provide for immediately necessary improvements, long-term in their vision to grow the skier visits to a profitable revenue number and be approved by the US Forest Service to take over the forest service lease under which Soldier Mountain operates.
When last for sale, the listing included:
- A Bar
- A Restaurant
- A Kitchen
- All the Lifts
- All the Buildings
- All the Vehicles
- All the Snow Machines
- The Maintenance Shop
- All the Tools
- All the Inventory
No sale price is advertised so interested parties are asked to contact Mirus Resort Advisors. When it last went on sale in 2015, the news went hugely viral and they received 800 emails in the first 24 hours and over 2,000 emails in the first 72 hours. If they get the same interest this time around, I don’t think they’ll struggle to sell it on! You interested?
Soldier Mountain Ski Area Stats:
- 2 Chairlifts
- 1 Magic Carpet
- Top Elevation = 7,177 feet
- Base Elevation = 5,752 feet
- Vertical Drop = 1,425 feet
- Skiable Area: 1,150 acres
- Price: Unknown!