“Thank you, Bogus!” That’s what the snowboarders and skiers in the Boise, Idaho area are saying thisseason. Thanks to some gutsy decision-making by Bogus Basin Ski Area’s management, both the resort andthe resort-goers should have the best season in history. Bogus Basin had a problem, the same problemplaguing ski hills across the country-flat-lining resort visits. With season-pass sales dwindling, the folks atBogus Basin took a gamble by slashing the price of their adult passes from 449 dollars to just 199 dollars(29 dollars for kids ages seven to eleven, free for children six and under and senior citizens 70 and over),then crossed their fingers.

The plan was simple: tap into the pool of approximately 35,000 riders and skiersliving right there in the Treasure Valley (which includes Boise), the state’s biggest population base. Justsixteen miles north of Boise, Bogus Basin is the city’s local mountain, its closest competitors-Sun Valley andBrundage Mountain-both a couple-hours’ drive away. Bogus Basin introduced its plan just as last seasonwas winding down, and threw in an added incentive to sweeten the deal: a newly purchased, 199-dollar’98/99 pass would also be valid for the remainder of the ’97/98 season. Did the gamble pay off? Hell yes!Better than anyone imagined, in fact. Unable to resist such a great deal, Boise-area residents lined up to buyseason passes.

While Bogus averaged 5,000 season-pass sales during the last five years (dropping all theway to 3,500 this past season), the resort sold roughly 25,000 passes for the ’98/99 season. You readright-25,000! Long before the first hint of snow, Bogus Basin had already surpassed its projected lift-ticketrevenue for the entire season-not just season passes, but total lift-ticket sales. As a result, the resort’s happy,and the snowboarders and skiers are happy. It’s a win-win situation if ever there was one, and proof positivethat, despite its name, this basin is anything but bogus. -E.M.