Travel

Silver Mountain Celebrates 20 Years

Silver Mountain, home of the world's largest gondola, is planning for an exciting season. It's the resort's 20th anniversary, and there will be several 20th year promotions through the season.  (Courtesy Silver Mountain)
Silver Mountain, home of the world's largest gondola, is planning for an exciting season. It's the resort's 20th anniversary, and there will be several 20th year promotions through the season. (Courtesy Silver Mountain)

Hotel, indoor water park, extra draws for Idaho resort

Less than a mile off exit 49 on Interstate 90 is North America’s longest gondola, which tirelessly delivers cabins of eight to one of the area’s most accessible resorts—Silver Mountain. The upcoming ski season marks 20 years of business for Silver, and 20 years of faithful service from its essential gondola.

“Be prepared for some good values and a lot of fun this year,” said John Williams, marketing director at Silver. “We’ll have new anniversary specials each month, and there will be anniversary parties, events and discount days.”

The mountain will also offer $9 lift tickets Jan. 7 for Jackass Days, a celebration of the area’s pre-Silver heritage. And what a heritage it is:

More than 40 years ago the slopes of Kellogg’s Wardner Peak exchanged the abrasive sounds of mining for the gentler sounds of swooshing skis. The primitive ski area was dubbed Jackass Ski Bowl, a tribute to prospector and city namesake Noah Kellogg’s legendary wandering donkey.

The small ski mountain had 22 years of colorful history; including foreclosure, reorganization, and a name change, before the City of Kellogg in 1989 installed its famous single-cabin gondola. With easier access to terrain and improved facilities overall, the area reopened in 1990 as Silver Mountain.

Today Silver offers skiers and snowboarders nearly 1,600 rideable acres, five chairlifts, and 73 named runs to carve. The resort has two peaks and 2,200 vertical—from the bottom of Chair 4 to the top of Kellogg Peak—and 70 percent of Silver’s terrain is intermediate or advanced.

“Silver offers access to a ski mountain without a mountain drive,” said Williams. “And we’re the only place in the west that you can ski and surf in the same day without using your automobile.”

Williams is referring to Silver Rapids, a 42,000 square foot indoor water park that opened in 2008 and features a continuous wave that can be surfed. Access to the water park is limited to hotel guests for the majority of the ski season, though season pass holders get four passes valid from April 4 to May 15, 2011. And perhaps this year those dates will fall in the middle of the ski season—depending on La Niña.

Williams is hopeful that forecasters are right about La Niña predictions for heavy snowfall. The National Weather Service says La Niña winters often bring cooler temperatures and above normal snowfall. So far, Silver’s snowfall is ahead of this time last year—a hopeful sign for area riders.

Silver’s 20th anniversary specials will be updated on their web site throughout the season, and lodging packages that combine water park access, snow tubing, and ski tickets are already available.

Another new item this year will be a cable for the gondola, which is routinely replaced as part of normal maintenance.

So where does one acquire a 6.2 mile long cable?

Silver’s is coming from Switzerland. The 125,000 pound cable was shipped through the Panama Canal to Tacoma before being trucked to east to Kellogg. Changing of the gondola cable is expected to take about two weeks.

For more information visit www.silvermt.com


There is one comment on this story »





Blogs

TGIF Wild Card — 2.5.16

I find myself eyeing my garden spot in the back yard every morning when I first wake up. I have plans for some changes there. But I did much of ...


The week that was…

Tonight’s “Idaho Reports” rounds up the happenings of the fourth week of this year’s legislative session, from Medicaid expansion to tax cuts. Melissa Davlin interviews House Health & Welfare Chairman ...


5 education reads found in the last 7 days

More education writing. This week covers imposter syndrome, (especially among high-achieving students of color) the five folk looking to run the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (what a ...


Scouting the WSU opponent: Arizona State

Washington State's best chance to get out of the Pac-12 cellar comes when it takes on 11th-place Arizona State at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Cougars lost a tight game ...





Sections


Profile

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile