Tamarack Resort Shocker

You have to go way back to 1974, according to a story in the Associated Press, to find a time when a ski resort close to the size of Tamarack in central Idaho suspended operation during a ski season. Depending upon how long the economic freeze in resort property lasts, Tamarack may become one of the first dinosaurs to go extinct, a victim of the collapsed second home real estate market as well as – to some degree – a bit of hubris. Similar to Deer Valley near Park City and Beaver Creek at Vail, Tamarack was always going to be a playground for the well-to-do, complete with Robert Trent Jones Jr golf course and a luxurious marina on Lake Cascade. Indeed, even the resort’s website has gone dark which is actually kind of chilling to see. Tamarack could only ever succeed in true boom times with unlimited growth in the skier market; that fantasy, and of course the fantasy of endlessly upward real estate values for prime recreational property, has cratered to earth now that no one is buying into the Tamarack dream. It would be interesting to hear what the locals think. Nearby McCall, ID, is a bucolic college town already had a decent ski resort in Brundage Mountain. Friends of mine say that local residents were always skeptical of Tamarack’s chances, unfortunately there are likely millions owed to local tradesmen and contractors who worked on the resort’s relatively significant infrastructure and properties. There are some hopes that Tamarack will rise, but it would take one huge economic reversal to make that happen. Alas, I’m not so sure we’ve heard the end of these stories; maybe even in Canada. Folks in Red Mountain, Revelstoke, Golden and Mount Baldy (Osoyoos/Oliver) should definitely take note.

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