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Bogus Basin Hires New GM from Tahoe Resort

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Brad Wilson will take over as Bogus Basin's general manager on Nov. 9. - BOGUS BASIN
  • Bogus Basin
  • Brad Wilson will take over as Bogus Basin's general manager on Nov. 9.


As the seventh general manager for Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area, Brad Wilson is joining the resort at an challenging time. As it faces low snow years, shortened seasons and declining profits, the nonprofit resort is in the midst of an effort to reinvent itself as a year-round recreation destination for the Treasure Valley. 

Wilson, who is leaving his job as general manager for Diamond Peak Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe, said he's up to the job. 

"I grew up at a small local ski area," he said. "I love the opportunity to become involved and get to know the mountain's users. It feels good to me. I really believe I can bring experience to Bogus that will help it become more sustainable."

According to a feasibility study released in September, Bogus Basin's long-term success relies on a combination of snowmaking and higher prices. 

Wilson said he plans to spend the first several months in his new job evaluating the price structure at the mountain, which has always prided itself on its affordability. The study found Bogus charges significantly less than similar resorts but, as a result, it can't afford improvements.  

"The last thing we want to do is kill the golden goose," he said. "That's always tough to pull off, especially at a ski area that's so community oriented. We do need to find a way to be more financially sustainable, though. If you look at the pricing and the cost of living index, we have not kept pace with that."

Regarding snowmaking, Wilson said it's a "process" that won't happen immediately but something he has a lot of experience with.

"Just about my entire career, I've worked with snowmaking. I've spent 10 years in southern California skiing and they live, eat and breathe snowmaking down there because they don't see very much natural snow," he said. "There's a very robust snowmaking system where I am now."

Diamond Peak was one of the first ski areas in Lake Tahoe to employ snowmaking, Wilson added. He counts on it being an important part of Bogus' future. Bogus currently has only a handful of snowmaking guns and they'll be used primarily on the tubing hill and the base area. One of the snowcats has been retrofitted with a large platform to be able to move snow around the mountain where it's needed most.

Wilson has more than 30 years working in the ski industry including management, marketing, sales and master planning. He hasn't worked in the nonprofit sector, however, but he said he's confident in Bogus' existing team.

"From what I hear, the community is incredibly philanthropic," Wilson said. He said he's excited to relocate to the Treasure Valley with his family and explore the mountain biking trails. 

As for what this season holds, no one can say.

"Bogus has done really well in historic El Nino years, but this is a warmer one," he said. "They do a good job of less snow at Bogus. I happened to ski there on the last day of the season last year, and they did a great job with what they had. It'll be down to the wire, but we'll do whatever we can to make it work."