BANK OF AMERICA REMOVES TAMARACK DETACHABLE
SAM Magazine—Boise, Idaho, June 5, 2012—Bank of America has acted on its threat to remove the Wildwood Express chair lift at bankrupt Tamarack Resort. The bank has hired Highlander Ski Lift Services & Construction of nearby McCall to dismantle and remove the lift, and much of the work has already been completed.
According to Paul Johnston of Highlander, the haul rope is spooled and the chairs are boxed up. The company expects to remove the towers in the next few weeks, and to complete the deconstruction of the top and bottom terminals before the scheduled October completion date. Work is already underway on the bottom terminal, and is set to begin at the top as well.
The Wildwood, which cost $4 million when new seven years ago, will be stored locally as Bank of America attempts to sell it. Johnston told SAM that the lift is in "fantastic shape," and that there has been considerable interest in purchasing it. The lift is about 6,000 feet long, with 18 towers. It has had between 2,000 and 3,000 hours of use, and has been maintained monthly by two mechanics retained by BoA since 2009, when Tamarack Resort ceased operations.
The Tamarack Municipal Association (TMA), a homeowners’ group, has operated a portion of the resort for the past two winters, but the Wildwood was not part of that effort. The lift was at the northern periphery of the area, and it was not central to the operation of the majority of Tamarack's terrain.
TMA purchased a second lift owned by BoA, the short, fixed-grip Buttercup lift, for $400,000. TMA considered purchasing the Wildwood as well, but felt the price was too high—and that a future resort buyer might not be willing to purchase the lift from TMA, leaving it with a high-maintenance responsibility.
Tamarack itself is currently in foreclosure proceedings in state court, where a settlement agreement is said to be near.