by HOLLY ENDERSBY
If you live or vacation in Idaho or Montana, you are in luck: you have wonderful ski resorts to choose from, and they all want seniors to visit them! In fact, there are so many that we have just a sampling to whet your appetite for some of the best skiing in the nation.
Schweitzer Mountain Resort
Starting in North Idaho, Schweitzer Mountain Resort is Idaho’s largest ski resort with 2,900 acres and 2,400 vertical feet. Two chairlifts offer night skiing as well with an average snowfall of 300 inches. The resort regularly offers lodging and lift ticket packages on their website, with a special pre-Christmas offering right now.
As part of the Powder Alliance, a season pass at Schweitzer gets you on the slopes at 15 other resorts, including Bogus Basin near Boise. With lodging on site, Schweitzer is a ski-in, ski-out resort, making it exceptionally convenient.
Best of all, the resort has an active Prime Timers group geared to retirees who like to ski and socialize. With several leaders on hand, newcomers can learn the mountain safely and at a leisurely pace.
“It’s a really fascinating group,” said John Rohyans, a retired attorney who now lives in Sandpoint during the winter and visits frequently in summer as well. “We average about 60 people a week, and it helped my wife and I get connected to other active people when we moved here.”
Prime Timer membership runs $25 a year, and it comes with benefits. The group negotiated a season pass for seniors 65 and older, skiing Sunday through Friday for $175.
“We all are active and like-minded and go hiking, kayaking, biking, and golfing when we can’t ski. We have so many close friends here because of Prime Timers,” explained Rohyans.
Schweitzer has 92 trails with plenty of open–bowl skiing, as well as three terrain parks. Ten percent of the runs are for beginners, 40 percent for intermediate folks, 35 percent for advanced skiers, and 15 percent for expert powder…