Tamarack Resort capital projects update: ‘We are largely on schedule’

Alx Stevens//August 16, 2022

Tamarack Resort capital projects update: ‘We are largely on schedule’

Alx Stevens//August 16, 2022

From golf course renovations to new construction, Tamarack Resort has several major capital projects underway. 

Employee housing

Rendering of Tamarack Resort
A rendering of Tamarack Resort’s future employee housing. Submitted image

The resort broke ground earlier this month on a new employee housing complex that is planned to open this winter for seasonal employees. Both arch-shaped, nearly 12,000-square-foot buildings will feature a dormitory-style design with 32 rooms (64 beds, two to a room) across two levels, along with common living and entertaining spaces, shared kitchens, bathrooms, laundry facilities and one Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible room. The plan is to have 128 beds come online — 64 in December and another 64 in January, according to Tamarack President Scott Turlington. Ultimately, the resort anticipates providing 575-580 beds on the property, while maintaining some of its offsite options for couples or larger families.  

“Our mission is to provide year-round access to recreation amenities, and to do that, you have to have a robust staff,” Turlington said. “As Tamarack continues to grow, we recognize our responsibility to invest in our employees and provide accessible housing for those who choose to make their living in this beautiful place. This is about building a sustainable community for all who live, work, play and learn here.” 

Tamarack Resort’s employee housing site. Submitted photo

And while the resort doesn’t plan to make a profit from the employee housing — it will most likely be a cost to the resort — Turlington said, “Not only is it the right thing to do, by investing in our employees, but it’s also a way to help persuade someone who might be on the fence about coming out here (to work) versus a different resort community somewhere else. To have that option available for them will be a big factor in those decisions.” 

During the peak of the winter season (the resort’s busiest season) Tamarack will have around 350 employees; the goal, as operations expand, will be to have between 1,000-1,100. The majority of those will be seasonal, Turlington explained, and the company has “factored in approximately 40% of our employees we’ll provide housing for.”  

When asked what advice he has for others potentially pursuing employee-housing projects, Turlington responded: “You’ve really got to be thoughtful about the future. You don’t want to solve a problem today and it’s not going to exist in five or 10 years. You’re looking at those five- to 10-year problems that you really need to solve for the long term.” 

He added that commitment is needed. 

“Things are not going to get cheaper,” Turlington explained. “So, the sooner (you) get started on a project, the better.” 

Real estate 

In addition to recreation amenities, Tamarack Resort also hosts real estate, typically second homes developed by the resort. About 450 homes — chalet and condominiums to cottages and townhomes — have been sold to date; the resort’s total approved density plan is for 2,000, Turlington said.   

Lakeview Village 

The two future employee housing buildings are the first phase of Tamarack’s Lakeview Village development, which is located on the eastern edge of the resort just below the golf course and overlooking Lake Cascade. In the winter, Tamarack plans to operate a shuttle to get employees to and from the housing.

The Village and beach at Tamarack Resort
The Village and beach at Tamarack Resort. Photo courtesy of Tamarack

Lakeview Village will also host a charter school, Mountain Community School, which is planned to open in the fall. The current plan is to renovate two existing modular buildings, which will serve as temporary classroom facilities for the school’s inaugural year. Permanent school facilities will be located in Lakeview Village at a later date. Some of Tamarack’s employees do participate in the school’s lottery, Turlington said. The resort, though, is not involved in the school’s operations. The land could be used in some classroom curricula.  

“The long-term relationship is that we provide the land and a lot of the infrastructure for (the school) at a very nominal cost,” Turlington added. “It makes it affordable, makes it doable for a charter school.” 

The village will also host a substation for the City of Donnelly’s fire department, which is planned to take shape over the next few months.  

Other projects  

  • Buildout of Seven Devils Taphouse — a nod to its predecessor — in The Village at Tamarack is taking shape and on schedule to open for this winter season, offering multi-level, mountain-casual dining, with indoor and outdoor seating that will accommodate approximately 318 guests.  
  • The “beach” positioned between The Village’s grand staircase and the base of the mountain has been regraded. Grass has been planted and all remnants of the domed structures that once stood in the area have been removed. The area will become the site of the resort’s new amphitheater for outdoor concerts and performances.  
  • Renovation is well underway for Osprey Meadows Golf Course, which is planned to be completed this fall and with play on at least nine of the holes teed up for summer 2023; all 18 holes are planned to be open the following summer. 
Tamarack Resort's Osprey Meadows golf course
Tamarack Resort’s Osprey Meadows golf course as of July 2022. Photo courtesy of Tamarack

The entire master plan is projected to be complete in the next 10-12 years, depending on market demand, Turlington explained, which, in addition to the residential real estate and projects above, will include the mountain’s expansion (with collaboration from the Forest Service) and initial construction of the marina beginning next summer, (with collaboration from the state around Poison Creek). Tamarack Resort is situated on 3,500 acres located 90 miles north of Boise. 

“We are largely on schedule and on track based on our master plan,” Turlington said. “It feels good, with the progress we’ve been able to make in spite of a lot of the challenges that exist with supply chain, logistics, staffing…but all in all, we’re all very pleased with the progress we’re making.”