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A Tamarack national view

Was only three or four years ago, or was it even that far back?, that the Tamarack Resort near Donnelly was the next Big Thing. President Bush stayed there, on invitation of then-Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne. But that kind of dates matters now, doesn’t it?

Today’s twist in the troubles at Tamarack is a substantial piece in the Wall Street Journal: “In Idaho, ski resort’s promise fades.” The piece has its flaws. Some of the description of the immediate economic fallout in Vally feels a little off (some of the employment comparisons aren’t really good apples-to-apples). And the description of what went wrong and how is certainly incomplete. The whole story will make a great piece of writing for someone one of these days.

A sample graf from the story (which makes not independent analysis but use of court documents): “A resort’s success was often staked to real-estate sales: As a Tamarack lender recounted in recent court filings, the resort had a business model in which ‘operating expenses would exceed revenue and the primary source of profit would be generated by the sale of real estate’.”

Valley County is now in the position of having to pick itself up and ask, What next? There is no simple answer after something like this.

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