INKOM — A changing of the guard will take place at Pebble Creek Ski Area in Inkom next year.
On March 23, 2018, Mary Reichman, Pebble Creek’s current general manager, will step down from the post she has held for 30 years and completely hand over the reins to Mike Dixon. Reichman will stay on at Pebble Creek this winter season to ensure there is a smooth transition.
Dixon, a lifelong Pocatello resident who owns Best Towing, has been a ski bum at Pebble Creek since he was a child. He has been shadowing Reichman since last ski season to prepare for his new role as Pebble Creek’s boss.
“I really enjoy being up on this mountain,” he said. “It’s a second home to a lot of people and I really want to take good care of it and make sure everybody can enjoy it for years to come.”
While Dixon takes on the new job at Pebble Creek, his brother will run and operate Best Towing.
Dixon’s ascension to become Pebble Creek’s new general manager represents another step in the change of leadership at the ski area over the past year and a half.
After being owned by a small group of investors since the 1980s, Pebble Creek was purchased in 2016 by Shay Butler, an internet celebrity who was raised in Pocatello and is better known as Shay Carl by his online fans.
Dixon said there are numerous long-term plans for the ski resort in the works. For one, Pebble Creek’s management wants to expand its revenue stream in the summer months, with a focus on booking more weddings and outdoor concerts at the Inkom ski resort. Pebble Creek already holds the Idaho Wildflower and Music Festival every June.
Management also wants to create more opportunities for hiking and biking with new trails on the mountain. They are also looking to expand Pebble Creek’s parking lot and widen the Outback Trail.
But some of these long-term projects are quite a few years off. Because the land where Pebble Creek is situated is leased from the U.S. Forest Service, the resort’s management is currently assembling a master development plan for the federal agency to help get these future projects off the ground.
“Once we get that done, we’ll know a little more what direction we are headed,” Dixon said.
With new leadership and a new winter season on the horizon, Dixon said it’s going to be mostly business as usual for both Pebble Creek’s employees and their guests this coming season.
The school and Boy Scout programs will continue to be a focal point in the resort’s operations. Pebble Creek’s popular winter events — including the annual Freestyle Rally, the Stacy Smith Race for Kids, the Telemark Festival, the Dummy Jump and the Montucky Pond Skim — will continue as usual.
Concerts will still be held every Sunday evening in the lodge’s bar, and on Jan. 9, Jan. 16, Jan. 23 and Jan. 30, Barrie’s Ski and Sports will sponsor free skiing nights.
But that doesn’t mean the regulars at Pebble Creek won’t notice the multiple improvements, upgrades and new events coming to the resort this season.
For one, the Skyline Lift was almost completely overhauled this past summer. With a new motor, skiers and snowboarders can expect a smoother and faster ride to the top of the mountain.
“It’s virtually brand-new,” Dixon said.
There have also been extensive improvements to the beginner-level Aspen area. Everything in the Aspen area has been widened so first-time skiers and snowboarders have more elbow room. More lights for nighttime skiing have been added and another run has been built. In honor of Reichman, this new trail has been dubbed “Mary’s Way.”
On March 3, the Rocky Mountain States HillClimb Association will host a sanctioned snowmobile hillclimb at the ski resort. Later in the summer, another 3-D Archery Shoot will be held on the mountain.
Though many ski resorts in Idaho have opened for the season, the tentative opening day at Pebble Creek is scheduled for Dec. 16, but that all depends on how much snow falls during the next few weeks.
For Dixon and the local ski bums, opening day can’t come soon enough.
“We’re super-prepared, and having those lift improvements and everything in place, we’re going to have a good season and we’re going to have a lot of happy guests,” Dixon said.