The actor owns a number of properties, but for years he has made small-town Idaho his home away from home. He decided to do what he could to give back to that community.
When Demi Moore and Bruce Willis were still married, they owned over $20 million worth of real estate in the mountains of Idaho, reportedly as a getaway from their Hollywood lives. After the divorce, Bruce Willis still owned The Mint Bar and Liberty Theater in the small town of Hailey, Idaho, as well as a ski resort in Fairfield, Idaho.
In April, Willis put his Hailey home and bar up for sale for a combined $21 million. He had hoped to also sell the ski resort but has since decided to donate it to the citizens of Fairfield.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the organization that will be responsible for the management of Soldier Mountain Ski Area,” Willis said in a press release to the Idaho Statesman. “It was exciting to see that the very people who ski at Soldier care so much about its future. I wish them the very best.”
A nonprofit group formed to take over the mountain, bringing ownership back to the locals. Back in April, Willis was in town to take part in a town hall to discuss ownership changes of the mountain.
“It went from idea to execution in a matter of weeks,” local attorney Will Varin, president of the new nonprofit, said.
Willis made it a point to give the mountain back to the community, and the community understands the importance of that move.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to do it,” Varin told the Idaho Statesman. “At the end of the day, we don’t own the mountain, it’s a community mountain.”
The spokesperson for the new nonprofit group, local Justin Nyquist, echoed the sentiment.
“Soldier Mountain is the pride of Fairfield,” Nyquist told the Idaho Mountain Express. “The new owners want to keep it that way. This community meeting is a chance to lay out the ownership change to the town and offer residents an opportunity to ask questions.”
In March 2009, the base lodge at Soldier Mountain burned down, but Willis quickly rebuilt it. The new lodge, which is 4,500 square feet, opened just 10 months later, in January 2010.