First 5 months of 2018 outpace prior years in city
Looking across Ketchum, the story of new commercial property development is no longer solely focused on new hotels.
Forbes, April 4th, 2018
Sun Valley in Idaho offers just about everything an outdoor enthusiast might dream of doing in one location. Skiers and snowboarders relish its more than 2,000 skiable acres and 40 kilometers of cross-country tracks. But don’t discount its warm-weather outdoor activities, as droves of people come here for hiking, mountain biking, golf, fishing, shooting and horseback riding, as the summer season has surpassed the winter season as the busiest time of year at the resort. And that’s just the beginning.
A resort for all seasons.
Indeed, Sun Valley is a year-round destination that benefits from a high mountain desert climate, low humidity and sunny skies for 80 percent of the year. The average daily high temperature during its coldest season, between mid-November and late February, is a comfortable 32°F, while the average temperature during the summer months is an enviable 81°F.
“The old saying here,” explains Steve Haims, who has lived in the area since 1978 and is employed by Sun Valley as its Director of Nordic Sports, “is that people come for the winter and stay for the summer.”
It is easy to understand why.
After all the excitement from Monday’s women’s giant sla-lom finale of the 2018 Toyota U.S. Alpine Championships on Baldy, Sun Valley will make a quick turnaround two days later and stage another major U.S. Ski and Snowboard (USSA) event. Roughly 70-80 men and 50-60 women from across the U.S. are expected for the USSA U.S. Junior National Alpine Championships that will put a lively spring skiing punctuation mark on the 2017-18 winter sea-son at Sun Valley Resort.
The Sun Valley Ski Educa-tion Foundation (SVSEF) along with title sponsor Smartwool will host top U.S. juniors for competition in the USSA championship event set for Wednesday through Friday, March 28-30. Featured in the three-day series are one competition in super giant slalom, one in giant slalom and one in slalom for men and women.
SVSEF also hosts a Ketchum welcome ceremony, awards ceremonies after men’s and women’s races, and a gathering for parents, coaches and offi-cials at Ketchum’s Limelight Hotel on Thursday.
U.S. halfpipe skiers take 3 medals at PyeongChang
U.S. freeskiing halfpipe coach Ben Verge started skiing at Dollar Mountain as a kid. When he got older, he coached for the Sun Valley Ski Team. This week, his team struck gold at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
All four men’s halfpipe Team USA skiers qualified for the finals; Aaron Blunck, Ferreira and Torin Yater-Wallace took the top three spots, respectively. Wise took the eighth spot in the qualifying round.
Titan of ski filmmaking launched career, genre in Sun Valley
Warren Anthony Miller, a ski-film pioneer in Sun Valley and lifelong pillar of the genre, died Wednesday at his home on Orcas Island, Wash. He was 93.
Born in Hollywood, Calif., in 1924, Miller took to the outdoors—and to photography—at a young age, surfing on a homemade board, hiking and camping with friends. Having fallen in love with skiing in the San Gabriel Mountains in the late 1930s, Miller turned his full attention to the burgeoning sport after serving in the Navy during World War II.
While famously living with friend Ward Baker in a teardrop camper trailer in Sun Valley Resort parking lots in 1946 and ’47, subsisting on tomato soup made of ketchup and hot water, Miller melded his love of skiing and his love for filming, sparking a prolific career of annual self-narrated ski films that as much defined the genre as propelled it forward.
KETCHUM, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) – Taste and Craft, formerly known as Taste208, was first held in 2010. Now, in 2018, the founders decided to close the Boise event and move it to Ketchum.
Idaho is the fastest-growing state in the union.
Half of its neighbors are in the top five. All but one are in the top 13.
The “but one” is Wyoming. It’s dead last. 51st out of a possible 51 (our ranking is adjusted for population and includes Washington, D.C.). Wyoming lost 1.0 percent of its population in 2017 even as Idaho was gaining 2.2 percent.
On the surface, the two states appear to have much in common. They share a border, a birth month (July 1890) and even — for a few brief heady months in 1863 — membership in the “Idaho Territory.”
So why are so many people leaving Wyoming while Idaho booms?
For clues, look at the full ranking. The Pacific Northwest and Mountain West are extremely well represented at the top of the chart but Wyoming and West Virginia are stuck to the bottom. Those two, and others in the lower echelon, have something in common: resource dependence. In their case, it’s primarily coal mining.
Wyoming has long been the nation’s coal king. The vast operations of the Powder River Basin produce more coal than all but a handful of states put together. But cheap natural gas has reduced power plants’ dependence on the mineral and, with it, its price and production. Wyoming’s mines are shipping out fewer tons of coal and getting paid less for each of them.
In 1936, deep in south-central Idaho’s jagged Sawtooth Mountains, Sun Valley Resort spun the world’s very first chairlift. For 81 years, the resort has been offering up some of the best skiing in the western United States on Bald and Dollar mountains, the two peaks that make up the resort.
Obviously, the sunny, snowy resort town is steeped in history. Ernest Hemingway completed his famous novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, while staying at the Sun Valley Lodge in 1939. Pale Rider (1985) starring Clint Eastwood was filmed in Sun Valley. Warren Miller began his illustrious ski film career while camping in the Bald Mountain parking lot. Ski movie-maker Dick Barrymore called Sun Valley home for many years. Smith Optics, which invented the first dual lens, anti-fogging goggle, was founded there. Gretchen Fraser, the first woman to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics, grew up in town. In fact, 39 living Olympians reside in Sun Valley. Freeskiing icons Reggie and Zach Crist, Lynsey Dyer, Lexi Dupont, Karl Fostvedt, Banks Gilberti and Collin Collins all hail from the area.
For the 2017-18 ski season, Sun Valley will give a nod to its wonderful history while making key updates and renovations. The Sun Valley Inn has welcomed weary skiers into its beds since 1937 and its rooms will receive a remodel, while maintaining the same traditional European Alps-inspired décor it’s always had. The Ram, one of the resort’s original dining establishments, will also receive a facelift in the form of a new kitchen, updated furniture and new floors, but that original look and feel will remain the same.
On the mountain, the Cold Springs lift, the resort’s oldest operating chairlift, will be replaced with a detachable quad that will rise 1,525 vertical feet in six minutes.
Sun Valley will also be expanding its terrain offerings with a new zone off of Seattle Ridge, on the far skier’s right of the mountain. Eager skiers will be able to drop into Turkey Bowl and access a whole new world of steep tree skiing, bumping the resort’s skiable acreage up to 2,434 acres. While the terrain won’t be open to the public until 2018-19, Sun Valley is offering guided tours for expert skiers in the new Cold Springs area beginning in January.
The results of our reader-ranked survey ranking the top 15 resorts in Western North America. SKI Magazine Editors September 22, 2017
“Tradition, ambiance, great customer service, efficient lifts, beautiful location, amazing grooming… there is, quite simply, no place like it.” -SKI Magazine
Other rankings included in the 2017-2018 SKI Magazine Readers Poll include:
Après-Ski & Nightlife: #4
Catch the full article in the print issue of SKI Magazine. Online articles can be found here: https://www.skimag.com/ski-resort-life/sun-valley
Photo Courtesy of Jay Dash / Sun Valley Resort.