Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Sun Valley Offers Incentives to Celebrate 84th Season
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Dana Maloney showed up at Sun Valley Resort’s Apres for Snow Party as Gretchen Fraser, the pig-tailed Sun Valley skier who won America’s first alpine gold medal at the 1948 Winter Olympics in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
 
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

There’ll be free cocoa, a banner that skiers can bust through enroute to the first chairlift of the season and commemorative mugs for the first hundred guests.

Welcome to Sun Valley Resort’s 84th ski season!

Sun Valley Resort will kick off the 2019-20 winter season at 9 a.m. Thanksgiving Day with top-to-bottom skiing. And the early bird will get…well, a jersey and a gift card.

 
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A crowd turned out for Friday’s Apres for Snow Party at River Run Lodge.
 

That’s right. The first eight people in line on opening day will receive a jersey and gift card. They’ll have their pictures taken with Sunny the Bear and the opportunity to take their first ski run of the season with Sun Valley’s mascot.

But you don’t have to be first to get in on some sweet deals.

Guests will be treated to cocoa as they cross the bridge over the Big Wood River starting at 8 a.m. each day of the weekend. And there’ll be an Instagram scavenger hunt on Saturday and Sunday with prizes for those following Sun Valley at @sunvalley.

Skiers and boarders will find a new deep purple and pink carpet in the River Run lodge, replacing the lighter carpet that showed dirt as soon as it was cleaned. And, when the Warm Springs Lodge opens for the season, skiers and boarders will find a dazzling new piece of art painted specifically for the wall behind the old bar.

 
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Dana Maloney, as Gretchen Fraser, was crowned Sun Valley’s Snow Queen at the Apres for Snow Party. The Snow King—Matt Hansen--came dressed as Glen Plake with a rainbow-colored mohawk.
 

Upper and Lower College will be open on Turkey Day, as will 42nd Street, Mid River Run, Lower River Run, Roundhouse Slope, Lower Canyon, Roundhouse Lane, Sunset Strip and Kinderspielplatz. More trails may be added as the snow starts adding up.

Dollar Mountain will begin operations on Friday, Dec. 13.

Some 325 ski racers began testing the white boulevard of corduroy that Sun Valley has laid down at Sun Valley Resort’s annual ski camp on Saturday.

The camp attracted collegiate racers from New Hampshire and Montana State University, as well as members of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard team. It also attracted racers from Snowbasin, Salt Lake City, Park City and Boise, in addition to local racers from the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.

 
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A photo booth at the party gave attendees a chance to get decked out for their Christmas cards.
 

“The snow was a brilliant sheet of white snow. It was absolutely fantastic,” said Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Director Scott McGrew.

The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s 650 athletes will find a remodeled Lake Creek hut designed to provide more efficient workouts for Nordic skiers, McGrew said. The SVSEF also renovated its Sagewillow Air Barn to provide more features to maximize training.

OFF THE SLOPES:

The Sun Valley Inn will host its lavish Thanksgiving buffet from 2 to 8 p.m. on Thursday. Tickets are available at 208-622-2135, at the Recreation Office in Sun Valley Village or online at www.sunvalley.com.

Once you’ve finished off that delectable slice of salmon and that piece of pumpkin pie, check out some relaxing piano music from Larry Harshbarger at the Ram Restaurant beginning at 6 p.m. Joe Fos and Brad Hershey will perform jazz piano at the Duchin Room beginning at 7.

Green River Blues will serve up free apres ski music from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, at River Run Lodge. And there will be plenty of activities in Sun Valley Village, including a free screening of “Sun Valley Serenade” at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, at the Sun Valley Opera House.

Warren Miller’s “Timeless” will be shown at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, at the Opera House ($5.50 admission), and Tylor & the Trian Robbers will play live music at the River Run Lodge that afternoon beginning at 2:30 p.m.

COMING ATTRACTION:

As more terrain opens, skiers will find 34 acres of improved tree skiing in the Frenchman’s area.

Seventeen acres of trees were thinned between the Can-Can and French Dip ski runs and 17 more were thinned between the Can-Can and Graduate ski runs this fall.

The thinning was part of a partnership between the resort and the U.S. Forest Service to remove Douglas fir that have become diseased due to beetle or dwarf mistletoe, said Kelli Lusk, a spokesperson for Sun Valley. The thinning will also reduce fuels in the event of wildfire.

“It’s going to put big smiles on skiers’ faces,” said Ketchum District Ranger Kurt Nelson. “We’re going to have some fabulous glade skiing in those areas.”

SUN VALLEY’S NOW EPIC

Sun Valley Resort rolled the dice this year, switching from being part of the Mountain Collective pass family to the Epic Pass.

The Epic Pass is the industry leader of collective passes. It offers skiing at 60 resorts, including eight Canadian resorts, 21 European resorts, several Japanese resorts and a long list of American resorts including Vail, Breckenridge and now Sun Valley and its sister resort Snowbasin.

Those with full Epic passes get seven days at Sun Valley and unlimited days at other resorts owned and operated by Vail Resorts. Those with unrestricted Sun Valley passes, such as the Challenger pass, get half-priced lift tickets at Vail resorts across the country.

Chances are a lot of Epic passholders will want to check out Sun Valley since it was voted second best in North America by SKI magazine readers. The resort consistently places in the top five year after year. This year Sun Valley clinched more top spots than any other resort, receiving accolades for its lifts, service, lodging, down-day activities, family friendliness, charm and overall satisfaction.

TRAIL CREEK CLOSED:

Trail Creek Road was closed for the season on both the Sun Valley side and the Mackay side for the season.

 

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