by ann zimmerman

It’s a remarkable year for lodging at Sun Valley. The newly revamped Sun Valley Lodge opens with the utmost in comfort, style, and modern amenities, and just a short walk past the Sun Valley Mall, Diamond Back at White Clouds premieres 14 new townhomes. Diamond Back at White Clouds promises all the benefits of brand-new design and construction for those who like more of a neighborhood feel in a natural setting with ponds and streams. Plus, it is in the midst of all that Sun Valley has to offer and borders White Clouds, the challenging nine-hole alpine links course.

Sun Valley has developed White Clouds and directly handles the sales. Long-time Sun Valley executive Wally Huffman explains the Diamond Back at White Clouds concept. “The project lies between four holes of the White Clouds golf course along Trail Creek Road. With Phase 1, we offer a variety of choices in floor plan and appearance for the townhomes. There will be two fourplexes and three duplexes for a total of 14 units with phased completion throughout the summer. Ultimately, there will be 34 units when all phases of Diamond Back are completed. While the majority of the townhomes feature three bedrooms, there are two-bedroom units, and the homes are approximately 2,500 square feet in size. We are currently taking reservations, and two models are available to experience the completed homes.”


The first question about any new real estate is location, and in the case of White Clouds, the answer is always yes—yes to convenience, views, trails, and summer and winter recreation.
“I just timed it,” says Mark Thoreson, a 30-plus-year Sun Valley Company employee who is working on White Clouds. “It is less than a four-minute walk to the Sun Valley Club and Nordic Center.” In the summer, the Sun Valley Club anchors golf as the clubhouse for Sun Valley’s 27 holes at the Trail Creek and White Clouds courses. The Sawtooth Putting Range is a favorite with families, and the Club’s golf simulators offer access to the best and most famous courses around the world. Nordic skiing becomes the focus at the Club during the winter, and it is also convenient for skiing the groomed Trail Creek Trail. All year round, the Sun Valley Club is the area’s favorite lunch spot with its comfortable seating by the stone fireplace, and delicious menu.

And how far is it to walk to the Sun Valley Village Mall? “Six and a half minutes,” answers Thoreson. Not only does the mall offer shopping and dining, but also entertainment. Additionally, with the purchase of the Sun Valley Card or by putting a Sun Valley townhome into the rental pool, all the resort amenities become available to the townhome owners:
the pools, tennis, and preferred tee times. The Lodge’s spa and salon are also conveniently close by, and, going in the other direction for a very different experience is the newly opened Sun Valley Gun Club. Additionally, White Clouds is close to the transportation lines for the ski lifts or a trip into Ketchum.

44-3For many, mountain summers are for cycling and hiking. The paved Trail Creek Trail links road cyclists to a grid of dedicated paved trails and roads. For mountain bikers and hikers, Diamond Back at White Clouds is adjacent to the trailheads for the White Clouds Loop with connections to a full network of trails.
Time is important to everyone, and Sun Valley became much closer in terms of convenience and time with new direct flights to Denver and San Francisco and overall improved air travel.


According to Huffman, Sun Valley really outdid itself with the townhome’s design and appointments. The design connects the homes to the surrounding land and mountain views through the natural material selections, outdoor living with patios and balconies, an open great room floor plan, spacious kitchens with islands, and naturalistic mountain landscaping.
Sun Valley enlisted a trusted team comprised of local Ketchum architects Ruscitto|Latham|Blanton and Osborne Tyler Design for the interiors.

44-4Magleby Construction is building the townhomes and Layne Thompson serves as the Sun Valley Group manager and project manager for Diamond Back. Thompson describes the project. “It’s a very tasteful mix of classic Sun Valley architecture with a modern contemporary feeling and fine finishes.” Thompson finds it an appealing space for families for a weekend or extended stay because of the homes’ convenient floorplans, the surrounding streams, ponds, and open space, and the proximity to skiing and activities. However, he finds the homes’ technology also noteworthy.

“All units have fiber optics for unlimited bandwidth, LED lighting, Lutron lighting controls, and high-efficiency furnaces and hot water heaters,” Thompson reports. “The units meet the standards for the National Green Building Standard’s silver rating.”

The finishes Wally Huffman admires include prairie stone veneers, steel mantels, plain-sawn oak flooring, rift-sawn cabinets, and oak base and case trim. The townhomes are equipped with Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, Rohl plumbing fixtures, steel accents on the railings, and custom wooden doors with hand-forged bronze Rocky Mountain hardware. “The countertops are granite or Pental Quartz, and there is a 36-inch gas range and hood,” Huffman adds. He continues, “There are exposed beams in the great room ceilings, and the tiled bathroom floors are heated. Truly, these homes are an exceptional value compared to other resort homes at a price ranging from $574 to $650 per square foot.”
According to Huffman, the exteriors are a mix of architectural styles. Each home has decks or patios outside both the master bedroom and the great room, and the great room patio has a firepit and is plumbed and wired for a spa/hot tub. There is a common central grassy picnic area that makes it especially friendly to families.


Sun Valley hopes that owners of Diamond Back townhomes might place their homes in the rental pool. To accommodate this, there is an option for homes to be fully furnished and equipped by Sun Valley, meaning that bed linens, dishes, towels, and everything will be selected and provided to set up housekeeping. Also, Sun Valley offers its own property management services to homeowners to completely care for the home.

There is also flexibility wherein homeowners may opt to purchase their home fully furnished and equipped and not place the home in the rental pool.


Interest has been high in the townhome properties, and Wally Huffman is pleased that the homes are sized, designed, and located right for buyers.

“I do want to note that we also have building lots for single-family homes in White Clouds. These are all view lots and are located slightly up the hill from the Diamond Back townhomes, but still very convenient to the Village and the Clubhouse.”
Wally Huffman and Mark Thoreson are available to answer any questions, walk the properties, and to share the drawings for the lots and upcoming phases of Diamond Back at White Clouds. It has been many, many years since Sun Valley offered private properties for sale, and Huffman and Thoreson can fully explain the opportunities to own property at White Clouds.