SUN VALLEY CELEBRATES ITS 80TH SUMMER INSTYLE
BY ANN ZIMMERMAN
Sun Valley has people on the move this summer hiking, running, bicycling, fishing, driving, exploring, golfing, swimming, playing, and competing. With something for everybody, there is a multitude of ways to celebrate summer amid the beauty and delightful climate of the Wood River Valley. The 80th summer at Sun Valley should be one of the busiest and best yet.
LET SUN VALLEY ENTERTAIN YOU
“Sun Valley’s summer ice shows should contribute to making it the best summer yet,” states Scott Irvine, Sun Valley on Ice’s producer. “We have the top names in the world and some amazing up-and-coming stars on the schedule. It’s one of the strongest lineups we’ve ever had.” Beginning July 2, Sun Valley on Ice offers shows on Saturdays (with the exception of July 9 and August 20, when no shows are scheduled), and tickets are available for the show with an accompanying dinner or just the show. The season extends through the grand finale on September 3, featuring Olympic gold medalists and six-time U.S. National Champion ice dancing team Meryl Davis and Charlie White. The big July 4 extended weekend includes some fine entertainment when the Midtown Men come to the Sun Valley Pavilion on July 3. Featuring four of the original cast members from Broadway’s Jersey Boys, reviewers call it “the real deal when it comes to ‘60s music.” Other well-known stars coming to the Pavilion this summer season include Foreigner, Emmylou Harris, and Vince Gill with Amy Grant.The Sun Valley Symphony returns to the Pavilion with its In Focus series July 24, 26, and 28 and the Orchestra Festival on 11 dates throughout August. A summer highlight, the Sun Valley Symphony’s Gala on August 7, will include multiple-award-winning vocalist and actress Kristin Chenowith. The In Focus series features a baroque evening of Bach, a classical performance of Haydn and Mozart, and Stravinsky’s ballet, Pulcinella.
KNOWN FOR ITS COPIOUS SUMMER RECREATIONAL PURSUITS THAT FAR SURPASS ANY OTHER MOUNTAIN RESORT COMMUNITY, SUN VALLEY OFFERS DAZZLING CHOICES FOR ACTIVELY ENJOYING THE RESORT AND THE SURROUNDING AREA, PLUS SOME GREAT SUMMER CONCERTS AND ICE SHOWS WITH THE NATION’S TOP SKATERS.
On August 1, the Orchestra Festival opens with another Igor Stravinsky ballet, The Firebird, to be performed with dance and puppetry. The diverse offerings for the remainder of the Orchestra Festival feature musical guests and a wide range of composers. Additional information on the Sun Valley Symphony may be found here: http://svsummersymphony.org/.
Wood River Valley’s favorite events also return this summer. July 8–10 marks the Ketchum Arts Festival, and the Sun Valley Writer’s Conference draws its usual large group of enthusiasts July 12–15. August 12–14 celebrates the 48th annual Sun Valley Arts and Crafts Festival, and art enthusiasts can also plan on the Wood River Art Studio Tour, August 16–21. In September, the Ernest Hemingway Festival meets on the 8th through the 10th. The entertainment season wraps up with the increasingly popular Sun Valley Jazz and Music Festival, when lively and varied entertainment takes over local venues from October 19–23.
There is plenty of entertainment happening almost every night in addition to these special events. The Opera House in Sun Valley and area cinemas offer films, there are local theater productions, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts has speakers and special events in addition to gallery offerings, and the Duchin Lounge has a lineup of favorite entertainers. Other hot spots offer nightly music as well. RACES, RODEOS, RALLIES, AND WESTERN REGALIA Sun Valley is home to active people, so it makes sense that outdoor activities make a strong appearance during the summer, with competitions for almost everything using wheels, feet, or hooves.
The Sun Valley Road Rally takes to the streets July 22 and 23 to cover some beautiful territory. For those who prefer wheels under their own power, Rebecca’s Private Idaho offers a two-day bike race September 3–4. Runners are not to be outdone, with the Standhope Ultra Challenge offering a competition for both 60K and 25K distances in August.
Hooves take the stage the Fourth of July weekend in Hailey, when competitors gather for the Days of the Old West Rodeo. Labor Day Weekend sees Wagon Days, when history enthusiasts celebrate the early days before railroads in Ketchum with a pancake breakfast and a parade of historic wagons and events. Again, history of the area is the focus October 7–9 with the annual Trailing of the Sheep celebration.
SPORTS AND RECREATION
Outdoor adventure enthusiasts find that Sun Valley satisfies their needs for sports and recreation, and it seems that it is always getting better with more to do and enhanced services.
Locals and regulars to Sun Valley have long known it to be a superior golfing destination, especially after the construction of the 58,000-square-foot Sun Valley Clubhouse with its terraces, restaurant and bar, pro shop, and locker and rental services. Golf Digest just announced this spring that Sun Valley has earned its Best Resort of the Americas award. In making the award, Golf Digest explained that the Editor’s Choice award recognizes resorts as the best in their class for total golf lifestyle. The award also noted Sun Valley’s challenging courses and pristine views.Sun Valley offers visitors three distinct and challenging choices. White Clouds is an alpine-links-style nine-hole course extending 3,600 yards of play with dazzling 360-degree views. Trail Creek is Sun Valley’s best known—a signature championship 18-hole course reaching 6,968 yards with stream carries and ominous bunkers. Less known is Elkhorn, a semi-private 18-hole course with a water hazard at every hole but one.
Golfers say that Sun Valley is synonymous with golf, but tennis enthusiasts offer a credible argument for their sport, referencing the premier high-altitude tennis facility with 17 hard courts. Tennis Magazine ranks Sun Valley as one of the top 50 resorts in the country. Under the direction of tennis program director Mark Rodel, Sun Valley offers summer weekday clinics and camps for adults and juniors, conditioning classes, lessons, tournaments, and a weekly social.
In addition to tennis and golf, Sun Valley Lake offers fun and family-friendly water sports. Paddleboats, stand-up paddleboards, and inflatable kayaks are just a few of the activities being offered this summer, in addition to the beach volleyball and horseshoes.
The Sun Valley Stables are also expanding this year to include western horsemanship clinics and private lessons. Also, the Sun Valley Gun Club, now in its 80th season, has expanded shooting range hours, along with new programs for recreational shooting and instruction, with an emphasis on gun safety. For those wishing to explore Sun Valley by biking or hiking, Pete Lane’s Outdoor Adventure Center offers guided tours and instruction. “People will appreciate the staff’s local knowledge of the trails for biking, hiking, and running,” states Kelli Lusk, Sun Valley’s public relations manager. “There are numerous guided hikes from easy to advanced—all with incredible views. Pete Lane’s also has mountain and road bike rentals for riders of all abilities and ages.”
One of the many memorable things to do while in Sun Valley is making a trip to the Roundhouse Restaurant for lunch and a ride on the gondola, along with doing the Wheels & Wine Guided Bike Tour. Cyclists take a casual bike ride and learn about the rich history of the area, with a wine tasting at the end. Gondola ride tickets may be purchased at the Sun Valley Recreation Office, while the Wheels & Wine Guided Tours may be booked 24 hours in advance at Pete Lane’s.
CHILLING WHERE IT’S COOL
There are times, whether it is after a big outdoor adventure or just because it’s a vacation, that kicking back is the right thing to do. Sun Valley is on board, and has some great options for prime chillaxation.
For relaxing poolside or cooling off, there are three amazing swimming pools at the resort. The Olympic-size pool is located near the tennis courts with two dedicated swimming lanes. The Inn also has a year-round heated pool with magnificent views of Baldy. The newest pool, adjacent to the spa, is also heated, and it is open year-round with a hot tub and Poolside Café and Bar offering healthy fare and a full-service bar.
For the ultimate in relaxation, the Spa at Sun Valley awaits. In addition to massage, body treatments, and acupuncture, there is a full-service salon offering everything from haircuts to pedicures.
For anyone’s interests, subset ranging from ambitious activity to just chilling, Sun Valley is ready to accommodate the perfect day, and when night falls, there are plenty of entertaining things to do this summer.