Ski Magazine again voted Sun Valley Resort second in North America, and what do you do when you are on top? Improve it, and that’s what the resort is up to this winter season.
The annual readers’ poll for Ski Magazine voted Sun Valley number two overall. It also called out a number-one ranking for lifts, something that shouldn’t surprise Sun Valley skiers and riders who rarely experience lift lines, and a number-two ranking for grooming. Other top awards that weren’t too surprising went for service, character, lodging, dining, and après ski. What is surprising is the force of Sun Valley’s efforts this year to further improve upon the areas that drew such positive reviews.
As Tim Silva, Sun Valley Resort’s General Manager, explains, “At Sun Valley, we’re committed to providing our guests with an exceptional experience, and one that they are unlikely to find anywhere else. That requires listening to our guests and understanding how their expectations are evolving. We’re thrilled and honored with the results of the Ski Magazine survey, and we will continue our efforts to earn the trust of our guests. Most recently, the renovations to the Sun Valley Inn, continued investments in snowmaking and grooming technology, and the significant improvements planned to the Cold Springs Lift exemplify this commitment to excellence. And, as ever, we strive to balance progress with the preservation of the unique essence of Sun Valley.”
With “Experience Cold Springs Canyon,” advanced skiers can survey the 380 additional acres to be accessed by the new detachable quad.
Even More Terrain
The Cold Springs Canyon project will expand the resort’s skiable terrain by a substantial 380 acres, and the addition will include a variety of experiences: access to Turkey Bowl, tree skiing, and steep chutes. The project includes replacing the Cold Springs chairlift (the resort’s oldest) with a detachable quad. The fast-traveling quad will connect to the Roundhouse Gondola, Christmas chairlift, and The Roundhouse lodge for a meal and respite. Another change on the mountain will be a 3,400-foot extension to Lower Broadway with more snowmaking guns to keep it refreshed. In fact, the resort is adding 18 new snowmaking guns down to the lower terminal of the Cold Springs lift. Construction may begin as early as next summer, but watch for “Experience Cold Springs Canyon,” informational tours led by Sun Valley Ski Patrol and Sun Valley SnowSports instructors for advanced skiers this winter.
Enhanced Resort Experience
After the lifts close, it’s time to enjoy the extended winter evenings, and Sun Valley is making additions to its lodging, dining, and social scenes to that end. Now that the Sun Valley Lodge is completely new on the inside, Sun Valley Inn is next up for renovations. Expect the rooms to be more spacious. The total number of rooms will decrease from 105 to 98 rooms and suites. Progress has already been made, and 25 rooms have been reconfigured to 20 rooms and one suite that are ready to be experienced.
“Much of the craftsmanship and woodwork are staying traditional, while the décor has been updated with new bedding, wall coverings, carpeting, and 55-inch televisions,” states Justin Cambier, Sun Valley’s Director of Hospitality. “Our guests have many fond memories of the Sun Valley Inn, so we wanted to preserve our heritage, while making modern updates for today’s sophisticated traveler.”
“Our guests have many fond memories of the Sun Valley Inn, so we wanted to preserve our heritage, while making modern updates for today’s sophisticated traveler.”
Justin Cambier, Director of Hospitality
Another major remodel to the Sun Valley Inn complex is the new Village Station restaurant. Once the location of the original post office and then of Bald Mountain Pizza, the newly remodeled area will add to the variety of dining options available in the Sun Valley Village. An outdoor patio, full-service bar, and a varied menu selection of pizza, sandwiches, salads, and burgers will offer something for the whole family.
“The new Village Station is a great addition to the Sun Valley dining options,” says Kelli Lusk, Sun Valley Resort’s Public Relations and Communications Manager. “Four large-screen televisions, 12 craft beers on tap, and a daily house red and white wine makes it the perfect spot after a day on the slopes or to unwind with friends. We also have a family takeout menu.”
Staying consistent with the resort’s tradition of taking the best and making it better, The Ram and The Ram Bar have also been updated during the Sun Valley Inn remodel. The Ram Bar now has hardwood floors, three large-screen televisions, and a fireplace, making it a cozy and relaxing place to catch up with friends. The Ram restaurant still has the classic look and feel of the iconic restaurant, while the new exhibition kitchen takes center stage.
Kids of all abilities can explore the terrain parks and family cross course or just enjoy a day on the mountain with Dollar LIVE.
Focus on Families
The holidays are always a wonderful time for families, especially when spending time at Sun Valley Resort. Families are already looking forward to the time of year when the Sun Valley Carolers stroll through the Village, brunch visits with Santa, the vintage sweater party, and the big event, the Christmas Eve ice show, with hot chocolate, fireworks, and the Dollar torchlight parade.
“Sun Valley is about family and friends,” says Lusk. “In addition to all of the holiday activities and on-mountain experiences, we have many fun things to do in the Village. Bowling, movies, swimming, the fitness center, shopping, and dining are all within walking distance of the Sun Valley Lodge and Inn. There is something for everyone.”
Children find a warm welcome on Dollar Mountain. There are plenty of beginner-friendly slopes to learn the sport from the skilled ski and snowboard instructors at the Sun Valley SnowSports School. New this year is “Terrain that Teaches,” an inclusive and interactive teaching method created by the Sun Valley SnowSports staff.
Dollar LIVE is the place first-timers or experienced skiers and riders can enjoy a day with family and friends at the flow-style terrain parks, family cross course, and the skate-style parks. Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge is conveniently located at the base of Dollar Mountain to refresh kids with hot chocolate, warm cookies, or a hot slice of fresh pizza.
Another option for families to experience Sun Valley Resort is the Winter Fun Pass, back again after its success last season. For $69.00 plus tax, each person has a pass to enjoy six activities and can select from a list of eight options:
- An hour ice skating and skate rental
- A half-hour bowling and shoe rental
- A ticket to the movies at the Sun Valley Opera House
- A round-trip gondola ride
- A half-day on rented snowshoes
- A daytime horse-drawn sleigh ride
- An hour of virtual golf
- A cup of a’ la Mode’s notoriously good hot chocolate
Passes are available for purchase at the Sun Valley Guest Information Center and the River Run Brass Ranch.
With the “Kids Ski for Free” program, kids 12 and under can ski for free with each paying adult when booking special lodging packages, and they can ski at Dollar or Bald Mountain.
Convenience and Incentives
Sun Valley’s accessibility by air travel has never been better, and now United Airlines is offering yet another new flight. This one provides nonstop service to Sun Valley from Chicago’s O’Hare. Now there are nonstop flights from Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Salt Lake City, and Chicago.
Alaska Airlines is even sweetening the deal for nonstop flights to Sun Valley from Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland. Alaska Airlines offers a boarding pass exchange program that includes a Sun Valley Nordic Center pass, a discount on lessons, and ski rentals. For details, connect with the Alaska Airlines boarding pass exchange program link, https://www.sunvalley.com/getting-here-around.
Something for everyone at Sun Valley Resort
- Ice Skating
- Movies at the Sun Valley Opera House
- Gondola rides
- Horse-drawn sleigh rides
- Virtual golf
- Hot chocolate & treats at a’ la Mode’s
Mark your Calendars
The excitement of competition comes to Sun Valley again in March with the return of two important national ski events, the 2018 Toyota U.S. Alpine Championships and the 2018 Junior Alpine Championships. From the spectator areas along the racecourses it’s a chance to see the top skiers in the nation compete in Slalom, Giant Slalom, and Super G events. The races, concerts, and après parties will enliven the town from March 19 to March 26, 2018. Then the Alpine Juniors will hit the slopes to offer a glimpse of the future of championship skiing.
Another Sun Valley winter unfolds with even more to thrill and delight. Get ready.