EVENTS: A Roundup of New Year’s Events in Ketchum and Sun Valley

A Few Reasons Why New Year’s Eve in Sun Valley is the BEST!

By Katie Matteson

Celebrating Sun Valley style–Happy New Year!

2012 is upon us! And what better place to ring in the New Year and get a fresh start than in Sun Valley! Sure New York knows how to throw a street party, beach parties in Thailand are hard to beat and I heard that the fireworks in Sydney over the Opera House can be pretty spectacular.

But really, there is nothing better than celebrating a fresh start, the New Year and new beginnings here in the mountains of Idaho. And with a fresh blanketing of snow and plenty of options to celebrate in style, I’m pretty sure once that clock strikes midnight, you’ll be glad you’re here.

We have broken down the events by location in Sun Valley and Ketchum, as well as a listing just for kids and families. So read on to check out our roundup of New Year’s options around the Sun Valley area, then grab your loved ones and go celebrate Sun Valley style. We will see you in the New Year!

>> Events in Sun Valley

1. New Year’s Bubbly Bash at River Run Lodge: NOW SOLD OUT

Sun Valley Center for the Arts Junior Patrons Circle Bubbly BashHopefully you got your ticket early because this event, put on by Sun Valley Resort and the Sun Valley Center for the Arts Junior Patrons Circle, will be hopping! Eighties cover band, Notorious, will be providing tunes and with a free champagne toast and photo booth, revelers will be partying the night away!

>>Where: River Run Lodge

>>When: New Year’s Eve, 9:00 PM to 1:00 AM.

>>Info: Tickets are now SOLD OUT!

 

 

 

2. Joe Fos Trio at the Sun Valley Duchin Room

Ring in the New Year in the classic Sun Valley Lodge bar–the Duchin Room. The Joe Fos Trio will be providing music and it is sure to be a special Sun Valley New Year’s Eve.

>>Where: Sun Valley Lodge, Duchin Room.

>>When: New Year’s Eve, Saturday, January 31.

>>Info: sunvalley.com, Call 208.622.4111 for more info.

 

 

3. Trail Creek Sleigh Ride: Celebrate Idaho-style!

Try an old, Idaho tradition to celebrate the start of 2012 with a classic horse-drawn sleigh. Starting and ending at the Sun Valley Inn, this ride takes you and your family out to the Trail Creek Cabin for dinner and brings you back under a canopy of stars. Dress warmly and get ready to celebrate!

>>Where: Sun Valley Inn and Trail Creek Cabin

>>When: New Year’s Eve, Saturday, January 31.

>>Info: Call for reservations 208-622-2135.

 

4. New Year’s Even Dinner at the Roundhouse

A classic Roundhouse sceneWith one of the best views in town and some of the best dinner in the Valley, the only on-mountain lodge that offers dinner service is the Roundhouse–and it offers a picturesque and romantic setting for your New Year’s Eve dinner. The ride up and down the gondola also provides a little more romance for the evening.

>>Where: The Roundhouse, Bald Mountain. Park at River Run and ride the River Run Gondola.

>>When: New Year’s Eve, Saturday, January 31st.

>>Info: Call 208.622.4111 for details! Dinner reservations are currently booked but they are taking names for the wait list.

 

5. The Ram: New Year’s Dinner in the Sun Valley Village

Head to the cute and quaint Sun Valley Village for a New Year’s Eve dinner you won’t soon forget. The Ram is offering a five-course gourmet meal for $79 per person. Head to the nearby Inn Lobby Lounge to ring in the New Year after dinner!

>>Where: Sun Valley Village, the Ram Restaurant.

>>When: New Year’s Eve, Saturday, January 31.

>>Info: Call 208.622.4111 to inquire about availability.

 

 

>> Events in Ketchum

1. Reckless Kelly at Whiskey Jacques: The wildest party in town!

Nationally successful country-rock band, and native Idahoans, Reckless Kelly, headlines the main event in downtown Ketchum. Get ready for a wild night of dancing and fun at Ketchum’s favorite bar, Whiskey Jacques!

>>Where: Whiskey Jacques, Main Street, Ketchum.

>>When: New Year’s Eve, Saturday, January 31. Doors open at 9:00 PM.

>>Info: Advance ticket sales are now over. Tickets will be available at the door for $75/person. Contact Whiskey Jacques for more info, 208.726.5297.

 

 

2. Ring in the New Year at the Roosevelt Grille!

DJ Lenny Joseph will be spinning tunes and there will be plenty of dancing to be had at Ketchum’s Roosevelt Grille. Come in for dinner before the party gets rocking at 10:00 PM! Tickets are available starting today and include a complimentary Champagne toast and party favors!

>>Where: Roosevelt Grille, Main Street, Ketchum.

>>When: New Year’s Eve, Saturday, January 31. Party starts at 10:00 PM.

>>Info: Call 208.720.0051 for dinner reservations or to get your wristbands for the party!

 

3. Romantic Italian New Year’s Dinner at Il Naso

Dinner at il Naso in Ketchum, IdahoRomance your loved ones with an intimate and delicious dinner at Ketchum’s Il Naso.  Dine by candlelight with this five-course, prix fixe meal with a complimentary glass of prosecco.

>>Where: Il Naso, 480 North Washington Ave, Ketchum.

>>When: New Year’s Eve, Saturday, January 31.

>>Info: Call 208.726.7776 for reservations.

 

 

 

4. Dance the night away at the Casino with Old Death Whisper

Ketchum’s famous dive bar, the Casino on Main Street in Ketchum, is hosting local folk/country/rock band, Old Death Whisper for their New Year’s Eve party. Come get into a little trouble and party down with the locals!

>>Where: The Casino, Main Street, Ketchum.

>>When: New Year’s Eve, Saturday, January 31. Party starts at 10:00 PM.

>>Info: $15/person at the door.

 

 

>> For the Young Ones – Families & Kids!

1. Sun Valley New Year’s Eve Party for the Kids!

The kids have their own party this year! Kids of all ages are welcome for food, beverages and fun in the Sun Valley Inn’s Continental Room. Come check it out!

>>Where: Sun Valley Inn, Continental Room.

>>When: New Year’s Eve, Saturday, January 31st. 7:30 PM to 1:00 AM.

>>Info: Call 208.622.4111 for reservations.  $75/person.

SHOT OF THE WEEK: Jeremy Black in the Pipe at Dollar

Photograph by Tal Roberts Photography

Jeremy Black hitting the pipe at Dollar Mountain

LIFTLINE: Mountain Access 101

The Wheels on the Bus….
(a rundown on the basics for getting to the mountain)

By Alec Barfield

Buses picking up skiers at the village, Winter of 1946.

Sun Valley Resort consists of three bases:

(1) River Run Plaza,
(2) Warm Springs at Baldy and
(3) Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge.

Each has its advantages, depending on personal preference (and mountain usage), and folks are split over where they like to begin and end the day. Proximity to one or the other, afternoon cravings for a hot dog at Irving’s (Warm Springs only) and one’s need for heavy-duty wagons to haul gear (River Run only) are just a few of the deciding factors to consider. But whichever base wins your profound yet seasonal loyalty, you must first make another choice: how to get there.

‘Tis the season of trains, planes and automobiles … and buses. Of course cars are welcome; there are well-marked and amply-spaced parking lots at both bases. Yet don’t deny Wood River’s public transit system, the ubiquitous Mountain Rides program, the opportunity to change your mind and routine. In terms of mountain access, there’s no better way to make your morning pilgrimage to the mountain than via one of Ketchum’s many buses.

Why Mountain Rides

Funding mass transportation is a no-brainer from the city’s perspective. Buses drive commerce by shuttling tourists and locals. Buses reduce traffic and congestion and, ultimately, buses help control local pollution levels. Financially and logistically it makes sense that the communities of the Wood River Valley committed significant resources to creating a free and easy-to-use transit system. The considerable environmental benefits of mass transit have only added value.

According to Treehugger.com, forty five million barrels of oil are saved each year from people taking public transportation, which amounts to one quarter of the energy needed to power American homes annually. Moreover if just 1 in 5 Americans used public transportation daily, this nation would see a 20% savings in carbon monoxide emissions. I could go on, but the environmental rewards of riding the bus are well-documented and the point is clear: The system merely requires the engagement of thoughtful citizens to keep the car in the garage.

Fortunately this argument doesn’t need to made often in Sun Valley, where open minds and a love of nature have always made public transit, once K.A.R.T. now Mountain Rides, a highly popular venture. Still what all types of riders quickly learn is that getting driven around and dropped off has obvious practical advantages. Some of my top favorites:

  1. Don’t waste time circling the parking lot. Hop on the bus and ski sooner.
  2. Don’t carry five pairs of sticks and poles from the car to the lodge. Hop on the bus and stop the whining.
  3. Don’t drive home when you’re legs can’t move. Hop on the bus and stretch out.

When all is said and done, why not take the bus?!

Know Your Bus Driver (and the Rules & Etiquette)

Follow the rules of bus etiquette...or you may end up riding outside, like J.P. Morgan in this test of the first chairlift

Like the post office, the Mountain Rides buses are social. Riders share stops and routes, and bus drivers intentionally keep to the same schedules week after week.

In other words, making friends is common. My usual drivers are To and Rod (Rod being what I’d call my “regular”). Just like a lot of us: Rod wants to ski everyday–and so he works accordingly. He’s been driving the bus for years because it makes doing what he loves simpler.

I live in Warm Springs and need to get downtown. My options are the Blue and Bronze Routes. For no good reason I always take Blue, which departs from the base lodge (the Irving’s stop) on the hour and half past the hour. I show up on the hour, grab a hot dog from Irving’s Red Hots and hop aboard. Classical music is playing and my seat is warm. Four stops and ten minutes later, I finish my meal and say good bye. Free and easy.

In the course of my ride, I learn more about life than buses. And I realize that not many cities have drivers like ours … Friends driving friends sounds too good to be true–yet, in my experience, the Mountain Rides drivers have never been anything but friendly, funny and informative.

 

To help keep it that way, I’ve included a few basic rules of bus etiquette that every small-town rider should follow:

  1. Bus drivers need to stay focused on the road (especially during busy holiday weeks and weekends), so before asking your driver for directions, consult the Mountain Rides pamphlets for color-coordinated, big font basics on getting around Ketchum.
  2. Large maps are also located at the most popular stops (Warm Springs, River Run, Baldy Circle).
  3. Don’t stand up before the bus comes to a complete stop. It’s dangerous.
  4. Remember that others are riding with you and put the cell phone down or pause the iPod. (“Guys yelling into their cell phones is the worst” says Rod).  Instead of jabbering on obliviously, hang up the phone and talk to the driver. Or talk to your friends (old or new-found)–buses here are communal and it’s fun to compare adventures after a day of skiing.

Getting to the Mountain (Schedules & Times)

Although Mountain Rides buses operate year-round, certain routes are seasonal, or "winter only." With the onslaught of winter tourism, it’s only natural that the system expand to accommodate increased traffic. Below is an overview of every route, year-round and seasonal (mountain access points are in bold). Visit the website for more time tables and maps.

  • Blue Route (all year) – Connecting the Warm Springs base, the YMCA, downtown Ketchum, Sun Valley, Dollar Mountain and Elkhorn. Times: 7:00 AM to 9:30 PM, year round (until 12:50 at night, winter only).
  • Red Route (all year) – Connecting Elkhorn neighborhoods, the River Run base, Christophe and downtown Ketchum (including Kentwood Lodge and Lift Tower Lodge). Times: 8:30 AM to 4:55 PM.
  • Green Route (all year) – Connecting downtown Ketchum, the River Run base, St. Luke’s and the Meadows. Times: 7:10 AM to 5:45 PM.
  • Bronze Route (winter only) – Connecting the Warm Springs base and  Sun Valley Village. (The Bronze Route runs from December 17th – April 1st.) Times: 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM.
  •  Silver Route (winter only) – Connecting Sun Valley Village with Ketchum, the River Run base and Dollar Mountain. (The Silver Route runs from Thanksgiving through the end of the season.) Times: 8:00 AM to 5:56 PM.
  • Gold Route (winter only) – Connecting Sun Valley Club, Sun Valley, Dollar Mountain and Elkhorn Springs. (The Gold Route runs from December 17th – April 1st.) Times: 9:05 AM to 3:05 PM.

NOTE: Be sure to follow the link to check current schedule updates and times, as well as to view maps and transit alerts–including up-to-date information on service adjustments due to traffic, special events or route changes.

LIFTLINE: Skiing and Boarding in Groups

How to stay sane when skiing with everyone’s aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, friends and grandparents.

By Katie Matteson

Meeting friends on Bald Mountain

This is the time of the year when everyone’s favorite mountain, Baldy, gets packed! Lines are long, slopes are filled, it is hard to find a seat on the deck at Warm Springs Lodge and, suddenly, your friends’ red and blue jackets start looking just like everyone else’s red and blue jackets.

So just how are you supposed to find your friends in a sea of skiers, snowboarders, revelers, families, ski lessons and groups of ski-teamers? Not everyone has bright colored jackets like me (I swear, my favorite pink and green jacket can be spotted on Baldy miles away!), no one really uses walkie-talkies anyone (though if you did, we think it’s awesome!), and sometimes it is just too cold to take your gloves off and dig through your pockets for your cell phone.

So we have complied a few tips on just how to stay together on the mountain, the best places to meet on the mountain, and a few safety tips for skiing or boarding in groups.

1. Plan ahead. Knowing when and where you are going to meet your group is the first step towards success. Be specific in your planning. Instead of saying, "Meet you at the top around eleven," try something more specific (and less mainstream) like: "Meet you at the top of Seattle Ridge at 11:15."

Meeting Friends on Baldy

Plan ahead with a specific time and location to make sure everybody meets up on top and in the right place

2. Watch the clock.  There are several clocks strategically placed in every lift line. Watch for the big blue signs with maps on them, the clocks are on there too. There are also clocks at the top of the mountain and the top of Seattle Ridge. Being on time will help your group meet up easier!

3. Stand BELOW the slow sign. If you and your fam gets split up on a run, or if you decide to meet halfway down, the best place to wait for the slower part of the crew is right BELOW one of the big, orange slow signs. Most skiers and riders work to avoid those signs anyway, so you will be out of their way and it also provides you a little protection, just in case.

4. Move away from the lift! If you are meeting friends at the top of the mountain, whatever you do, DO NOT stand right where you got off. Many other skiers and riders will be getting off the lift before your friends get there, and if you are standing right in the way, it is a recipe for a disaster (or at least one or two pile-ups).

5. The best place to meet: Warm Springs Side: The Warm Springs Bridge (located right at the end of the Challenger lift line, just past Warm Springs Lodge). An old stand-by for groups of skiers and riders to meet up, the Warm Springs Bridge is almost a tradition of its own. Locals and tourists alike can be heard on a Friday night at Grumpy’s saying"Meet you on the Bridge at nine tomorrow." Just be sure not to confuse it with the River Run Bridge!

River Run Base Lodge

Looking towards the firepit at River Run Base Lodge

6. The best place to meet: River Run Side: The fire pit. River Run Lodge is huge and there are plenty of places to meet your group from the bear statue to the fireplace inside to the first ski rack, but our favorite place to meet, and warm up some chilly fingers, is the fire pit. Located right near the bottom of the gondola, you are sure not to miss this one and you can warm up and meet new friends while you wait.

7. If Meeting up enroute, stand BELOW the slow sign. If you and your fam (or larger group) gets split up on a run, or if you decide to meet halfway down, the best place to wait for the slower part of the crew is right BELOW one of the big orange slow signs. Most skiers and riders work to avoid those signs anyway, so you will be out of their way and it also provides you a little protection, just in case.

8. Move to the side of the slope! There are some long runs and some long cat tracks on Baldy, so if you and your crew get split up on Lower College or at the end of Hershey Highway and you are going to wait for them to catch up, be sure to move to the side of the run. Standing in the middle of any run can be dangerous for you and other skiers!

9. The best place to meet: Seattle Ridge.  If your 13 year-old cousin doesn’t want to watch the Broncos game with you inside the Seattle Ridge Lodge while you wait for the rest of the family, the best place to meet on Seattle Ridge is outside the Lodge on the Lower Level. This not only keeps you out of the way of the lift and other skiers, but it provides easy access to the bathrooms and water, without going up or down any stairs!

10. The best place to meet: Top of the mountain. Lots of groups get together at the top and with the Lookout Lodge, three lifts and one cat track all converging in one area, it can get pretty hectic. Tell your friends to meet you by the big blue sign (the one with a map and a clock), or even a little lower, down by the Ski Patrol Shack. But try to stay out of the way of the snowboarder’s Strap-Up area.

11. Carry a map! Baldy can seem big and confusing, especially to a first-time visitor. So be sure to carry a mountain map with you at all times, that way if your group gets separated, at least you can figure out where you are and where you want to be! Also, the Sun Valley guest service folks (the friendly skiers and boarders in bright yellow jackets) are incredibly helpful; so don’t be afraid to ask. There are also some pretty sweet Smartphone apps with resort maps that can come in pretty handy!

Skiing and boarding is all about fun. Enjoying bluebird skis and hopefully some fresh powder with your family and friends.  So be patient and kind to your fellow Baldy-lovers! A little karma goes a long way!

MOUNTAIN DIVAS: Pamper Yourself 101

 

Pampering for Moms on and off the Mountain

Taking a "time out" for yourself is essential for Mountain Divas!

10 quick fixes to help you relax and recharge

By Laurie Sammis

Let’s face it, if you are a Mountain Diva, you are a busy girl! It’s a festive time of year and the Holidays only raise the bar, thus lowering the amount of R&R for yourself.

And it doesn’t matter what keeps you busy: whether it’s the constant social circuit (a glass of champagne here…a bikini martini or a hot toddy there) or the steady schedule of family fun and kids activities that you are working to coordinate during this busy time (ice skating, ski lessons, tubing at Dollar). But if you feel like an air traffic controller that has just landed 18 jumbo jets on conflicting flight patterns (at night and in a snow storm), it’s time for a course in pampering yourself 101.

Read on, darling diva, as the following 10 quick fixes are geared towards helping you find your inner goddess once again.

 

 

 

1. Pamper Your Body

Every diva knows that the quickest way to complete bliss is through a relaxing and rejuvenating body treatment. Lucky for us, the Sun Valley Salon and Day Spa offers a wide array of options: everything from acupuncture and herbal body wraps to "hot stone therapy" and traditional massage. Just remember that there are hundreds of different techniques, so be sure to be specific on your needs (and aches or injuries) so that your treatment can be tailored to your specific needs–whether it’s a more relaxing in-room massage treatment (you don’t even have to get up and look presentable) or an invigorating sports massage or shiatsu treatment to help those quads recover from multiple days on Baldy. Can’t decide, call 208.622.2160 to get a recommendation on the perfect spa package (they can build in facials or salon services as well) or view the full brochure of spa services here.

2. Drench Your Skin

No time for a full massage or spa package, book a Petite Facial and enjoy 30 minutes of quiet time that includes a thorough cleanse and exfoliation, along with a moisturizing mask to rehydrate and refresh the complexion. You’ll look as good as new in no time! Of course, feel free to splurge with the Spa Prestige Ogenage Facial (for 80 minutes of heaven and a totally renewed, revitalized, and dare we say reconstructed complexion that works days after the facial). You can also enhance any of the standard facials–like the Aqualift Anti-Wrinkle Facial or Ultra Moisturizing Facial or the Classic–with a marine eye-lift or specialty concentrate treatment. Call 208.622.2160 to book your facial.

 

Poolside cocktail service at the Lodge pool

3. A Soak in the Lodge Pool

What could possibly be better than a following up your massage or facial (or full spa package) with a relaxing soak in the Sun Valley Lodge pool …? We can answer with complete confidence: Nothing can compete. There is simply no better way to finish off your massage than with a glass of champagne or a bartender’s margarita delivered poolside while you lounge in an outdoor pool that is heated to a soothing 100-102° (make sure you drink your water first so that all that pampering from your massage doesn’t go to waste). Come to think of it, this is the perfect way to end any aprs ski day, no matter where you have been (on the slopes of Baldy, exploring the backcountry with Sun Valley Heli Ski or wandering the Nordic trail system).

The bench seat extends around the entire perimeter and watching your drinks arrive via poolside cocktail service through the steam is a rare luxury. And don’t forget the Inn Pool, which offers breathtaking views of Baldy.

4. Pamper Your Toes

Short on time, book a manicure / pedicure and treat your hands and feet. The Sun Valley Salon and Day Spa even offers a reflexology add-on (30 minutes) to help add to the experience. Looking for a little extra sparkle, zip down to Chic Nail Boutique in Hailey for the Glitter Toes, a treatment that melds real glitter to any color for that added holiday glam.

5. Indulge in Sunday Brunch

Plan a decadent Sunday brunch at the elegant Lodge Dining Room on the second floor of the Sun Valley Lodge and indulge in what many consider to be the Northwest’s finest Sunday Brunch. A lavish display of breakfast specialties including omelet and crepe stations, seafood, an array of gourmet salads and a symphony of desserts await, along with the accompaniment of pianist Leana Leach. Open every Sunday for Brunch from 10 am to 2 pm. Sorry, no reservations for the Sunday Brunch.

6. Lunch at Your Leisure

Lunch at the Roundhouse

Enjoy a leisurely lunch at the Sun Valley Club, surrounded by huge glass walls overlooking the Nordic trails meandering along Trail Creek Golf Course. The sliders are to-die for and the lunch menu has something for everybody. Looking for something a little more quaint, then don’t miss a European breakfast or indulgent lunch at Cristina’s Restaurant (of Cristina’s Cookbook series fame). This quaint little cottage in Ketchum beckons with old-world charm and offers a menu of delicious treats that changes daily.

And for that WOW factor, a gondola ride up the mountain for a full table lunch service  at the Roundhouse can not be beat–just don’t miss drinks or fondue at Averell’s before you sit down (and enjoy the incredible views of town and the surrounding Pioneer Mountains)! Plan ahead (and get there early) as parties are seated on a first-come, first served basis; although large parties of 8 or more may make reservations by calling 208.622.2800.

 

7. A Little Retail Therapy

Grab coffee at the Konditorei Coffee (don’t worry, nobody can spell it correctly, but it’s pronounced khan-di-tor-i) and then head out to the Sun Valley Village shops for some retail therapy.

More than 15 shops beckon in the Sun Valley Village

Over 15 unique shops offer everything from technical sportswear and footwear to the latest in designer styles, fine gifts, jewelry and home dcor. Designer lines include the latest from TSE, Juicy, Diane von Furstenberge, Velvet, Juicy, Kjus, Bogner, Toni Sailer, Ralph Lauren, Moncler, Arc’teryx, Lole, Nils, Patagonia, Burton and more. There is even a toy store for unique toys and gifts and Silver Creek Outfitters….so you can get something for everybody on your list.

For a more cultural experience, visit one of the amazing art galleries in town (the Sun Valley Gallery Association sponsors monthly gallery walk nights), featuring nationally and internationally recognized artists showing as part of a sophisticated and thriving arts scene–there is even the U.S. premiere of the Papunya Tula aboriginal artists from Australia this February at Harvey Art Projects in Ketchum.

8. Escape into the Solitude of Nature

Nordic and snowshoe trails offer beauty and solitude

Want to just get away from it all and enjoy the peace and quiet of a high alpine landscape beneath a blanket of freshly fallen snow? Head north out Trail Creek to the Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center, which is located in the glass-walled and river rock Sun Valley Club, nestled along the sprawling Trail Creek Golf Course. With over 40 km of trails groomed daily for skate and classic skiing, the trail system offers gently sloping terrain with challenging hills that offer incredible vistas without leaving you gasping for air. For a round up of other local snowshoe trails, from easy to insane, check out Sun Valley Magazine’s "Walking in a Winter Wonderland." Cap your afternoon adventure off with a hot toddy in the Sun Valley Club.

 

9. Dinner and a Movie

Treat yourself to a movie at the historic Opera House. Built in 1937 and located in the heart of Sun Valley Village, the Opera House is a charming 340-seat theatre that features the newest releases, along with regular showings of the classic "Sun Valley Serenade" (every afternoon at 4:30 and admittance is always free). Sun Valley restaurant guests can also enjoy a FREE movie after dining at the following Sun Valley restaurants: Bald Mountain Pizza, Trail Creek Cabin, The Ram and Gretchen’s. Movie passes will be available to each diner for a movie on the same evening. Please ask your server for more information. Ketchum’s Magic Lantern Cinema also offers current films nightly and matinees most days.

Comedy and live music are all part of the winter calendar

10.  Ladies Night Out

Looking for a little more excitement. Start with some aprs ski fun by checking out Sun Valley’s Calendar of Events to see who is playing at the base lodges–both River Run and Warm Springs. There is often entertainment in the Sun Valley Village as well, with details on times and performers online–the Duchin Lounge has the best live jazz in town and the Boiler Room offers a comedy series and special appearances, along with the farewell season of Forever Plaid this year! There is also live music most nights somewhere in town and Whiskey Jacques has a full calendar with a great lineup and most shows with only a $5 to $12 cover.

 

Just remember that if you stay out too late…you may have to begin at the top of the list with #1 and start all over again.

SV SHRED: Holiday Treats


Family fun in Sun ValleyFun stuff to do for the whole family

By Mike McKenna

It’s tough to find a better place in this big, beautiful world of ours to enjoy the holidays than Sun Valley, Idaho. From fantastic skiing and snowshoeing to bowling, ice skating  and snow tubing, there are lots of fun ways to fill up a day around here.

To help you make the most out of it, here’s a rundown of some of the fun stuff the whole family can enjoy during the holidays in Sun Valley.

 

 Bowling & Game Room

One of the Pacific Northwest’s oldest bowling alleys, the Sun Valley Lodge Bowling Alley and Game Room offers a 1950′s atmosphere and features six lanes, video games, a Juke Box, pool table and snack bar. Open nightly from 4pm to 10pm daily, the Bowling Alley and Game Room can be reserved for private parties. For more info, check bowling alley hours and details here.

Cross Country Skiing or Snowshoeing

The Sun Valley Nordic & Snowshoe Center is located at the 58,000 square-foot Sun Valley Club in the backyard of the world famous Sun Valley Lodge. They’ve got all the gear to supply the whole family for some fun frolicking in the snow. For a round up of other local snowshoe trails, from easy to insane, check out Sun Valley Magazine’s "Walking in a Winter Wonderland."

Sun Valley Lodge Skating Crowd

Skating in front of the Lodge at Sun Valley's famous Outdoor Ice Rink

Ice Skating

There’s no doubt where the coolest place is in Sun Valley, it’s the Ice Rink. Open to the public and home to the legendary Sun Valley Ice Shows, the Ice Rink is a great time for the whole family. The ice rink is open daily at 10 am has a full range of rental sizes.

Fly Fishing

Even on the coldest days, fisherman of all ages can be found casting the day away on the Big Wood River. Check out the reduced winter guide rates, which include all the gear, for day of fly fishing with the world-renown guides at Silver Creek Outfitters or read about the basics here.

 

Micro-Stock Car Racing

Sun Valley’s Limelight Room will host the Micro-Reality Stock Car Racing Thursday, December 29 & Saturday December 31, from 6 to 10 pm. $25 per person at the door. Youngsters and those young at heart are welcome to join in the fun, which will include: Video Games, Fast Track Auto Racing, Guitar Hero, Hose Hockey, Giant Twister, Speed Pitch, Calf Roping Lessons, Electronic Putting Challenge, Music & Prizes! For more information or to make reservations call 208.622.2135.

Learning to ski under Sun Valley's blue skies

Ski Lessons

From daylong kids classes to private lessons for the whole family, taking or having the kids take a ski or snowboard lesson is always a good idea. Sun Valley Snowsports Ski School is well known and highly respected for helping shredders of any age improve their skills and have more fun on the slopes. Follow this link for Ski School basics. 

Forever Plaid

Celebrating their final season, Forever Plaid offers "Heavenly Musical Hits" the whole family can enjoy. Kids under 12 are admitted for free. For their full schedule, check out the Sun Valley Calendar of Events.

Movies

Situated in the heart of Sun Valley Village, the Opera House was built in 1937 and serves as Sun Valley’s charming 340-seat theatre. Call 208.622.2244 for check here for films and times.  The Opera House also plays the classic film, "Sun Valley Serenade" each afternoon at 4:30 and admittance is always free. Ketchum’s Magic Lantern Cinema also offers current films nightly and as matinees most days.

Music

The two base lodges at Sun Valley, River Run and Warm Springs, offer live music most weekends and holidays weekdays. Check out the Calendar of Events for times and listings.

 

Sleigh ride to Trail Creek Cabin with Bald Mountain as backdrop

Sleigh Rides

A sleigh ride to Trail Creek Cabin for dinner has traditionally been one of the most memorable and fun Sun Valley winter experiences for the whole family. Round trip scenic rides are available Tuesday through Saturday and nightly during the Christmas holidays and President’s Week. Private bookings are also available. For dinner at Trail Creek Cabin, the half-hour long horse-drawn sleigh rides leave the Sun Valley Inn at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm for a family style dinner. For more info or reservations call 208.622. 2135 or check here.

 

 

Swimming

Sun Valley Lodge offers two year-round swimming pools. The Lodge Pool is heated to a soothing 100-102° and cocktail service is available for aprs skiers. The Inn Pool offers breathtaking views of Baldy. The Lodge also offers a state-of-the-art fitness room. Check here for more info. The Wood River YMCA also has a pool and lots of other activities for the whole family, from a climbing wall to large fitness facility.

Tubing at Dollar Mountain is fun for the whole family

Tubing

Rubber meets the snow in three 600-ft. lanes at Dollar Mountain’s Snow Tubing Park. Fun for the whole family, the tubing park is open daily. For more details, check here.

New Year’s Eve Party

Kids of all ages are invited to celebrate New Year’s Eve Sun Valley-style at the Inn’s Continental Room. Food & beverages are included. The family-friendly party runs from 7:30pm to 1:00am, $75 per person on New Year’s Eve. For reservations please call 208. 622.2135.

Sun Valley Suns 2011–2012 Schedule


Date  Team  Location
December
 December 16-17 McCall Home
 December 28 Future Suns Home
 December 30-31 Utah Rebels Home
January
January 6-7 Aspen Home
January 13-14 Utah Grizzlies Away
January 20-21 Utah Grizzlies Home
January 27-28 Boston Home
February
February 10-11 Missoula Home
February 17-18 Langley, B.C. Home
March
March 2-3 McCall Home
March 9-10 Russia Home

SKIING HERITAGE: Sun Valley Torchlight Parade

A Sun Valley Tradition

By Alec Barfield

Dollar and Baldy Mountain celebrate the season with Fireworks and a Torchlight Parade

The Christmas Eve Torchlight Parade on Dollar Mountain is one of Sun Valley’s most venerable traditions, dating back further than the memory of any living resident. More than merry exercise, the parade truly holds symbolic significance in the community–especially on this Anniversary year. Seventy-five years ago this Christmas season, the Sun Valley Lodge opened its doors to the world and our celebrated resort was born. By now we all know the "creation story" of how Averell Harriman and Count Felix Schaffgotsch, after combing the West, hand-picked Ketchum to be America’s premier ski resort, the next St. Moritz. With such a compelling narrative and host of characters – the railroad, the Count, the celebrities from Hollywood’s golden age – it is no wonder this town loves its heritage.

 

Tomorrow night that history will come to life in the form of lights and fireworks. The parade itself speaks to Sun Valley’s Swiss and Austrian predecessors, who pioneered the mesmerizing trails of fire that snake down the mountain. The location, however, alludes to the resort’s own uniqueness, as Dollar was home to one of the first two chairlifts in the entire world (the other being on nearby Proctor Mountain). While the East was using rope tows and Europe was still relying on funiculars and tramways, Sun Valley began moving skiers like hanging bananas on the novel Dollar Mountain "chairlift." The idea was a momentous innovation that would shape the skiing world forever, and Sun Valley was at the heart of it.

Yet the torchlight parade is a unique and festive Sun Valley time capsule, not only for its connection to this area’s earliest beginnings, but because its participants have been doing it for years. Historically conducted by the Sun Valley Snowsports School, the parade is a nostalgic event, providing an opportunity for friends and family to remember those torch bearers who are no longer with us as they watch the snaking line of past instructors, sweeping right and left, and sharing in the tradition once again. According to ski school director, Allan Patzer, the torchlight has become a truly spiritual event and an honor for present instructors. Not simply a performance, it is an opportunity for remembrance, in more ways than one, of everyone and everything that has contributed to the foundation of this incredible community.

Tomorrow night, after the Nutcracker On Ice Show, look towards Dollar. Rising nearly 630 vertical feet from the valley floor and bereft of trees, the mountain is the ideal host for the event, which will be followed, as always, by a show of fireworks. If you’ve never watched the parade before, this is your opportunity to take part in an elegantly poignant Sun Valley tradition. If you are a regular spectator, one familiar with that glowing stream of Christmas lights, then you understand, and have probably already set your clocks for six p.m.

>> Event Details: 

“Nutcracker on Ice” Holiday ice show begins at 5:00 PM at the Outdoor Rink, Sun Valley Lodge Terrace.

Torchlight Parade & Fireworks immediately following the ice show(usually around 6:00 PM)

Dress: Bundle up and look for hot chocolate and goodies on the Lodge Terrace (and maybe even a surprise visit from Santa after the “Nutcracker on Ice” Holiday ice show.

SHOT OF THE WEEK: Pat Lee on Dollar

Photograph by Tal Roberts Photography

Pat Lee hitting the rails on Dollar Mountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIFT LINE: On-Mountain Lodges & Après Ski Options

Guest blogger Alec Barfield.

Why leave the mountain after skiing? Sun Valley has all kinds of aprs options, from the Warm Springs base to Lookout at the top of Baldy. Take an inside peek into these local drinking holes.

 

At Lookout Lodge. Getting ready to bomb to the bottom!!

 LOOKOUT LODGE (9 am – 3:30 pm):

With its low beams, leather booths and etched glass, Lookout Restaurant is truly a throwback. Unlike the more Tyrolean Roundhouse or the stately River Run base lodge, Lookout has a neighborly vibe, establishing it as the "other" classic spot for regulars to lunch or aprs on the mountain. Need a quiet corner to nurse a tall boy and rest those legs? Or maybe the powder is fresh and speed the priority? Either way Lookout has you covered: food and beer are served quickly and there are rarely crowds. Located at the top of Baldy, it is Sun Valley’s peaceful aprs-ski perch.

Crowd: Anyone looking to avoid the rush of other lodges. Regulars include ski patrol, lifties and locals in the know. Lovers of elegant washrooms: Lookout will meet your marble standards.

 

Specials: Beer pairing is simple: order anything to pair with the unbeatable fish tacos. The purest aprs meal, however, is the Kobe beef slider (think sake-infused beef).

Noteworthy: Come mid-March, Lookout sets up an outdoor grill, complete with sunshine and beer coolers. Remember that peaceful December pilsner in the corner? Last year’s crowds grew into the hundreds…. Let’s aprs, bro!

 

RIVER RUN BASE LODGE  (8 am – 6 pm)

Ahhhh, it’s the last ski run of the day–you are schusshing down Baldy with the beautiful River Run Lodge in sight. You can almost hear the wine corks popping and beer bottles clanking. River Run Lodge has a happening aprs vibe with live music offered on most weekends and holidays and a fabulous outdoor fire pit sitting area to meet new friends or catch up with old chums.

Crowd: Happy people of all ages, from locals to visitors, who just went skiing or boarding at America’s original destination resort!

Specials: Sipping tall boys of Pabst Blue Ribbon at the base of Baldy is one of life’s finer moments for some SVM staffers and fans.

Specials: The aprs scene is a classic mix of local and visitors (season lockers are upstairs) and many a special event has been staged at the River Run Lodge. Don’t miss the the afternoon spring scene or fire pit outside beside the gondola.

Noteworthy: Home to the original chairlift on Baldy and, as old-timers will tell you, to a single chairlift until the 1960s, River Run is now serviced by an 1,800-passengers-per-hour gondola which was the largest Doppelmayr project in North America when built in 2009.

 

SEATTLE RIDGE LODGE  (9:30 am – 2:30 pm)

A quintessential mountain retreat, the Seattle Ridge lodge is massive, impeccably detailed and downright warm. What’s incredible about Seattle Ridge is that it has no secrets: sunshine and gourmet meals play on repeat. The fireplaces are always roaring, heating nearby boots and gloves, and the views only change with the seasons. Enjoy early aprs with friends (the lodge closes at 2:30) while gazing out on Hailey, Bellevue, the Pioneer Mountains and the surrounding lower valleys.

Crowd: Skiers, boarders and occasionally that guy who mono-skis. Literally the whole family. According to many, Seattle Ridge is "the place to be seen." If there’s a celebrity on the mountain, he or she will likely stop by this Sun Valley landmark for lunch at some point.

Specials:  Do yourself a huge favor and try the mouth-watering prime rib. Don’t forget the pitcher of beer!

Noteworthy: Behind the beautiful log construction of Seattle Ridge were teams of helicopters that flew up and down the mountain delivering giant timber.

 

The SVM Staff enjoying apres at Averell's

AVERELL’S BAR – ROUNDHOUSE  (11 am – 4 pm, last call 4:30 pm):

Quite possibly the quintessential spot for aprs skiing in Sun Valley, Averell’s Bar is located halfway up Bald Mountain on the lower level of the historic Roundhouse Lodge. The octagonal building is filled with loving reminders of Sun Valley’s glory days and Averell’s (named after Sun Valley’s founder, Averell Harriman) hosts the Valley’s most majestic views of the Wood River Valley and Pioneer Mountains. Originally opened in 1940 along with Baldy’s first chairlift, Averell’s reopened in 2010 and not many people even knew the room existed after it had spent nearly a decade as a storage locker wasting those breathtaking views.

Crowd: Frequented by movie stars, housewives, Olympians, regular Joes, tourists and the un-or underemployed, Averell’s will surely leave an imprint as it offers a stroll down memory lane.

Specials: The cheese fondue for two (or more) is tough to top and they offer a solid beer and wine selection. SVM staff is known for making major editorial decisions while enjoying beer and fondue at Averell’s.

Noteworthy: Averell’s announces last call to ski down by ringing the bell at 4:30 pm. The last gondola back down departs at 4:45 pm. Dinner at 7,700 feet is a special event (open Thursday-Sunday from 6 – 9 pm), reservations required, call 208.622.2800.

 

WARM SPRINGS LODGE  (8 am – 4 pm):

The bar is small, but the view is huge. The drinks are cute ("Hot Apple Pie"), but they pack a punch. The lodge at Warm Springs does big and little things, and it does them all well. The lodge itself is magnificent, the perfect place to end a long day on the mountain. The famous cookie bell, almost unseen, nonetheless rings loudly enough to produce an even noisier scuttling of tiny boots to the kitchen. Find a seat facing the vaulted windows, grab a pint of the Stone IPA, and wait for the youngsters to return with Sun Valley’s greatest aprs snack.

Crowd: Residents of the Edelweiss and groups of all sizes parked at Warm Springs. Weary parents. A few years ago I also spotted Tim Allen on the patio.

Specials: The creative and very seasonal "Warm Ups" menu features drinks such as the "B-52" (coffee liqueur, Irish cream and orange cognac) and the "Nutty Irishman" (hazelnut liqueur, Irish cream and vanilla flavored vodka). Small cups of bar pretzels are on the house.

Noteworthy:  The aprs crowd at Warm Springs follows the sun, meaning the scene heats up, literally and figuratively, after the holidays. By President’s Weekend, Warm Springs definitely secures the end-of-day "scene." Weather permitting, bands will play regularly outside. Nothing goes better with chocolate chip cookies than live music.

 

>> Check the Sun Valley website all season for more information on events/specials at Lookout, Seattle Ridge, Warm Springs and the mountain’s other lodges!