Snow and Spruce Trees — the Week that Was

There is no such thing as a quiet week in Sun Valley. Even in the middle of the shoulder season, operations on the mountain and in Sun Valley Village hummed. Lunch specials attracted locals and visitors alike and the season’s first snow fell in earnest.

Mother Nature combined with Sun Valley’s top rated snow making to cover Baldy in white. According to the Resort’s Marshall McInnis, the piles of snow hugging the guns on Warm Springs are so deep, they are ready to “push” them, creating the beginning of the season’s base.  It’s on!

In preparation for a very special holiday season, the Monument Tree was planted across from the Sun Valley Inn during the snow storm earlier this week. The Colorado Spruce will serve at the Village Christmas tree for generations to come. It was harvested from Hillside Farms near Picabo, Idaho, and was chosen for its beautiful shape.  Meanwhile, the grounds and maintenance crews are hard at work stringing holiday lights, a process that takes a full month. The Village, Inn and Lodge will be decked for the holidays this year by Thanksgiving and highlights will include a spectacular Winter Wonderland (more on this to come). With the accompaniment of Santa, the Sun Valley Carolers, ice carving demonstrations and refreshments, this tree will be lit during a highly anticipated celebration on December 15.

Very visible operations were also underway at the Konditorei coffee shop. The Konditorei, literally the cornerstone of activity in Sun Valley Village, is in the midst of a major transformation, returning to its roots. Expect a cozy atmosphere, delicious food and a wonderful place to gather at this Austrian-style patisserie.

The Resort’s slack dining specials drew a full house to Gretchen’s Restaurant at the Sun Valley Lodge on Thursday.  The ladies who lunch gathered, chatted, organized the world and relaxed while snow showers swirled outside.  An always popular menu item?  Sun Valley’s famous french onion soup.

This weekend, the fun continues as Warren Miller’s latest installment of his ski film empire, “Flow State,” comes to the Sun Valley Opera House. Tickets are $18 and the movie is a great way to get excited about the winter season.

It is also another big bike weekend in the Wood River Valley as the annual Crosstoberfest gets underway. This bike racing and beer festival takes place at Old Cutter’s Park in Hailey, Idaho, and features seasonal beers from around the world, great food, live music and cyclocross racing.

Slack?  What slack?


Schuss in Style!

Part I – The Jacket

Come on in, the shopping is fine!


It’s the question on everyone’s lips, or at least the glossed lips of women skiers who love beautiful clothes. What will be hot on the slopes of Baldy this season? We’re glad you asked, because this week, the dedicated staff at the Brass Ranch boutique in the Sun Valley Village is busy unpacking and hanging exquisite pieces that will make you look as great as you ski. There is something for every taste, as well as amazing accessories that can be layered – turning one jacket and pant combo into lots of different looks.

Pretty, bright layering pieces by Bogner

Lee McCune and Rebecca Fundy, who have been with Brass Ranch for many years, are enthusiastic, giddy even, about the season’s ski togs. “There are bright colors, there are subdued neutrals, a little bling, a little fur, simplicity or lots of details – it’s a year where everyone will see something they love,” Rebecca enthused.  Indeed, if you can’t find something to like this season, you may have to dig out your one-piece or stirrup pants from the 1980s.  Everything else is on the racks in an updated, trendy incarnation.

Here are a few of the jackets that caught my eye and may make my holiday wish list:

This Rossignol jacket typifies the direction the storied company is headed this year – back to their roots. The look worked for decades and I am glad it’s back, better than ever.


KJUS is on the cutting edge this season as the first ski wear designer to use dyed down.  This parka features pink/purple down covered with transparent fabric.  The result is lovely!


Natural fibers are making a comeback, from traditional ski sweaters to coats like this one that incorporate wool for warmth. A true classic from Bogner’s timeless line.


Cozy and chic

Over-the-top is one way to describe this special coat from Bogner. From shred to street is another. This stunner is reversible: fur on one side, a gorgeous fire engine red on the other.  Turn heads on the slopes with the weather-proof red shell; turn it inside out and you’re ready for Gallery Walk, a drink at the Duchin Room and a night on the town.

My friend and I decided we needed to test this reversible luxury coat for ourselves.

I have a good friend who skis as much as I do (not my friend pictured above. She is very glam). We joke that our trail preferences (she lives for bumps. I don’t) are as different as what we wear on the hill.  We liken ourselves to the Spice Girls – she is Sporty Spice, I am Posh. Her picks run to the classic functional KJUS, featuring bright colors, geometric designs, lots of zippers and specially purposed pockets.  I am a Jet Set and Bogner kind of girl.  I have never met a pair of ski pants featuring a dragon snaking up the legs and across my lower back that I haven’t loved.  My favorite puffy parka is bright, aluminum foil silver. But this year, judging by what is appearing on the racks at Brass Ranch, both Sporty and Posh and everyone in between will find something to make them look and feel stylish this winter.

No matter your ski fashion look, if you want to wear the outfit of your dreams this year, shop early. Lee reminded that each ski jacket and pant at Brass Ranch (in the Village and at the base of River Run on Bald Mountain) is stocked in only one of each size. Get them while you can!

Some of the season’s pretty details –



Winter Wonderland Gala

Sun Valley Village

Saturday, December 1

Our Winter Wonderland Festival kicks off the holiday season in the Sun Valley Village.

Schedule of Events

  • 1pm:             Gingerbread Village Ribbon Cutting – Ribbon Cutting
  • 1pm–4pm:  Scavenger Hunt
  • 2pm–4pm:  Wagon Rides – Around the Village
  • 3:30pm:       Santa Arrives – Bald Mountain Pizza Deck
  • 4:30pm:       Drawing for Scavenger Hunt Winners – Boiler Room



20th Annual Business Showcase

Zions Bank and the Sun Valley Resort invite you!

Thursday, November 15, 2012–5:30 to 7:30pm

Limelight Room – Sun Valley Inn


We’re pulling out all the stops to celebrate the 20th birthday of a Sun Valley signature event.

The best and brightest from our business community will be on hand with information, giveaways and refreshments.

Network with business owners.  Find new customers. Or simply show the Valley what your business has to offer.

For more information, call Mary Sfingi or Jeffra Syms at 208-726-3007

Breakfast With Santa

Lodge Dining Room

Saturdays & Sundays, December 8–December 23

Sure to become a Sun Valley tradition, enjoy a delectable breakfast buffet with Santa as special guest.  The perfect opportunity for the seasonal photo with Santa.

Cost is $25 for adults and $15 for children, ages 12 and under; Children ages 3 and under are free.

Reservations:  208-622-2800

5th Annual Classical Christmas Concert

5th Annual Classical Christmas Concert

Friday, December 21 | 7:30 PM (Doors open 7:00 PM)
Sun Valley Opera House
Ticket Prices: General Seating $38 includes fees and tax

Sun Valley presents the 5th Annual Classical Christmas concert. This year’s concert welcomes a special guest artist who will join Sun Valley tenor John Mauldin, Leslie Mauldin, a soprano, and pianist and baritone Jed Moss. Also returning will be the Hatvani Chamber Ensemble, and, of course the Sun Valley Carolers.

Tickets on sale now at the Sun Valley Recreation Center, by phone: 208-622-2135 or 888-622-2108.

Gingerbread Decorating Fun

Boiler Room, Sun Valley Village

Children will delight in the delicious task of building their own gingerbread houses while surrounded by the enchanted Gingerbread Village.  All creations may be taken home.

Refreshments will be served.

Cost is $30



Sun Valley Carolers

Sun Valley  Village

Nightly, December 15–December 30

For 37 years the Sun Valley Carolers have strolled throughout the Sun Valley Village enchanting guests with magical sounds of the season.  Look for the Carolers decked out in their beautiful Dickens’ costumes as they sing around the Village and resort restaurants.

Gingerbread Village

Boiler Room, Sun Valley Village

A 20 x 30 ft. gingerbread re-creation of the Sun Valley Village, Bald Mountain and the Snowball Express train will be displayed here through January 4.  A fantasy winter wonderland replica of Sun Valley during its glamorous debut as America’s first destination resort.

Holiday Window Stroll

Sun Valley Village

A free and interactive self-guided stroll through the Village.  The theme, “Celebrating the Language of the Holidays”, honors the cultural diversity of holidays and festive celebrations around the globe.  Participants will receive “passports” to be stamped inside at every window location, each bearing a holiday greeting in a different language.  A special seasonal confection will be given out at the end of the stroll.