A Board Bin Birthday Block Party

This week, Ketchum’s Board Bin celebrates its 25th birthday and you are invited to the party! On Saturday, October 26, from 1 to 8 p.m., the crossroads of Fourth Street and Washington will host a block party with food, bands, games and fun for the whole family.

Ketchum's Board Bin celebrates 25 years of bringing snowboarding and skateboarding to the community

Ketchum's Board Bin celebrates 25 years of bringing snowboarding and skateboarding to the community

“It’s supposed to be a beautiful day and we would love everyone to come out,” said Board Bin owner, Karin Reichow. “There will be a skateboard slalom race course, four ping pong tables hosting a tournament for every level player, a bouncy house and much more. Our neighbors are all participating and it will be a great community event.”

That corner of Ketchum has a lot to celebrate. In addition to the Board Bin celebrating 25 years in business, the Toy Store (with another location in the Sun Valley Village) can boast 35 years of making children happy; Java on Fourth has been serving up their famous Bowl of Soul coffee drink for 22 years; Johnny G’s Subshack has been making their fabulous grinders for 15 years. All will contribute to Saturday’s celebration, as will Rickshaw, Ninkasi Beer, Glow, Desperado’s, Dr. Maria Maricich and Bavarian Soul.

The owners of Board Bin helped show Sun Valley a new way to play on the snow

The owners of Board Bin helped show Sun Valley a new way to play on the snow

There is much to celebrate and much to look forward to in the coming winter sports season according to Karin and her husband Jim Slanetz. “We are obviously hoping for tons of snow to enjoy,” Jim said. “And Sun Valley is always getting better and better for this sport. With new Adventure Trails and other runs being cut, there will be even more terrain to explore on Baldy. For boarders, Dollar and the park and pipe are awesome, too.  We are expecting a great season.”  

And Karin and Jim would know, as they have been in Sun Valley since 1988 with front-row seats to the development and evolution of the sport of snowboarding in the winter and skateboarding in the warmer months.

“We started with two snowboards, five skateboards, some accessories and stickers in a little garage in Ketchum,” Karin laughed. Business was mostly word of mouth at that point as people interested in this new way to play in the snow sought out the Board Bin. That year, the young couple had the weather gods on their side, with one of the best snow seasons on record. The combination of powder and the fact that the new store carried the best snowboards available at the time got many people hooked.

That was then, Karin Reichow and Jim Slanetz in 1991...

That was then, Karin Reichow and Jim Slanetz in 1991...

But it was definitely an uphill go. “We were open from maybe noon to six that first year,” Karin recalled. “We were typical young people in a resort town, working all these jobs.” Jim added, laughing, “I drove a taxi, worked as a prep cook, everything.” But the Board Bin grew, moving two more times before settling on Fourth Street in 1993 where they have been selling hard goods, accessories and hip clothing for boys and girls, men and women ever since. They also lease children’s snowboarding equipment for the season and offer limited free leases to kids with a passion for the sport but who could not afford it otherwise.

... this is now

... this is now

And Sun Valley has also evolved into a snowboarding kind of town. The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation was named the USSA Snowboard Club of the Year, Chase Josey who graduated from Community School last spring was named to the 2013 Snowboard Team and Dollar Mountain boasts the only 22-foot Superpipe in the Northwest.

Head out to downtown Ketchum on Saturday to celebrate and socialize. Three bands, Jimmy Robb, El Stash and StoneSeed with provide a soundtrack to what is sure to be a fun-filled, beautiful autumn day. Congratulations Board Bin on 25 great years.

–RES

The new gear is in and everyone is looking forward to the opening of the mountain in about a month

The new gear is in and everyone is looking forward to the opening of the mountain in about a month

Snow in September

Imagine my surprise as I returned to Sun Valley Thursday from a quick trip out of town. When I left, skies were blue and temperatures were hot. The coin-like leaves of our ubiquitous aspen copse were just beginning to be dipped in gold. The region’s colorful, warm, inviting autumn days were just heating up.

Yes, this was a photo taken of the Sun Valley Lodge on September 26, just days after the autumnal equinox

Yes, this photo was taken at the Sun Valley Lodge on September 26, just days after the autumnal equinox

But always-fickle Mother Nature seemed to have missed that memo as the snow began to fly, then dump, in earnest on Wednesday. By Thursday evening, Bald Mountain was blanketed in more than five inches of fresh early season powder, clearly demarcating the runs when the clouds lifted and the sun shone Friday morning.

For winter sports enthusiasts, the first snow of the year makes your heart race just a little faster. The sight of Baldy’s trails covered in white evokes a longing that sets into motion the countdown to the mountain’s opening day around Thanksgiving. To see current conditions on the mountains, click HERE to access Sun Valley’s webcams.

On Thursday, snow blanketed backyards still in their late summer bloom

On Thursday, snow blanketed backyards still in their late summer bloom

This snow year in Sun Valley promises to be a great one and it actually is time to begin thinking about the coming season, especially if you plan to put a trip to Idaho in your upcoming holiday plans. New direct flights from San Francisco to Sun Valley on United Airlines begin December 12, making the connection between the Bay Area and the Wood River Valley as easy as can be. Early season lift and lodging packages tied to this new flight begin at $81 per person double occupancy and will book quickly. Imagine buckling up in San Francisco and unbuckling in paradise a short two hours later. Now is definitely the time to look at your calendar to take advantage of this new option.

This week's view from Baldy didn't exactly say September

This week's view from Baldy didn't exactly say September, but it certainly made snow sports enthusiasts start thinking about winter

It’s also the time for regular skiers and snowboarders to secure their season lockers at the base of the mountain as prices increase October 1. Having a locker to store skis, boards, boots and all your gear is the ultimate convenience. Rentals also come with other benefits including 10 percent off all Sun Valley owned retail stores, 20 percent off of rentals, two free demo rentals per season (try out those powder skis you’ve been coveting when the snow flies!) and unlimited ski tuning at $100 discount.

Friday morning brought bluebird skies and snow covering Baldy's runs

Friday morning brought bluebird skies and snow covering Baldy's runs

According to all the chic ladies at Brass Ranch, this is also going to be a banner year for ski wear. The lines being unpacked daily include some of the prettiest, most flattering coats, pants and accessories seen in ages. The early snow reminds that now is a great time to secure the perfect ski ensemble or even to shop for some holiday gifts while the selection is at its best.

Yes, this September snowfall will probably melt on the valley floor by this weekend, but it certainly put everyone around here in a mood for what will shortly follow. Sun Valley is beautiful year-round, but looks particularly lovely wearing white.

Fall is reasserting its dominance this weekend despite five inches of fresh snow and it promises to be a gorgeous autumn.

Fall is reasserting its dominance this weekend despite five inches of fresh snow and it promises to be a gorgeous autumn

Be sure to book your Sun Valley winter getaway now. It’s going to be an unbelievable year on Baldy, Dollar and up and down our miles and miles of award-winning cross-country trails.

Two months and counting … and in the meantime, there is golf to be played, hikes to be taken, bike rides to enjoy and fish to be fished for. It’s another splendid September in Sun Valley!

–RES

It’s Over!

The season that was

The season that was

At four p.m. on Sunday, the Challenger chairlift glided to a halt and the 2012-2013 ski season officially ended. But since this is Sun Valley, there was nothing quiet about the last weekend of skiing and riding on Baldy!

As quotidian skier and custom ski maker Caleb Baukol reported, “there were fireworks on top (real ones) and at the base, there was mayhem of the best kind.  At 3:57, as a crowd jockeyed to get on the last chairs to the top, poles were broken, friendships were tested, but that crucial last run was worth it!”

The last run of the season may just be the best

The last run of the season may just be the best

The Warm Springs Lodge patio was turned into a huge outdoor party, blending their passionate and uninhibited style with the local, high energy vibe. Costumes with a focus on “gaper-chic” were de rigueur and crowds were thick, from the base of the lift, to the street party outside of Apple’s Bar and Grill, to Lookout atop Baldy (home of the biggest hit of the season — the taco bar) and all the way back down.

The party was on on the Warm Springs patio Sunday

At Warm Springs on Sunday, the party was on!

The mood all weekend was light, despite relatively cold temperatures and a good shower of snow first thing Saturday morning. Sun Valley Ski Patrol held their last morning meeting of the year al fresco, showcasing the best view, hands down, of any office in the Valley. Late season skiers also did good, bringing non-perishable items for the Hunger Coalition in return for a free second ski ticket with the purchase of one.

It was a great season by all accounts. Early season powder was some of the best in years. SnowSports ran fabulous lessons and programs appropriate for novices to experts, guests to locals. Pros of the highest caliber took to our slopes in eye popping contests from the Rev Tour to the Orage Masters and filmmakers flocked to Sun Valley to capture what the mountain lifestyle looks like from some pretty dramatic angles.

A great time was had by all. Thanks Sun Valley for an epic season!

A great time was had by all. Thanks Sun Valley for an epic season!

Thanks to the Sun Valley Resort for the amazing grooming, exciting new runs, terrific on-mountain food, the best Guest Services staff in the country, fabulous lift ops, the best playground around on Dollar, and for everything else they do. Thanks to Sun Valley Ski Patrol for keeping mountain users safe and for keeping it fun.

The perfect closing day combo: Guest Services in costume!

The perfect closing day combo: Guest Services in costume!

If you had as great a season as we did, be sure to log onto here to vote for Sun Valley as your favorite ski resort.

Thanks to the early spring, the ambivalence and blues that are endemic to many skiers and boarders when the lifts stop running, may not last long. Thoughts are already turning to biking, golfing, tennis and fishing. Still, there will be many among us who will continue to stare longingly at Baldy’s greening slopes as we pass for weeks to come.

See you back on the hill in just a few short months for amazing mountain biking, hiking, lunch at Roundhouse and sightseeing! Summer in Sun Valley is definitely something to look forward to.

–RES

A Traveling Circus

The Orage anti-comp is one big costume party

The Orage anti-comp is one big costume party

The Orage Masters “anti-comp” proclaims itself a traveling circus, the “craziest scene skiing has ever seen,” one part tailgate party, one part costume party and one part slopestyle. And this wacky hybrid is pulling in to Sun Valley.

Witness the raucous, riotous, outrageous Orage events yourself on Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6, when 32 freestyle athletes, participating in teams of four, will take to the jumps, rails and features that Terrain Park manager Brian Callahan and his team have been busy pulling out of their collective vivid imagination.

Though Dollar may have officially closed for the season on Sunday, Brian is out pushing piles of snow around the mountain, including collapsing the 22-foot Superpipe and moving the snow into huge hills to create a high altitude playground of proportions heretofore unseen! This circus has many more than three rings and must be seen to be believed.

Orage, the manufacturer of colorful, high-quality ski outerwear and clothing, gave birth to this end-of-season mayhem in 2001 at Mammoth Mountain in California. In 2011 and 2012, the event took a hiatus as organizers (a.k.a. the ringmasters) searched for the perfect bright, sunny town with a great resort and people who love a good costume party. Needless to say, Sun Valley fit the bill.

The Terrain Park team is busy at work turning Dollar into a giant playground for this freestyle spectacle

The Terrain Park team is busy at work turning Dollar into a giant playground for this freestyle spectacle

This, the 8th chapter of the Orage Masters brings some of the top names in freeskiing to Sun Valley. All the pros have big followings online and will represent ski film crews including Level 1, Inspired Media Concepts, Stept, and, of course, Traveling Circus. The anti-comp is drawing (expected) competitors including Phil Casabon, Mike Hornbeck, Sean Jordan, Chris Logan, Matt Margetts, Andy Parry, Sean Pettit, John “LJ” Strenio, Clayton Vila and Will Wesson. Sun Valley’s own Banks Gilberti will also take home slope advantage. Other local riders planning to shred on Dollar are Collin Collins and Karl Fostvedt.

This is one crazy show on snow

This is one crazy show on snow

Four racers will be on the course at any given time, according to Mike Nick, marketing director for Orage, amping up the atmosphere of a three-ring circus. “Two teams go head-to-head in each heat and the other teams are the judges,” he explained. “Spectators can get right on the course and will be very close to the athletes and the action which makes it even crazier,” Mike explained. He also said that local skiers and boarders are invited to come to the training course on Friday (from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) to meet the athletes and get a taste of Saturday’s escapades.

After training on Friday, a broom hockey tournament will take place from 4 – 6 p.m. at Sun Valley’s Indoor Ice Rink. In the center ring on Saturday, preliminary heats will begin at 11 a.m. and events run until 4 p.m. To cap off the madness, the popular band Old Death Whisper will play a free concert at Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge from 4 – 5:30 p.m. The party moves to downtown Ketchum to Whiskey Jacques at 8 p.m. with a live show and after-party featuring the Casey Donahew Band.

You have never seen anything like this, so you should probably go see it! Sun Valley is, after all, the birthplace of freestyle skiing!

Spectators will be able to get right next to Saturday's action

Spectators will be able to get right next to the action on Saturday

As Mike said, “Sun Valley has been doing a lot to reinvent itself in the freestyle world, and the roots are definitely here. This is something of an untapped resort for this generation of freestyle skiers in many ways and the athletes are excited to get here and get onto the course.”

–RES

Splash into Spring

Sun Valley Terrain Park manager Brian Callahan proves the edict 'go big or go home' at the Pond Skim

Sun Valley Terrain Park manager Brian Callahan proves the edict 'go big or go home' at the Pond Skim ...

Callahan, the first splash down of the day, takes a swim

... and becomes the first splash down of the day

Easter Sunday felt like spring, real spring, with temperatures in Ketchum soaring to above 60 degrees, accompanied by blue skies and a sun-shiny sun. It was an absolutely perfect morning for the annual Sun Valley Ski Patrol “Cold Bowl” pond skim, a hilarious event that attracted dozens of competitors for the chance to ski or board across a man-made (freezing cold) pond at the base of Dollar Mountain. With music that dared you not to get a groove on provided by DJ Train, a delicious outdoor barbecue and play-by-play action, the morning saw a lot of successful runs and some pretty spectacular splashy spills. All told, closing day on Dollar was one big party. Both children and adults took the challenge, donning silly costumes (including a disproportionate number of bunny ears) and spent the entire day on the 22-foot Superpipe, the Rail Yard course, the Cross Park and more traditional runs.

One young skier uses all the Terrain Park features at Saturday's rail jam

One young skier uses all the Terrain Park features at Saturday's rail jam

The incomparable DJ Train got the party started at Dollar Dayz

The incomparable DJ Train got the party started -- and kept it going -- at Dollar Dayz

On Saturday, Dollar Dayz kicked into high gear with the CandyGrind Rail Jam. Freestyle skiers and boarders jumped in to show off their best moves on the multi-faceted course. Announcers deconstructed and judged each run, again, on an absolutely beautiful spring day.

On Friday, the Easter Bunny made a special appearance at the Sun Valley Village to the delight of hundreds of children, ranging in age from infants to ten-year-olds. Oodles of colorful eggs were strewn all over the Inn lawn, including in the swan pond, from the Opera House to the Sun Valley Inn and over to the Konditorei.

On your mark, get set, hunt!

On your mark, get set, hunt!

Outside the Toy Store, children waited patiently to have whiskers and bunny noses painted on their faces, or eggs painted on their hands. The Easter Bunny made the rounds, posing for photos and giving out a lot of hugs. Easter festivities continued on Sunday with a highly popular brunch at the Lodge Dining Room.

All-in-all, it was a terrific season on Dollar, with great conditions for every level skier, events including the Revolution Tour and freestyle and snowboard competitions, the Christmas Eve torchlight parade and so much more. Thanks to Dollar’s Guest Services, Snowsports instructors, groomers, lift operators and everyone else that helped keep the mountain amazingly fun, welcoming and safe.

The Easter Bunny made a special appearance at the Sun Valley Village Friday

The Easter Bunny made a special appearance at the Sun Valley Village Friday

Ski season winds down on Baldy on April 14 and spring skiing rates are in effect beginning April 1. Check out the amazing deals, the corn snow and the spring conditions that just call for some après ski on the deck at River Run or Warm Springs. There is still a lot of season left with the Orage anti-comp, the Janss Pro Am and hours of just cruising the mountain.

Soon it may be time to ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon. Stay tuned for details of what some people consider the best few weeks in the Valley!

–RES

Thank you, Dollar, for an amazing season!

Thank you, Dollar, for an amazing season!

Race, Skim and Slide Into Easter Weekend

It's beginning to look a lot like Easter in Sun Valley

It's beginning to look a lot like Easter in Sun Valley

Easter weekend is quickly approaching and it is worth taking a moment to mark your calendar so as not to miss any of the exciting activities in Sun Valley. From the slopes, to restaurants, to lawns strewn with brightly colored eggs, there is something for everyone!

On the mountains, as the season winds down, Ketchum is in a party mood. Dollar Dayz takes place starting on Saturday, celebrating another great season on that hill.  Closing day on Dollar is Sunday, March 31, and to celebrate, come out for a CandyGrind Rail Jam on the amazing Terrain Park and the hilarious annual Cold Bowl Pond Skim.

Come out on Sunday for the Cold Bowl Pond Skim

Sunday's Cold Bowl Pond Skim is always a highlight of the season

The Rail Jam takes place on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Rail Yard. Entry is free with registration at Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge ticket window. The 4th annual Pond Skim splashes off at 10 a.m. on Sunday, with registration beginning at 9 a.m. Costumes are strongly encouraged. If you have never seen the pond skim, it features a huge “pool” of cold water, dug into the base of Dollar that skiers and snowboarders attempt to skim over, landing safely at the other side. Some make it, some don’t, but no matter what, it’s a raucous good time.

Both events feature music, food and beverages. The weather promises to cooperate with weekend highs predicted in the mid 50s under a springtime Idaho sun.

Local snowboard star Chase Josey shows off Slopestyle similar to what will be on display on Saturday's Rail Jam on Dollar

Local snowboard star Chase Josey shows off Slopestyle similar to what will be on display on Saturday's Rail Jam on Dollar (photo courtesy of the Josey family)

Baldy will be festive this weekend, too.  Young ski racers will participate in the annual Hobson Memorial Race on Warm Springs on Friday at 10 a.m. Again, in true Ketchum style, costumes are encouraged. The Hawaiian Nationals, a side-by-side dual slalom race for telemark skiers and snowboarders, takes place on Warm Springs on Saturday at noon. For this, costumes are de rigueur.  The final Ski Club race of the season goes off Sunday, again on Warm Springs, at 10 a.m. It will be a dual parallel giant slalom that is age handicapped. All are welcome.

Easter will be celebrated in Sun Valley at the Lodge Dining Room with a bountiful brunch served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Leanna Leach will tickle the ivories and food and festivity will be plentiful. The cost is $36 for adults and $21 for children 12 and under. Bonnets are optional.

And what is Easter without an Easter Egg Hunt?  Thankfully, you won’t need to find out. On Friday, all children ages 10 and under are invited to search for oodles of eggs at Sun Valley Inn Pond, starting promptly at 4:30 p.m. Bring your baskets and stop by the Village Toy Store at 3:30 for face painting. Retailers are offering a special egg hunt for parents, too.

March, in Sun Valley, is definitely not going out like a lamb!

–RES

A lavish Easter Brunch awaits at the Lodge Dining Room

A lavish Easter Brunch awaits at the Lodge Dining Room

Let the Party Begin!

 

The Janss Pro Am Classic is a huge reunion every year

Part reunion, part party, part ski race, the Janss Pro Am puts the fun in fundraiser (photos courtesy of SVSEF)

Warm Springs is about to turn into a giant costume party as the annual Janss Pro-Am Classic rolls into town. This fundraiser for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) signifies spring in these parts like nothing else, bringing together teams of pros and amateurs for some good-natured gate running, a lot of partying and some pretty elaborate costumes, on the slopes and off. This year, the event will grace Warm Springs and the Sun Valley Resort from April 4 – 6.

This team is super

Doing good by having fun

Named for Bill Janss, the beloved former owner of the Sun Valley Company, this year’s event is expected to host nearly 500 enthusiastic participants for Giant Slalom racing and free skiing, cocktail parties, an awards banquet in the Limelight Room, hosted breakfasts and lunches, and of course, costumes!

One very coordinated Janss team stands at the ready atop the Greyhawk Chair

One very coordinated Janss team stands at the ready atop the Greyhawk Chair

The 2013 theme, “Let the Games Begin,” is a nod to both the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia (where SVSEF hopes to be represented), as well as an invitation to play in the spring sunshine.

“While the theme is inspired by the Winter Games, everyone is invited to make it their own,” explained SVSEF Events Director Kate Berman. “For instance, Dr. Tom West, a chiropractor, is part of team “Operation” after the board game. A group of freestyle skiers are dressing as the “Sorry!” game – as in “Sorry! We’re freestylers! Our teams are always so creative and I love seeing what they come up with.”

Everyone is invited to watch the 32 teams race on Lower Warm Springs on Friday and Saturday, April 5 & 6 at 10:30 a.m. Speed isn’t the ultimate goal for the amateurs (consistency is king), but the pros on board usually can’t help but go fast. Among this year’s impressive names are locals including: Ski Cross champ Langely McNeal, former Olympian Jonna Mendes, X-Games star Zach Crist and SVSEF’s very own Doran Key.

Christin Cooper once said the Janss is the biggest reunion for former US Ski Team members around,” laughed Kate. “Everyone looks forward to getting together on Baldy’s amazing runs with old friends and new for such a terrific cause. It’s very popular, one of the most fun events of the year in the Valley.”

The hottest team on snow -- Karen Holzman (far right) and pro Langely McNeal and team celebrate some fast times at the Janss

The hottest team on snow -- Karen Holzman (far right) and pro Langely McNeal and team celebrate some fast times at the Janss (photo courtesy Langely McNeal)

And it’s just as much fun for the amateurs. Karen Holzman who is organizing team “Greek Goddess” this year with Langely as her pro, always looks forward to this event. “We support the Janss because SVSEF is at the core of what’s special about our community. They contribute and have contributed so much to training local past and future Olympians, as well as some pretty amazing lifelong recreational skiers,” she explained. “It’s a great weekend because of the costumes, spirit of competition (who in Sun Valley isn’t competitive?), you can have family and friends on your team and just generally, a lot of laughs!”

No race suits here!

At this race, it's less about speed and more about impact

This, the 16th Janss Pro-Am Classic marks Kate’s final party as the woman who makes it all happen. After 13 years as Events Director (and before that volunteer mom and board member for SVSEF), Kate is turning over the reigns to the very capable Sarah Crowley on April 7. After committing literally thousands of hours to the health well being of the organization, she said she feels she is leaving SVSEF when it is in a very strong position. “This is the biggest Janss we have seen in years,” she smiled. “SVSEF is doing amazing things. I’m really proud of all the work we have done and excited to see what comes next.”

Her only request? That no one makes a big fuss over her at the Janss’ events. Speaking on behalf of the rest of the community, I hope they do.

–RES

River Run Rocks

A huge group turned out for Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real Saturday afternoon at River Run

A huge group turned out for Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real Saturday afternoon at River Run

It’s spring break and Sun Valley is ready to party!

Sun Valley Resort set in motion the feel good vibe of spring in the mountains on Saturday afternoon, when a crowd estimated at over 1,000 people gathered at the base of River Run to enjoy the sounds of Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. The afternoon was sunny and warm and concert goers peeled down to t-shirts and ski pants as they enjoyed a cold beer and hot music.

In true Sun Valley style, with the first chords from Lukas Nelson’s guitar, people rushed the dance floor and didn’t sit down again during the entire hour-and-a-half long concert.  The stage, set up just outside of Brass Ranch, offered a large area for dancing and standing and seating room stretched from the bridge to the base of the lifts.  Also in true Sun Valley style, the event drew everyone in town — from 20-somethings to kids in strollers, from retirees to Ketchum’s ubiquitous four-legged friends.

Everyone came out to relax and to enjoy the band’s signature sound. Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real stopped in Sun Valley during a tour that next leads to Utah, California and Hawaii. But judging by the number of fans they have in Idaho, hopefully they will return. The four-person band is known for their high-energy performances. Though Lukas is music royalty (his father is Willie Nelson), the 25-year-old lead singer and guitar player has earned his own huge fan base with original music that is less a little bit country, and more a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.

Lukas Nelson rocks River Run

Lukas Nelson rocks River Run

Saturday’s concert was the first of four free concerts celebrating spring on the mountain. The Rock ‘n The Sun Spring Concert Series will continue on March 23 with Paranoid Social Club at River Run, on April 6, The Bernie Worrell Orchestra, also at River Run and on April 13, the day before Baldy is set to close for the season with Diego’s Umbrella  at Warm Springs. Concerts run from 4:30 – 6 p.m. This is the first time Sun Valley has ever offered a free après ski concert series of this magnitude with a large outdoor stage and full concert sound system.

The recipe for apres ski spring break style? Eat, drink, be merry

The recipe for apres ski spring break style? Eat, drink, be merry

Next up, Paranoid Social Club is an American Rock band formed in 2002 in Portland, Maine. The band’s debut album Axis II produced the hit “Wasted” which was featured as the theme for Broken Lizard’s cult classic film Beerfest, as well as being the soundtrack to every college party in America, according to the band’s website. Their next album featured the single “Two Girls” which was used in HBO’s series Entourage and Cathouse and gave birth to a house remix album produced by club DJs. I’m guessing Paranoid Social Club will bring the crowd to their feet again.

No explanation needed

No explanation needed

Expect big crowds this weekend for this party band. Find a seat or your spot on the dance floor and enjoy Spring Break Sun Valley style!

Thanks to Sun Valley Resort for making spring skiing even better.

–RES

 

 

The Rev Tour goes Local

Langely McNeal -- standout Ski Cross racer and fantastic local girl -- came home for the Rev Tour

Langely McNeal -- standout Ski Cross racer and fantastic local girl -- came home for the Rev Tour

When Ski Cross racer Langely McNeal looks up at Dollar, she sees a lot of things. She sees the mountain where she learned to ski 25 years ago when she took her first turns with father, Whiz, one of the longstanding members of Sun Valley Ski Patrol.  She also sees the future in Sun Valley’s amazing Terrain Park and Pipe. “So many amazing freestyle skiers and boarders have come out of Sun Valley before all this was here,” she smiled, gesturing to the playground that Dollar has become. “The kids that get to grow up on Dollar these days are so fortunate. Sun Valley has built a world-class training facility for Halfpipe and Slope. I would love to see more development with Ski Cross. The potential is unreal and I think Sun Valley could be the ultimate training Mecca.”

The view most of Langely's competitors have of her on the course

The view most of Langely's competitors have of her on the course

Langely, though a pre-Terrain Park child, hasn’t done too badly herself. She is back in town this week as part of the Revolution Tour and won the women’s Ski Cross competition on Monday.

“It’s a great course and it’s always so nice to be home,” Langely said. Currently training with the team at the International Snowboard Training Center in Silverthorne, Colorado, this X-Games alumna has her sights set on Sochi in 2014. Recently back from a trip to the very overcast home of next year’s Winter Olympic Games, she turned her face to the sun and exclaimed, “there really is no place else like Sun Valley. I am so excited to be here, so excited the Rev Tour is here. It gives me a great excuse to show off my hometown to my friends and teammates.”

Another Sun Valley local appearing in the Rev Tour is snowboarder, Chase Josey. Chase, a senior at Community School (where Langely’s mother, Beverly, has taught for more than two decades), exploded onto the international scene this past January in Copper Basin. There, he finished 8th in the Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix with a score of 75.00. This was Chase’s first World Cup start. He, too, recently traveled to Sochi and hopes to go back next winter for the Olympics. For the Rev Tour, Chase competes on Thursday in Sun Valley’s fantastic 22-foot Superpipe with qualifying rounds beginning at 9:30 a.m. and finals dropping into the pipe at 3 p.m.

Another young talented Sun Valley snowboarder, Ryan Roemer made heats in Boarder Cross on Monday, but did not advance to the next round.

Local snowboarder Chase Josey previews what fans can expect to see in the Superpipe on Thursday

Local snowboarder Chase Josey previews what fans can expect to see in the Superpipe Thursday

Langely, Chase and Ryan are among the more than 500 athletes in town this week competing in the Rev Tour from as far away as Brazil and Japan. Events include Ski and Boarder Cross, Halfpipe and Slopestyle. According to the Rev Tour website, “In its ninth season, the U.S. Revolution Tour … is designed to serve as a stepping stone for athletes making the transition from competing at the grassroots level to the elite level. The series pre-qualifies a portion of its field and then opens registration to any athlete, but is focused towards riders 13-19 years old (Cross 15-19) and will award the top juniors an invite to be part of the U.S. Grand Prix, Junior Worlds, the U.S. Open, USASA Nationals, and participate in Project Gold camps. Competition formats may vary slightly at each stop, but athletes will always compete as an open class.”

For a look at the Cross Course from a rider’s vantage point, check out this POV video courtesy of Billy Pettengill of team ISTC from one of his training runs.  Billy placed second in Monday’s Rev Tour competition.

Watching Langely and Ryan fly through the rollers on the Cross Course and Chase work his magic in the Superpipe makes us all hold our collective breath and collectively cheer at the end of a successful run. Our homegrown elite athletes, among the best in the world, make us all really, really proud.

Langely was equally proud of her hometown. “It was cool to see Sun Valley step it up and take on the challenge of putting on an event like the Revolution Tour,” she said. “I think it shows that this place is more than capable of bringing many world class events and new business to town!”

–RES

Dollar in all its Park & Pipe glory (courtesy of James Bourret Fine Art Photography/Mountain Images Gallery http://jamesbourret.photoshelter.com/)

Dollar in all its Park & Pipe glory (courtesy of James Bourret Fine Art Photography/Mountain Images Gallery http://jamesbourret.photoshelter.com/)

TransWorld asks, “What’s Next?”

Boarders took to Dollar's Terrain Park during this week's TransWorld Snow Conference

Boarders took to Dollar's Terrain Park during this week's TransWorld Snow Conference

This week, Sun Valley morphed into Snowboard Town USA with an infusion of energy, ideas and mad riding skills brought to the Valley by participants in the annual TransWorld Snow Conference.

According to the organization’s website: “the theory behind the Snow Conference is to check your brand hat at the door … At the end of the day, our success, or failure, is mutual. Getting enough new participants on the slopes every year, and keeping existing shreds passionate, is no small task … That’s where we come in. We became snowboarders for the love the sport, for the creative connection with nature in its rawest form, for an escape from every day life, and a way to express ourselves on a canvas as grand as our passion for the next run.”

Some snowboard swag for conference attendees, because who doesn't love swag?

Some snowboard swag for conference attendees, because who doesn't love swag?

The four-day conference, based out of the Boiler Room in the Sun Valley Village, has included presentations on: “Sales Trends, Demographic Shifts and the Future” featuring Kelly Davis, Director of Research, SnowSports Industries America (SIA), “The Economic Horizon & Its Impact on Snowboarding,” featuring Peter Philips, PhD, Professor of Economics at the University of Utah, “China Rising: Breaking into Snowboarding’s Next Frontier,” featuring Miriam Deller and a lively debate and discussion on the topic of “Has Snowboarding Really Lost Its Edge?” featuring Nate Fristoe, Director of Operations, RRC Associated and, again, Kelly Davis.

Speaking to more than 70 people on Wednesday afternoon, these presentations generated spirited discussion that focused on the future. Where are the opportunities to grow the sport? How can resorts help to continue to attract snowboarders? In a sport that is maturing, what comes next? Retailers, resort representatives and manufacturers all added their input to the dialogue in a big brainstorming session.

Thursday was dedicated to the topic of “Rolling Up Our Sleeves: The Big Issues & Big Ideas,” featuring panel discussions and featured speakers on topics such as “Increasing Participation,” “Conversion and Retention” and “Adapting to the Changing Market Cycles.”

All eyes were on the featured presenters at the TransWorld Snow Conference on Wednesday

All eyes were on the featured presenters at the TransWorld Snow Conference on Wednesday

But all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, so participants also took the hills. Sun Valley showed off our gorgeous spring conditions by inviting participants to take advantage of Early Ups on the mountain, to freeride on Dollar and Baldy and to challenge colleagues and friends on Dollar’s amazing Boardercross course. Other diversions and pleasures included cocktail receptions, dining at the Resort’s many restaurants, on mountain and in the Village, parties at the Sun Valley Inn Pool and even a friendly get together at the Lodge’s historic Bowling Alley.

Local business owner Jim Slanetz of Ketchum’s Board Bin has attended the conference for the past two years and thinks it is a terrific way to connect with others in the industry and to get a big picture perspective on the world of snowboarding. “It’s always good to see what other people are doing,” he said. “I’ve gone to all the talks and while some apply more to manufacturers than to retailers, I’ve gotten a lot out of it. It’s also nice to get on the mountain with everyone. It’s a great vibe.”

Dollar's Boardercross course -- the scene of some action this week

Dollar's Boardercross course -- the scene of some action this week

Sun Valley is honored that TransWorld again chose Sun Valley as headquarters for their conference. It is very exciting to be at the epicenter of what comes next in snowboarding.

–RES