It is a fantasy for many couples planning their dream wedding. Friends and family arrive in Sun Valley from all over the country, and the world, for a weekend unlike any other. Depending on the season, the days leading up to the “I do’s” might include organized hikes and bike rides or a guided tour of Baldy on skis or snowboard. How about a wagon ride or sleigh ride through the picturesque Idaho countryside? A morning of fly-fishing? A party at the Gun Club or a few laps around Sun Valley’s pristine, world-famous Nordic tracks? Fabulous meals featuring fresh, local seasonal dishes keep everyone’s energy up for what comes next.
So many possibilities exist to share this special place with wedding guests and wedding party, creating a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
While many have married in Sun Valley style through the decades, the choice is now more popular than ever according to Kat Stansberry of Sun Valley’s Catering Department.Trends in nuptial planning emphasize the unique, the special, the non-cookie cutter event, and that is what Sun Valley does so perfectly.
Take the summer wedding of Kate Bentley and Keith Zalaski at Sun Valley’s Trail Creek.This stunning celebration was captured by gifted local photographer Hillary Mayberry and featured on the popular wedding blog, Style Me Pretty.
The beautiful bride grew up part time in Sun Valley and was quoted as saying, “Keith and I had little doubt about where we wanted to hold our celebration. For as long as I can remember, my family has spent time nearly every summer and winter in Sun Valley so it was an easy call for me. And after seven years of dating, Keith (a born and bred New Englander) had grown to love the location as much as my family. But most importantly, we associated Sun Valley with memories we had made together, a quality that made this picturesque mountain town a slam dunk.”
It was the attention to detail and the spectacular way the wedding complimented the surroundings and the surroundings complimented the wedding that made this sacred celebration stand out (though a gorgeous couple and a perfect summer day didn’t hurt either). Stansberry said she saw many current wedding trends perfectly executed in these creekside nuptials, from the use of natural and rustic materials, to seasonal flowers to personal do-it-yourself touches.
This summer wedding captured so perfectly by Mayberry showcased the quality of the light and the splendor of the season, a pastiche that changes every week, and sometimes even numerous times during a single day, in the mountains. Though July and August are the most popular wedding months in Sun Valley, each season offers unique and jaw dropping possibilities.
Stansberry thinks (and I agree) the prettiest month to get married is September. “The weather is ideal, town isn’t terribly crowded, the leaves are changing,” she said. “It’s spectacular.” Winter weddings in Sun Valley are memorable, too, providing so many opportunities to play in the snow and then gather by the fire, creating a cozy, intimate atmosphere.
As varied as the seasons are Sun Valley venues perfect for gatherings of any size. Smaller events are a wonderful fit for Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge or the historic Roundhouse Restaurant perched two-thirds up Bald Mountain. River Run Lodge and Trail Creek Cabin accommodate bigger groups, with River Run comfortably holding 250 partygoers. If an early evening is what the couple desires, the always-elegant Lodge Dining Room invites revelry until 10 p.m. During the colder season, from October 1 through May 1, brides may also walk up the aisle at the elegant Sun Valley Club.
Sun Valley staffs a coordinator who works exclusively with brides and grooms and their families. “We are not full-service wedding planners, but will help organize the event. We put families in touch with wedding professionals and vendors for every need — flowers, photography, tabletops, even hair and nail service providers,” Stansberry explained. Once the date is chosen, there is a wide and deep team of creative, consummate local wedding professionals to help make the couple’s vision a reality.
Stansberry said the Resort hears from brides and grooms up to 15 months before a desired wedding date, and Sun Valley can go into contract for the chosen venue up to 12 months before the big day. “One thing we’re seeing more of is mothers-of-the-bride calling to whisper that their daughter is getting engaged soon and they want to reserve a date even before the ring is on the bride’s finger,” Stansberry laughed.
Sun Valley is the ideal place to exchange vows and to share this timeless, classic and elegant location with the most special people in your life.
The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation is thrilled to announce our new event, the Winter Lift-Off Party! The Winter Lift-Off will take place Friday, December 6, 2013, at two new venues, Sun Valley Company’s Roundhouse and River Run Lodge at the base of Bald Mountain in Ketchum.
In the spirit of renewal inspired by the remodeling of the Greyhawk Training Center, the annual Wild Game Dinner will be revamped into the Winter Lift-Off and infused with the energy and anticipation of the SVSEF’s 47th winter season. We have chosen to retire the much-loved geese, and replace them with a winter-themed celebration featuring snowflakes, skis and don’t-stop-til-you-drop dancing.
Despite a lack of our feathered friends, favorites from the Wild Game Dinner will still be present, including mystery balloons, live music, silent and online auctions and all the friends you want to catch up with. The night will begin with an intimate supper at Roundhouse for the SVSEF’s Champions of the Foundation, and festivities continue with a party at the base the mountain for all who would like to join in the fun.
Through the Winter Lift-Off, the SVSEF hopes to raise one-third of the annual budget necessary to produce the quality on-snow programs the community has come to expect. Through fundraising efforts, the SVSEF provides financial aid for both tuition and travel, academic assistance, training facilities, and racing opportunities.
Stay tuned for more information on the SVSEF’s Winter Lift-Off Party, but please save the date for Friday, December 6!
Foodies are counting down the days to the start of the popular, informative and full-of-fun Sun Valley Harvest Festival, coming to town next week. From September 19 to the 22nd, Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge, the streets of Ketchum and even Roundhouse Restaurant will pulsate with the smells of delicious locally-sourced cuisine, the spectacle of food prep demonstrations, the wisdom and insight of famous guest chefs and the sights of everything you need to improve dinner time at your own home. If you like food – and who doesn’t – this is a can’t-miss weekend.
One of the highlights of four full days of memorable events is sure to be the Martini & Caviar party on Saturday, September 21, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. This year, the event gets even better with a move up Bald Mountain to the historic and charming Roundhouse Restaurant. Perched at 7,700 feet above the valley floor, Roundhouse is probably one of the best party rooms in the Lower 48. And the Martinis and caviar are sure to be as spectacular as the surroundings when Sun Valley Executive Chef John Murcko creates his culinary magic in the thin air.
Festivities begin when you are greeted with a glass of Michelle sparkling wine and whisked up to Roundhouse on the gondola. The scenic ride sets the tone for what is to come. Once ensconced at Roundhouse, Murcko, a James Beard Award Semi-Finalist and food visionary, will get the party started in earnest. Carefully crafted hors d’oeuvres featuring local Idaho sturgeon caviar will delight the palate, especially when paired with artisanal cocktails fashioned from Square One Organic Spirits. Mixologist with the most, Ryan Sullivan, is sure to create flavors perfect for the occasion.
Back on the valley floor, Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge will also be a hub of activity all weekend long. Starting on Saturday, September 21, the lawns at the base of Dollar will be transformed into a Harvest Marketplace. Be sure to spend some quality time with hand-selected purveyors from around the Pacific Northwest and West Coast. Specialty food producers and local and regional farmers will be in attendance, and the latest and greatest in kitchen appliances and cookware will be on display.
Also at Dollar, catch Guest Chef Demonstrations under the big tent all day September 21, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Join acclaimed chefs including Rodrigo Bueno, Akasha Richmond, Tina Ruggiero, Tal Ronnen and Scot Jones and Malika Ameen who are in Sun Valley from all over the country as they demonstrate topics ranging from “Buy Local, Cook Global,” to “Sweet and Spicy: Unique Twists for Flavorful Baking.” After each cooking demonstration, you will enjoy a sample of the chef’s creation with a specially selected wine from one of the Festival’s featured wineries.
Finally, at this lovely venue on Sunday, be sure to get your tickets to the Grand Tasting. This benefit for the Sun Valley Culinary Institute might be the highlight of your year food-wise. Sample seasonal offerings from local chefs and specialty food makers. Wines, beer from the Sawtooth Brewery and spirits from Idaho’s own Distilled Resources will add to the merriment. The Grand Tasting will also feature 20-minute breakout sessions covering topics from coffee to tea; nut butters to chocolate.
But, wait, there is more! Much more! In and around Ketchum, the food and beverages will flow all weekend long. The Restaurant Walk is scheduled this year for Friday, September 20, starting at 5 p.m. in Ketchum Town Square. The Sawtooth Brewery will offer Oktoberfest, Idaho style, on Saturday, a 5B Boots, Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue party on Saturday evening at B. Restaurant keeps the sophisticated local vibe going, as does a River Guide Cooking Demonstration, on Sunday, at Carol’s Dollar Mountain Lodge.
Relevant, riveting panel discussions round out the agenda.
For the entire Harvest Festival schedule and for ticket information, please click HERE.
Now might be a good time to start eating just a little less every day to make sure you are hungry for the Sun Valley Harvest Festival. The food is not only plentiful, but divinely delicious. You won’t want to miss a bite!
We all know that Bald Mountain is one big playground and next summer, expect to see new, updated, state-of-the-art places to play.
Picture this: It’s a spectacular Sun Valley summer day. You load your mountain bike onto the gondola at the base of River Run and hop on the next car, enjoying the scenic ride up the hill. At the summit, you strap on your helmet, snug up your sunglasses, mount your saddle and prepare to go with the flow.
In the works on Baldy, are nine new “flow” mountain bike trails that will, in the next five to six years, provide nearly 20 miles of new buttery single track that promise to get riders into a groove unlike any they have ever experienced. The first is expected to debut early summer 2014.
Flow trails have become very popular in recent years, but have historically been hard to access for recreational bikers. Not anymore. According to Sun Valley’s Julian Tyo, an avid and accomplished mountain biker who is involved in the concept, design and implementation of these trails, Baldy’s new terrain developments are a game changer. Tyo explained, “flow trails optimize the mountain bike experience for riders of all ability levels,” and ours will be accessible by chairlift.
The concept sounds tantalizing — downhill trails that have an intrinsic, smooth rhythm, a “terrain-induced roller coaster experience,” according to the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). Pedaling and braking are kept to a minimum on flow trails. Instead, features including banked turns, rolling terrain, jumps and consistent and predictable surfaces are what transport the rider through wooded glades or under bluebird skies.
Like a skier or snowboarder, the mountain biker carves back and forth, flowing down the mountain without worry of abrupt corners, obstacles or drop offs. Riders can revel in this experience without concern to their fitness level or skill set. There are no logs to jump or rocks to navigate on the flow trails being built.
Tyo concurs that this is what people can expect on Baldy. “We envision riders of all ability levels using the new flow trails,” he explained. “The design of these trails is for riders of different ability levels to have a variety of experiences on the same trail. Our goal is to provide trails that keep all riders wanting to come back for more.”
The first phase of construction on Baldy’s flow trails is underway, which will result in the scheduled opening of the first at the beginning of summer 2014. Phase one is a “four-mile, green rated flow trail (with ratings similar to winter ski trail ratings) on Forest Service land from the top of the mountain to Roundhouse,” Tyo said.
The new trails are user-specific and unidirectional, available only for downhill mountain bike traffic. In addition to the flow trails, two new hiking and uphill biking only trails will be part of this upgrade. The design maintains existing use patterns on the hill.
How vital is this project to enthusiasts who visit or live in the area? Very! “This project is important to the Resort to increase summer offerings on Bald Mountain consistent with the goal of year-round recreation on public lands,” Tyo enthused. “The addition of these trails completes the picture of Sun Valley and the Wood River Valley as the ultimate riding destination, with nearly 450 miles of singletrack, two pump tracks and now a contemporary lift-accessed bike park. Our goal is create a ‘ski season for the summertime’ on Bald Mountain.”
Next May, when the snow has melted, your skis are tucked away for the season but it isn’t quite nice enough yet to get on the trails, just remember, soon, very soon, you will be able to get your groove on.
For Tyo, “adding new downhill trails on Baldy has always been a dream.” A dream, that is about to become reality.
Roundhouse Opens For Lunch / Gondola Starts Running For Summer
Summer lift hours: 9am–4pm
June 22–September 9
Forever Plaid is closing the curtain!
Don’t miss the FINAL show of Forever Plaid! This finger snapping, toe tapping, fun for the whole family musical comedy is playing for a final time. Don’t miss your last chance to see one of Sun Valley‘s classic acts.
When: Friday, March 30th, 7:30 PM.Where: The Boiler Room, Sun Valley Village.Info: Their final show is $10, and tickets are available at the door.
The Roundhouse season is ending!: Your last chance for fondue this winter!
The ski season isn’t over for another couple weeks but the last weekend for fondue, beer and the best view around is this weekend! The last night for dinner at the Roundhouse is Saturday, March 31st and the last day for Roundhouse lunch is Sunday, April 1st.
When: This weekend!Where: The Roundhouse, Bald Mountain.Info: Call 208-622-4111 for reservations or visit www.sunvalley.com.
A Wood River Bicycle Coalition Fundraiser with 5B CrossFit and the Ketchum Fire Department!
Get your row on and join us for the Ketchum Row Down, a fundraiser for the Wood River Bicycle Coalition! The Wood River Bicycle Coalition, Ketchum Professional Fire Fighters and Ketchum Volunteer Fire Fighters are hosting this exciting event. This is event is sponsored by 5BCrossFit of Sun Valley and Hailey. There will be five different rowing events, including a 500-meter fun row for the kids! After the rowing heats, some competitors will compete in a CrossFit mystery Workout of the Day (WOD) and the athlete with the fastest combined time and the fastest row of their heat wins!
The Wood River Bicycle Coalition has set a fundraising goal of $2,000. The funds will start the process of extending the trail from the end of Corral Creek Trail to the trailhead of the Pioneer Cabin Trail. This addition is long overdue and promises to be a Valley Favorite when complete.
When: Saturday, March 31st. 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.Where: Ketchum Town Square.Info: More info can be found at 5bcrossfit.com.
For more fun stuff happening in and around Sun Valley this week, check out The Cheat Sheet.
Baldy Snowshoe Challenge
River Run Plaza to Roundhouse
Contact Nappy Neiman: 726-7400
A Few Reasons Why New Year’s Eve in Sun Valley is the BEST!
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
Hopefully 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
>>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
With 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
>>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.
The Roundhouse Restaurant and Gondola on Baldy is now open for the season!
A classic gourmet lunch will be served from 11-3 pm and Averell’s Wine Bar will be open ll – 4:45 pm.
The Gondola will be in operation 9-5 pm for skiers and non-skiers alike. (Tip for non-skiers; show your foot traffic ticket at the Roundhouse for a $10 discount off any $20 purchase).
Dinner service will begin Thursday, December 8, running through Saturday evenings for the remainder of the winter season. During the Christmas holidays dinner will be served seven days a week, December 23 through December 31. For dinner reservations please call 208-622-2800.