Bring on The Beach Boys

For more than 50 years, The Beach Boys have been turning out number one hits, touring to sold out crowds and creating the soundtrack to the lives of more than one generation. Now, they are coming to the Sun Valley Pavilion on Tuesday, September 9, and there is no better way to put an end cap on an amazing summer season.

Starting at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.), the audience at the Pavilion will be treated to the sweet sounds of the original boys of summer. Everyone has a favorite Beach Boys’ song or two (or three) and chances are, they will be performed live at this don’t-miss event.

From Surfin’ Safari, to Why Do Fools Fall in Love, I Get Around, Little Deuce Coupe and back to Little Surfer Girl, we know you know every word to every hit. The Good Vibrations will bounce off the mountains and land right back with the audience.

Concerts at the Sun Valley Pavilion are an experience unto themselves. Seats beneath the magical sail, with views of the mountains and the smell of the fresh early fall air help create a night no one will forget. Add to that music that is known and loved by all, and it will be quite the night.

Whether it's a night at the Sun Valley Symphony or an amazing concert like the Beach Boys, there is no better place to enjoy live music than the Pavilion

Whether it’s a night at the Sun Valley Symphony or an amazing concert like the Beach Boys, there is no better place to enjoy live music than the Pavilion

The Beach Boys play an average of 150 shows a year, ranging from sun-drenched summer festivals to black tie New Year’s celebrations and special events. The band members are at the top of their game and will put on a hugely professional show. The Beach Boys are led by Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, who along with Jeff Foskett, Randell Kirsch, Tim Bonhomme, John Cowsill and Scott Totten continue the legacy of the iconic American band. This tour will not feature Brian Wilson, Al Jardine or David Marks.

Be sure to grab dinner before the show at one of the wonderful Sun Valley Village restaurants (the deck at the Ram or Bald Mountain Pizza sound especially nice on these gorgeous September days) or enjoy a cocktail at the Ram Bar at the Sun Valley Inn. Be sure to make a night of it as these warm days and evenings won’t last forever!

Enjoy dinner or a drink before the concert at The Ram or any of the Village restaurants. The view is pretty nice!

Enjoy dinner or a drink before the concert at The Ram or any of the Village restaurants. The view is pretty nice!

The Beach Boys truly are the sound of summer and summer isn’t quite over yet. Be sure not to miss this final outdoor concert of the season. You won’t be sorry!

–RES

Tennis, anyone?

Though Sun Valley is deservedly famous for the adrenaline pumping adventures available in our own backyard (think mountain biking, white water rafting, hiking), we also excel at more mainstream sports like tennis.

Early fall is a perfect time to work on your game at the Sun Valley Tennis Center

Early fall is a perfect time to work on your game at the Sun Valley Tennis Center

In fact, the Sun Valley Resort boasts 17 courts, a fully-stocked Pro Shop, ball machine and the best coaches around. Private lessons and group clinics are available as well as the annual Nike Tennis Camps for adults and children that offer popular sessions every summer.

Last week, I booked a one-hour private lesson for my teenage daughter who was about to head ‘back east’ to school and had signed up to play recreational tennis. Having not picked up a racket in quite a while, it seemed an hour with a pro was the way to go.

Jeremy will help you book your lesson and equip you for optimal performance

Jeremy will help you book your lesson and equip you for optimal performance

We were welcomed at the quaint tennis center by Jeremy who you might recognize from his normal post in the Sun Valley Bowling and Game Room. During the Lodge’s amazing renovation, Jeremy has temporarily moved to the tennis pavilion, bringing his excellent customer service and charm with him.

Nate "the Great" reminded his student that tennis is a game and that games are fun!

Nate “the Great” reminded his student that tennis is a game and that games are fun!

Next up was an introduction to our pro, Nate, otherwise known as “Nate the Great.” With a hopper full of balls, Nate and my daughter claimed a court under the warm late summer sun. Starting with the basics, during the hour Nate fine-tuned her forehand, bettered her backhand, gave value to her volley and sliced up her serve. Though I wasn’t invited to be too close to the lesson, their laughter and smiles were visible all the way to the deck where I sat at a comfortable table beneath an umbrella and enjoyed the view.

Net net? Nate took my daughter from being lukewarm about the sport of tennis to becoming an enthused participant, eager to continue playing into the fall.

Whether you are a serious competitor or novice, it's advantage Sun Valley when it comes to tennis

Whether you are a serious competitor or novice, it’s advantage Sun Valley when it comes to tennis

The other athletes on the courts that afternoon seemed to be equally enjoying traversing the tramlines, chipping and charging or simply refining skills while enjoying a glorious afternoon. Whether you are a beginner or seasoned player, time spent on the Sun Valley courts is time well spent.

Come get outfitted at the Pro Shop steps from the Sun Valley Inn so you look the part of a tennis great

Come get outfitted at the Pro Shop steps from the Sun Valley Inn so you look the part of a tennis great

The courts, located just steps from the Sun Valley Inn and next to the Olympic pool, are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in season. For more information or to book a lesson call 208-622-2156 or email recreation@sunvalley.com. The beautiful early days of fall are tennis time so book your court or lesson today.

Advantage, Sun Valley!

–RES

 

 

 

Giddy Up!

Growing up on the East Coast, my early perceptions of the west largely consisted of visions of horses and wide open plains – images from books and films. This reality was reinforced by trips to ‘dude ranches’ in Wyoming as a child. I mostly remember scratchy straw cowboy hats, stiff leather cowboy boots and saddle sores from vacations spent on horseback. But I also remember the gorgeous scenery and excitement of learning riding basics.

Picture yourself here. Trail rides are offered seven days a week throughout the summer in Sun Valley.

Picture yourself here. Trail rides are offered seven days a week throughout the summer in Sun Valley.

Though Sun Valley isn’t the Wild West, horseback trail riding is certainly still part of our western culture. And no trip to a dude ranch is required to get some quality time in a saddle.

The Sun Valley Horsemen’s Center, located within easy walking or biking distance of the Lodge and Inn, provides a genuine trail riding experience that is fun, scenic and great for all ability levels. During the summer, stop by the Stables, or call 208.622.2387, and book a guided one or one-and-a-half hour ride up scenic Dollar Mountain. Rides are also available by appointment.

Look for the wagon on Sun Valley Road and stop by the Horsemen's Center to reserve a trail ride or carriage ride.

Look for the wagon on Sun Valley Road and stop by the Horsemen's Center to reserve a trail ride or carriage ride.

Chana, the assistant manager at the Horsemen’s Center (who looks the part in her flannel shirt, cowboy boots with spurs and broad smile), said both rides are beautiful. The California native turned Sun Valley wrangler said the longer ride dips down the Elkhorn side of the mountain, while the shorter ride offers fantastic views of Ketchum and beyond.

“During the high season that really heats up in mid-June, we offer trail rides seven days a week,” Chana said. “The first ride goes out at 9 a.m. and the last ride at 4 p.m. Reservations are required and we can take up to eight people at one time. We cater to the ‘never-ever’, the experienced horse person and everyone in between.”

Participants must be at least eight years old, 52 inches tall and accompanied by an adult. Riders are asked to arrive at the Stables 20 minutes before their set-out time for an orientation. A one-hour ride costs $46 and the longer ride runs $59. Tax is not included.

Communing with Sun Valley's horses is a popular family activity.

Communing with Sun Valley's horses is a popular family activity.

If you don’t want to ride a horse, you can still visit with some of Sun Valley’s most popular residents. The wide pasture along Sun Valley Road is populated by some of the Resort’s gentle horses that are more often than not up for a scratch on the nose or a carrot treat.

Another way to get a taste of the western experience is to book a summer wagon ride to Trail Creek Cabin for dinner. Please call 208.622.2387 for the details on this memorable mode of transportation. Currently, wagon rides are being offered on Tuesday and Friday evenings. The cost is $28 for guests 13 years and older and $18 for ages 2 – 12. This does not include dinner.

Your limousine awaits ... Idaho style!

Your limousine awaits ... Idaho style!

Rustic takes a turn to the romantic when the horse drawn carriage ride is part of a special package in Sun Valley. First, you will be welcomed with chocolates in your well-appointed and elegant room. Then, step back in time as you board a carriage that will carry you to, and from, the sublime Trail Creek Cabin. There, a table for two awaits, either outdoors on the patio or inside in the one-of-a-kind dining room. This romantic special is $237 per person double occupancy and includes one night’s lodging and the carriage ride. It does not include dinner. For reservations please call (866) 616-8224.

Get your giddy up on!

–RES

A meal at Trail Creek Cabin is made even more special by a horse drawn carriage ride

A meal at Trail Creek Cabin is made even more special by a horse drawn carriage ride.

You’re Never too Young for Wellness

For children, incorporating some of the basic tenets of “wellness” into their lives is as easy as skipping down the sidewalk. Naturally open-minded, creative, inquisitive and joyful, children and teens are at the perfect age and stage to enjoy new experiences, the lessons of which they can carry with them for their entire lives.

Debra Drake provides children the opportunity to move and enjoy on Saturday morning, May 24

Debra Drake provides children the opportunity to move, enjoy and get centered on Saturday morning, May 24

Because of this, this year’s Sun Valley Wellness Festival, now in its 17th year, offers special programming for the special younger people in our lives. Based in the Sun Valley Village for four days over Memorial Day weekend, the Festival offers something for everyone, including kiddos – and their parents. In fact, one of the most highly anticipated speakers at this year’s event is Kim John Payne, author of the wildly popular parenting book, Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. More on Mr. Payne in a bit …

According to Kerry Brokaw, one of the primary organizers of this year’s Children’s Wellness Festival, this portion of the Festival was started four years ago with the idea of bringing spiritual awareness to children.

Kerry Brokaw performs as part of Mountain Moon Puppetry

Kerry Brokaw performs as part of Mountain Moon Puppetry

“This year the children’s festival welcomes younger and older children and will celebrate movement, art, music, puppetry and mindfulness,” Brokaw said. “The nature of the activities reflects the rhythm of breathing, an ‘in breath’ followed by an ‘out breath’; thus, a more lively activity, such as dance, is followed by a more focused and meditative artistic activity.”

Kids’ programming takes place on Saturday, May 24, and is based in Sun Valley’s Boiler Room. Morning activities are directed more at younger children (age suggestions are provided on the Sun Valley Wellness Festival website), and include Mindful Movement with Debra Drake featuring hoops, silks and blocks, followed by Jessica Banks, a Waldorf Kindergarten and Handworks teacher who will lead the children in wet felting, creating “message rocks” wrapped in felted wool to take home. Parents are asked to accompany their children during these morning activities. “It will definitely be fun for all!” Brokaw enthused.

Kids are invited to drum with Tim Hanna in a call and response style that is fun and appropriate for all experience levels

Kids are invited to drum with Tim Hanna in a call and response style that is fun and appropriate for all experience levels

From 11:30 a.m. to noon, children of all ages are invited to a marionette puppet presentation of a transformative African tale by Kerry Brokaw and Bege Reynolds, Early Childhood Educators and creators of Mountain Moon Puppetry. The ever-popular Tim Hanna, West African drumming teacher and Zenergy‘s Health and Wellness Manager, will accompany the production with his djembe drums.

Afternoon activities, designed primarily for children nine years old and up, begin at 12:45 p.m. when Tim Hanna teaches a beginning level djembe drum rhythms (hand drumming) class. He bases his teachings off of a series of calls and responses. He plays a small piece of a rhythm and then the class repeats it back. This style is very effective in working with all ability levels even if participants have never touched a drum. Plus, it’s really, really fun.

Dale and Peggy Bates will get the children on their feet and dancing

Dale and Peggy Bates will get the children on their feet and dancing

Then, it’s time to get up and move as Dale and Peggy Bates host line dancing for the older children and teens. This is not your grandparents’ line dancing according to Brokaw! Then it’s ‘breath out’ time again as Jessica Banks and Tammy Hood offer needle felting, a more advanced form of wool felting. The final out breath comes when as Kate Janke, a long-time participant of and speaker for the Sun Valley Wellness Festival, ends the program with a Heart and Mind Meditation workshop. Younger children, ages six and up, are invited back for this peaceful end to the day.

In addition, Tammy Hood, Education Director at Sawtooth Botanical Garden, will be on hand to share some curious critters from the Bug Zoo during the entire event.

On Sunday, May 25, from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., Kim John Payne will present “Simplicity Parenting” in Limelight Room A at the Sun Valley Inn. Payne’s book of the same name swept through the community this year and was read, discussed and passed on up and down the valley. He is making many re-think their parenting priorities.

Author and thinker Kim John Payne will bring his 'less is more' wisdom to parents during the Wellness Festival

Author and thinker Kim John Payne will bring his 'less is more' wisdom to parents during the Wellness Festival

“Having Kim John Payne come to the valley is a fabulous opportunity for parents, grandparents, educators, health care providers and anyone who works with children and teenagers to meet with a brilliant and resourceful mentor and colleague,” Brokaw said. His lecture is sure to touch on many of the topics that have everyone talking: discipline, raising socially resilient children, social difficulties with siblings and classmates, and fostering self-esteem. Known for his practical approach, sense of humor and wisdom, he connects with his audience, making his ideas both understandable and practicable.

For more on Kim John Payne, please visit www.socialsustain.com. He is a fascinating man who is changing the way many think about parenting in this day of rampant technology and “busier is better” standards.

Tickets to all Wellness Festival events are now on sale and the full schedule, speaker and event descriptions and more can be found HERE.

Bring your kids to Sun Valley over Memorial Day weekend and help get them started on a lifetime path of wellness.

–RES

The Boiler Room at the Sun Valley Village is HQ for children's wellness events

The Boiler Room at the Sun Valley Village is HQ for children's wellness events

Let the Countdown Begin!

It’s beginning to look a lot like ski season, especially from a vantage point two-thirds of the way up Bald Mountain. According to my father, who hikes Baldy a few times each week, the early season is looking good. Indeed, Sun Valley’s famous snowmaking is in full swing with an expected opening date for runs on both Baldy and Dollar of Thanksgiving Day, November 28.

Everyone is hard at work on Bald Mountain, making snow and laying it out in preparation for a Thanksgiving open

Everyone is hard at work on Bald Mountain, making snow and laying it out in preparation for a Thanksgiving open

Sun Valley Company first fired up the snow guns on October 26 and the weather has, for the most part, been cooperating in the effort to lay down that base of fluffy white. If the cold snap and snow that is expected to begin this weekend hold, come Thanksgiving Day, skiers and snowboarders can expect to be making their first turns of the season down Upper College, Lower College, Sunset Strip, 42nd Street and Lower River Run on Baldy; and on Poverty Flats, Quarter Dollar Bowl and a Progressive Park on Dollar. On Bald Mountain, early season runs will be accessible via the No. 1 River Run and No. 5 Lookout Express detachable quad lifts. On Dollar, all fun in the snow will be via the Quarter Dollar quad lift and the Accelerator Carpet.

Sun Valley Resort boasts the largest snowmaking system in North America. On Baldy alone, there are 577 snow guns. The vast majority of the snowmaking system is computerized and automated, allowing for the most exacting snow making product that takes into account local air temperature, local air pressure and local water temperature. Dollar’s snowmaking relies on a manual system but is also a well-oiled machine.

Picture yourself here -- on Lower College -- in just two weeks' time

Picture yourself here -- on Lower College -- in just two weeks' time

No matter the chemistry and mechanics behind snowmaking, it is the poetry of the first airborne flakes accumulating in lush, puffy piles that most excites snow sports enthusiasts. The huge piles that are created on runs before being pushed into place remind me of the autumn leaf piles of my Connecticut childhood. You simply want to jump in and roll around in them. 

It certainly looks like it’s going to be an amazing ski and snowboard season in Sun Valley. Outside Online just named Warm Springs top-to-bottom one of “Five Runs You Need to Ride Before you Die,” citing the run’s elegance and uninterrupted fall line.  Sun Valley was also named the fourth best ski resort by Ski Magazine and a pick of “Where to Ski Now” by Men’s Journal.  On a related note, Fodor’s Travel named the Sun Valley outdoor ice rink one of the best 15 in the nation.

The piles of snow are piling up on Dollar in preparation for great runs and our epic terrain park

The piles of snow are piling up on Dollar in preparation for great runs and our epic terrain park

New regional jet service on Delta Airlines between Sun Valley and Salt Lake City will begin in January, the first direct flights from San Francisco to Sun Valley land starting on December 12, also on Delta, and Alaska Airlines announced it is expanding nonstop flight service between Sun Valley and Los Angeles and Sun Valley and Seattle. Getting here has never been easier.

But wait! There’s more! This weekend, the National Weather Service is predicting “the first significant snow event of the season,” in Sun Valley, bringing with it the possibility of up to seven inches of powder in the mountains.

With an anticipated Thanksgiving open, there is still time to get in on great early season stay and ski packages at the Sun Valley Resort. Come and enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving feast at the Sun Valley Inn and stay through the weekend to get in the first runs of what is sure to be a superb season.

T-minus two weeks.  Not that I am counting.

–RES

For some anxious skiers, two weeks is too long to wait to get in some turns!

For some anxious skiers, two weeks is too long to wait to get in some turns!

The Trauma Conference Comes to Town

“If you are an EMT, paramedic, member of a search and rescue team, ski patrol or just love wilderness medicine and rescue—this is your conference!” proclaims the program for the Ski and Mountain Trauma Conference, currently underway at the Sun Valley Resort.

Hundreds of first responders, doctors and ski patrol gathered this weekend at the Sun Valley Inn for a jam-packed Ski and Mountain Trauma Conference

Hundreds of paramedics, EMTs, doctors and ski patrol gathered this weekend at the Sun Valley Inn for a jam-packed Ski and Mountain Trauma Conference

For the eighth year, the St. Alphonsus Health System has brought the big show to Sun Valley, inviting first responders of all varieties, physicians, ski patrol and others who work with those who work and play in the outdoors to a three-day, jam-packed conference covering topics as diverse at managing frostbite and hypothermia prevention to creative splinting to gondola rescue techniques. The sessions, held at the Sun Valley Inn, are small and hands-on featuring simulations and presentations from national and regional experts. Hundreds come from all over the state and region to participate.

Sun Valley-area EMTs, paramedics, ski patrol and doctors look forward to this conference every year.

Presentations, hands-on sessions, networking and the latest and greatest in gear and technology are all available during the conference

Presentations, hands-on sessions, networking and the latest and greatest in gear and technology are all available during the conference

“Every single one of the classes I have been to has been applicable,” explained Ketchum firefighter and paramedic Lara McLean. “I usually do the whole weekend because what is offered is really relevant to where we live and the patients we see. From pediatric trauma to brain injury to dislocation management to myocardial contusion, the topics they cover matter to what we do — whether you are a ski patrolman, paramedic, or physician. There are many choices for whatever line of work you are in.”

Whiz McNeal, who has been on Sun Valley Ski Patrol since 1975 and is a ropes expert and training officer, said the fact that the conference happens here is huge incentive to attend and to keep learning.

“This conference is great because it doesn’t require time off or travel and it is really relevant to our valley and to our guests,” Whiz said. “There are lots of opportunities for continuing education, certifications and for learning about new protocols. It’s very dynamic and a good way to keep up with all the current science and information. Ski patrol is encouraged to attend and most do.”

Members of Sun Valley Ski Patrol will demonstrate their cutting-edge gondola evacuation techniques

Members of Sun Valley Ski Patrol will demonstrate their cutting-edge gondola evacuation techniques

This year, Sun Valley Ski Patrol partnered with the conference to offer gondola rescue demonstrations. Conference participants will shuttle to River Run on Baldy to learn how our fantastic patrol prepares for weather, equipment malfunctions and individual illness that can create situations where evacuation of the gondola becomes critical. On display is patrol’s special equipment and expertise.

This conference, according to attendees, is also a great networking and social weekend – the chance to catch up with other professionals and learn from each other. The schedule builds in opportunities for meals and down time where participants can compare notes and share information.

The Sun Valley Inn is HQ for a weekend of continuing education, gaining expertise and earning certifications

The Sun Valley Inn is HQ for a weekend of continuing education, gaining expertise and earning certifications

For all of us who live and recreate in the beautiful mountains that surround this valley, knowing that our first responders, ski patrol and other professionals have access to this conference is great news. The Sun Valley Inn is jammed with motivated people who care deeply about what they do and who will finish the conference on Saturday afternoon having been exposed to the latest, greatest information that will benefit everyone.

Thanks to all the participants for committing to continuing their education, and to Sun Valley for hosting this conference. Let the snow season (safely) begin!

–RES

Great information, with a dose of levity, defines the weekend

Great information, with a pinch of levity, defines the weekend

Jazz It Up

On October 16, Sun Valley will jump, jive and wail for five days as the annual Jazz Jamboree, and all the live music, dancing and fun that comes with it, swings into town.  There is no cooler place to be!

Jazz Jamboree swings back into town next week

Jazz Jamboree swings back into town next week for the 24th music-filled year

People travel to Jazz HQ at the Sun Valley Lodge from all over the country for one of the most highly anticipated festivals around. Why? To listen to the music of more than 40 bands; to watch 260 shows on ten stages; to dance the night away after learning all the moves; to see old friends and make new ones; to take advantage of this spectacular time of year in this one-of-a-kind place. The fun is non-stop as enthusiasts choose from live jazz, Dixieland, Swing, Zydeco, and the Blues all day and all night, at all types of venues.

40 bands, 260 acts, 10 stages ... enough said!

40 bands, 260 acts, 10 stages ... enough said!

This 24th installment of the Jazz Jamboree story has some special events. Free dance lessons and an amateur dance competition will get everyone moving.  Come out to check out the All Star Big Band Bashes, a Marching Band Salute, a Pianist Showcase, even a Jazz Worship service. For a full schedule of what is available, click HERE.

The party kicks off with a free event and the entire community is invited to come out and tap their toes. At 7 p.m. on October 15, Meschiya Lake & Dem Lil’ Big Horns will get things rolling with their supercharged take on New Orleans style jazz. Opening for Lake (who incidentally was honored Best Female Performer at the 2011 Big Easy Music Awards) and her band will be the Wood River High School Dixie Band. The action takes place at the indoor Sun Valley indoor ice rink that is converted into a fantastic jazz club, replete with a sprung dance floor, for the duration of the Jamboree.

A Next Generation concert, scheduled for October 19 at 5 p.m. in the Limelight Room includes my favorite act at the Jazz Jamboree – the Whiffenpoofs of Yale. This all-male A capella group, founded in 1909, consisting of 14 seniors, is the world’s oldest, and perhaps best know, collegiate A cappella group. Every year, I take my children to see the Whiffenpoofs’ concert and their music and style always carry me back 20-plus years to my undergraduate years in New Haven. My children remain impressed that the Whiffs still perform in tails and I love seeing formal wear in the middle of the Idaho mountains. Performing with the Whiffenpoofs at this free event are Bill, Shelley & Westy and high school choirs. 

Whether your taste runs to funky New Orleans grooves, big band swing, rhythm and blues, traditional jazz, sousaphones, lyrical standards, big band or almost any other permeation of this always-evolving music, you will find something to love at the Jazz Jamboree.

The Whiffenpoofs of Yale entertain fans of all ages in style at the Jazz Jamboree

The Whiffenpoofs of Yale entertain fans of all ages in style at the Jazz Jamboree

Sun Valley invites all jazz enthusiasts to take advantage of special room packages during the Jazz Jamboree. Call 208.622.2030 or email reservations@sunvalley.com for rates reserved for festival participants and stay and play right in the middle of the action.

Come join the party!

–RES

World-class Wellness

Sun Valley is the perfect place to focus on mind, body and soul

Sun Valley is the perfect place to focus on mind, body and soul

For years, I considered my lengthy summer sojourns to Sun Valley an opportunity to regroup: to think, to get fit and healthy and to change up my normal routine for the better. In other words, I always thought of my time here as ‘Spa Sun Valley.’ While many of my friends paid exorbitant prices at wellness retreats so that they could work out, eat well and get a little synthesis for the soul, I did everything they were doing and more, in my normal day-to-day activities. From mineral hot springs, to breathtaking hikes, from spa treatments to fresh, healthy food, Sun Valley’s clean air, sunshine and gorgeous scenery provided the ultimate reboot, addressing mind, body and soul.

And that was without the benefit of attending the annual Sun Valley Wellness Festival. This event, chosen by Travel to Wellness as one of the Top 12 wellness vacations in the world, returns to the Resort from May 23 – 27. It is my version of ‘Spa Sun Valley’ taken up a few notches! Whether you are traveling 10, 100 or 1000 miles to attend Wellness Festival events, you are sure to experience an eye opening and habit-altering reboot.

Hiking in the area provides a fresh vantage point

Hiking in the area provides a fresh vantage point

“Sun Valley has always been a destination for health and wellness,” said Nick Maricich, Sun Valley Wellness Chairman. “Since Sun Valley’s opening in 1937, people have come from all over the world for healing experiences in this pristine alpine environment. Whether it is skiing, fishing, hiking, golfing, bike riding or simply watching the sun rise over the Pioneer Mountains, being in Sun Valley encourages an openness to new ideas, a re-centering and re-framing of priorities. It is the Sun Valley Wellness Institute’s mission to build on these experiences and to help Sun Valley get the recognition it deserves as one of the top destinations in the world for all aspects of health and wellness.”

Energy guru Amory Lovins is a featured speaker at the Wellness Festival

Energy guru Amory Lovins is a featured speaker at the Wellness Festival

The Memorial weekend Wellness Festival is the epicenter for this goal. For the mind, the Festival brings some of the most prominent speakers from many fields to the Sun Valley Inn. This year, one of the predominant questions asked by organizers is: What does energy have to do with wellness? The answer? Everything! Keynote speakers on this topic are global energy leaders Amory Lovins and James Woolsey. Their talk, to be held at the Sun Valley Inn Continental Room on Saturday, May 25, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., focuses on energy present and energy future. According to Festival organizers, “energy underpins our planet’s health and our personal health, from enabling alleviation of suffering from poverty, to providing clean air, to helping to ensure our national security. Energy is perhaps our greatest challenge, but also our greatest opportunity.”

During a break from Wellness Festival activities, the bike path awaits

During a break from Wellness Festival activities, the bike path awaits

Another part of the complete wellness picture, focusing on health and the body, is the Hands-On-Hall. Free to the public, everyone is encouraged to stop by the Inn for massage, healing touch, energy work, Tarot card readings and Henna body art that is particularly popular with the younger set (children are welcome).

To address the spirit, 16 workshops will be offered throughout the weekend focusing on topics as diverse as ‘Attuning to the Unseen World,’ ‘New Beginnings,’ ‘The Four Pillars of Health’ and ‘An Introduction to the Human Design System.’ These workshops are intimate and guaranteed to engage participants on a truly meaningful level. Please click here for tickets for all lectures and workshops and further information.

Trailheads to wonderful hikes lie just across Sun Valley Road from the Lodge, and spread north, south, east and west. Bikes are for rent at Pete Lane’s, located in the Village, and a bike path is readily accessible. Between lectures, workshops and inspiration at the Festival, take time to breathe the mountain air and let the Sun Valley sun work its magic. Take a break beside the scenic swan pond and let everything you have heard and seen sink in. Chat with friends in the Lobby Lounge. Grab a healthy bite at one of the Resort’s many restaurants.

The Resort's two outdoor hot pools are a great way to naturally relieve stress

The Resort's two outdoor hot pools are a great way to naturally relieve stress

To enjoy the full benefit of a wellness retreat, book a room at the Lodge or Inn at a special rate of $120 a night (please call 1-800-786-8259 for details and reservations). As a guest of the Resort, enjoy ‘Spa Sun Valley’ at its finest – soak in the relaxing outdoor hot pools, book a fortifying body treatment at the Salon and Spa, indulge in healthy food and wonderfully comfortable beds. All the Festival offers will be moments away.

You don’t need to go far for a world-class wellness experience. It is all right here.

–RES

Go ahead, you're worth it

Go ahead, you're worth it

Chutzpah, Chance Encounters and a Universe in Alignment bring Proof of Heaven Author to Sun Valley

Dr. Eben Alexander will captivate the audience at the Sun Valley Wellness Festival

Dr. Eben Alexander will captivate the audience at the Sun Valley Wellness Festival as this year's keynote speaker on May 24

Dr. Eben Alexander, author of the New York Times’ No. 1 bestseller Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, will give the keynote address at this year’s Wellness Festival, to be held in Sun Valley from May 23 – 27. But booking this red-hot author, seeker and physician, who describes in his book a near death experience and a blossoming of faith, was anything but straightforward.

As Sun Valley Wellness Festival board member Pirie Grossman describes it, the process of agreeing on the right keynote speaker for this year’s Festival was proving challenging. “During a board meeting months ago, there were lots of ideas going back and forth but nothing was catching,” Pirie explained. “I was traveling to the TEDx conference in Washington, D.C., shortly thereafter and then going on to New York, so I left with an open mind, promising to look see if anyone perfect came to my attention.

Alexander's account of a near death experience has dominated the bestseller lists

Alexander's account of a near death experience has dominated the bestseller lists

Right before departing, however, Pirie’s fellow board member Elisabeth Grabher reached out to someone everyone agreed would be perfect for the Festival: Oprah Winfrey. And, synchronicity being what it is, it was also an episode of Oprah’s show that first introduced Pirie to Dr. Eben Alexander. After she saw his interview on the program, she began to research his story. Alexander seemed like a huge draw for the Festival and Cheryl Welch Thomas, another board member, contacted his agent to see if he was available.

“We always believe you should throw things out into the universe and see what happens!” laughed Pirie.

In New York, shortly after a conversation with a friend about her desire to have Oprah speak at the Wellness Festival and her keen interest in Dr. Alexander, Pirie returned to her hotel. While waiting at the elevator, the doors opened and a security guard glanced around, talking into his sleeve. “He stepped aside and there behind him stood Oprah Winfrey, no more than two feet from me,” Pirie laughed. “She looked right at me and didn’t try to hurry away. She was warm and approachable – she was Oprah!”

The following conversation ensued.
Pirie: Hi!
Oprah: (pause, smile) You have something to say to me.
Pirie: I’m from Sun Valley…
Oprah: Oh! I love Sun Valley.
Pirie: I’m a board member at the Wellness Festival…
Oprah: I’ve heard about the Wellness Festival.
Pirie: I just sent you a letter asking if you would come speak!
(Pirie quickly reminds Oprah of the date of the event)
Oprah: I’m going to be in Africa then, but do you know who you should get?
Pirie: Who?
Oprah: Dr. Eben Alexander.
Pirie: (gasp!) It is so funny you said that! You were the first letter we sent, he was the second. I saw him on your show. He is amazing.
Oprah: He is amazing. Be sure to let him know I suggested him.

“And away she went,” Pirie explained. “All I could think was when things are supposed to happen, they happen. Isn’t the universe interesting?”

The Wellness Festival offers something for everyone

The Wellness Festival offers something for everyone to take care of mind, body and spirit

Immediately, Pirie phoned her fellow board members in Sun Valley with news of the interaction. Cheryl, who had previously received a polite ‘thank you, but no thank you, Dr. Alexander is booked for the foreseeable future’ response from his agent, heard the news and sent a follow-up email. This note detailed Pirie’s encounter with Oprah and boiled down to, ‘this is meant to be, you have to come.’ Two hours later his agent called Cheryl back and said yes.

Ever since, Eben and Pirie have corresponded by email. “We joke, ‘how about that Oprah story?’” Pirie laughed. “He told me when he read that second email he was laughing and crying at the same time. We just couldn’t get over, and still can’t, the chain of events that introduced him to us and allowed us to bring him to Sun Valley.”

Dr. Alexander will speak at the Limelight Room at the Sun Valley Inn on Friday, May 24, at 6 p.m. He is one of many prominent inspiring speakers scheduled for this year’s Wellness Festival. Please click HERE for tickets and full Wellness Festival information, including speakers, movement, the Hands on Hall and workshops and activities for both adults and children.

The Sun Valley Resort offers terrific lodging choices to allow participants to stay in the center of the action for the weekend. Be sure to call Resort Reservations at 800-786-8259 and ask for the special Sun Valley Wellness Festival rate. This is a wonderful way to enjoy the full Festival experience. And you just never know who you might meet and where it might lead, do you?

–RES

The Sun Valley Inn is HQ for the Wellness Festival. Come on in!

The Sun Valley Inn is HQ for the Wellness Festival. Come on in!

Sun Valley Egg Hunt

Sun Valley Inn Pond

  • 4:30pm Sharp!
  • Ages 10 and under
  • Bring your basket!