A Walk Through History: Sun Valley Village

Sun Valley Resort’s historical walking tour is a must-do for anyone visiting Sun Valley. But for those who can’t wait until they’re here to discover the secrets behind this historic resort, here is Part Two of the tour: Sun Valley Village. For the complete series click here

The Ram Restaurant, part of Sun Valley Village since 1937

STOP ONE: Begin your tour of Sun Valley’s grounds at the outdoor ice rink. Installed in 1936, the rink was a main attraction for the new winter resort. Steve Hannagan, Sun Valley’s publicist, was far from convinced that starlets and socialites wanted to hurtle down a hillside, and he deemed skating far more glamorous. Today, it is one of the world’s premier outdoor ice-skating venues, attracting Olympians such as Sasha Cohen, Johnny Weir and Evan Lysacek to perform in its summer ice shows. The very first ice show was held on the evening of Thursday, February 24, 1938. The Austrian ski instructors kicked off festivities by slaloming down Dollar Mountain carrying flares. This torchlight parade, as it became known, is a tradition that is now a centerpiece of Sun Valley’s Christmas celebrations. That first ice show however, was not quite of the caliber of today’s. Instead of Olympians it featured brave resort guests waltzing on the ice with flares in hand, comical musical chairs and Union Pacific staff who had been given such expert choreographic instruction as “just move around.” It proved such a hit that a repeat performance was ordered for the next week, and ice shows have continued at Sun Valley ever since.

STOP TWO: Now take a walk from the resort’s oldest entertainment venue to its newest. Keep the rink on your right and follow the path away from the Lodge toward the Sun Valley Pavilion. This impressive feat of architecture is the jewel in the crown of the six buildings Sun Valley’s most recent owner, Earl Holding, contributed to the resort during his 35 years of ownership. One of Mr. Holding’s favorite sayings was “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing,” and the Pavilion is overdone in the best possible way. Opened in 2008 through a partnership with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, this one-of-a-kind performing arts facility was constructed with 1,000 tons of marble from the same quarry as the stone used to build Rome’s Coliseum. In its young life it has hosted such glittering names as Garth Brooks, the San Francisco Ballet, Bill Cosby and, of course, the world famous Sun Valley Summer Symphony.

STOP THREE: Walk from the Pavilion around the Lodge and towards the Sun Valley Village. You will pass three cottages. The first is The Harriman Cottage. Built in the summer of 1937, this was Sun Valley’s original “vacation home,” and is still available to rent today. “I wanted to have a place to come and live,” Harriman said in 1983. “And I wanted to encourage people to build houses in the valley. I didn’t want any more hotels to be built. I didn’t want it to be cluttered up as [if] it was a big resort. But I wanted people to come here and live and enjoy it either as a home or as a second home of sorts. All of that was part of the original idea. It has worked out very satisfactorily.” The other two cottages were added in the fall of 1940, one for Dr. Moritz, the resident surgeon, and the other for Friedl Pfeiffer, then the new head of the ski school, although he never lived in it. These are now The President’s and Guest cottages and can also be rented.

STOP FOUR: Continue along the sidewalk to the bus circle at the entrance to the Sun Valley Village, and stop just below the flagpole. Here you’ll find The Tenth Mountain Division Rock. This memorial to The Ski Troops, as they were known, honors the many Sun Valley alumni and residents who fought in the division during WWII. The Tenth is famous for helping push the Germans from the snow covered mountains of Italy, effectively ending the war, but they lost a quarter of their number in the process. Three mountains in the valley are named for fallen Sun Valley employees who served in The Tenth: Handwerk Peak after a waiter at the Ram; Duncan Ridge for a former Lodge employee; and Bromaghin Peak for a ski instructor.

STOP FIVE: Just beyond the rock, to the left of the recreation center, is another of the resort’s links to WWII. These statues are in memory of two members of the Tenth, Austrian ski instructors Sigi Engl and Sepp Froehlich, who between them worked 72 seasons at Sun Valley. Engl initially applied in 1938, but was turned down by Harriman. By the following season however he was firmly ensconced at the resort, and worked here for more than three decades. He served as director of the ski school from 1952 to 1975. Froehlich arrived at Sun Valley the year after Engl, but the outbreak of WWII saw him, Engl and three other Austrian instructors arrested by the FBI on suspicions of harboring Nazi sympathies. Engl immediately joined the U.S. Army, but Froehlich spent nearly three months in prison before enlisting. He went on to win a Silver Star for gallantry in the Pacific.

STOP SIX: Follow the path past the bank and turn right to the Sun Valley Opera House. The 320-seat movie theater was added in the resort’s second season, and its early ties to Hollywood were strong enough to secure a much-sought-after copy of Gone With The Wind in the first few weeks of its release. (Wind producer David O’Selznick was a friend of Harriman’s and helped him publicize Sun Valley, although he disapproved of the name, he thought it should be called Ski Haven.) Today, alongside hit movies, catch a showing of Sun Valley Serenade most days. The 1940s classic features scenes shot at the resort as well as future gold medalist Gretchen Fraser skiing for star Sonja Henie.

STOP SEVEN: From the Opera House proceed around the duck pond, taking in the glass enclosed exterior of the resort’s second circular pool (identical to the one in the Lodge), and walk along the length of the Sun Valley Inn. “Realizing that one hotel doesn’t make a resort, Sun Valley this year opened another spacious hostelry, much more moderate in price,” Esquire wrote in its February 1938 article Enter the Ski-golo. The title referenced the original ski school director Hans Hauser’s stable of Austrian skier instructors. It turns out they were all “singularly adept in teaching that old world technique to our susceptible American maidens.” Originally called The Challenger Inn, after Union Pacific’s passenger trains, the Inn is the centerpiece of the Sun Valley Village. Built to resemble a Tyrolean mountain village, the hotel was based on drawings by Ernst Fegté, the German set designer of the first movie shot in Sun Valley, I Met Him in Paris starring resort regular Claudette Colbert. The hotel’s different facades were painted by American artist Walt Kuhn to enhance the illusion of a classic Austrian village street, when inside it is all one building.

STOP EIGHT: Taking the path to your left, pass the Inn and arrive in front of The Ram restaurant. A relaxed, casual setting for socializing after skiing, The Ram had a strong Austrian theme, right down to the long-stemmed wine-pourers called Weinhebers, imported from Vienna by Count Schaffgotsch. It was also a favorite of the celebrity guests. If you were here in 1938 you might spot Ginger Rogers tap dancing away to The Ram Trio’s cheery tunes (possibly including the Hokey Pokey, which musician Larry Laprise claims to have invented here). Pop by in the winter of 1956 and Marilyn Monroe could be tucked away in a booth, relaxing after a day filming Bus Stop in the snow. Stop for dinner in the forties and sit next to Clark Gable, Bing Crosby or Gary Cooper. The Ram was a place where people let their hair down because, according to a 1958 Sports Illustrated feature on Sun Valley, “It has the New York nightclub feeling.”

STOP NINE: Continuing on through Sun Valley Village, follow the path to the left towards the Lodge. You’ll pass through what was originally known as the Sun Valley Mall. Installed in 1966 by the resort’s second owner, Olympic skier Bill Janss, the shopping street was modeled on the popular shopping mall concept of the time. Today it has been so tightly woven into the character of the original village that it is simply referred to as the Sun Valley Village. In fact, one spot here claims a link to the earliest history of the resort. The Brass Ranch skiwear boutique is named after the sheep and cattle ranch that once stood here.

Written and researched by Jennifer Tuohy

Click here for Part One: The Sun Valley Lodge

Click here for Part Three: Sun Valley Resort

A Fantasy Weekend for Film Lovers

Sun Valley welcomes back the third annual star-studded Sun Valley Film Festival

Sun Valley welcomes back the third annual star-studded Sun Valley Film Festival

Film buffs rejoice! For four spectacular spring days in Sun Valley, the finest narratives, documentaries, shorts and family films will grace big screens all over town.

Welcome back the Sun Valley Film Festival!

Beginning Thursday, March 13, and running through Sunday, March 16, the Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF), recognized by USA Today as one of the “great places for a film festival,” welcomes movie lovers to explore the weekend’s non-stop offerings.

Screenings, coffee talks with movie notables, screenwriters workshops, concerts and music -- it's all part of this weekend's lineup

Screenings, coffee talks with movie notables, screenwriters workshops, concerts and music -- it's all part of this weekend's lineup (photo SVFF)

SVFF HQ, located in the 511 Building in Ketchum (511 Leadville Ave.), opened for business on March 10, selling passes, individual event tickets and event merchandise. Stop by any time between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. to make sure you have what you need to get the most of the festival experience.

But the real action will take place around town: from the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum, to the theater at Community School, the Magic Lantern Cinemas in Ketchum and the historic Opera House in Sun Valley. Events include premieres, competitions, screenwriter labs, coffee talks and of course, music and parties.

Please log onto sunvalleyfilmfestival.org for a full schedule, detailed listings and ticket information, but here are some of the highlights:

Coveted awards are up for grabs in many categories

Coveted awards are up for grabs in many categories (photo SVFF)

On Thursday, March 13, the Festival starts out strong with Idaho’s Governor introducing Arie Posin’s The Face of Love, starring Ed Harris and Annette Bening.

Governor Otter said, “We’re so pleased that the Sun Valley Film Festival is returning for its third year this March, and I am pleased to be introducing the opening night screening of The Face of Love. The state of Idaho has a proud filmmaking heritage and we’re all hoping that SVFF and the Gem State have a long and fruitful relationship and can work together to bring more filmmakers to shoot in Idaho.”

That same day, the SVFF will pay tribute to Kevin Smith’s cult movie Clerks but offering a 20th anniversary screening of the film that defined a generation. Things only heat up from there with the amazing J Mascis playing live at Whiskey Jacques’ in Ketchum Thursday night.

In Sun Valley, the action is headquartered at the historic Opera House in Sun Valley Village

In Sun Valley, the action is headquartered at the historic Opera House in Sun Valley Village

The SVFF offers more than 50 features and shorts — something to appeal to everyone. The curated slate of films includes 11 narrative and 15 documentary feature-length works from 11 countries, as well as more than 40 short films. According to the SVFF, Festival partner National Geographic Channels will present three highly anticipated world premieres and announce the winner of the WILD to INSPIRE short film competition, sponsored by Nat Geo WILD, the African Wildlife Foundation and SVFF. The winner will get to study filmmaking and wildlife in Africa with Emmy Award winning cinematographer, Bob Poole.

Many opportunities, including special programs and panels compliment the film schedule. This year, the SVFF signature Coffee Talks again feature top industry insiders including Academy Award® nominated producers Ron Yerxa (Nebraska, Little Miss Sunshine) and Jim Burke (The Descendants, Election), and writer-actor-director Kevin Smith (Clerks), and actor Mariel Hemingway.

Don't miss a minute -- from narratives to documentaries to family-friendly offerings -- there is something for everyone

Don't miss a minute -- from narratives to documentaries to family-friendly offerings -- there is something for everyone

SVFF’s other signature event, the Screenwriters Lab, will be hosted by 2014 Academy Award® nominees, screenwriters Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack (Dallas Buyers Club) and will feature actors Will McCormack, Alison Pill, and Joshua Leonard, along with Jim Burke and Academy Award® winning screenwriter David Seidler (The King’s Speech).

Sun Valley’s rich filmmaking history certainly continues to grow and evolve with the SVFF. In fact, the SVFF has received attention from the national and international media including the Huffington Post, Town & Country, Indiewire, WIRED, Hammer to Nail, Fandor and a French TV film crew.

“Our goal is to bring in the best films, innovative programs, and high energy events to Sun Valley and we are extremely excited about this year’s festival,” said SVFF executive director Teddy Grennan. “With a solid lineup of new films from around the world, a talent-packed Screenwriters Lab, the special events celebrating the 20th anniversary of Clerks, and guests from all over the country, Sun Valley Film Festival ‘Take 3’ is going to be another hit!”

Tickets are still available to many screenings and events, but don’t delay, they do sell out and you don’t want to miss a frame of the must-see and must-attend festival of the year!

–RES

Sun Valley Center for the Arts presents: Le Vent du Nord @ The Opera House. Saturday, March, 22, 6:30pm.

Sun Valley Center for the Arts presents Le Vent du Nord. Playing at the Opera House on Saturday, March, 22 at 6:30pm. Le Vent du Nord is one of Quebec’s finest traditional and progressive folk groups. For tickets, please call 208.726.9491 or visit sunvalleycenter.org

Family of Women Gather in Sun Valley

Welcome film fans!

Welcome film fans!

The seventh annual Family of Woman Film Festival returned to Sun Valley this week, bringing both rising and established documentary filmmakers to town to screen movies guaranteed to provoke thought, spur conversation and encourage action. This year, the weeklong event, running through March 10, focuses on the subject of education for women throughout the world.

This year’s theme “advocates for the empowerment of women and girls,” according to festival organizers. Events include not only the screening of powerful films at the Sun Valley Opera House, but intimate discussions with the filmmakers, the first Bonni Curran Memorial Lecture for the Health and Dignity of Women, receptions, events at Ketchum’s Community Library and much more.

On Friday, filmmakers Allison Shigo, Freida Lee Mock and Alexi Pappas joined other directors for an intimate, casual roundtable at the Sun Valley Lodge

On Friday, filmmakers Allison Shigo, Freida Lee Mock and Alexi Pappas joined other directors for an intimate, casual roundtable at the Sun Valley Lodge

On Friday, five filmmakers gathered in the Sun Room at the Sun Valley Lodge to take part in a media roundtable discussion. Filmmakers Allison Shigo, “A Walk to Beautiful,” Academy and Emmy-Award winner Freida Lee Mock, “Anita,” Jeremy Teicher and Alexi Pappas, “Tall as the Baobab Tree,” and Annie Eastman, “Bay of All Saints,” spoke about their projects in a casual, intimate atmosphere.

In addition to discussing their work, the artists all said how much they enjoyed participating at this festival in Sun Valley. Allison Shigo, who first brought her Emmy Award-winning documentary to the 2009 Family of Woman Film Festival and returned for a Filmmaker Update said, “I really enjoy this festival. There are so many fascinating filmmakers and the global perspective is inspiring and thought provoking.”

Annie Eastman said she was enjoying her first trip to Idaho to screen her film, "Bay of All Saints."

Annie Eastman said she was enjoying her first trip to Idaho to screen her film "Bay of All Saints."

This trip marked Eastman’s first time to Idaho and she said she was “just thrilled to have been picked.” She called Family of Woman “such a different festival experience.”

All the filmmakers acknowledged that part of what makes this festival unique is the opportunity to spend time with the other exhibitors, as well as members of the community. “We really get the opportunity to get to know each other,” Eastman said.

Academy Award winner Freida Lee Mock's next film focuses on Anita Hill (photo Anita Hill American Film Foundation)

Academy Award winner Freida Lee Mock's next film focuses on Anita Hill (photo Anita Hill American Film Foundation)

Freida Lee Mock, who may be best known for the Oscar-award winning film, “Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision,” said how happy she is to be back in Sun Valley. The film she brought this week, “Anita,” about the life of Anita Hill, will be released nationally in two weeks, so this experience was akin to the calm before the storm. Mock also glanced out the plate glass windows over Dollar Mountain and the iconic outdoor skating rink and smiled, “where else can you go skating, enjoy that amazing hot pool and still draw a fantastic, engaged audience to your film?”

Teicher agreed, “we really wanted to come because of the intimacy of this film festival. It’s a great way to connect with the a passionate audience and the other filmmakers.”

Filmmaker Jeremy Teicher said he appreciates the opportunity to get to know fellow directors at this festival as well as its global nature

Filmmaker Jeremy Teicher said he appreciates the opportunity to get to know fellow directors at this festival as well as its global perspective

Also in attendance was Festival founder Peggy Elliott Goldwyn whose commitment to human rights and the health and dignity of every woman compelled her to create this forum.

The Family of Woman Film Festival is closely aligned with the United Nations Population Fund. Goldwyn joined the board of this organization in 2003 and according to a statement, “one of my main duties was to make the American public aware that the UN had a women’s agency and of the remarkable work it did. My first thought was to use film – but how?” This longtime part-time resident decided Sun Valley was the perfect place to find the support she needed to make this dream a reality.

Three years ago, photographer and philanthropist Stephanie Perenchio joined Goldwyn as co-chair of the festival. The commitment and capability of these two women and the organization’s many volunteers and supporters saw the festival grow. Screenings moved to the Sun Valley Opera House and the festival partnered with the Sun Valley Company to continue to bring the filmmaker’s messages to bigger audiences.

Screenings for the Family of Woman Film Festival take place at Sun Valley's historic Opera House

Screenings for the Family of Woman Film Festival take place at Sun Valley's historic Opera House

Perenchio said in a statement, “It’s one thing to read about intolerance or gender persecution in the newspapers; it’s a significantly different thing to see the stories unfold on the big screen. To have a chance to talk with filmmakers or people featured in these films adds a layer of understanding.”

The passion for the projects this year’s featured filmmakers brought to Sun Valley was readily evident in their careful, thoughtful responses at Friday’s roundtable. While we in Sun Valley may not think every day about issues such as early marriage for Senegalese girls, obstetric fistula in Ethiopia, or the plight of single mothers in Brazil fighting for their homes, audiences here embrace opportunities to learn about issues challenging women throughout the world and look forward to the eighth installment of the Family of Woman Film Festival next spring.

For the festival’s schedule, please click HERE.

–RES

It’s time for the Fly Fishing Film Tour!

On Wednesday, February 19, thoughts in Sun Valley will turn from fresh powder to freshwater; to trout streams and fly fishing to be exact. That evening at the historic Opera House in the Sun Valley Village, the 2014 Fly Fishing Film Tour (a.k.a. the F3T) will roll film. Labeled the “original and preeminent exhibition of fly fishing cinema,” the F3T is a one-of-a-kind experience.

The Fly Fishing Film Tour returns to Sun Valley February 19

The Fly Fishing Film Tour returns to Sun Valley February 19

According to tour producers, “Each year fishy folk of all ages gather at premieres to soak up films from around the world, spin a few yarns amongst friends and dream about casts still unmade.”

This is a film tour to watch. Since its inception in 2007, the F3T has grown more than 30 percent each year, reaching nearly 50,000 anglers across North America last season. The event returns to Sun Valley this year, connecting with our vast community of fly fishing devotees.

Sun Valley is fly fishing Nirvana, offering some of the finest trout fishing in the world

Sun Valley is fly fishing Nirvana, offering some of the finest trout fishing in the world

With eight films on offer, there is something to satisfy every midwinter’s fly fishing fantasy. From a piece on the Gold Cup Invitational Tarpon Fly Tournament, to an insiders’ look at the pursuit of wild brook trout and landlocked salmon, to a journey to the furthest reaches of the Alaskan frontier, fly rod will travel. The evening brings to life the personalities and places helping to define this lifetime sport. You’ll see a lot of pretty spectacular fish, too. For a full description of the films being shown, please click HERE.

The screening begins at 7 p.m. Discounted tickets for $13 are available in advance at two fabulous local fly shops: Silver Creek Outfitters (with a second location in the Sun Valley Village) and Lost River Outfitters, both in Ketchum. At the door, tickets will be $15.

If this photo makes your heart sing, then this film fest is for you (photo Bryan Huskey, Silver Creek Outfitters)

If this photo makes your heart sing, then this film fest is for you (photo Bryan Huskey, Silver Creek Outfitters)

Fly fishing is a way of life and nearly a year-round pursuit in Sun Valley. Take an evening’s vacation from the slopes and trails and span the globe with some of the most daring anglers around, setting your hook for a night of camaraderie and adventure. Local fishing is excellent this time of year, too, if you wade into the current properly prepared. Warm layers and a few pairs of fingerless gloves will make for a fantastic day of winter fishing. For updated fishing reports, please click HERE.

Fish on!

–RES

Winter fishing can be very productive, and very beautiful, in the Sun Valley area

Winter fishing can be very productive, and very beautiful, in the Sun Valley area

2014 Fly Fishing Film Tour @ The Opera House, Wednesday, February 19 at 7:00pm

Fly Fishing Film Tour

-On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 6:00pm, please join us at the Opera House for the Fly Fishing Film Tour.

 

-About F3T

The original and preeminent exhibition of fly fishing cinema, The F3T is a one of a kind experience. Each year fishy folk of all ages gather at premieres to soak up films from around the world, spin a few yarns amongst friends and dream about casts still unmade. If you’ve been, you know what we’re talking about. If you haven’t, we hope to see you soon!

Since its inception in 2007 The F3T has grown more than 30% each year; reaching nearly 50,000 anglers across North America last season. To keep up with demand we’ve added new towns to the 2014 schedule and increased our capacity in the communities that have been supporting us for years.

In addition to showcasing world-class fly fishing films, The F3T is dedicated to supporting the local fly shops and conservation groups that form the backbone of our sport’s educational and environmental efforts. Discount F3T tickets are available at more than 150 fly shops across the country. A portion of those ticket sales go directly to support fishing and habitat-related conservation groups. In 2013 we raised $250,000 for our conservation partners and have used our voice to bring greater attention and support to groups like Trout Unlimited, Wild Steelhead Coalition, Bonefish Tarpon Trust, Utah Stream Access Coalition and Stop Pebble Mine and many more.

For more information, please visit: http://www.flyfilmtour.com/

6th Annual Classical Christmas Concert

Join us for the 6th Annual Classical Christmas Concert at The Sun Valley Opera House December 22, at 7:00 pm. Tickets available at the Sun Valley Recreation office for $20, or purchase at the door. For more information please call 208.622.2135 or email recreation@sunvalley.com. Doors open at 6:30

Opera House special showings for Christmas week

Come join us at the Opera House Starting December 25, running until January 1st for a week of special shows. During those times, Walking With Dinosaurs will be showing at 1:15pm, 6:30pm, and 8:30pm.  Also during these dates, starting at 3:00pm, will be a free showing of selected ski movies brought to you by Level 1 films, one of the industries most innovated ski filming companies. To compliment that, a free showing of Sun Valley Serenade or a Warren Miller Film for just $5.00 will start at 4:30.

 

Day:                                                                  3:00pm                                           4:30pm

December 25:                                                 Refresh                                            Warren Miller 2013

December 26:                                                 Eye Trip                                           Sun Valley Serenade

December 27th:                                             After Dark                                      Warren Miller 2012

December 28th:                                             Partly Cloudy                                 Sun Valley Serenade

December 29th:                                             Refresh                                            Warren Miller 2011

December 30th:                                             Eye Trip                                           Sun Valley Serenade

December 31st:                                              After Dark                                       Warren Miller 2013

January 1st:                                                   Partly Cloudy                                  Sun Valley Serenade

 

The 7th annual Family of Woman Film Festival

The 7th annual Family of Woman Film Festival in Sun Valley will take place March 7-9, 2014, at the Sun Valley Opera House. The festival supports the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which works in over 150 countries to achieve a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. For more information please visit www.familyofwomanfilmfestival.org