Is Sun Valley going from snoots to roots?

Photo by Roger Phillips
It’s interesting to see different perspectives about places you know, or think you know. Idahoans tend to view Sun Valley as a place for “those rich folks,” while Bogus Basin and Brundage are places for the “common folks” (jury is still out on Tamarack). So another perspective on Sun Valley from caught my attention.

“Absent are Prada, snootiness, and any apparent Botox,” Susan Reifer writes about Sun Valley.

Huh? You mean Sun Valley isn’t Aspen in Idaho? Okay, you have my attention.

She describes Dollar Mountain and Baldy as “a place where skiing is long and fast, traditions run deep, people are intensely athletic, and no one much cares if you’re very wealthy or very famous.”

Really? Wait… Sun Valley?

The writer quotes my buddy, Greg Randolph, who besides being an Olympian is a salt-of-the-earth Idaho guy who now helps market Sun Valley.

“There’s no hype,” says Randolph. “People are welcoming. This is an authentic mountain town.”

To that I can attest. Despite its glam, Sun Valley is no place for posers. It’s filled with great athletes and people who take their play time very seriously.

Reifer concludes that Sun Valley and Ketchum are “putting on a new shine and attracting a new generation in the process, this rugged yet refined spot in the center of Idaho remains very much itself. The best reason to come here is still to be precisely here and nowhere else.”

So is Sun Valley rebranding? The short answer is yes. The town and resort have pushed to attract a younger crowd, but also retain their upscale identity. For Idahoans, there also seems to be more acceptance of Sun Valley as one of our own.

I know I’ve enjoyed my trips there in recent years after avoiding it for being out of my price range and comfort zone. But I remember stopping by Sun Valley after a long, dusty motorcycle ride where my buddies and I looked like we walked off the set of Mad Max, and we were treated the same as the folks in pressed khaki shorts and polo shirts. That instance changed my perception of Sun Valley and how it treats guests of all stripes, tax brackets and layers of dust.

So good work, Sun Valley, and see you soon. You’ve got some new mountain bike trails I am dying to ride. Can’t wait.

You can read the whole article HERE.

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Posted in Into the Outdoors