Sun Valley Fun Facts

Here are some little known fun facts about Sun Valley, Idaho:

  • Sun Valley was the first ski resort to build a chairlift, which was adapted from a system used to haul bananas onto ships in Panama.
  • The first lift ticket price at Sun Valley in 1936 on Proctor and Dollar Mountains was 25 cents.
  • Sun Valley has the largest automated snowmaking system in the world.
  • The name "Sun Valley" was thought up by a New York PR agent, Steve Hannigan, who thought the name appropriate for a place that receives 250 days of sunshine a year.
  • Sun Valley Resort's uphill lift capacity on Bald Mountain is a staggering 21,580 skiers per hour, but averages only 3,500 skiers per day. Result: no lift lines.
  • The first woman to win a gold medal in the winter Olympics, Gretchen Fraser, hailed from Sun Valley. She continued to mentor Sun Valley's female skiers for many years, including champions such as Susie Corrock, Christin Cooper, Picabo Street, and Muffy Davis, giving them Tiffany gold four-leaf clover pins that assuredly had Fraser's golden touch. She is buried near Ernest Hemingway in the Ketchum Cemetery.

Also, there have been many movies filmed in the Sun Valley area, including such classics as:

  • "I Met Him in Paris" (1937) starring Claudett Colbert
  • "Sun Valley Serenade" (1939) starring Sonja Henie
  • "How to Marry a Millionaire" (1953) starring Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, and Lauren Bacall
  • "The Tall Men" (1956) starring Clark Gable and Jane Russell
  • "Bus Stop" (1956) starring Marilyn Monroe
  • "Ski Party" (1965) starring Frankie Avalon
  • "Pale Rider" (1985) starring Clint Eastwood
  • "Town and Country" (2001) starring Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn

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