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Innovation

What We’re Made Of: Community Leader – Courtney Hamilton

Spending your 20’s in Ketchum, Idaho can look a lot of different ways. Many people dedicate themselves to ski-bum life, working at restaurants at night and crushing the pow all day. Some are dipping their toes into different types of jobs, trying to find what sticks. For Ketchum-native Courtney Hamilton, she still probably falls into the second category, but that hasn’t stopped her from wanting to make a difference in the community she’ll always call home. A city council woman, board member of the Ketchum Innovation Center, and board member of Sun Valley Economic Development, Hamilton has also worked for Sun Valley Trekking, as an Adventure Town Ambassador to Clif Bar, TEDxSunValley, home energy auditing, has lead outdoor trips for the Community School and is now the Projects Coordinator for Carson International.     “I’m just your typical mountain town person, trying to find my way.”   Hamilton grew up in Ketchum and after graduating from Community School headed to the west coast to attend college at Pomona College in Claremont, California where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis. Like many other kids who grow up in Ketchum, she felt that pull to go to big cities where the opportunities …

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Innovation

What We’re Made Of: First Lite Entrepreneur – Scott Robinson

Sun Valley, Idaho is no Silicon Valley but it has certainly seen its fair share of startups in its day. Smith Optics, Scott USA, Club Ride, DECKED, Powder Magazine, and Snowboard Magazine all got their start in this small town. Now a slew of new innovators is changing the economic scene of Ketchum including hunting apparel company First Lite. photo: courtesy First Lite Believe it or not, co-owner of First Lite, Scott Robinson, had never even hunted before moving to Ketchum when he was 23. Robinson grew up living in Seattle but ski racing and visiting Sun Valley often, so the place always held a spot in his heart. “Kenton [Carruth, co-owner of First Lite] and I both moved to Ketchum in 1993 or 1994 for the same reasons most people do—to take a break from the real world, do some skiing, and have fun in the outdoors,” says Robinson. The real world he desired to take a break from was working as a CPA in Seattle. He continued to work in financial management roles for 10 years in Ketchum before leaving Ketchum for a three-year stint at Nike. In 2004, he came back and worked for local company Smith Optics, running …

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Bucket List, Innovation

7 Things You Might Not Know About Sun Valley, Idaho

Unlike the Aspens, Jacksons, and Vails of the world, Sun Valley, Idaho, nestled between five mountain ranges and far from metropolitan hubs, lays claim to a few unrivaled traditions, firsts, and designations that truly set it apart from the rest. Check these 7 things that you might not know about Sun Valley. 

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Fall, Innovation, Spring, Summer, Winter

8 places to Catch Up on Work in Sun Valley, Idaho

In our hyper-connected world, it’s hard to unplug. While we hope that getting away from it all is exactly what you do on your next trip to Sun Valley, Idaho, sometimes other responsibilities beckon. If that happens, we’ve got you covered. Check out these five places to catch up on work so you can get back to enjoying your vacation

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Innovation

Sun Valley, Idaho: A Home for Innovators and Entrepreneurs

Sun Valley has long been an incubator for fostering a special breed of creativity and innovation. From the founding of Sun Valley Resort to the entrepreneurs pushing the limits of outdoor apparel and gear, this small valley high in the mountains has been shaping the face of adventure sport and beyond for decades.

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Innovation, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

A Look at Sun Valley Progression – Through the Lens of Tal Roberts

Sun Valley had long been off the radar of the freeski and snowboard movement, the youth and creativity that once defined the original zip code to hang your ski bum shingle had all but evaporated.  But then a rumble was felt and slowly the monolith of the past began to awaken.  A park was constructed on Dollar Mountain and with that came photographers, athletes, film crews and the few locals who had been living the dream woke up to Christmas. Movements are created out of momentum, one significant event sets the dominos in motion.  Which is what is happening in our valley today.  We took a moment to sit down with local photographer, Tal Roberts to view this movement through his work as he captures the product of this momentum.

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Innovation

Play Hard Give Back: The Girl Scout Cookies of Action Sports?

Anyone who has been a starving and aspiring athlete can attest to the challenge of making ends meet.  Hard work, dedication, training, travel and so forth are about all a person has time for.  So much time is spent on one's self that the act of giving back to those who helped get the athlete to the tipping point of "making it" is typically unfathomable until retirement.  Which is where Play Hard Give Back becomes one of the next big ideas to come from the Sun Valley lineage of innovative thinking. Spencer Brendel grew up in Sun Valley as one of its most promising hockey athletes.  Graduating through the ranks, his life was a circuit of hockey rinks and hard work.  His talent and grit landed him in Sweden playing center in the "Juniors" before being recruited to come back to the States and play for Division 3 Saint Thomas College in Minnesota.  The Sun Valley Suns had given him much.  How would he return the favor?  As a student he took the path of his father, Jeff (a guy who has been known to come up with a good idea or three), and earned a BA in marketing and entrepreneurism.

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Innovation

A Tale of Two Seasons: Club Ride and Mountain Approach: The Next Generation of Sun Valley Innovators

  The MTN Approach set up Club Ride, Sun Valley' latest rec tech   Necessity is the mother of invention.  Throughout the history of Sun Valley, the offspring of necessity has been a game changing innovation.  It's a brainchild that keeps the creator up at night, hanging it out both financially and emotionally striving to make it work, banking on the belief that their idea will catch on.  Driven by the fear of returning to the dish-line at a local restaurant or other menial job needed to fund life in the mountains, the innovator drives harder.  For a small town, Sun Valley has spawned more cool ideas per capita than most large cities. The latest emerging players in this story found inspiration out on the trails and in the mountains wishing the tools of their trade were better.   Hunkered down at the kitchen table each conceived, developed, and produced over a few short years problem solving niche products which may be as commonplace in the near future as their predecessors' ski goggles and poles. Cory feeds an early prototype into the band saw. Fortunately he was already missing three fingers when this project began.   One of these brands …