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Skiing & Snowboarding, What We're Made Of, Winter

Women’s History Month: Women Ski Racers of Sun Valley

We’re already into the third week of March and Women’s History Month! After commemorating the vast history of the Wood River Valley, starting with the Indigenous Peoples and then focusing on the early settlers with ties to the mining and ranching industries, it’s time to focus on those women who made fame with their ski racing careers.  Ski racing has been central to the Sun Valley/Ketchum community since the inception of the resort in 1936, and we’re proud to boast numerous Olympic medalist women with ties to the area. These women represent the trailblazing spirit of Sun Valley and Ketchum and have impacted the history for women in sports for years to come. Gretchen Fraser  Gretchen Fraser, born in 1919 and laid to rest in the Ketchum cemetery in 1994, was the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in skiing. She grew up in Washington, but came to call Sun Valley home in 1938 when she met her soon to be husband, Donald Fraser. Although both Gretchen and Donald were members of the 1940 Olympics team, the games were canceled due to WWII. Gretchen took that time to help rehabilitate wounded veterans through skiing, something she would continue …

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Bucket List, Skiing & Snowboarding, What We're Made Of, Winter

McCall Vs Sun Valley

When visiting Idaho, there are plenty of different options for where to go: Boise, Stanley, Pocatello. But when deciding between a small resort town, you might come down to the decision between McCall and Sun Valley. Which to choose? There are many similarities between the two small resorts towns, but a bevy of differences to separate the winter experiences you might have in each. The populations of McCall and Ketchum are roughly the same (just under 3,000) though “Sun Valley” as a whole area encompasses a much higher number. McCall’s terrain focuses on lake life (Payette Lake being a major draw for the area especially in the summer) with more subtle mountain peaks surrounding it and a greater density of Ponderosa Pines. In Sun Valley, the terrain is ALL about the mountains—jagged peaks at high elevation surrounding you in every direction. McCall definitly sees peak traffic during the summer holidays with its large lake and boating activities. On the other hand Sun Valley is a winter Mecca that sees thousands of skiers descend on the town during December. Both towns are about 2.5 hours from the state capitol of Boise. Although the Boise airport is the main access point for …

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24hrs in Sun Valley, What We're Made Of

24 Hours in Sun Valley – December: Susan Nieves

Originally visitors to Sun Valley from Seattle, Susan and Mark Nieves, the owners of retail shop Independent Goods, were so enthralled with the area that in 2013 they packed up and came to Ketchum to live, raise their family, and open their own store. Ever-present in their store is the importance of connection: to customers, to craft makers, to each other. And that same priority of connection is apparent in Susan’s perfect 24 hours in Sun Valley where much of the day is spent forming and strengthening bonds to others in this town. How does your perfect day start? Susan: We start by playing vinyl—anything from Mary Popins to Blondie—having coffee, and possibly a special treat of pastries from Hank & Sylvies or Konditorie or a Bigwood Bread Ham & Cheese croissant. That gets us and our 4-year-old going. After that, I head into the shop to help customers find gifts for themselves, loved ones, or clients. What’s a day in the shop like? Susan: People hang out here for a really long time and we get to know our customers or tourists really well. Mark and I write the story cards on display with each product; writing them connects …

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24hrs in Sun Valley, Biking, Family, Innovation, What We're Made Of

24 Hours in Sun Valley: October – Cassie Abel, Wild Rye

Cassie Abel is the CEO and co-founder of Wild Rye, a company dedicated to creating mountain apparel for women of all sizes, ages, and skill levels—an area she saw was decidedly lacking after spending years working in the outdoor apparel industry. Though Abel didn’t found the Ketchum-based company until 2015, she has been living here fulltime for about 10 years and spent much of her life in and out of the Valley; she’s held down jobs at local favorites like Java, the Cellar Pub, and Smith. As the kind of woman her brand targets—mountain biker, skier, busy mom—Cassie is the perfect mountain lady to tell us how to spend an ideal day in Ketchum, Idaho. How do you start your ideal day? Can I give you two ideal days? Cause one’s going to involve my toddler, and one will not! So if I don’t have my toddler, I wake up and drink some coffee on my porch. If I’m heading out for coffee, go to Lizzie’s or Maude’s and get a really delicious latte. Then I’d go for a big bike ride like Osberg’s, Alden, or Greenhorn/Imperial. How do you refuel after a long bike ride like that? Probably grab …

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Arts & Culture, What We're Made Of

Locals Guide to Art Galleries in Sun Valley

Ketchum local Rudi Broschofsky grew up with art—after all, his parents opened Broschofsky Galleries in 1987 when he was just 5 years old. Spending days in the gallery after school and helping with Gallery Walks enmeshed him in Ketchum’s art scene and gave him an appreciation for art that would last a lifetime. After becoming partnered into the gallery in 2005, Rudi moved to Portland for several years where he started his own street art gallery, Flat Blak, before moving back to Ketchum almost two years ago to take over the majority of day-to-day operations at Broshofsky Galleries. An artist himself, Rudi’s street art approach to western art can be seen in various spots around town like his “Roper” sculpture on Main and Fourth in Ketchum. As a lifelong local, artist, and gallery owner, Rudi is the best man in town to give you the 411 on Ketchum’s art gallery scene. How would you describe the gallery scene in this town generally? Rudi: I’d say the gallery scene here is better than most cities actually. A lot of people don’t realize the magnitude of the art scene here in Ketchum, it’s world-class and conveniently stuffed within a few short blocks. …

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Family, Summer, What We're Made Of

Get your Western on Sun Valley Style

Before Count Felix Schaffgosch arrived in Ketchum and created “America’s First Destination Ski Resort,” the area had already experienced the boom and bust of a profitable mining settlement, the rise of sheep ranching, and the quiet days of the Great Depression. The Wood River Valley was settled in the 1860’s by a handful of mining prospectors, and by 1880 the area was on its way to being one of the richest silver mining regions. Mule and horse-drawn wagons transported ore between the mines and Union Pacific depots until the rail line extended into Ketchum. After the silver bust in the 1890’s sheep ranching in the area grew from the 1890’s to the 1920’s, when Ketchum became the largest sheep and lamb shipping station in the United States. Though the town changed with the creation of Sun Valley Resort, the past lived on in buildings, ranches, and colorful stories. Through activities like horseback riding, sport shooting, and festivals like Wagon Days and Trailing of the Sheep the story of the area is not being forgotten and you can still experience the Western heritage of this one-time mining town. Horseback Riding While Sun Valley may not flaunt its reputation as a part of the …

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Arts & Culture, Bucket List, Family, Innovation, What We're Made Of

Sun Valley’s Diverse Arts & Culture Scene

You might not expect a small mountain town in the middle of Idaho to be an oasis of arts and culture, but then again Sun Valley is known for differing from expectations. Sun Valley is one of America’s top small towns for art. With more than a dozen galleries, several live theater companies, the lauded Writers’ Conference, the Sun Valley Film Festival, free summer symphony concerts in the Sun Valley Pavilion, and one of the West’s premier nonprofit arts organizations, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Sun Valley packs an enormous cultural punch for its size. Blogs and Videos Art Galleries and Museums Sun Valley has more art galleries and museums than you could see if you spent a whole year here! So we’ve added a direct link to the directory of them all below. Performing Arts From ballet to abstract improv, Sun Valley has a live performance to keep you entertained. Live Music Ketchum and Sun Valley have a variety of venues and get some great musicians as they stop in on their cross country tours. From big name concerts at the resort to the local favorite Ketch’em Alive free music every Tuesday in Forest Service Park there …

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Arts & Culture, What We're Made Of

Locals Guide to the Miscellany II

On Wednesdays, there is one thing that everyone in the Wood River Valley, no matter where they are, where they live, or where they work does: read the Mt. Express. This long-time local source of news not only catches one up on the past week’s highlights, but also features a fun, long-standing tradition: Miscellany II aka Misc II. It is like Craigslist and internet trolling long before the internet. A section of the newspaper where anyone can submit free, anonymous commentary, Misc II is a must-read for anyone looking to be kept in the loop on town happenings, drama, or missed connections. In 150 words or less, submitters espouse on topics as diverse as dog poop at trailheads to the status of local hotsprings to calling someone out (though without using any names—a rule of Misc. II). To get the real scoop behind this small, but mighty section, Visit Sun Valley spoke to two lifelong locals, Spencer Cordovano and Jacob Frehling. Cordovano was born in Ketchum and is the man behind F11 films through which he has made movies with notable clients such as Matador Network, Smith, the Sun Valley Film Festival, Dropbox, and more. Frehling is the owner of …

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Summer, Wellness, What We're Made Of

What We’re Made Of – The Sun Valley Wellness Festival

In 1997, a group of wellness-minded community members in Sun Valley decided to host a small event over Memorial Day weekend. Since then, the annual Sun Valley Wellness Festival and Conference (SVWFC) has grown into a major event as well as the longest-running wellness festival in the world. Each year’s festival and conference draws roughly 1,500 people to see speakers such as Ram Dass, Deepak Chopra, and Arianna Huffington, and to the festival portion which includes movement classes, vendors, and the experience park. This year’s 25th annual event will be held from June 10-13, and will focus on COMING HOME. It will explore how social health & well-being define the foundation of our collective wellness, illuminating what it really means to be a community. History After its founding in 1997, the formative team behind the festival started the non-profit arm, the Sun Valley Wellness Institute (SVWI) in 2005. The festival is now run by the institute as well as a Board of Directors, Advisory Council, and current Executive Director Andria Friesen. Over the years, the date of the SVWFC has changed from taking place during the slack month of May to a busy summer event. Its location has varied over the …

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Dining, Uncategorized, What We're Made Of

What We’re Made Of – Warfield Distillery & Brewery

At the corner of Main Street and Sun Valley Road stands the Warfield Brewery & Distillery, the only combination brewery and distillery in Idaho. This combination brewery, distillery, and gastropub opened in 2015 and has been a go-to dining and imbibing destination ever since. Whether you’re hitting the roof-top bar in the summer for drinks and to sit around a fire pit or stopping by in the winter after spotting the blue light (which means it’s snowed over three inches in town and beer specials will run until it stops snowing), the Warfield serves up food, beer, and spirits like no other. The Warfield had some big shoes to fill when taking over the building that previously housed two local institutions: The Roosevelt and Slavey’s. The property itself has been in the Werry family since 1936; the Werry siblings were even born in the Sun Valley Lodge and raised in Ketchum. In 1952, the main street saloon known as Slavey’s—or sometimes “Slimey’s” by locals due to its atmosphere and clientele—moved in. Known as Ketchum’s last “honky tonk”, Slavey’s was famous for its live music and dancing, its drinking and brawls, and its annual 4th of July tradition of a horseman …