Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

3 Reasons to Travel to Sun Valley for Opening Day

We hope you’ve been doing your squats and burpees, because ski season is about to go off in Sun Valley, Idaho. Sun Valley tradition dictates that Opening Day coincides with Thanksgiving, which is perfect for those looking for an excuse to eat more stuffing then may be deemed wise. If you’ve never experienced an Opening Day in Sun Valley—don’t you think it’s about time? Here are three reasons to travel to Sun Valley for this double-holiday.

Race for First Chair

photo: Mark Oliver // Visit Sun Valley

Sun Valley was the first resort to build a chair lift to whisk skiers up snowy slopes, and every year skiers and boarders race to the base of River Run on Bald Mountain for the honor of riding the first chair of the season. The race is only for bragging rights, and contenders must be willing to wake up before dawn and not be bothered about such frivolities as breakfast or frozen fingers.

If vying for first chair isn’t your bag, at least line up for 10th or 12th chair and be there to cheer when the lift starts spinning. With an uphill lift capacity of 21,580 skiers per hour, and with a typical day hosting an average of only 3,500 skiers, the math is always in your favor at Sun Valley.

Stretch Your Legs for the Arts

photo: Sun Valley Center for the Arts

You don’t want your legs to be too sore to enjoy more days on the slopes, so stretch them out at the Gallery Walk. The Sun Valley Gallery Association hosts seven gallery walks a year, and the next takes place from 4pm – 6pm on Friday, November 29, 2019. Take in the art, drink a glass or two of wine, and meet the artists at nine art galleries in Ketchum.

If your legs would be happier about sitting than walking, check out a free screening of “Sun Valley Serenade,” the classic 1941 film featuring Sonja Henie, John Payne, and Glenn Miller, at the Sun Valley Opera House on November 28, 2019 at 2:00pm. Be warned, when you face plant on the ski slopes the next day you might hear the words “Look there’s a spill, there’s a spill on the hill!” from the movie’s theme song, “It Happened in Sun Valley.”

Gobble the Turkey

photo: Sun Valley Resort

Don’t worry about being away from home for Thanksgiving, because Ketchum, Sun Valley, and nearby Hailey provide plenty of opportunities for having one of the best holiday meals of your life.

The Grill at Knob Hill, located in the Knob Hill Inn in Ketchum, is serving a prix fixe Thanksgiving feast featuring soup or salad as a first course, fish, prime rib, rack of lamb, or turkey as options for the entrée, and dessert for $55 per person. Reservations are required, and seating times start at 3:00pm and end at 8:00pm. The Grill’s world famous popovers with honey butter are worth the trip on their own. Note that this is subject to change and is based off the 2018 offering. 

In Hailey, locals favorite CK’s Real Food has a prix fixe menu of soup or salad followed by turkey, prime rib, or trout, and finished with a choice of five desserts. The meal is $65 for adults and $34 for children under 11. Seating starts at 4:00pm and ends at 8:15pm. Reservations are required. Note that this is subject to change and is based off the 2018 offering. 

Sun Valley Resort is offering Thanksgiving dining throughout the village, from the traditional Thanksgiving Buffet in the Limelight Room to a plated Thanksgiving feast at Gretchen’s. Book a Thanksgiving Package and get lodging, lift passes, and the Thanksgiving Buffet starting at $265/person at the Sun Valley Lodge and $335/person at the Sun Valley Lodge.

Opening Day at Sun Valley is a feast for all your senses. For more details on all the things going on during this festive weekend, check out our other blog:

Thanksgiving in the Valley

Share this Post