Spring Skiing In Sun Valley Offers More Than Sunshine And A Serene Vibe, Expect Savings Too

Sun Valley, Idaho, which receives over 250 sunny days per year, is full of fun facts. America’s first destination ski resort, which is home to the country’s first chairlift, has allured filmmakers to Sun Valley since 1936. Movies starring celebrities like Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, Clark Gable, Clint Eastwood, Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn have used this locale as a backdrop. The largest automated snowmaking system in the world exists here. It’s no wonder that Fortune 500 leaders, Hollywood stars, inventors, and olympians currently call this destination home. Keep reading to learn more about Sun Valley, including what there is to do here and how you can save a few bucks along the way.

How to Get Here

Perhaps you think that because Sun Valley is located in the heart of Idaho, it must be difficult to travel to. It’s true that this ski resort is a bit off-the-beaten path, which is conducive to zero lines at the mountain’s chair lifts, but it couldn’t be easier to reach. Daily non-stop flights to Hailey’s Friedman Memorial Airport (SUN) are offered for San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Denver and Chicago.

Sun Valley Resort also provides complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport. Mountain Rides bus service will get you around the Wood River Valley, free of charge.

The bottom line: there’s no need to rent a car as you’ll easily be able to get to the Village, Dollar and Bald Mountains, and to the boutique and restaurant-filled towns of Ketchum and Elkhorn Springs.

Where to Stay

Sun Valley Village

Sun Valley Lodge is fabled. Black and white photographs of famous Sun Valley visitors like Garth Brooks, Scott Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barbra Streisand, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Willis, Tom Selleck, John Wayne, Louis Armstrong, Rosa Parks, Tom Hanks, Judy Garland, and so many more line the walls throughout the property.

There’s a fitness center, yoga studio, and spa but the main magnet is the expansive heated outdoor pool where you can soak your tired muscles after a long day of skiing for an unpretentious apres-ski experience.

Book the Celebrity Suite, where Ernest Hemingway stayed for months in 1939. It’s decked out with photographs of the famed novelist as well as a bronze statue.

Pro Tip: Save by booking the Stay & Ski package, which includes discounted prices on lodging and lift tickets. The offer is valid now through the end of the season. The Staycation package includes a savings of 20% off at the Sun Valley Lodge and Inn from April 1—May 25. If you have an Epic Pass, you’ll save 30% off on lodging though the end of the season.


For in-town accommodations, stay at the Limelight Ketchum. There’s a heated outdoor pool, dogs are welcome, and live music, bites, and libations can be enjoyed in the stylish lounge.

Pro Tip: Idaho residents receive complimentary parking and a special discount of 30% off the best-available hotel room rate through mid-June for the Idaho Local’s Rate package. The Limelight Long Stay offers visitors 30% off of room rates when staying for 14 nights or longer. The Passholders Offer is ideal for season pass holders—they’ll receive 20% off on two nights or more. Ask the hotel how you can save further on paragliding and Heli-ski adventures when you book a room at the Limelight.

Dining to Experience

Located at the base of the mountain, River Run Day Lodge has excellent choices—pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, salads, wok-made dishes, and soups—for a lunch break when you need to refuel and get back on the slopes.

Konditorei, the Austrian-inspired restaurant in the center of the village, is deservedly popular so allow for extra time when visiting, especially during brunch hours. Belly-warming dishes, delectable vegetarian and vegan-friendly options, crepes, and fresh-brewed espresso are specialties.

Sun Valley’s original restaurant, The Ram (in operation since 1937), is an absolute must for dinner. Choose a seat near the long-time pianist, Larry Harshbarger. If you have a song request, likely, he’ll play it. Also, don’t be shy about asking him to tell you a personal story—he has many to share.

With floor-to-ceiling windows, multiple fireplaces, and a relaxed environment, Sun Valley Club should be on your list for places to dine for lunch. Order the baked brie for a starter and a specialty cocktail or craft beer and then let the moment carry you further until you’re satiated.  

Gretchen’s, located next to the lobby at Sun Valley Lodge, is an excellent choice for dinner and convenient if you’re staying at the lodge. Named after the first American to win an Alpine Olympic Gold Medal (Gretchen Fraser), this is the place to be for thoughtfully-created entrees and lodge classics. Plus, the service is top-notch.

Pro Tip: Other eateries worth a visit include: Village Station, Duchin Lounge, and Roundhouse.

Ski Report

Choose between two mountains for your spring skiing adventure. The treeless Dollar Mountain, with a vertical drop of 628 feet, is much smaller than Bald Mountain and geared toward beginner skiers, families, and small children. There’s a magic carpet, a day lodge, two newer high-speed quads, and a terrain park.

Bald Mountain (also known as “Baldy” to the locals) has 12 lifts, including a gondola, and over 100 runs on either side of the mountain, elongating 2,380 acres, with a 5,750-foot base and a 3,400-foot vertical drop. Known for a constant pitch, long runs, and groomers, you can ski corduroy or powder all day. Many skiers remark that the green runs here really feel like blue-level runs.

Pro Tip: On Bald Mountain’s southern side, Sunrise is a new expansion that will increase the skiable terrain by nearly 20%, adding 380 acres. Expect challenging bowls, chutes, drops, tree skiing, and the new Broadway lift.

See for Yourself

Get excited by viewing Sun Valley’s webcams where you can see live footage of the mountain at Snow Stake, River Run, Warm Springs, the Bowls, Sun Valley Club and Quarter Dollar.

Plan for Next Season’s Opening

The Sun Valley Nordic, Snowshoe, and Fat Biking Center offers visitors a chance to use different muscles while exercising outdoors. Well-marked, groomed trails, ideal for all abilities, provide the picture-perfect setting for a day of joy. For those new to classic cross-country or skate skiing, or to snow shoeing for that matter, enlist the help of a guide and get one-on-one instruction. Rentals are available as well as a service shop that can tune up your gear.

A Final Word

Not only did Ernest Hemingway stay and write portions of For Whom the Bell Tolls at Sun Valley Lodge, but also, he eventually bought property and lived out his final days here. Make a point to see the Ernest Hemingway Memorial, a bronze bust overlooking Trail Creek. You can also visit his simple gravesite in the Ketchum Cemetery, where you’ll likely see flowers, shot glasses and other paraphernalia.

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Travel experts predict brighter days ahead for tourism – Cache Valley Daily

A view of Logan’s Main Street and Center Street. Photo by Adam Winger on Unsplash

LOGAN – After a disastrous year due to the coronavirus pandemic, things may be looking up for the Cache Valley tourism industry in 2021.

“The U.S. Travel Association indicates that, according to their recent surveys, nine of 10 Americans already have a vacation planned for this year,” said Julie Hollist-Terrill of the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau, during a recent report to the Logan City Council.

“They say that we need to prepare ourselves for a wave of ‘revenge spending’,” she added. “I think that’s because people are sick of staying home. They’re sick of not being able to go out to eat or to shows or to sporting events or wherever.”

While acknowledging that a vacation plan can vary from traveling an hour to the Great Salt Lake to flying coast-to-coast, Hollist-Terrill stresses that the fact that the majority of Americans now want to resume vacation travel is great news for the beleaguered tourism industry.

“When that wave (of revenge spending) breaks,” she predicted, “it’s really going to break and that bodes well for all of us.”

Whatever the future holds for the year 2021, travel experts say that it can’t possibly be worse than the previous 12 months.

Roughly 115 million Americans either lost their jobs or experienced a reduction in their work hours from the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March of 2020 through February 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Analysts at U.S. Travel say that about 25 percent of those impacted individuals were employed in the tourism or hospitality industries. In March and April of 2020 alone, more than 8.3 million Americans lost jobs in those industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Hollist-Terrill says that visitor spending in Cache Valley supported more than 2,200 jobs in 2019 and those employees were heavily impacted when local tourist attractions shut down in 2020.

In terms of dollars and cents, the pandemic caused travel spending in the United States to decline by $492 billion, from $1.7 trillion in 2019 to $679 billion in 2020.

Here in Utah, tourists spent $10 billion in 2019. While official figures for 2020 are still being compiled, U.S. Travel estimates that statewide visitor spending declined by as much as 33 percent during the pandemic. If that estimate proves to be accurate across the board, Cache County may have lost the benefit of up to $62 million in tourist spending.

State officials estimate that nearly 130,000 tourists visit Cache Valley annually with about 40 percent attracted by local cultural events, including the usual Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre and Lyric Repertory theatrical seasons.

In other good news, at least some of Cache Valley’s traditional tourist attractions are now slated to resume this summer.

After a one-year hiatus during the height of the pandemic, organizers of Logan’s Summerfest have announced that the annual arts faire will return in June. That event, traditionally held downtown on the grounds of the Logan Tabernacle, will be moved to Cache County Fairground near Willow Park this year due to planned tabernacle renovations.

Utah State University officials have also announced that their traditional USU Summer Citizens Program will resume in 2021.

For more than 45 years, as many as 800 senior citizens have flocked to Cache Valley each summer, mostly from Arizona. Major attractions for those retiree couples are cooler temperatures, enrichment classes offered during the summer months on the USU campus and the opportunity to attend local performing arts programs and community events.

Recent analysis by the Utah Cultural Alliance suggests that spending by those senior citizens boosts the economy of Cache Valley by up to $14 million each summer.

Still in question, however, is whether or not those footloose retirees will return to Cache Valley in 2021 when its usual theatrical events remain in doubt.

As of Mar. 30, the managers of the Lyric Repertory Company and the UFOMT have been unable to confirm whether they will be able to resume production this summer due to state and federal guidelines limiting public gatherings.

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Travelers descend onto Coachella Valley, health officials urge people not to travel ahead of spring break

If you happened to be in Palm Springs this weekend, you may have noticed crowded sidewalks and restaurants at capacity. Travelers have been flocking to the desert, and there are numbers to prove it.

“Our busiest day that we have data for so far was Sunday, March 11. We actually had the most throughput of passengers since before the pandemic started as well,” said Palm Springs International Airport Deputy Director of Aviation, Marketing and Air, Daniel Meier.

Despite more people getting vaccinated, and state health officials relaxing some of the previous stringent guidelines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people not to travel for spring break. The agency “recommends that you do not travel at this time. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.” If people are traveling, the agency is advising to seek information about vaccines and medicine before departing on a trip.

“We welcome the tourists because as a tourist economy we need the tourists to survive,” said CoCo LuLu employee, Christy Garneau.

Garneau couldn’t help but notice a packed downtown Palm Springs this past weekend.

“The last week, we’re probably up about 10 percent. A lot more people are out, especially from the cold states,” said Garneau.

On Friday the TSA reported on of its busiest travel days in almost a year.

“Things are starting to rebound here at the airport,” said Meier.

PSP was also meeting the national trend.

“The atmosphere here at the desert just feels much busier. You’re seeing the planes coming in full, there’s a lot more buzz around the terminal. You can really just tell that things are starting to come back to normal,” said Meier.

The city of Palm Springs also reported promising numbers in its wastewater testing method city officials adopted back in August. City councilman Geoff Kors said the latest findings reflected progress.

“So we’ve been hovering around an estimated 150 to 170 cases from last week that they think are active in Palm Springs,” said Kors.

Those numbers are compared to a spike that Kors said reflected about 5,000 cases just a few months ago. Numbers also showed a slight increase last week.

“We did see some evidence– what appears to be the South African variant in the waste water so that will get tested again this week,” said Kors.

Despite an overall decline in numbers, Kors emphasized wearing masks and following public health protocols.

“Of course with the variants coming that are more contagious we want to keep everyone healthy, we want to keep everyone alive and we want to keep our businesses open, so just follow the rules,” said Kors.

Meanwhile, the CDC posted some tips in case people do decide to travel:

  • Find out what vaccines, medicines, or advice is needed for your destination and plan a visit with your doctor or a travel medicine specialist at least 1 month before you leave the United States.
  • Get your flu shot at least 2 weeks before you travel, as it can take up to 2 weeks to be fully protected. Also, stay clear of people who are coughing or otherwise appear to be ill, and wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Make sure you are up-to-date on the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine. There are outbreaks of measles in popular destinations.
  • Talk to your doctor about the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines.

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Wolf administration revises crowd limits for events in Pennsylvania, lifts out-of-state travel restrictions – WGAL Susquehanna Valley Pa.

Wolf administration revises crowd limits for events in Pennsylvania, lifts out-of-state travel restrictions  WGAL Susquehanna Valley Pa.

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Governors Swept by Brandon Valley – Today’s KCCR 1240-AM – Pierre, South Dakota

Both the Pierre Governor basketball teams were unable to pick up wins against the Brandon Valley Lynx on Saturday as the Governor boys fell 80-46 on the road while the girls lost in overtime at home to Brandon Valley, 57-52.

For the girls, they fall back to 6-9 on the season now with the loss but are still sitting just one spot out of a spot to host a SoDak 16 as they are ninth and Huron is in eighth. The Govs are now on a three game losing streak and will look to put that to an end with a game against Winner at home on Friday.

The Governor boys got off to a slow start as they were down 11-0 in a blink of an eye and could never recover as Brandon Valley shot lights out and took 37 point lead after three quarters behind a 16 point night from Riley Miller who hit four threes in the third. Lincoln Kienholz led the Governors with 11 on the night.

The Governors will travel to Huron on Tuesday to face the Tigers. Tip-off is at 7:00 on Today’s KCCR, todayskccr.com and on YouTube at KCCR Sports with Jon Winkler on the call.

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Tip for trip: Zádielská valley in evening sun

Valley located in the eastern part of Slovak Karst.

A stay in nature is allowed as long as people remain in the district of their residence.

For those who live in Košice-okolie (surroundings), Zádielska Valley in Slovenský Kras (Slovak Karst) National Park is a popular place.

When the sun sets above the valley, it offers spectacular views. Here are some.

The valley was created by Chotárny Stream in massive limestone layers, which is also called Blatnica or Blatný Stream.

The stream created small waterfalls and cascades.

The overall length of the valley is about 10.3 kilometres and the starting point is located at an altitude of 1,005 metres above sea level under Osadník Peak.

Part of the valley is the about 3.8-kilometre long gorge called Zádielska.

What a wonderful world: Zádielska gorge! Read more 

Spectacular Slovakia travel guides

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Storm to dump heavy snow in parts of Plains, Mississippi Valley

A storm rolling through parts of the Plains and Mississippi Valley will likely bring heavy snow, forecasters warned Sunday. 

Winter storm warnings were in effect across a large swath of the country, from eastern New Mexico to central Mississippi.

“Heavy snow and hazardous travel conditions are likely, especially in Texas,” the Weather Service tweeted Sunday morning.

On its website, the Weather Service said heavy snow could make travel treacherous from west-central Texas to northern Louisiana.

The weather system has also hit the southern Rockies.


Graphic created Jan. 10, 2021 6:10 a.m. CST.

Graphic created Jan. 10, 2021 6:10 a.m. CST.
(National Weather Service/NOAA)

“Areas north of Denver have received the most snow this evening, with a few spots approaching 4″,” Weather Service forecasters in Boulder tweeted early Sunday.

They also warned early morning travelers to beware of patchy dense fog and untreated roads that might be slick from overnight snowfall and freezing temperatures.

Other parts of the U.S. will also be experiencing significant snowfall.

“Snow to spread from Southern Plains to Central Appalachians; thunderstorms possible over southern Texas today,” the Weather Service said in a note released at 2:20 a.m. ET Sunday.


“Rain is likely to spread across the Gulf coast and into the Southeast/Mid-Atlantic over the next couple of days,” it said. “Snow is expected to continue over northern Texas today before spreading across an area extending into the Central Appalachians by Tuesday.”


“Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories have been posted for much of south AR starting later today into Monday,” tweeted the Weather Service office in Little Rock, Ark., on Sunday morning. “Snowfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches will be possible over far southern AR, with generally an inch or less farther to the north.”

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Heavy snow is expected from eastern New Mexico into north-central Texas, forecasters say

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