Whatís in a name?
Company is re-naming a run after action-film star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
commonly asked question when the news broke was, "Why?"
departure from naming runs after Olympic racers, or in one case, former
Sun Valley Company owner Bill Janss.
better question about the decision is, "Why not?"
Company is in the entertainment business. So is the star also known as
Conan the Barbarian and the Terminator. Itís a natural alliance.
made Schwarzenegger more famous than any of the Olympic giants
commemorated on Baldy. If a little of that fame rubs off on Sun Valley, so
much the better.
wife and television news anchor Maria Shriver brought the idea to Sun
Valley general manager Wally Huffman. He agreed.
purists will scoff, but itís no sin to consort with the rich or famous.
Itís no sin to name ski runs after them either.
Valleyís case, itís a long-standing virtue. Beginning the day it
opened in December 1936, Sun Valley banked on movie stars to give it a
reflected fame built business. It was helped along by a brilliant
advertising campaign that depicted skiing in Sun Valley as an adventure in
sun-bathing. It was developed by the companyís first marketing wizard,
Steve Hannagan, who hated cold weather and couldnít imagine why anyone
would take up skiing.
Sun Valley was "the" place to ski, but as years passed, Sun
Valley was eclipsed by Colorado resorts Aspen and Vail, which assembled
bigger star-studded reputations.
makes no secret of his love for skiing and makes no secret of his presence
when heís on Baldy. Renaming Flying Maid for him is a good move.
major moguls require explosive intensity if a skier or boarder is to
survive its short treachery without crashing.
and white glossies of movie stars hanging in the long corridors of Sun
Valley Lodge are handsome reminders of times past. But theyíre showing
Valley is ever to break out from an increasingly arthritic reputation, it
must try out new ideas. Having some fun re-naming its ski runs could
enliven the place. Thatís good medicine and smart marketing.