Opening week posts
respectable skier numbers
Businesses give week
is to build the Thanksgiving holiday up as a tradition for people, and we do
have quite a bit of repeat business."
SIBBACH, Sun Valley
Express Staff Writer
Sun Valley skier
numbers for the Thanksgiving holiday week were impressive, despite thin snow and
warm temperatures, which precluded snowmaking during most of the week.
From opening day,
Tuesday, Nov. 26, through Sunday, 10,785 skiers and boarders descended Sun
Valley’s slopes. Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, experienced a combined
4,616 skier days.
bumps on Flying Squirrel, Brenda Zuck didn’t seem to mind Sun Valley’s
spotty early season conditions over the Thanksgiving holiday. Express photo
by Willy Cook
Skier numbers far
surpassed last year’s Thanksgiving, when Old Man Winter failed to provide cold
temperatures or natural snowfall, and the ski area opened a week after the
holiday. This year’s numbers were on par with the 1998-1999 winter opening,
when skiers reveled in opening-day powder and tree skiing.
we need that four letter word, snow," said Sun Valley spokesman Jack
Sibbach. "But we had good comments from all our guests. Overall, I think it
was a very successful Thanksgiving holiday period. Obviously, we would like to
have had more of the mountain open."
day, Sun Valley has had top-to-bottom runs open on both sides of the mountain,
but, beyond which base to ski to, there are not a lot of trail choices. What’s
more, temperature inversions have produced chilly weather in the valleys while
roasting Bald Mountain’s summit.
last week, it was 43 degrees on top at 3 a.m.," Sibbach said.
mountain crews were unable to activate the area’s sophisticated network of
snow guns for most of the week.
local merchants reported mixed successes last week.
"We saw a
lot of smiling faces, but not nearly what we’re used to," said Todd Rippo,
owner of Java on Fourth in Ketchum and Java on Main in Hailey. "You want to
not be able to walk in, and not be able to find a parking spot, and I didn’t
Sturtevants Ski and Sports and Formula Sports, both ski shops, reported
lulled into thinking that Thanksgiving is just a moderate startup," said
Sturtevants Ski and Sports owner Rob Santa. "And with the amount of snow on
the ground, we weren’t expecting to be as busy as we were."
Santa said that
means there seems to be an appetite among the populace for snow sports this
Sibbach said Sun
Valley has been trying to build its repeat business over the Thanksgiving
holiday. He said he believes those efforts are beginning to pay off.
"Our goal is
to build the Thanksgiving holiday up as a tradition for people, and we do have
quite a bit of repeat business," he said. "Whether they were ice
skating, bowling, skiing or shopping, I think the families that came, and the
people that came, had a great time."