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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of July 9 - 15, 2003


Merchants report very good Fourth business

Advance bookings look good

Express Staff Writer

This summer’s Independence Day holiday weekend, the traditional kickoff of the summer tourist season in Sun Valley, attracted very good business. Local retailers and lodging companies are reporting results ranging between good and amazing.

"We were packed, 100 percent Thursday, Friday and Saturday," said Gary Grogan, manager at Hailey’s Wood River Inn. Grogan added that the town of Hailey, with a big Fourth of July parade and annual rodeo, seemed packed, too.

"You could definitely tell with the cars and the traffic," he said.

Sun Valley Co. also had a "very good weekend," said spokesman Jack Sibbach, adding that advance bookings for July, August and September are higher than a year ago. More than 1,000 people rode the lifts on Bald Mountain over the course of the three-day weekend.

The central reservations system in Sun Valley and Ketchum showed that most area lodging properties last weekend were at or close to 100 percent occupancy, said Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Carol Waller.

But despite the large number of people here, tourists may not have spent as much money as in previous years, Waller said.

Rob Santa, owner of Sturtevants Ski and Sports in Ketchum and Hailey, corroborated Waller’s assertion.

"We tend to do better when the Fourth falls mid-week, because people tend to take the whole week off," Santa said. "We were down a little bit for the holiday period, but not so much that we were concerned about it."

But just a block away in Ketchum, Formula Sports logged the busiest day the store has ever had.

"The Fourth of July—record day. Ever, ever. It was huge," said Bob Gordon, who owns the ski, bike and outdoor sporting goods store. "Starting Wednesday through the weekend, that whole period was the best we ever did. Very positive."

Gordon attributed the good business to a plethora of people in town, in addition to good sales and one of the best sales staffs he said he has ever had.

"The whole valley seemed to be hopping: Hailey and Ketchum," Gordon said. "It seemed like, number wise, it was really solid."



City of Ketchum

Formula Sports


Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.