Merchants report very good Fourth
Advance bookings look good
By GREG STAHL
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
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