Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sun Valley named 'Most Chilled Resort'

Ski destination earns high honors from British writers

Express Staff Writer

One of the Britain's leading guidebooks on skiing and snowboarding has awarded Sun Valley its 2006 "Most Chilled Resort, North America" award. The recognition—which applies "chilled" in a positive sense—is being touted as a foot in the door of the lucrative European skiing market.

The accolade for Sun Valley came in the "Great Skiing and Snowboarding Guide 2006," a British guidebook called "the bible for planning a ski trip anywhere in the world," by The Observer, one of England's largest Sunday newspapers.

Editors Peter and Felice Hardy said their use of the word "chilled" refers to a resort that is "cool, a little different, laid back, a great nightlife, stylish." St. Anton, in the Austrian Alps, took the award for Europe.

"We think it's fabulous to get that sort of honor," said Carol Waller, executive director of the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau. "These are very respected ski writers, and any time you can be recognized by the experts is great. It's a nice testament to the product we have."

The Hardys were hosted in Sun Valley and Ketchum last March by the chamber, Sun Valley Co. and ResortQuest, a property management firm. They are known as two of the most authoritative and prolific writers on skiing in the United Kingdom. Peter Hardy has a regular ski page in the Daily Telegraph, is the ski correspondent of the Daily Mail, and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio. Felice Hardy regularly writes for The Guardian newspaper and the Evening Standard.

In a note sent to chamber staff, the Hardys said they "loved the resort and thought Ketchum was a really great little town."

Sun Valley and St. Anton were selected from a field of 6,000 resorts in 75 countries.

Waller said Sun Valley in the past has not been a leading ski destination for British travelers.

"Every little bit helps," she said.

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