In anticipation of soon gaining structural design review approval and a master plan rezoning amendment to begin actual construction of the new Sun Valley Music Pavilion, proponents gathered Wednesday, July 11, to officially break ground for the roughly $10 million project.
"This has been a joint effort of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, the Holdings and myself," said Sun Valley Co. General Manager Wally Huffman. "I like to think I put the little things together, while the Holdings and Symphony have put the big pieces together."
Huffman also thanked Nick Latham and Michael Bulls of Ruscitto/Latham/Blanton Architecture. The two are the lead architects who took a conceptual design from Nic Goldsmith, renowned music and performing arts center designer, of FTL Design Engineering Studio, New York, and turned it into reality.
"I am so glad to be here and to see it come together," said Carol Holding, with husband Earl Holding, Sun Valley Resort owner, at her side. Earl Holding also owns Sinclair Oil, the Grand America Hotel, the Westgate Hotel, Little America Hotels and Snowbasin ski resort, in Utah. "None of this could have happened if not for all the great people in Sun Valley. We really appreciate what all of you have done."
Carol Nie, president of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, has not released a schedule for the pavilion's maiden year. However, Nie did go so far as to say the group has "already contracted some major, major artists."
The project ebbed closer to receiving the official go-ahead Thursday, with the Sun Valley Planning and Zoning Commission's approval of a conditional use permit required by municipal code for symphony centers in Sun Valley's Commercial Core zoning district. The CUP approval is contingent on the Sun Valley City Council's approval of a master plan rezone changing the ground under the pavilion from single-family residential to commercial zoning.
The city streamlined and shuffled the approval process to allow the project to move forward and be completed in time for its target opening on Aug. 3, 2008. A landscaping plan was approved earlier this summer.
"Nothing will please me more than to get this thing launched," Sun Valley Mayor Jon Thorson said on Wednesday. "I am especially ever-grateful to the Holdings for not only this project but all the fine projects though out the valley."
The outpouring of public support has been evident in public meetings held over the past several months.
"We have not heard any negative feedback," said Jennifer Teisinger, executive director of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.
Nie added, "The community support for this project has been overwhelming. The Symphony could not be more pleased to be in partnership with Sun Valley Co."
The 45,000-square-foot structure at Sun Valley Resort would feature 1,500 seats, plus an area for additional spectators, and a 6,000-square-foot stage.