While Sun Valley Co.'s new gondola from River Run to the Roundhouse restaurant won't be operational until the 2009-2010 ski season, the project is set to begin this week, beginning with the falling of approximately seven acres of timber.
According to Sun Valley spokesman Jack Sibbach, the 60-foot-wide path will start at the base of River Run, near the existing lift, and end at the Roundhouse restaurant, which is scheduled for renovation in 2009. A survey line was cut this winter.
The gondola will replace the Exhibition chairlift.
U.S. Forest Service Winter Sports Specialist Joe Miczulski issued a press release on Thursday, April 17, stating that the Forest Service has authorized the removal and that Sun Valley Co. purchased the timber according to the Forest Service's timber sale regulations.
Miczulski stated that the timber falling is expected to be completed this weekend and that the trees are expected to be flown by helicopter to the River Run parking lot during the last week of May.
As well, holes for the lift towers will be dug during the summer, with the concrete foundations being poured after Labor Day in September.
The Forest Service also stated that hikers and mountain bikers should expect trail closures on the River Run side of Bald Mountain when the helicopters are flying trees or concrete and when the concrete trucks or heavy construction equipment are using the River Run summer road.
Other projects authorized for this summer by the Forest Service include the installation of snowmaking equipment on Janss Pass, Undergraduate, Broadway Face, Lower Broadway and Bowl Lane from the top of the Mayday lift to the top of the Challenger lift.
In other Sun Valley Co. news, resort and Sinclair Oil owner Earl Holding was honored with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship.
The award is given to business leaders who by example and business practices have demonstrated a concern for social issues. That can include promoting renewed growth in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, supporting the arts and improving education.