The Sun Valley Center for the Arts 28th annual Wine Auction will feature some novel locations for a couple of its events, including a picnic at the future site of the Warm Springs Ranch Resort.
The festival runs from Thursday through Saturday, July 23-25, with a vintner dinner, wine symposium, wine auction, wine tasting, and a concluding picnic and concert.
The live auction has been held at the base of River Run in past years, but because of construction of Bald Mountain's new gondola, the event will be held instead at the Dollar Mountain Lodge in Sun Valley.
Also new for this year is a shift of the final event from the Bigwood Golf Course to Warm Springs Ranch, where the picnic and concert will take place on the golf course from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 25.
"It was ultimately a business decision, but it's definitely nice to change things up every once and a while," said Christl Holzl, director of the Wine Auction. "Bigwood is a gorgeous site and we could go back there one day, but we think Warm Springs Ranch could be a great long-term site."
The change in location does come with some restrictions, however, because no parking will be allowed on site. Holzl said that guests can park at the Simplot lot across from the Ketchum Post Office on Second Avenue and take a free shuttle bus to the event.
"There just isn't enough room at Warm Springs for everyone to park there," Holzl said.
Joy Kasputys, local liaison for the Warm Springs Ranch Resort developer DDRM Greatplace, said that they are working with the center to ensure that parking and other aspects of the event will not have a negative impact on neighbors.
"This event is wonderful for the community and we want to do something with our property to allow people to really enjoy it," Kasputys said.
The property, which is now used for a junior golf program and by numerous dog walkers, was approved in February for the development of a large-scale resort.
The 78-acre resort design includes a 538,151-square-foot luxury hotel along with a nine-hole golf course, spa, event house, villas, estate lots and workforce housing for 93 employees. The hotel will include nine floors, one of which will be completely underground, and have a maximum height of 93 feet.
Kasputys said that while the developers have no plans to market the resort during the picnic, many of the members of the development team will be in attendance and will be "happy to discuss the project if anyone has any questions about it."
Still, in order to showcase the property, Kasputys said that some landscaping has been done in advance of the picnic, along with cleaning up the sides of Warm Springs Creek.
"This will bring a lot of people to town that could be our potential guests and customers," Kasputys said.
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