Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fourth of July was busy as usual in Ketchum

Occupancy similar to last year’s holiday weekend


By JON DUVAL
Express Staff Writer

The Damphools got the crowd rocking Saturday in downtown Ketchum during the third annual Fourth on Fourth celebration. Ketchum hotel owners reported similar occupancy levels compared to last year, though the Sun Valley resort said its numbers were down slightly.

It's still too early to get an official tally, but preliminary reports indicate that even though visitation to Ketchum and Sun Valley might have taken a slight dip, it was at a comparable level to last year's Fourth of July weekend.

"We had a decent Fourth with a good concert and ice show," Sun Valley resort spokesman Jack Sibbach said. "We only had a few rooms left in the lodge on Friday night."

Sibbach said that although he didn't have the figures on hand, he anticipated that the occupancy levels for the resort would likely be lower than last year. He added that based on reservations, occupancy will be down for July and August compared to the same months last year.

In Ketchum, business at the Tamarack Lodge on Sun Valley Road was bustling. Tamarack employee Rian Maynard said all the hotel's 26 rooms were full Friday and Saturday, just as they were during last year's July holiday weekend.

Around the corner at the Kentwood Lodge on Main Street, owner Cindy Forgeon said her hotel was full on Friday night and nearly full on both Thursday and Saturday nights. Forgeon, who also serves as president of the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau, said her hotel benefits greatly from the annual Ketchum Art & Antique Show, which takes place nearby at Forest Service Park , as well as Bill Summers' Fourth of July Antiques Show at the neighboring nexStage Theatre.

Forgeon said this was the first busy weekend of the summer and that it should continue through the week with the commencement of the annual Allen & Co. conference. Though the guests stay at the Sun Valley resort, Forgeon said associated visitors, such as private airplane pilots, help keep her business full throughout the week.

However, Forgeon said that going forward in the summer, reservations are down for the early days of the weeks.

Fourth Street was busy throughout the day on Saturday and the headlining band, Dallas Alice, was well received, though the crowd appeared smaller than at last year's Reckless Kelly performance.

Jon Duval: jduval@mtexpress.com




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