Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sun Valley finalizes 2011 budget

Nordic Festival gets $10,000 for prize money

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley City Council on Tuesday finalized a budget of $5.5 million for fiscal year 2011, including a $400,000 line item to support a new marketing board to promote Sun Valley.

The budget includes a diversion of $200,000 from the workforce housing fund into a contingency fund. Joan Lamb, who dissented to the diversion at a previous meeting, was not present Tuesday.

The council also decided to allocate $10,000 of the $400,000 marketing board funding to the Sun Valley Nordic Festival, which premiered last year with nine days of cross-country skiing events. The money will be added to an existing purse of $3,000 awarded to ski racers who compete in the Boulder Mountain Tour, a 32-kilometer race north of Ketchum.

Festival Executive Director Kevin Swigert requested the funding on Tuesday as the council was in final deliberations on the budget.

"We want to make the Boulder Mountain Tour the richest race in the world," said Swigert, a former U.S. Ski Team member, three-time National XC Champion and former head coach of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation Nordic Team.

Swigert said the festival could eventually include a second race on the Boulder Mountain Tour course that would cater to U.S. Olympic Team "points chasers," racers who are trying to qualify for the team.

The Boulder Mountain Tour is in its 36th year and is the centerpiece of the Nordic Festival. The festival began last winter with $6,500 of marketing funding.

That figure has been increased to $17,500 for next year with additional funding from the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau.

Tony Evans:

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