Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sun Valley: The untold story

Sun Valley Guide offers a new take on the resortís history

Express Staff Writer

The cover of the Sun Valley Guide features a replica of the first image used to market Sun Valley Resort in 1936. Photo by Paulette Phlipot

The fresh white stuff on the ground is the perfect backdrop to today's release of the winter issue of the Sun Valley Guide. Gracing the cover of this Express Publishing (owners of the Idaho Mountain Express) lifestyle magazine is a replica of the original image used to promote Sun Valley Resort when it opened in 1936.

A skier, stripped to the waist, sweating and smiling, projected to the world that this new Sun Valley Resort offered fabulous winter snow sports under a summer sun. Shirtless skiing was an exaggeration, of course, but the sunny part still holds true, as Sun Valley enters its 75th ski season. (2010 marks the resort's 74th birthday and the beginning of its 75th season).

The striking cover photo, taken by local photographer Paulette Phlipot and featuring Sun Valley Suns hockey player Jon Duval, was created as an homage to Steve Hannagan. Hannagan, as the magazine's feature story, "It Happened To Sun Valley," unearths, was a pivotal figure in the creation of Sun Valley. The resort's first publicity director, Hannagan hated the cold and despised snow, leading him to his two greatest ideas: naming the resort and requesting someone to invent a "chair-type lift." His story offers a new perspective on the well-told tale of Sun Valley's early history.

Other topics in the winter issue include an interview with Peter Duchin, one of the last links to the original Sun Valley family.

An examination of Idaho's other favorite pastime, hunting, provides an interesting perspective on the place of the sport in the fast-changing society of the West.

The new sport of snowkiting is covered in "Harnessing the Winter Winds." Taking off in the unlikely location of the Camas Prairie, snowkiting is fast turning the sleepy prairie into a sports mecca.

Pick up a free copy of the Sun Valley Guide today at locations throughout the valley.

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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.