Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Idaho House endorses ‘Sun Valley Day’

Senate must now approve holiday to make it official


By TREVON MILLIARD
Express Staff Writer

Muffy Davis Earl Holding

The Idaho House of Representatives unanimously agreed on Monday to declare Dec. 21, 2011, as Sun Valley Day in honor of the ski resort's 75th anniversary. The proclamation now must pass the Senate today, Feb. 23.

Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, introduced the proposed holiday. She said it's meant to celebrate Sun Valley Resort's opening day of Dec. 21, 1936, an opening which made it the country's first ski resort. However, the day is also in commemoration of the resort's current owner, Earl Holding, and four-time Paralympian ski medalist Muffy Davis, who are being inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame this year.

The hall of fame, established in 1956, is in Ishpeming, Mich., but the induction ceremony will occur on April 2 at the Sun Valley Inn, at the resort.

"The ceremony in Sun Valley is a huge honor for our state," Jaquet said.

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Holding, owner of Sinclair Oil and Little America Hotel Corp., bought the resort in 1977 from Bill Janss and began revitalizing the historic ski destination. Holding recalled those early years in a Sports Illustrated interview, noting how he and his wife, Carol, made beds, pumped gas, laid carpet, and worked diligently to create success in both winter and summer. Since then, Holding has invested in high-speed quad chairlifts, three on-mountain lodges, an expansive snowmaking system, a gondola to the Roundhouse restaurant and terrain parks at Dollar Mountain.

Paraplegic ski racer Davis won three silvers and a bronze Paralympic medal, also earning a World Championships gold in 2000 and back-to-back World Cup overall titles in 2000 and 2001. She started her downhill days as an able-bodied skier in Sun Valley. However, when she was training on Bald Mountain at age 16 in 1989, she veered off course and hit a tree, rendering her a paraplegic.

"Muffy decided not to allow something like this injury to slow her down," Jaquet said. "So, she perfected skiing the monoski."

Davis is retired from ski racing.

Trevon Milliard: tmilliard@mtexpress.com




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