Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hailey thrives during Fourth of July

Hotel rooms filled to capacity, businesses report big numbers

Express Staff Writer

Hailey was busy with bike races, rodeos and parties before, during and after the Independence Day holiday, marking the start of what could be a banner summer season.

The Hailey Chamber of Commerce reported high numbers at local businesses on the Fourth of July, with many businesses doing well on the weekends before and after the Wednesday holiday.

"The 10 days were a great success for the entire valley," Mayor Fritz Haemmerle said. "There was definitely some excitement."

Chamber Manager Gee Gee Lowe said she called merchants, restaurants and hotels Tuesday and found businesses booming.

"It has been a great kickoff for the summer," Lowe said. "Jane's Paper Place sold out all of their decorating supplies for Fourth of July floats."

She said the Stinker gas station and convenience store at Albertsons grocery store reported that the week during the Fourth was "the best week" since it opened.

"They double-stocked the store and had two great weekends," Lowe said.

Lorna Hazelton told the Idaho Mountain Express that the Sawtooth Rangers Days of the Old West Rodeo sold out on the Fourth and was 75-80 percent full on its two other nights.

Lowe said CK's restaurant reported that business was constant with help from racers from the mountain biking national championships held last week in Ketchum.

"The Powerhouse (restaurant) said it was 'busy, busy busy,'" she said.

She said Sturtevants, Atkinsons' Market and Shorty's Diner also reported great weeks.

Visitors to the valley filled Hailey hotels, with both the Wood River Inn and AmericInn reporting full occupancy.

"People called us for rooms and we ended up looking as far away as Arco and Fairfield," Lowe said.

Tony Evans:

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