Friday, November 2, 2012

Sun Valley strengthens sister city bond

City hosts representatives from Kitzbühel, Austria

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley Mayor DeWayne Briscoe, center-right, and Sun Valley Marketing Alliance board member Wendy Jaquet, right, lead delegates visiting from the Austrian Consulate in Los Angeles on a tour of Sun Valley Lodge Room 206, where Ernest Hemingway wrote parts of “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” On the left is Austrian Trade Commissioner Rudolf Thaler and to his left is Consul General of Austria Karin Proidl. Photo by David N. Seelig

The city of Sun Valley took steps to strengthen relations between itself and sister city Kitzbühel, Austria, this week by hosting delegates from the Austrian Consulate in Los Angeles.

Austrian Consul General Karin Proidl and Austrian Trade Commissioner Rudolf Thaler represented their country and the city during the visit Wednesday and Thursday. Throughout their stay, they met with Sun Valley elected officials, representatives of Sun Valley Co. and representatives of the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance, among others.

“During my inaugural address, I mentioned re-establishing the sister city relationship between Sun Valley and Kitzbühel,” Sun Valley Mayor DeWayne Briscoe said in an interview Wednesday. “This visit is an offshoot of that.”

Briscoe said Sun Valley’s goal for the visit was to build international relations and promote Sun Valley in Europe.

“Both cities want to promote each other,” he said.

Proidl said the Austrian Consulate’s main objective was to “further and deepen” the bilateral relations between Austria and Idaho.

“We conveyed greetings and best wishes from Kitzbühel’s Mayor Klaus Winkler,” Thaler said. “We are glad both mayors have underlined their strong wish and intent to further strengthen the longstanding friendship between Kitzbühel and Sun Valley.”

Thaler said a “future activity” planned during the visit will be a mutual visit between the two mayors.

“We brainstormed a lot of Ideas,” Briscoe said. “They’ve already contacted Mayor Winkler. He’s enthusiastic to set up a personal meeting between the two of us, either in Austria or here.”

Briscoe said if the meeting is to be in Austria, he will pay his own way there.

During the visit, Briscoe invited Proidl and Thaler on a tour of the Sun Valley Lodge Room 206, where Ernest Hemingway wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and other historic Sun Valley locations. The tour was led by Sun Valley Marketing Alliance board member Wendy Jaquet.

“Hemingway also spent a very happy time in Schruns, Austria, where he wrote his novel ‘Fiesta,’” Thaler wrote in a Wednesday email to the Idaho Mountain Express. “There is another beautiful link between Austria and your city.”

Thaler also said it was great to see Austrian technology and products in Sun Valley, including the Doppelmayr chairlifts. He said ski equipment often used in Sun Valley, such as Atomic, Fischer and Kästle skis, are all Austrian products.

“I’m Tyrolean,” said Thaler, who is from Kuftstein, Tyrol. “Coming to Sun Valley makes me feel at home.”

Proidl called her visit to Sun Valley “most enjoyable,” saying the city extended an especially warm welcome, and said he hopes to come back soon.

Both delegates wished residents of the Sun Valley area “a most enjoyable ski season.”

Brennan Rego:

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