Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A human-performance lab in Ketchum?

Organization says project is moving forward

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley Economic Development Executive Director Harry Griffith told the Sun Valley City Council last week that the proposed new Sun Valley Human Performance Laboratory is progressing.

     As the organization formerly known as Sustain Blaine, Sun Valley Economic Development has sought partnerships with the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, Wood River YMCA, Wood River Ability Program, St. Luke’s Wood River hospital and Boise State University to discuss the lab’s development.

     “We’re at the point right now where we’re trying to land soft commitments for a partnership consortium that has had a huge part in helping us advance this from the drawing board to something much more real and relevant,” Griffith said.

     The executive summary for the proposed 1,500-square-foot facility that would be housed in the YMCA in Ketchum said the state-of-the-art center would deliver a wide variety of testing protocols for aerobic, anaerobic, strength, flexibility and wellness performance.

     Griffith also said he is discussing expansion of Sun Valley’s designation as a U.S. Olympic and Paralympic training site beyond just Nordic skiing.

     “We are talking about extending the designation from Nordic or cross-country skiing into other disciplines,” he said. “There are a limited number of Nordic skiers but when you bring in the other snow sports like snowboarding and alpine skiing, you get a lot more traffic. That is a very important opportunity as we put this project together.”

     The summary also said the lab will target three key markets. One is elite athletes who represent local, regional and national teams and programs focused mainly on the U.S. Ski Association and USA cycling. Another market would be recreational sports athletes in the local population and annual visitors, including many with high-intensity sport demographics. The third market would be health and wellness practitioners with health-education programs and medical-center referrals.

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