For the week of December 2 thru December 8, 1998  

Fund drive continues for Rotarun’s ski lift

New lift is coming, to be delivered in January

The Rotarun ski lift has been shipped and is on its way to Hailey—but the fund-raising continues.

You might have driven past Sturtevants in Hailey and seen the fund-raising thermometer for Rotarun’s new ski lift. It shows how much has been raised to date, and how much is still needed for the goal of between $75,000 and $100,000.

"We’ve raised $55,000. We used $40,000 of it to purchase the new lift from Austria in September," said Andrea "Andi" Bell, publicity chairman for the Rotarun Ski Club committee.

She said, "The lift is being dismantled and shipped from Austria. It will come to Denver. We’re responsible for having it trucked to Hailey, with a projected delivery date in the first part of January 1999."

The new lift, scheduled to be operational for the 1999-2000 winter season, is a single-skier surface lift of the T-bar or J-bar variety. Skiers will sit on platters and ride up the mountain—so they can ski down.

Bell said the new J-bar will be newer, more serviceable and safer, with a higher skier capacity, than the 30-year-old Rotarun J-bar that fell into disrepair in the early 1990s.

"With a capacity of one skier every eight to 12 seconds, it will be a big improvement over the old J-bar," said Bell.

Operations at Rotarun, a small, family ski area located two-and-a-half miles west of Hailey, haven’t changed much since its first opening in 1959. Though the area was originally on private land owned by the Arkoosh Brothers of Gooding, Rotarun now pays rent to Blaine County. Rotarun is surrounded by a subdivision built by Robert Glenn in 1991.

The long-term lease agreement with the county depended on keeping the ski area operating, volunteer Sally Brown told the Idaho Mountain Express in 1996. But ski lift revenues have been flat because Rotarun in recent winters has used just its rope tow, which covers one-fourth the acreage of a J-bar’s reach.

Fund-raising chairman Red Bloedel entered the picture a couple of years ago and started a serious drive for donations to keep Rotarun alive. The fund drive is continuing. Bell said, "We need more money to get the lift up and running."

Fund-raising ideas

All persons who donate money to the Rotarun campaign will have their names placed on a permanent plaque inside the Rotarun warming hut, which was rebuilt in 1993.

"Gold" members are people contributing $10,000 or more. "Silver" members are those donating over $5,000. "Bronze" members are those with donations of $1,000 or more.

In addition, there are 150 platters or seats on the new Rotarun ski lift. You can buy a platter for $100 each.

Meanwhile, popular Sun Valley musician and big-time Rotarun supporter Joe Cannon will hold another fund-raising evening of entertainment March 13, 1999 at the Idaho National Guard Armory in Hailey.

And Muzzie Braun and The Boys will play at the new lift’s groundbreaking, which is tentatively scheduled for the end of June 1999.

In addition, the Rotarun Ski Club has cooked up plans for a new "Terrain Park" starting this winter at the ski area. To be built of snow, the terrain park is a portion of the hill set aside for snowboarders and skiers—where they can do their tricks.

A box for donations will be set up near the new Terrain Park.

"They have a Terrain Park at Bogus Basin, but they don’t have one at Sun Valley yet," Bell said.

Accordingly, the ski club is holding a "Terrain Park Design Contest." Entries are being sought from middle school and high school students, with a deadline of Friday, Dec. 4. There will be prizes.

The rules are:

Your sketch must be on a single 8 -by-11 inch sheet of paper; the sketch should be your choice, whether it’s Whoopdee Do’s, Table Tops, Rails or whatever; the sketch must be three-dimensional or isometrical; and the sketch must have height, length and width measurements for the proper dimensions.

Prizes include: First prize—A one-year snowboard or ski demo rental from Sturtevants. Second prize—A Rotarun season ski pass for a family. Third prize—Ski accessories. Send entries to Andi Bell, P.O. Box 25, Sun Valley, Id. 83353.

Meanwhile, Rotarun’s rope tow will open this winter as soon as there is enough snow, hopefully by the Christmas school holiday. There will be rope tow and night skiing.

And donations for the fund drive will be accepted "up until we reach our goal," Bell said.

Send donations to Rotarun Ski Club, P.O. Box 2083, Hailey, Idaho 83333. Call the Rotarun hotline at 788-6204 for more details.

Among the people on the Rotarun committee are president Mike Watson, fund-raising chairman Bloedel, publicity chairman Bell, Sturtevants manager Jim Santa, Chuck Curtis, Bob Logan and John Palmer.

Workers at Rotarun volunteer their time, which keeps lift prices at a minimum for families with young children learning to ski over the 10 acres of hill. "We don’t turn any kids away, ever," Logan once said, "That’s the only reason I’m out there, for the kids."


 Back to Front Page
Copyright 1998 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.