For the week of July 7, 1999  thru July 13, 1999  

Fourth weekend business sparkled, owners say

l7fireworks.jpg (21446 bytes)It was the weekend for the Hailey rodeo, for fireworks, bands and night shopping, for fun and sun in the outdoors, and it was a great weekend for most Wood River Valley business owners.

Things kicked off Friday night for the city of Ketchum’s inaugural effort at improving evening business with the chamber’s "Ketch’em Alive Tonight" program. Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber of Commerce executive director Carol Waller called Friday’s event "a great launch."

Country Knights Classic Rock and Country band played on the grassy knoll at Irving’s Hot Dog stand, and others entertained throughout the downtown. Guests staying at Elkhorn Resort, Elkhorn front desk manager Jeff Duwe said, were very pleased with Ketchum’s first evening business event.

Saturday, Elkhorn Resort kept the ball rolling by hosting the Freedom Fest music show, in which The Young Dubliners, Robert Cray Band and Big Head Todd and the Monsters entertained between 3,500 and 4,000 people.

Duwe said the resort’s Fourth Weekend business was "phenomenal."

"It exceeded last year in terms of occupancy and revenue," he said.

The Elkhorn hotel was full for the entire weekend, Duwe said.

Sun Summit Ski and Sport owner Don Wiseman said his business over the weekend was also "great." It was the best weekend since the new year, he said.

Wiseman’s customers hailed from San Francisco, Seattle, New York City and Los Angeles, as well as from rural areas.

"People love the bike paths and find the community relaxing and well suited to recreation," he said.

He stressed that his summer business is much better than winter’s.

"The Fourth is really the beginning of the summer season. Everything before that is just a bump on the charts," he said.

In downtown Hailey, one of the busiest sidewalks during Sunday’s Fourth of July parade was in front of the Sun Valley Brewing Company.

"There was a lot of traffic out there," said brewer Paul Thomas.

Thomas had his recently brewed "Y2KIPA" India Pale Ale for sale in a remote cooler and passersby were easily tempted, Thomas said.

"Sunday was our busiest day, and may have been slightly bigger than last year," Thomas said.

Across Main Street at Sturtevant’s, bargain hunters packed a store-wide sale, assistant manager Chris Jafay said.

"Saturday was our busiest day of the weekend," Jafay said. "People were mostly looking on Sunday."

In Bellevue, the meat was moving briskly at Glenn’s Grocery Store on Main Street.

"It was the first big weekend of the season," said owner Correne Vert. "A lot of meat was sold."

Business tapered off for Bellevue’s veteran antique dealer, Sally Drake.

Drake’s Chalet Antiques lost customers to the multitude of antique shows held throughout the valley, Drake said.

"It takes a big bite out of us on the Fourth of July," she said.

When asked how the re-opening of the Mint Nightclub and Bar went over the weekend, a Valley Entertainment spokesperson said: "No comment."


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