local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 last week
 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info

 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs

 email us:
 arts and events


Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8065 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2001 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. 


Mountain Jobs

Formula Sports

Idaho Conservation League



Gary Carr...The Carr Man!

Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

For the week of  October 17 - 23, 2001


Winter season looks ‘soft’ so far

Marketing targets regional skiers

Express Staff Writer

Bookings for Sun Valley and Ketchum area resorts and rental properties look "soft" for the coming winter tourist season, but things could be worse, area tourism gurus claim.

"Right after Sept. 11 we saw a dramatic drop in the number of phone calls we were seeing, but we’re starting to get back to the volume of calls we would expect this time of year," Premier Resorts Assistant General Manger Stuart Campbell said.

Premier manages more than 220 properties in the northern valley.

Campbell, like other valley tourism professionals, said Premier intends to focus more on the regional skier market this winter. That boils down to redirecting some of the company’s advertising budget, he said.

Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carol Waller agreed that bookings are down.

"The general feel is, we’re probably, not surprisingly, a little soft," she said.

That includes Christmas week, typically one of the busiest periods of the winter season.

Sun Valley Co. spokeman Jack Sibbach said the resort is getting a few cancellations, though he didn’t specify any numbers.

"Most of the reason is that people are afraid of flying and traveling," he said.

Local businesses, however, are responding to the slipping economy.

Sun Valley Co. responded last week by providing a new ski pass option, called the 20-20, which offers buyers 40 days of skiing (with a number of restrictions) for $595. That move complements the resort’s $1,750 season passes and usual fleet of discount cards.

Ticketing Director Hal White said the resort had sold 43 of the passes yesterday and had received a "tremendous amount" of 20-20 telephone inquiries.

"Some of these people have changed their mind from, say, a season discount card," he said. "I don’t think this will replace the season pass. We’re hitting the market we want to hit," which is skiers and snowboarders who previously skied only a few days a winter.

The chamber, too, is working on special promotions.

"We’ve come up with a great promotion," Waller said, though she didn’t disclose any details.

The chamber-funded program will include a gift certificate campaign that will involve local stores and restaurants. The concept is to add value to tourists’ vacations, Waller said.

Despite special promotions and redirected marketing efforts, Waller said trends of the past few years have indicated that skiers are waiting longer to book vacations.

"The state of the industry has changed," she said. "The lead time on booking is much shorter."

But all Campbell wants is snow.

"If we get a good snow year, which is critical, I think we could have, possibly, a really good year," he said. "If we get dumped here in the next month or two, we could fill up."

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.