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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 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. 

For the week of October 9 - 15, 2002


Fall slack slacks 
no more

Express Staff Writer

In a resort town, it’s a season between seasons, and it’s called "slack" for a reason. But relatively new promotional events and consistent marketing are helping keep fall resort business from grinding to a screeching halt.

Historically, fall slack in Sun Valley was a time when a hushed silence fell over the area as skiers quietly waxed their skis and business owners watched their bottom lines slip nearer, or into, the red.

The late Guy Coles, former Ketchum mayor, once remembered that a person could go bowling on Ketchum’s Main Street during fall slack.

But, "Thanks to two popular events, the sight of empty streets in Ketchum and Sun Valley in October are becoming a distant memory," according to the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber and Visitors Bureau. "The Trailing of the Sheep and the Sun Valley jazz festivals have economically and culturally revitalized our fall ‘slack’ season.

"The events take place within a week of each other, allowing visitors the opportunity to extend their vacation in order to easily attend both events."

Trailing of the Sheep is in its sixth year and occurs this weekend. The Sun Valley jazz festival begins the following weekend.

Sun Valley Co. Marketing and Public Relations Manager Jack Sibbach remembered that the summer season used to be the Fourth of July through Labor Day, "and that was it."

"The Jazz Festival has extended our summer season," he said. "September and October, we do as many room nights now in each of those months as we used to do in August."

Trailing of the Sheep has garnered increasing national and international exposure during a season when events are difficult to come by. The event, which celebrates the Wood River Valley’s history as one of the leading sheep producing regions in the world, has received awards for presentation and preservation of history, folk life and arts. It was recipient of the Governor’s Award for Cultural Heritage Tourism in 2001.

This year’s Swing ‘n’ Dixie Jazz Jamboree is in its 13th year. The event is expected to draw more than 7,000 music-loving visitors from all over the United States, according to the chamber. The event will include 28 national and international bands, playing sets day and night throughout the week.

"Twenty years ago, we made a commitment to extend our seasons," Sibbach said, referring to both Sun Valley Co. and the community. "We’ve been reasonably successful."



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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.