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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.
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For the week of April 30 - May 6, 2003


North Valley Trails pass sales set record

Express Staff Writer

While Sun Valley Co. posted marginal skier days this winter, the Blaine County Recreation District was setting records on its famous network of cross country ski trails, the North Valley Trails.

"It was a fabulous season for us on the North Valley Trails," said Blaine County Recreation District Executive Director Mary Austin Crofts.

The Recreation District issued more than 4,000 season passes last winter, a record.

It also groomed trails for 170 days, probably a record, too.

"We groomed late, and we groomed early," Austin Crofts said.

Also, the opening of Nordic trails in Quigley Canyon east of Hailey proved a resounding success, with approximately 125 season passes sold specifically because of the new skiing opportunity in Hailey’s backyard.

"Everything that we tried, all our new programs this year, were such a big hit," Austin Croft said.

Among those new hits was the North Valley Galena Express bus, a daytime extension of the Peak Bus that transported skiers, snowshoers or sightseers to and from Ketchum to Galena Lodge and points in between.

The service, which began running on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of each week just before Christmas, added Saturdays to the schedule early in February.

Nearly 1,000 people rode the bus over the entire winter, averaging 22 people per day.

"We need to come up with a program to make it continue," Austin Crofts said, adding that next year the service might be expanded.

Finally, beginning next year, the Nordic ski season in Blaine County could grow, weather permitting.

Traditionally, the Recreation District has groomed from Dec. 1 to April 1.

"Our season dates depend on snow conditions. However, grooming will begin as early as mid-November and may run until mid-April," according to a Recreation District grooming policy report.

"Early season grooming is justifiable. We are all excited to ski as soon as possible. The demand is there," the report stated.


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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.