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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of October 8 - 14, 2003


Goodbye golf course?

The new owners of the Elkhorn Golf Club are on track to transform the semi-private championship course into a pricey members-only enclave.

Should the course become totally private, the change will reverberate throughout the Wood River Valley’s economy.

Summer attractions for visitors to the valley are numerous, but the golf course is a key part of the summer experience.

Golf consistently ranks in the top 10 favorite activities of summer visitors.

While the valley has five golf courses, only the Sun Valley and Elkhorn courses offer 18 holes open to the public. While golfer numbers have peaked nationally, the small number of local courses has made tee-times a scarce commodity.

Closure of the Elkhorn course to the public will rip a gaping hole in the area’s recreation constellation, a hole that will not easily or soon be filled.

The impact of closing the course to anyone except those who buy exclusive memberships, probably at exclusive prices, isn’t on the scale of closing Baldy in the winter, but it’s similar.

Well-known for star-studded benefit tournaments, the course is now owned by a Connecticut and Chicago investment group. The group will eventually come to the Sun Valley City Council with plans to redevelop the site of the Elkhorn Hotel that was demolished in the spring.

Sun Valley’s mayor and council should exert their considerable powers of persuasion to convince the developers to keep the golf club open to the public. In the alternative, the city may want to look at acquiring it and making it the valley’s first municipal course.



City of Ketchum

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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.