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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


‘Fine Living’ in Ketchum-Sun Valley

Local businesses roll out
welcome mat for cable network

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum and Sun Valley businesses may get a boost this winter from a newfound friend in the broadcasting industry.

Fine Living Network, a cable television network affiliated with the Food Network, seems to have developed an affinity for Idaho’s best-known resort area.

The network in December is scheduled to broadcast a special program that features Sun Valley as one of the nation’s finest winter wonderlands. Portions of the program were recorded in Sun Valley and Ketchum last March.

Last week, a pair of Fine Living Network employees returned to Ketchum, this time to film a promotion for a contest the network will conduct in conjunction with the special program. The contest will offer Fine Living Network viewers a chance to win a free winter vacation in Sun Valley.

With a local film crew, network employees spent several hours last Thursday shooting footage at Ketchum Grill, capturing images of fine dining that will ultimately be used to entice television viewers to enter the contest.

Amy Olson, communications coordinator for the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber & Visitors Bureau, said last week’s film shoot—and others like it—develop through an essentially symbiotic relationship between Ketchum businesses and the television industry.

For both Fine Living Network productions, numerous Ketchum businesses provided lodging, services and food to network employees—primarily with hopes that free, positive exposure for the resort area will bring scores of new visitors. In exchange, production crews get a working vacation of sorts, complete with free airfare and gourmet cuisine.

Olson noted that an October 2001 CBS Morning Show production documenting that year’s Trailing of the Sheep Festival essentially provided eight minutes of free advertising for Ketchum.

The CBS team was afforded first-rate treatment by local businesses, while CBS provided air time that would have garnered about $800,000 from paying advertisers, Olson said. "We were basically booked in town for that same event the next year," she added.

In March, several Chamber members rolled out the welcome mat for Fine Living Network crews, Olson said. Base Mountain properties provided lodging, Sun Valley Co. doled out lift tickets and the Chamber itself provided vouchers for free flights from Los Angeles to Hailey.

Last week, the Kentwood Lodge provided complimentary hotel rooms, while the Ketchum Grill closed for an entire day to provide a production location.

Other productions have benefited as well from Chamber members’ generosity, Olson said, typically about three per year. Fox Sports coverage of SolFest last winter and an Outdoor Life Network production on fly-fishing were both brought to fruition by donated services. "We’ve never had a problem with businesses not stepping up," Olson said.



City of Ketchum

Formula Sports


Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

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.