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Wednesday, May 5, 2004


Dollar Cabin reduced to rubble

New lodge planned for site

Express Staff Writer

Dollar Cabin, the small Sun Valley Resort day lodge that hosted thousands of ski outings on Dollar Mountain, was razed this weekend.

The project came with little fanfare Saturday, May 1., after Sun Valley Co. ordered the aging structure be removed to make room for a proposed new day lodge on the site.

Excavator Beau Burks uses a backhoe to dismantle Dollar Cabin, the small day lodge at the base of Dollar Mountain in Sun Valley, to make way for a new lodge. Express photo by Willy Cook

Sun Valley Co. had originally planned to allow the Sun Valley Fire Department to burn the cabin as part of a training exercise, but those plans were eventually abandoned.

Dollar Cabin has a substantial, but somewhat obscure, history.

Sun Valley Co. spokeswoman Shannon Besoyan this week said the building dates back to at least 1950, but conceded that details on the history of the building have been hard to obtain.

The cabin, she said, was likely formed by joining two pre-existing structures, a small cabin on the summit of Dollar Mountain and a structure called the "Pine Chalet," which had been located in Sun Valley Village.

Sun Valley Co. officials last month requested approval from the city of Sun Valley for construction of an elaborate, two-level mountain lodge on the Dollar Cabin site, along Elkhorn Road.

As proposed, the new lodge would comprise approximately 24,000 square feet of floor area, with most of the facilities located on the 15,000-square-foot main level.

The lodge is designed to include a cafeteria-style restaurant on the north end, a ski-rental business, daycare facility and ski-school office in the center, and an exclusive childrens’ ski and snowboard school on the south end.

The lower level of the structure would include offices, a ski tuning facility and lockers.

A 199-stall parking area is proposed to be maintained to the north of the new lodge. A terrace would be built on the west side, facing Dollar Mountain.

The new lodge has been proposed as part of a Sun Valley Co. 50-year master development plan to build new housing, lodging and amenities in Sun Valley and at the base of Bald Mountain, west of Ketchum.

Dollar Cabin was located entirely in the city’s Service Commercial zoning district. Because the new structure would encroach into the city’s Outdoor-Recreation zoning district—which does not permit restaurants or lodges—it will require city approval of a conditional use permit.

The Sun Valley Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled to review the proposed building design and associated conditional-use permit application on Tuesday, May 11, at 9 a.m. in Sun Valley City Hall.


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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.