Big changes coming to Sun Valley Resort

The Sun Valley Inn being renovated.

Built in 1936 and home to a number of firsts in the ski industry -- from the first chairlift to America's first destination ski area -- Sun Valley has changed in many ways over its 80-year history.  Changes that continue even into this winter season.

Construction at the Sun Valley Inn is well underway.  They are upgrading everything from rooms to restaurants.  Some areas like The Ram restaurant haven't seen this substantial of an upgrade in decades.

“This is an 80-year-old building. This used to be the post office,” said Jim Snyder, director of food and beverage.

However, this winter season, what was once the post office, will now be the Village Station -- a restaurant paying tribute to Sun Valley's rich skiing history.

“Along this wall back here we’re going to have the Sun Valley firsts,” said Snyder. “So in The Ram Bar in 1940 the “Hokey Pokey” was invented, and so we’re going to have invention of the “Hokey Pokey.”

Right next door, The Ram is also undergoing its first renovation Snyder says in 80 years.

"We're going to maintain the tradition of the space," he said.

A philosophy that director of hospitality Justin Cambier says they've carried over to the Sun Valley Inn's renovation of its hotel rooms.

“A lot of the craftsmanship and woodwork, a lot of that is staying traditional,” said Cambier. “The guests have grown to love the history and tradition and that was 100 percent in front of the mind when we did a lot of the renovations of the new rooms.”

When construction is completed in the winter of 2018, the inn will have 98 new state-of-the-art rooms and suites.

Just down the road, Dollar Mountain is also seeing changes with Dollar Live -- a family-friendly initiative with skate-style terrain parks.

“It will be an inclusive and social type of experience for our guests, which we’re really excited about,” said Sun Valley spokeswoman Kelli Lusk.

Over the years Dollar Mountain has become park central with seven different terrain parks. This year however, one feature that's not going to be built -- the half pipe.

“What we’re seeing in the trend in the industry is having terrain parks that are more like skate-style terrain parks and flow style that have people having fun together,” said Lusk. “It’s not just one person at a time going into a pipe or anything like that, it’s really people enjoying time together.”

All changes Sun Valley feels will help enhance people's experience in central Idaho.

“I think it’s going to create a whole other level of experience for people,” said Lusk.

Dollar Mountain isn’t the only ski area that’s going to see some change, Baldy will as well. There are plans to replace the ski resort’s oldest chairlift, the Cold Springs chairlift, which could come as early as the summer of 2018.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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