Fly through the sky at Seven Springs for Labor Day fun (Seven Springs/Facebook)
The end of the summer is unofficially marked by the Labor Day weekend (Sept. 2-5), and then the long, long wait for ski and snowboard season to begin.
So before the waiting begins, get a whiff of the high-mountain air and winds in the pines by checking out the holiday festivities at resorts all around the country.
The Stowe Rocks climbing center is fun for every age. (Stowe Mountain Resort)
In the snow covered months, some of us may have the inclination to huck a few cliffs along the edges our favorite mountains. Come summer, it's time to approach those mountains from a different angle, with climbing ropes and harnesses. Whether it's with guide up the rock face of a local route or auto-belayed on a man-made wall, climbing offers adventure and summer fun in the mountains.
The new owners of Soldier Mountain have had a nice first year at the central Idaho day-trip mountain – and now local charities will join in the good fortune.
On any given day at winter resorts in the West, dozens of people on skis, snowshoes or foot can be seen heading out of the base area to get in a run within resort boundaries without riding the lift.
Ski and snowboard resorts all over Idaho have lifted the ropes on the 2015-2016 season as timely snow and low temps have produced solid bases at most of the state’s 17 mountains.
Last year’s tough winter in Idaho hasn’t deterred projects at a number of resorts that aim to upgrade everything from mountain terrain to on-mountain lodges to overnight accommodations.
Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) has closed on a property in Ketchum, Idaho, purchased from Bald Mountain LLC to be developed as a new Limelight Hotel, modeled after the company’s existing property in Aspen, Colo. The property is in close proximity to Sun Valley’s River Run base of Bald Mountain.
This past weekend’s storm dropped double-digit snow dumps on northern California mountains and then stayed north with a pre-Christmas gift for the Wasatch in Utah and Colorado resorts along I-70.
This summer in Idaho saw crews working on trails, lodges and terrain parks at mountain resorts, and the fruits of those labors are now ready for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy. Eight resorts announced improvements and upgrades that were completed during the offseason, and one, Tamarack Resort, is back to a full-week schedule under new ownership.
School’s out and the cool mountains present an even cooler line-up of summer activities that can make a hero out of parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles. Just take those active youngsters and teens on a mountain resort vacation and you’ll be amazed at the things you can do together to have fun.
Like a number of the older resorts in the West, Sun Valley has felt pressure to bring facilities up-to-date in order to get its share of the highly competitive winter resort market.
The famed Idaho resort fired a significant salvo this week by unveiling a major overhaul of the iconic 78-year-old Sun Valley Lodge. The 148-room hotel, located in the village near the base of Dollar Mountain, will get a new spa, expanded rooms and upgrades all around, according to its owners.
Stephen Holding, son of the late Earl Holding and his wife Carol who have owned Sun Valley since 1977, formally announced the remodeling plans at a group meeting at the resort. According to Holding, the project includes:
A three-story, 20,000 addition to the lodge on the north side that will house a world-class spa. The third floor will house four new guest suites. Part of that project will eliminate the historic yet unwieldy Lodge Dining Room.
The existing outdoor pool that gets an upgrade with larger deck and outdoor café.
All guests rooms that will get facelifts, with some smaller rooms combined to create larger accommodations. After the overhaul, the total number of rooms will be reduced to 100.
Upgrades for many of the public areas in the lodge, including the lobby, restaurants and the popular bowling alley.
Holding told the gathering that construction would likely begin in September, and the lodge would be closed until completion, slated for June 2015.
"There are few more enduring icons of quality and hospitality in the world than the Sun Valley Lodge." said Carol Holding. "Our family has loved Sun Valley for over three decades. We have always tried to make it better while maintaining the personal and intimate feeling that makes it so special. We want to keep the wonderful feeling of the Lodge while, at the same time, providing the modern comforts and conveniences that our guests expect, fitting the Lodge for the next 75 years of fun in the sun."
Photo: The iconic Sun Valley Lodge (Sun Valley)
Idaho is known for its wild and powdery backcountry that can be reached slowly on foot, or for those less patient, by snowcat at seven locations and helicopter at one.
UPDATE 8/21: More than 1,700 firefighting personnel have tamed the so-called Beaver Creek wildfire that threatened mountain communities around Sun Valley resort to 30 percent, according to InciWeb.org. The resort itself remains untouched, according to InciWeb.org. This will be our final update unless the situation worsens.
Billionaire Robert Earl Holding, owner of Sun Valley Resort in Idaho and Snowbasin in Utah died Friday (April 19) from complications of a 2002 stroke. He was 86. Holding was inducted into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2011.
Three of the nearly 175 Bring a Friend Challenge (BAF) participants won Grand Prize trips to resorts around the country to be redeemed in the 2013-14 season.
Despite the popularity of the recent movie “Lincoln,” U.S. presidents don't seem to be a big feature at ski and snowboard areas across the country for Presidents Week. But, fun tops the agenda everywhere.
You just might fall in love with some of the deals awaiting you and your loved one in the mountains all across America. Here’s a sampling:
Since its inception in 2008, the concept of Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month during January has grown exponentially across the country – and Western resorts have contributed mightily.