Sun Valley Revamps Terrain Park, Drops Half-Pipe

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Arcing a jump at Sun Valley terrain park. (Sun Valley/Facebook)

Keepin’ up with ever-changing terrain park trends presents a challenge to all resorts, and Sun Valley is one that is making sure it’s current … and cool.

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Pay Less To Stay At Slopes In Rockies Early

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Sun Valley set to go with early discounts. (Sun Valley/Facebook)

Once the snow begins to fly, skiers and riders make plans to get up into the hills as soon as possible – and stay there as long as possible. As a result, many Rocky Mountain resorts lay out early season ticket and lodging deals.

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First Flakes Signal Summer’s Over, First Turns Loom

Aspen-First

Seasons show their change at Aspen-Snowmass. (AspenSnowmass.com)

Summer gondola rides are coming to an end, the mountain bike heads into the garage, and thoughts turn to the upcoming ski and snowboard season throughout the West.

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Check Out Summer’s Solar Eclipse At Winter Resorts

Eclipse-Total

Mountaintop views of the total solar eclipse. (NASA)

On Aug. 21, the first solar eclipse to cross North America in 38 years will hit the Oregon coast about 9 a.m. PDT, then course over the mountains of Idaho and Wyoming before hitting the Midwest and finishing up across the North Carolina high country.

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Beat The Heat At Idaho’s Resorts This Summer

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A summer chairlift ride includes eye-popping views. (Schweitzer Mountain Resort/Facebook)

Idahoans and visitors alike escape the summer heat down below by heading into the mountains of the Gemstone state.

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Stay In Winter Mode With Resort Ice Skating

Stay In Winter Mode With Resort Ice Skating

Skate with the stars at Sun Valley (Sun Valley/Facebook)

Downhill skiing and ice skating have been linked closely during the cold winter months, and a number of winter resorts around the country link with outdoor ice rinks.


Most stay open into the evenings, and typically charge a fee for a couple of hours of skating, offer skate rentals that are sometime free if you’re staying at the resort, and have food and drink nearby.

SnoCountry.com took a look around the country, and came up with some ice rinks of note for some skating enjoyment:

Squaw Valley ice skating

Squaw Valley. You have to take an 8-minute cable car ride to 8,200-foot High Camp to reach a 100x200 foot rink, with Olympic Museum and mind-blowing views of the Sierra and Lake Tahoe. Cost includes tram ride.

Sun Valley. Outdoor rink next to Sun Valley Lodge in main village, the 77-year-old sheet hosts popular Sun Valley Ice Shows. Individual or group lessons available, and world-class skaters often stop by for practice and autographs.

Keystone ice skating

Keystone. Colorado resort has two skating venues: A five-acre lake in the heart of the resort’s village with Zambonis putting down new surface; and, the more traditional Dercum Square Ice Rink near the base of the ski and snowboard mountain.

Guidant John Rose Oval

Guidant John Rose Oval. While not at a resort, this 110,000 square-foot sheet in Roseville, Minn., is close enough for skiers and snowboarders from nearby Afton Alps, Hyland Hills and Buck Hill to stop by apres-ski. Rink has hosted U.S. and international speedskating competitions.

Liberty Mountain. The Pennsylvania resort opened a new skating pond this season, located in the newly renovated pedestrian core of the base area and open daily till 10 p.m. Courtyard Pond has seating for viewers.

Whiteface skating

Whiteface. Take a turn on the same ice as Olympic champ Sonja Henie, and where annual Stars on Ice Tour features top skaters. The Speed Skating Oval has skate rentals and a fir pit in the middle. Or glide onto Mirror Lake for some old-fashioned pond hockey.


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It's Lovely Weather For A Sleigh Ride

It's Lovely Weather For A Sleigh Ride

The Vermont hills are alive with stunning views from a Trapp Family Lodge sleigh ride. (Trapp Family Lodge)

With all the snow piling up across the country, we may just have to use sleighs to get to the mountains. The classic winter experience is a must-do for a chance to enjoy another side of your favorite resort, many with perks like hot chocolate or dinner as part of the adventure.

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Resort GMs Across U.S. Name Favorite Trail

Resort GMs Across U.S. Name Favorite Trail

Ropes are dropping on trails from California to Maine as snowstorms and snowmaking weather offer up one of the best starts to a winter in recent memory. As your options open up, mountain general managers from across the country shared with SnoCountry.com their not-to-miss routes for fun on the hill.

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Labor Day In The Mountains Goes To Higher Level

Labor Day In The Mountains Goes To Higher Level

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.

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Climb On: Rock Climbing Mountain Adventures

Climb On: Rock Climbing Mountain Adventures

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.   

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Good First Year For Idaho Nonprofit Soldier Mountain

Soldier Mt.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.

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'Uphillers' At Western Resorts Grow In Popularity, Rules, Regulations

A-Basin upholdersOn 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.

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Idaho Resorts Welcome New Season With Upgrades; New Triple At Pomerelle

New chair at PomerelleSki 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.

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Idaho Resorts Forge Into New Season; New And Improved Lodges, Terrain

Sun Valley LodgeLast 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.

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Aspen Skiing Co. To Grow Limelight Hotel Brand In Sun Valley

Limelight Hotel Sun ValleyAspen 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.

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It’s A Western White Christmas; Double Digit Dumps In Northern Cal, Utah's Wasatch, Colorado's I-70 Resorts

Winter Park powderThis 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.

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Idaho Resorts Get Summer Tweakings In Preparation For New Season

Powder at TamarackThis 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.

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Intergenerational Fun Highlights Summer At America’s Mountain Resorts

Steamboat Mountain Biking

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.

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U.S. Nationals Head To Sugarloaf, Sun Valley 2015-18

US Alpine Nationals Squaw 2014The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association continues on its long-term plan to move its U.S. Alpine Championships to “top resorts” across the country. Sugarloaf, Maine and Sun Valley, Idaho will host the event on alternate years from 2015-2018, starting with Sugarloaf.

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Classic Sun Valley Lodge Set For Major Overhaul; Construction To Begin In Fall

Sun Valley Lodge

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)

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