Sun Valley


Twenty-five-year-old Luke Richardson was last seen on September 12th. The Vermont-native, who was living in Hailey, was last spotted on the Summit Creek Trail. His tent and coat were later found in his home.

But after eight days of looking extensively in difficult mountain terrain, officials called off the search. Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey says crews had scoured 51 square miles and logged almost 2000 man hours. Searchers used military helicopters, drones and dogs, and rescuers from Idaho and Montana.

Boston Public Library / Flickr Creative Commons

After being shuttered for nine months for remodeling, the iconic Sun Valley Lodge reopened this week to great fanfare. But while the areas's most famous hotel was closed over the winter,  local businesses saw one of their best winters in a few years.

Hailey’s chamber of commerce, some small businesses in downtown Ketchum and the marketing organization Visit Sun Valley all say it was a great season.

Joanna Lipper

The eighth-annual Family of Woman Film Festival begins Monday in Sun Valley. Three new documentaries will be shown throughout the week, all centered around the theme "women and their dreams."

Peggy Elliott Goldwyn founded the film festival in 2008. Goldwyn — who has deep connections to Hollywood and the indie film world — says she started the multi-day event with a feminist mission.

Aspen Skiing Company, artist rendering

Aspen Skiing Co. plans to build a hotel in Ketchum, Idaho, modeled on its Limelight Hotel in Aspen.

The company said Tuesday the hotel will be near Sun Valley's River Run base at Bald Mountain. It will also be called the Limelight.

Aspen Skiing bought the property from Bald Mountain LLC. No cost figures were released.

The company says the site has approval for 119 rooms and suites and 11 residential units. The company says it will ask Ketchum city officials for minor modifications in the plans, including a reconfiguration of the main floor.

Sun Valley Resort

Ski season is now in full swing, but the lodge at one of the region’s most famous destinations is closed for the season.

The owners of Idaho's Sun Valley Resort are hoping a major renovation will keep them competitive among wealthy travelers. Sun Valley’s reputation as a destination among the jet-setting class goes back decades. But the iconic 1936 lodge hasn’t kept pace with the area’s star-studded image.

Bald Mountain, Sun Valley
Christopher Koppes / Flickr Creative Commons

Sun Valley Co. is prohibiting recreational activity on Bald Mountain while workers prepare the ski area for the season.

The company has an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management that allows for the prohibition for safety reasons.

The company in December 2013 enacted a policy not allowing uphill foot traffic on the ski area from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the ski season.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A legally blind skier from Sun Valley, Idaho finished in 14th place in the opening biathlon competition at the Paralympic Winter Games this weekend.

Rookie Paralympian Jake Adicoff missed multiple rifle targets to take himself out of contention in the 7.5 kilometer event held in Sochi, Russia. This combination of cross country skiing and marksmanship unfolded on the same course used for the Winter Olympics last month.

sun valley, sun
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Sun Valley Resort plans to close Sun Valley Lodge for nine months starting in September for an extensive remodel.

Resort officials tell the Idaho Mountain Express that a three-story, 20,000-square-foot spa will also be added to the northerly wing of the lodge near an outdoor swimming pool. Work on the spa is scheduled to start in April.

The resort in the announcement on Monday says the Lodge Dining Room will be eliminated.

The National Weather Service has issued an avalanche warning for central Idaho's Sun Valley region.

The Sawtooth Avalanche Center says the area got between one and a half to three feet of new snow, and that combined with strong winds have created a high avalanche danger. The warning includes the mountains around Fairfield, Galena Summit and Stanley.

Dartmouth College Athletics

An autopsy has determined that a rare heart defect killed a 20-year-old Dartmouth College cross country skier last weekend.

Torin Tucker, a junior from Sun Valley, Idaho, died while competing at a cross country skiing marathon in Craftsbury, Vt., on Saturday.

His death certificate says he suffered sudden cardiac arrest as a result of a problem in the left coronary artery. Medical research says the condition is rare and is frequently associated with sudden death during intense physical activity.

Dartmouth College Athletics

A college student from Sun Valley died over the weekend while competing in a skiing event in Vermont.

Torin Tucker, 20, was a member of the Dartmouth College cross-country ski team. He died Saturday during the Craftsbury Marathon. His cause of death hasn't been determined. A school spokesman says Tucker died at the event after attempts to resuscitate him failed. Dartmouth says it will fly flags at half staff Monday and Tuesday to honor Tucker's memory. 

AlistarHoward / Flickr Creative Commons

Officials with the National Weather Service have issued an avalanche warning for central Idaho's Sun Valley region, warning that both natural and human-triggered avalanches are likely.

The Times-News reports the warning will remain in effect until further notice for the Sawtooth, western Smoky and Soldier Mountains as well as for alpine terrain near Galena Summit.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

A young man from the Northwest with a famous last name hopes to make his Olympic debut in a new medal event at the 2014 Games in Sochi -- freestyle skiing in the halfpipe.

Some people talk about the "circle of life" -- this one's generational. Or in the lingo of freeskiing you might call it a "double-alley-oop-flat-spin 1080."

Our story begins with a family patriarch. He began a long career making ski movies by filming the 1960 Winter Olympics. The name: Dick Barrymore.

Courtesy of

The best of this year’s Sun Valley Film Festival (SVFF) screens in Boise Saturday night. The Best of SVFFest will feature two award-winning films; STUCK, about a one-night stand, and Craters of the Moon, which is about a couple who gets lost and stranded in the snow.

Here's the trailer from Craters.

DieselDemon / Flickr Creative Commons

A ballot measure in the Sun Valley area is emblematic of the challenges facing small airports across the West. Residents of Hailey and Ketchum, Idaho decide Tuesday whether to raise city taxes to subsidize commercial airline service.

Voters in the neighboring Idaho resort towns are being asked to raise the lodging and rental car tax, and in the case of Ketchum add a 1 percent retail sales tax, although groceries and gas would be exempt from the higher tax.

The Blaine County School District has agreed to settle a lawsuit with a Seattle-based company contracted to do a multimillion-dollar green energy project on Sun Valley-area schools.

The district announced the settlement Tuesday with McKinstry Essention Inc. to end an 18-month legal battle.

The Times-News reports settlement includes an exchange of final payments by each side.

Mel Meier / InciWeb

The Beaver Creek Fire burned more than 174 square miles and endangered the towns of Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley last month. The once-enormous blaze is fully contained.

But residents in the area now have to be on alert for another danger: flash floods and mudslides over the charred land. The Times-News reports that 18 inches of mud came into the Croy Creek Canyon area overnight.

The parents of America's only prisoner of war in the current conflict in Afghanistan are urging the U.S. to reach a peace agreement with the Taliban and bring their son home. The end of June marks the fourth year Idaho soldier Bowe Bergdahl has been in captivity.

On Saturday his parents spoke out at a rally Bowe's hometown held in his honor.

Jani and Bob Bergdahl talk of a son who sought adventure in travels around the world. At 20, they say, he took apart and rebuilt his 1978 KZ-1000 motorcycle.

Yellow ribbons and black prisoner-of-war flags are lining the streets in Hailey, Idaho today. The town is preparing to honor captured soldier Bowe Bergdahl.

The 27-year-old Army sergeant has been a prisoner of the Taliban for almost four years. Family and friends are getting ready for what they hope will be the biggest and last local rally to bring Bergdahl home.

Members of a POW support group mount flags along Hailey's Main Street. Donna Thibedeau-Eddy has traveled here from Pocatello, Idaho, to participate in the Bergdahl event.

Hollywood Comes To Sun Valley For Film Festival

Mar 15, 2013
Courtesy of the Sun Valley Film Festival

Sun Valley is no stranger to film. Several movies have been shot in the Wood River Valley, including 1985’s “Pale Rider” starring Clint Eastwood.  Last year, after finishing his latest story, screenwriter Ted Grennan came up with an idea that would add to the local film scene.    

“I really didn’t know what I was going to do next and a friend called and I said ‘What about a film festival in Sun Valley,’ and he said ‘there are film festivals everywhere.’ And I said ‘there is not one in Sun Valley’ and he said you might be on to something,” explains Grennan.