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Time To Leave Sun Valley

SV October 30-2015 - If there is not a convention in town, you had better have food at your home or rented condo because you won't find many restaurants open at Sun Valley.  The new Gretchen's elaborate coffee shop is closed in the afternoon, the Konditeri is closed in the afternoon and not open for dinner, the Ram is closed period.  The restaurant at the SV Golf Club does not serve dinner and closes after lunch.    The restaurant at the SV Elkhorn Golf Club is closed period.

Ketchum is not in much better.   The Nob Hill Restaurant which only serves dinner, is totally closed.  There are probably one or two coffee shop type venues in Ketchum where you can find some lunch at 3:30pm, but not at Sun Valley.

The fact is that Sun Valley does not really care about "locals".  Sun Valley is being turned into a convention city.  Like a Spa that is where the money is found.   Restaurants will only be open when there are convention folks in town or a ton of people skiing in the winter.

Evidently, there are not enough people who live here year around or have vacation homes here, some very expensive, to stay open to serve them.

So it is time to leave Sun Valley and find a restaurant that is open all day.

What Does The Future Hold For Sun Valley?

SV October 2015 - The town is a mess during the Jazz Festival.  Parking lots are full, restauants are noisy and full and it is almost impossible to drive on the streets in downtown Ketchum.

The problem with Sun Valley is that when there is not a convention in town, (they call it slack) many of the restaurants and places you might want to visit are closed.  Trail Creek Cabin is closed.  The Inn is not serving breakfast.  The Elkhorn golf clubhouse has a restricted menu and short operating hours.  During the Jazz Festival, the Ram Restaurant is closed and is used as a hamberger stand.

There is no consistance in Sun Valley.  One person told me today that the Ram was open and Larry Harsbarger was playig the piano as usual.  It was opening at 5pm, they stated.  Well, yes in a sense it was open but not as the Ram Restaurant and no Larry was not playing the piano.

The fact is that Sun Valley is being turned into a convention facility.  One new five star hotel is being constructed in downtown Ketchum and I can assure you it is not being built with the locals or part time residence in mind.  It will mean more traffic, more crowded restaurants, no parking locations in Ketchum or in the Sun Valley parking lots.

Prices in Sun Valley are designed with convention goers in mind.  $300.00 to $600.00 a NIGHT for a room in the new, ultra modern Sun Valley Lodge?  Only conventioners on an expense account would pay those rates.  Restaurants are also high when a convention is in town or special event like the Jazz Festival.

Now, if you ski and have a local vacation home and like to eat at home, Sun Valley can be very pleasing in the winter.  But the summers are becoming less and less inviting.

Check the Sun Valley calendar and if the Jazz Festival is being held in Sun Valley or the Allen Company has taken over from New York, stay home.

The Historic 1936 Sun Valley Lodge Is Open But Not Everyone Is Pleased With The Results.

There is no question that the Lodge was probably in need of upgrading of the water and electrical system and certainly internet wiring needed to be added.  But the remodeling went much further.  Much was lost in the process.

Many locals have indicated displeasure at the destruction of the fabulous Lodge Dining Room (LDR).  The entire end of the Lodge which housed the LDR, was totally removed to make way for a luxury spa.

Of the ten reasons why people have a vacation home in Sun Valley or visit the area for a vacation, visiting a luxury spa is not even in the top twenty.  The former Lodge HAD a spa that was very nice and served those who were interested.  Not only was the fabulous Lodge Dinning Room lost, but the dance floor in the Duchin Room lounge is no longer and Joe Fos and his trio are not playing there each evening.  However, these is live piano music in the Duchin Room some nights from 6:30 to 9:30pm.

Maybe the somewhat cold and slick new Lodge will in the end turn out to be financially a good move.  Time will tell.  However the loss of the LDR and the evening dancing in the Duchin Room remove two of the reason people came to Sun Valley.  Most people agree that if Earl Holding was still living, he would never have allowed the classic aspects to the Lodge to be removed.

In fairness, the new Lodge is beautiful and very modern.  Gretchen's restaurant in the Lodge is attractive as is the Duchin Lounge and the lobby, but the charm is gone.

The two major complaints I am hearing this August 2015 here in Sun Valley is that Trail Creek Lodge is not open for lunch or dinner.   It has not been open for lunch in years during the summer, but has always been open for dinner during the summer seadon.  Evidently, the summer weddings and other rental events bring in more money than operating Trail Creek as a restaurant. 

An Op-Ed in a local weekly echoed my thoughts.  If you were not used to the charm and elegance of the Lodge Dining Room, dancing in the warmth and charm of the Dunchin Room, and never had dinner in the charming Trail Creek Lodge, you will love the new Sun Valley.   It is modern and very open.   Meaning the walls are open in Gretchen's Restaurant and the Duchin Room so people walking down the hall can look in and see what you are eating in Gretchen's and what you are drinking in the Duchin Room.

The new spa wing of he Lodge is beautiful along with its new swimming pool.  The locals say Sun Valley is now being run by a corporation.  If an operation does not make a profit, it is closed.

The Konditeri Restaurant was remodeled about two years ago and is charming and very nice.   The food is excellent and Matt runs a good operation.  It is the only Sun Valley restaurant that serves waffles.  The Elkhorn golf club restaurant has an improved menu and the food is quite good and the popcorn machine is back. 

Previous posts from Sun Valley, click on  FULL STORY

Expo 74 At 40

Rent a house now and enjoy Sun Valley.

Click on the picture below for pictures of the house and information.

The best event this summer in Sun Valley is the Killebrew-Thompson Golf Tournament.  Kevin Sorbo and his radio talk show wife, Sam, were the big celebs at the event and it was a huge success.  Early reports indicate the auction produced about one million dollars for cancer research, which is an all time hight.

People from all over the country came to Sun Valley for the event.  Everyone is touched by cancer and we must continue research not only for a cure but for better methods of early detection.

All pictures copyrighted 2015 by Tom Read.  All rights reserved.


Speaker of the US House, John Boehner, chats with celebs in Sun Valley regarding recent legislation.  Left, Frankie Randall, Melinda Read, Speaker Boehner and Allen Pennay. July 2009.

August brings out the celebrities in Sun Valley.   Left, Nancy Kerrigan, who stars in this week's ice show, Frankie Randall, recording artist and nationally acclaimed vocalist, and Melinda Read, host of the celebrity interview talk show, Talk of the Desert from Palm Springs, California.

Joe Foss and Frankie Randall in the Duchin Room at the Sun Valley Lodge.

Allen & Company  A commentary and an idea for next year.   Click HERE

Is Live Music On The Way Out At Sun Valley?

Previously there was a trio that played for dinner and dancing in the Lodge Dinning Room.   Now, the LGD has been totally destroyed.

Previously Joe Fos (pictured above with the late Las Vegas entertainer Frankie Randall) played the piano as his trio performed in the Duchin Lounge nightly.  Now, Joe is playing the piano only Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at the Sun Valley Golf Club through August 23rd.

Larry Harshbarger is still playing the piano at the Ram Restaurant Wednesday through Sunday from 6 to 9:30pm but only through the month of July.

Sun Valley Needs Quality Entertainment.  Full Story 

Joe Maccarillo passed in his sleep at his long time home in Hailey.

Full Story

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Copyrighted by Tom Read 2015 - All Rights Reserved


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