Sun Valley Ski Resort Jobs

Sun Valley Area Profile
Winter Activities
Summer Activities
Après-ski
Transportation
Housing
Sun Valley Employment

Sun Valley Area Profile

Built in 1936, Sun Valley is America’s first ski resort and a skier’s paradise. It is located at the edge of the Sawtooth and Challis National Forests, with sagebrush and lava drylands to the south and forested mountain ranges to the north. The style is that of the wild west with a European accent. Sun Valley won fame in the early days of Hollywood when movie moguls like Darryl Zanuck frequented the resort. It is a well-known fact that Ernest Hemingway wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls in Room 206 of the Sun Valley Lodge.

Today, celebrities like Bruce Willis own property near Sun Valley and enjoy its quiet hospitality. The uncrowded conditions are a result of the secluded location, and the resort staff emphasizes customer service. Sun Valley offers elegance and the best accommodations, but it is also very relaxing and family-oriented. The services and meticulous maintenance at the resort qualify Sun Valley as the “Disneyland of ski resorts.” The consensus is that although Sun Valley is hard to reach it is well worth the effort.

Winter Activities

Two mountains are part of the Sun Valley resort area: Bald Mountain, with a vertical drop of 3,400 feet, and smaller Dollar Mountain, with 628 vertical feet. The mountains are within two miles of each other and offer a combination of 1,275 total acres of skiable terrain. Dollar Mountain is a “teacher” mountain, small and gentle with no trees. Bald Mountain, called “Baldy” by locals, is the classic ski mountain, with diverse terrain to challenge all skiers, including snowboarders who can enjoy the new snowboard park. Sun Valley has the world’s largest automated snow-making system, and it is a popular choice for Olympic athletic training. It also has some of the country’s best cross-country skiing and backcountry heli-skiing.

Sun Valley also offers snowmobile tours, horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice skating, sledding, semi-pro ice hockey, and glider rides. For a break from the snow there are health clubs, indoor tennis courts, movie theaters, concerts, shopping, and arts and crafts classes.

Summer Activities

Sun Valley is just as busy during summer as in winter. Summer activities include whitewater rafting, kayaking, windsurfing, fishing, backpacking, rock climbing, and golf. Sun Valley also sponsors wine and antique car auctions each year in addition to music festivals, ballet recitals, and jazz jamborees.

Après-ski

Restaurants range from very charming to extravagant to traditional pizza and spaghetti. Few places will be disappointing. There are over fifty restaurants in the town of Ketchum, and many more in the valley. For night people, Whiskey Jacques’, Casino, and Lefty’s, all in Ketchum, are the best places to find college-age crowds and lots of music. Warm Springs Ranch on Warm Springs Road has great food and is known for its scones, and Mama Inez in Ketchum serves authentic Mexican food. Check out Bruce Willis’ club The Mint in Hailey (11 miles south of Ketchum), which offers dancing and occasional singing by Bruce Willis.

Transportation

A car is needed only to obtain greater flexibility in getting around. Otherwise, the resort is self-contained and a free shuttle runs every fifteen minutes between the mountains, the town of Ketchum, and the resort lodges.

Sun Valley is just twelve miles south of the Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey, Idaho, which is served by two connecting carriers, Horizon Air, (800) 547-9308, and SkyWest Airlines, (800) 453-9417. These airlines connect with most major carriers out of Boise, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, and Salt Lake City. There are taxis, rental cars, and bus services from the airport, and the Sun Valley-Ketchum area provides public bus service within the Sun Valley-Elkhorn-Warm Springs area.

Housing

Locals say housing is getting tougher to come by every year. Some employee housing is available at the Sun Valley Company dorms, which are pretty inexpensive but very small. Homes to rent are very difficult to come by and expensive; it’s a little easier to rent rooms. Most seasonal employees live in Sun Valley itself or in nearby Ketchum. The average rent in Sun Valley is significantly higher than that in Ketchum even though the towns are just one mile apart, just minutes by shuttle.

Look through the classified section of the local papers or talk to a local realtor about long-term rental availability.

Sun Valley Employment

The economy of Sun Valley is largely based on tourism, so most of the residents of the valley earn their living in the service industry. However, employers still hire a great number of nonresidents during Sun Valley’s peak tourist seasons, from Christmas to Washington’s Birthday in winter, and from Independence Day to Labor Day in the summer. By far the largest employer is The Sun Valley Company, which hires for a wide array of facilities in addition to its ski resort. Each winter 1,200 people are hired for the ski resort, while in summer the number of new hires is usually 800 to 1,200. Other year-round and non-ski jobs include fly-fishing guide, landscaping, and construction work. Bartending jobs are lucrative but difficult to find.

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