Sun Valley, Idaho, became America’s first destination ski resort in 1936 and for the past 80-plus years, the community – nestled in the Wood River Valley and surrounded by the Sawtooth Mountains – continues to be one of the country’s top winter destinations.
The first chair lift in the world was built in Sun Valley in 1936 and cost 25 cents per ride; the late Adam “Batman’’ West lived in Sun Valley; and Ernest Hemingway wrote “For Whom Bell Tolls.’’ Papa’s rather non-descript grave is in the Ketchum Cemetery on Main Street. Fittingly, Hemingway’s favorite watering hole, the Casino Bar, is not far away.
The legendary author called Ketchum home for the final two years of his life – he committed suicide in 1961.
If you are looking for a good place to call home when the 2018-19 Sun Valley ski season officially opens Thanksgiving Day, look no farther than the Hotel Ketchum, a 33-room room hotel in the heart of the city and only one mile from the ski lifts of Bald Mountain.
A recently renovated Clarion-branded hotel, Hotel Ketchum combines the city’s history and Western heritage with modern warmth and charm.
“We went from this kind of highway chain hotel to a fun, funky, artsy boutique hotel,’’ said Hotel General Manager Shannon Allen. “We totally gutted the building down to the concrete floor. We added all new floors, fixtures, soft goods and hard goods and went for a modern mountain style design.
“The rooms are beautiful and comfortable, but we spent a lot of time on the common areas and giving people a chance to be more communal. People want to be outside skiing, hiking and biking all day. That’s what they cam here for. We just want to provide a place where they are comfortable stay and be a launching pad for things to do.’’
Photos: Hotel Ketchum