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“Great Ski Resort”
Review of Sun Valley Resort

Sun Valley Resort
Ranked #1 of 12 things to do in Sun Valley
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Whether it's an exciting day on the slopes of Bald Mountain, or a relaxing sleigh ride or round of golf, Idaho's famous year-round resort promises a variety of recreation for outdoor enthusiasts.
Reviewed April 11, 2014

If you're looking for lots of groomed trails, excellent customer service, and challenging terrains, Sun Valley is your ski resort. Since there are no ski in-ski out hotels on the mountain, locals and visitors have to come in through either the Warm Springs or River Run side of the mountain by car. But what awaits you at the skiers drop-off area are wagons to place your ski equipment in to be pulled close to the lifts. What a nice touch! There also are free shuttle buses from Ketchum (about a mile away) to the resort and back every few minutes, and an electronic billboard shows an updated bus schedule. At least one guest relations officer from the resort is always at the entrance to help you with any questions you have. Try to catch the 11am mountain tour with Allan, the director of the ski school. He has a wealth of knowledge, not only of the mountains, but of the geological history of the area. It was fascinating just listening to his stories. I do wish they would upgrade some of their chair lifts to add some foot rests to them. These things really help tired knees especially at the end of a long hard day of skiing.

As for on-mountain dining, nothing beats the value you get from Lookout restaurant's taco bar. For about $4, you get your choice of meat and all the fixings you want in a taco. Don't miss the salad bar in the Seattle Ridge lodge where for $13 you get to pile on all you can eat in one platter. Down in Ketchum, our favorite restaurants were the Pioneer and Whiskey Jacques. For a nice dinner, I would recommend the Grill at Knob Hill Inn.

Getting to Hailey airport was troublesome for us as our flights, both in and out bound, were diverted to Twin Falls airport because of high winds, which was unfortunately an hour and a half bus ride, provided by the airline. Otherwise, Hailey airport would've been very convenient to get to from town. As for all the locals we encountered, they were all warm and friendly and seem to enjoy living there. We went into a local shoe store that closes at 11am so their employees could ski until they opened again at 2pm. What a life!

1  Thank Cristina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"ice skating"
in 15 reviews
"dollar mountain"
in 19 reviews
"river run"
in 8 reviews
"ski school"
in 9 reviews
"no lift"
in 8 reviews
"great mountain"
in 7 reviews
"mountain biking"
in 7 reviews
"tacos"
in 4 reviews
"summer activities"
in 3 reviews
"dining options"
in 3 reviews
"nordic skiing"
in 3 reviews
"ski lodge"
in 3 reviews
"ice shows"
in 4 reviews
"entire mountain"
in 3 reviews
"best kept secret"
in 3 reviews
"bowling alley"
in 7 reviews
"ski area"
in 5 reviews
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154 - 158 of 239 reviews

Reviewed March 31, 2014

Went for three days with discounts from our local ski club. Kids 15 and under skied free with adult passes. It was fun exploring the mountain and the kids enjoyed riding in Gondola and working their way over to Seattle Ridge and back to Warm Springs. We're used to more powder skiing but there snow was holding up partially because of their snow making equipment. Wide variety of runs to choose from. The lodges on the mountain are great and are worth checking out.

1  Thank IdahoGems
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2014

End of March, 2013, my wife and I came through the town of Ketchum ID. Two nights of lodging and a one day ticket for me only cost an outrageous $400. A full adult season pass at Sun Valley is an out of this world $2250. The local hotel charge, nothing fancy, certainly not the Sun Valley Lodge ($300 and up) was $150/nite. There are three local taxes that were hidden into this $150.Seems the Sun Valley ski area and Sun Valley Lodge have things really locked up. Many other ski areas have several lodging / lift ticket combination discounts, but not Ketchum ID. The monopoly hold on skiing was clearly evident. Oh, yes, the ski area does offer a miniscule senior discount, and a "Liftopia" website. The website requires an advance purchase of limited availability tickets, a perfect venue for "revenue yield management" = gouge the skier. Nope, I'll never ski there again. Sure, it's a big area, but late March the snow was disappearing fast, many lifts were closed, and they still held on to their full $100/day lift ticket price. I would have expected John Travolta to ride my chair at this price. My local area, Mission Ridge, Wenatchee is a bargain, and yesterday the snow was way, way, better than Sun Valley.

Thank Windsurfer68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fitzmrt, Guest Relations Manager at Sun Valley Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 2, 2014

Dear Windsurfer67,

Thank you and we truly appreciate your comments regarding your recent visit. We would like to address some of the points you raise and verify some of the facts about our resort for travelers who use Trip Advisor in their travel planning.

There is no doubt we are committed to excellence and an extraordinary guest experience. To assure that our visitors enjoy the best possible visit requires a promise on our part to provide the very best in service and facilities, which does take significant resources to achieve.

Sun Valley is highly regarded by skiers and riders from around the world. Readers of Ski Magazine ranked Sun Valley 4th overall for North America Ski Resorts in their 2014 annual survey. Highlights included, Grooming, #2, Lifts #2, On-Mountain Food #2, Off-hill dining #3, Service #3 and Lodging #3.

We are sorry that you were not able to utilize the local lodging and lift packages that were available during your visit. Many lodging properties, including Sun Valley Resort, offered discount packages for $143.00 per person, including lift tickets. For bargain hunters, spring rates from $81.00 per person, double occupancy including lift tickets are available. Also, if you happened to have children, kids (to age 15) ski free during their Sun Valley visit at participating lodging properties.

The Season Pass price that you mentioned in your review is for a Season Pass purchased after the many early season discounts have ended. Most of our season pass purchases are made during the summer and early season when substantial discounts are available. Very few, less than 4%, of Sun Valley passes are at the full price. As an additional bonus, the SunPlus Pass also includes free skiing at Sugar Bowl, California and Snowbasin, Utah.

Seniors (age 65+) are provided a free discount card that provides a $25.00 discount off the daily rate for the day that they ski. In our view, this is not an insignificant discount.

Many people plan their trips in advance to help determine travel budgets. On-line ticket services such as Liftopia or even our own, www.tickets.sunvalley.com provide skiers and riders with substantial discounts for making advance plans.

You mentioned that many lifts were closed during your visit. We are sorry that is the perception you had. During the last week of March 2014, every operable lift on Bald Mountain was open except for the Sunnyside chair that only operates during the very rare crowded days on Baldy. The uphill capacity of Sun Valley is 30,000 skiers per hour which compares favorably to Mission Ridge’s 4,900 per hour. You probably noticed the lack of lift lines while skiing here at Sun Valley, as well as the uncrowded slopes on 2,054 acres of skiable terrain.

We hope that you reconsider and plan to visit Sun Valley again. We would be very happy to make sure that you have the best possible experience. Please feel free to call me direct at 208-622-2077 to discuss your experience.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2014

Great setting easy to access. Staff are very frendly and ready to help. The location is great or access to all the local activities and public transport.

1  Thank Jim D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 19, 2014

I went to Sun Valley recently to learn to ski again, and had terrific instructors.
The staff at the desk at the Dollar Mountain Lodge were more than helpful too.
And I ate lunch every day on the terrace in the sun, which is a great location for watching other skiiers and snowboarders.

1  Thank arabella d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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