A Family Focus for the New Lodge

The original Sun Valley Lodge wasn’t designed to be a very family-friendly place. It was a bit too posh, polished and stuffy for most kids. It was built for adults, designed to be the grand and elegant hub of a year-round mountain playground for adults and their refined tastes.

And for nearly eight decades, it has served that purpose well. But the world, and the Wood River Valley, has changed a bit since the lodge first opened in 1936. It’s all about the kids now. They are the future, after all, and the key to the health of any ski resort.

If you can get a kid hooked on some the amazing local activities like skiing, fishing, mountain biking, golfing, hiking, skateboarding or just hanging out by the pool or in the bowling alley, they’ll always love the place. And they’ll always want to come back.

There’s no doubt that one of the biggest improvements in the new Sun Valley Lodge is that it is much more family-friendly. Heck, kids will now be able to sit in the open and spacious Duchin Lounge.

“What I love about the new things that are being added to the Lodge is that they’re all family-oriented and user friendly,” Jack Sibbach, Sun Valley Resort’s director of marketing and public relations, said.

Here’s a rundown of some of the new and improved elements of the Sun Valley Lodge that are sure to keep kids of just about any age happy–and a couple things that will make mom and dad happy, too!

New and Improved Bowling Alley

While keeping its retro charm, the Sun Valley Bowling Alley is bigger and much better than before.

The six lanes are now regulation length, there will be more video games, a new bar and food service. They’ll even be an elevator to it! The brick-lined basement alley has a great feel to it and is sure to be popular for families, birthday or bachelor parties, or those rare days in Sun Valley when the sun isn’t out.

“Not too many places have a bowling alley in the basement, especially one as nice as this. It’s a wonderful thing,” Jack said, as we stood in the midst of it all.

Lodge Pool and the Poolside Café

The famous, circular Lodge Pool has had a facelift. Instead of being just a place to come for a quick swim, it will now be more of a hangout spot for guests. A Jacuzzi has been added, as well as the Poolside Café, which will serve light fair and even cocktails to parents wishing to toast another glorious day in paradise.

Super Suites and Sweet Rooms

The Lodge will now offer several large suites (up to 950 square-feet), named after some of Sun Valley’s most beloved celebrities like Ernest Hemingway and Clint Eastwood. They include large decks, terrific views of the surrounding mountains and can be sectioned off to give family members some privacy, or peace and quiet.

Other room options include the ability to close off the sitting room from the bedroom, and rooms include a separate shower and bathtub.

“It feels like home,” said Shannon Besyoan of Sun Valley Resort’s marketing department, as we recently toured the Hemingway Suite.

Gretchen’s Gets a Makeover

Gretchen’s restaurant in the Sun Valley Lodge has long been a favorite dining option for both families staying at the Lodge and even for those who call Sun Valley home. Its new look is bright, open and inviting.

And with one of Sun Valley’s best and most creative chefs, Derek Gallegos, in charge of the menu, there’s no doubt it will be delicious. Chef Gallegos’ culinary credits include cooking at New York City’s legendary James Beard House and regularly for his two young children and their friends. So there’s no doubt that the new Gretchen’s will be a real family pleaser.

Rooms to Meet

If there’s one thing the Ketchum-Sun Valley area is lacking, it’s meeting rooms. The new lodge will offer three new rooms that can be used for business meetings, reunions or even small events like retirement or birthday parties. “People are always coming to us in need of these types of meeting facilities, so this is a big plus,” Jack said

Couples Spas

The biggest addition to the Lodge is the state-of-the-art spa and fitness facility. The facility will allow parents, grandparents and older youth an opportunity to workout on world-class equipment while enjoying some serious world-class views of Baldy and the Lodge Pool. It will also allow parents to be pampered in various ways, including several Couples Massage rooms, which can be shared by couples, or friends, or moms and daughters on a girls night out.

Coupled with all Sun Valley’s other family friendly activities like year-round ice skating and some of the best skiing, mountain biking, hiking and fishing found anywhere, there are plenty of reasons why families will have no problem falling in love with the new Sun Valley Lodge.

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