28
Mar
2016
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Skiing & Riding

Let the Party Begin!

To say it’s been quite a winter in Sun Valley would be an understatement. Last week, the brightest stars in ski racing turned the world’s eyes to our slopes during the adrenalin pumping U.S. Alpine Nationals. What an amazing event! Earlier in March, during the Freestyle Junior Nationals, top riders and skiers flipped and flew on both Dollar and Baldy inspiring and entertaining hundreds. It’s also been a pretty epic snow year for recreational skiers and snowboarders who flocked to Sun Valley to enjoy the abundant snow and sunny skies. But it’s not over yet!  


It wouldn’t be spring in Sun Valley without the festive and joyous celebration that is the Janss Pro-Am

Next weekend, Warm Springs will turn into a giant costume party as the annual Janss Pro-Am Classic rolls into town. This fundraiser for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation (SVSEF) signifies spring in these parts like nothing else, bringing together teams of pros and amateurs for some good-natured gate running, a lot of partying and some pretty elaborate costumes, on the slopes and off. This year, the event will grace Warm Springs and the Sun Valley Resort from March 31 – April 3. Named for Bill Janss, the beloved former owner of the Sun Valley Company, this years’ event is expected to host enthusiastic participants for Giant Slalom racing and accompanying weekend events.

Teams are comprised of six racers, including a celebrity pro and SVSEF junior pro. The theme for the 19th annual event is “The Reel Deal Movie Magic” and if past years are any indication, participants will embrace the invitation to “pick [a] favorite movie and let your imagination run wild.”


The Janss Pro-Am is definitely about the skiing but it is also definitely about the costumes and the parties

According to Jody Zarkos, SVSEF Director of Communications and Events, this year’s teams are in it to win it and are letting their creativity run wild. “We are looking forward to seeing teams channeling Gone With the Wind, Caddyshack, Alice in Wonderland, Bridesmaids and James Bond,” she said. “We also have on ode to Tom Hanks ‘Thanks to Hanks,’ as well as Easy Rider and Spinal Tap.”

“The Janss Speed Cup – the fastest raw speed during handicapping runs on Friday with the slow person thrown out -- is always hotly contested,” Jody explained. “This year, a Star Wars team with Carl Rixon, Hunter Storey, Ben Kanellitsas, KJ Savaria, and Biche Rudigoz, will vie against ‘Thanks for Hanks’ with John Lee, Robin Sarchett, Miles Fink-Debray, Steve Brown and Nick Maricich. And don’t count out James Bond with Resi Stiegler, Teagen Palmer Claire Brown, Heather Black and Haley Cutler. There are some fast skiers out there who don’t like to lose.”


One of a previous year’s colorful teams channel the spirit of the event

Costumed ski racing is definitely a centerpiece of the weekend, but there are a lot of parties and ways to socialize and celebrate our mountain culture. Participants enjoy a Gala Dinner on Friday in Sun Valley’s Limelight Room and dance the night away to the music of San Fransisco’s Cosmo Alley Cats. There will also be an après ski party and award’s barbecue at Warm Springs on Saturday with live music from Izzy Taylor and the Strays with an optional talent show from the teams.

"The Janss Pro-Am is always a very joyous and fun celebration of our community and ski culture. Traditionally, it is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, which will observe its 50th anniversary on April 16,” Jody said. “We are proud of our heritage and history and the role we have played in our community of improving and enhancing young lives through winter sports. This year we welcomed 585 student-athletes to our program, of whom nearly 30 percent received financial aid. Proceeds from the Janss greatly benefit our ability to make our programming accessible to all youth who would like to participate. We our grateful to the businesses and individuals who support us in our endeavors.”


Ski racing is a centerpiece of the Janss Pro-Am. But are the helmets, capes and tutus really aerodynamic? Does it really matter?

Don’t miss the show on Warm Springs at the Janss Pro-Am. It’s a great way to enjoy spring skiing and mountain culture in Sun Valley. Everyone is invited to come out, watch, and enjoy the party!


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A Sun Valley Village Easter Celebration


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