The history of ski racing in Sun Valley is as rich and as impressive as anyplace in the country. And the future is looking pretty bright, too. It is as if the slopes of Baldy and Dollar were blessed by the ski gods, Ullr and Skadi, to groom the fastest and strongest skiers and snowboarders to ever ride on snow. Sun Valley has been home to the best in the alpine sports scene since shortly after inventing the world’s first chairlift back in the 1930s. It’s a tradition that’s staying strong and is proudly on display as Sun Valley hosts events like last weekend...
On a typical busy summer day, the three full-time and two part-time Sun Valley concierges are putting even the highest-level multi-taskers to shame. Sun Valley guests rely on this outstanding team to secure coveted dinner reservations, find the perfect tickets for Sun Valley on Ice, order a delectable symphony picnic basket, book a spa appointment, and assist with travel. But, in addition to these more traditional concierge services, the concierge desk is full of innovative ideas to help enhance the guest experience and to get the utmost from a Sun Valley vacation.
Mickie Adler, a member of Sun Valley’s first-class concierge team, is full of ideas about how to make this your best vacation ever
Mickie Adler, a full-time member of the concierge staff, said new initiatives are designed to go beyond the expected and to create memorable experiences. “We are very interested in reaching out and developing close personal relationships with our guests, whether they are first-time visitors or make Sun Valley the focal point of their summer plans year after year,” she said. “To this end, we create one activity each week to host. Each focuses on a unique experience for couples, families with different aged children, or singles. We partner with Sun Valley Food and Beverage or local vendors from the community to provide an inclusive, comprehensive experience you can’t get anywhere else.”
This summer, popular events have included Couples Casting and Cocktails social and a Croquet and Cocktails social. “These evenings were so much fun,” Mickie said. “For the fly fishing evening, we partnered with Silver Creek Outfitters who sent a few of their guides to instruct our guests in fly casting.”
This summer’s Casting and Cocktails social was a huge hit, combining instruction in fly fishing basics with a gin tasting
“Both events featured gin locally distilled at the Warfield in downtown Ketchum,” she continued. “Our great Duchin Lounge bartender Kurt brought in a beautiful antique punchbowl to serve the specialty cocktails, really elevating the entire experience. We set up a spectacular table with fine linens, gorgeous flowers, and a bountiful charcuterie plate. And during the casting evening, the distiller himself showed up. Ben from Warfield was amazing. He not only served his delicious gin for guests to sample, but educated everyone about the distilling process.”
Another popular offering originating from the concierge desk has been the Sun Valley Lodge History & Art Tour. Led by a member of the concierge staff and Steve from the bell staff who is a font of historical knowledge and tales, this tour explores the beautiful artwork in the Lodge as well as its storied history. Both the pre-renovation Lodge and today’s beautifully reborn hotel are discussed in depth. “This has been a very popular offering, so we have scheduled it numerous times,” Mickie said.
Other types of events include treasure hunts, fun retail ideas like a cologne sampling for men, story hours, even flower arranging. There really is something for everyone and each includes tasty treats and beverages and the chance to meet some terrific, like-minded friends-to-be.
Sun Valley guests made new friends and had a blast at the Croquet and Cocktails social.
Guests learn about the events in the “This Week in Sun Valley” calendars that are both available at the concierge desk and are delivered to rooms during turn-down service. Information is also available online. Each is limited to about 16 participants to keep things intimate and personal, and guests are encouraged to sign up in advance though they may also check about availability the day of the event.
“The small size is intentional,” Mickie explained. “We find that guests get more out of the experience in small groups and also have the opportunity to get to know the other participants. Often, we see people who met at one of our events having dinner together or planning a hike or other activity.”
Each activity lasts approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours and most are completely complimentary. While during peak season, these special events are available only to Resort guests, Mickie said there are plans to open them to the broader community in the fall. And just wait until winter! The events have proven so popular that come ski season, guests can expect twice-weekly offerings. “We sat down and had a brainstorming session and came up with a list of 100 activities we want to make happen,” Mickie laughed. “There will be many to choose from.”
And, of course, Mickie and her team will also help you find the perfect yoga class, suggest a great bike ride, plan an anniversary dinner to remember, and even help with a surprise proposal. “Our most popular question is ‘what do you think I should do?’” Mickie laughed. “There are so many amazing and unique choices, it’s no wonder people seek our advice.”
Sun Valley’s rich art and history are on tour this summer as the concierge team offers an informative and entertaining look at the Lodge
No matter your needs, the folks at the concierge desk are amazingly knowledgeable, professional, and just plain friendly and helpful. As Mickie said, “I love this place so much. I just want to make it the best it can be and make our guests fall in love with Sun Valley, too. That’s how lifelong relationships with this special place begin.”
The concierge desk is open daily in the summer from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and can be reached at 208-622-2097. Give them a ring or stop by their desk in the Lodge Lobby. You’ll be glad you did!
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