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Sun Valley opens renovated Sun Valley Lodge June 2015

marzNC

Angel Diva
Never paid much attention to lodging at Sun Valley before, so missed all the news articles when the Sun Valley Lodge closed in 2014 for a major renovation. The SV Lodge is the original lodge that opened in 1936. The bottom line is that the Lodge re-opened on June 15, 2015. Definitely going to be one of the most upscale ski hotels going forward.

Sneak peak day before re-opening - story with video and pics by local TV station
FAQ about renovation on Sun Valley website

Sounds like Mrs. Holden was very involved with the design for the renovation. The exterior look was maintained. The interior was gutted and re-built with an eye to maintaining the feel of the original but with all new plumbing, electrical, use of space, new windows, etc. Instead of the original 148 rooms, there are now only 94 luxury rooms, with increased prices. A 20,000 sq ft spa was added.

Not only will the renovated Lodge be open during the 2015-16 season, that will be the first season that SV is included in the MCP. Apparently United added more direct flights in recent years to the local airport from Denver and San Francisco. Be interesting to see if that means more folks on the slopes.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
Judging by the comments about the renovations on their FB page, and talking with locals, there are lots of us that are apprehensive about this. The reality is that the lodge was historic but not luxury, and there are 2 luxury hotels being built in Ketchum soon (the first luxury hotels for the area) so they felt like they had to compete. And I'm sure they are right. People don't want 1936 bathrooms (I didn't mind them). I hate that they changed the windows--they were beautiful. (Much of my job is historic preservation, so I notice these things).

They kind of maintained the exterior--the addition is different, and it's that generic "mountain architecture" that you see in Beaver Creek, Vail, Whistler...lots of places. Which is a shame, because the lodge was very special and unique. They also really screwed with the pool area, which I loved. Hopefully the pool itself is the same--just the right temperature (I've never been to another winter pool that was warm enough). The basement bowling alley looks nicer, though. :smile:

The lodge was one of those hotels that many of us have (had?) a deep attachment to, which is why I am a little sad about this. Prices went up quite a bit, t00. There is still the historic Inn, a separate building on the same property that doesn't quite have the character the lodge did, but it's fine; maybe we will be relegated to that.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
There will be tours given for locals for a week or two. Of course, hard to know how much new winter business will come as a result of a more upscale lodge. Won't really know for a few years since the lodge was closed during the 2014-15 ski season. Having both the MCP and the renovated lodge for the 2015-16 means any change will be a function of many factors.

Would be interesting to know how much the renovation cost. But since SV is a private company, that's not public knowledge. Presumably they expect the investment will pay off eventually.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
I have to think it will pay off. The perception, at least, is that a lot of people didn't come because there was nowhere to stay that met certain expectations, and I suspect that's right. There are 4 very average motels in Ketchum, one small boutique hotel and the historic accommodations in the lodge and inn. That's it for hotels. No 4 Seasons, Fairmont, or any of those higher end chains, and no independent luxury hotels. There was nothing like what you find plenty of in Beaver Creek, Vail, Park City, even Whistler. But soon there will be 3. I wonder if it will change the vibe in town. It is very low key now, you don't see fur or showy cars or anything pretentious.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
There will be tours given for locals for a week or two.

They must have already started as there is a long op-ed in the local paper as well as readers' letters that express dismay with the changes. Locals seem to have a real sense of ownership and are pissed off about the loss of the Lodge dining room, which for years had dancing but was removed completely to make way for the spa. One quote:

"At the end of the tour, we also felt “gutted” at some of the changes. The end result is admittedly a slick, modern, up-market, well-designed hotel, but it is sterile and it is cold.
A Sun Valley icon has been totally discarded in favor of a “let’s appeal to the Allen Group type crowd” approach, and as Mr. Meeks rightly supposes, it has been discarded with no thought given to the old-timers, the locals. "

I know it sounds funny to get upset at a hotel remodel, but it really was an icon.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Be interesting to know what details about a renovation Mr. and Mrs. Holden discussed before he died. From reading a few articles from 2014 when the plan was initially presented to locals by Mrs. Holden, it was clear that there was support among at least a fair number of business owners. Those people who were surprised that the dining room was gone weren't paying attention. A't least the family is continuing their ownership, instead of selling out to the highest bidder.
 

gardenmary

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My sources tell me the remodel cost $250 million - a quarter of a billion dollars. Remember, there's Sinclair Oil money in those pockets, so they are deep. I believe I mentioned elsewhere about the grumbling at Snowbasin (another Sun Valley property) about that quarter-billion, when Snowbasin just needs six mil to get that high-speed quad installed over on Strawberry.

Between the remodel and joining the Mountain Collective, it seems like Sun Valley has really gotten serious about staying competitive. If we ever had a Diva Week West there, I'd move heaven and earth to go. It's at the very top of my ski bucket list. (But I'd have to stay somewhere cheaper than the lodge!)
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
One of the features that makes Sun Valley of interest is the history. Although the fact that SV is a reasonable drive from SLC is the key factor now that it's included in the MCP. About the same distance as JH, but easier driving overall. SLC to SV to Driggs (Grand Targhee) to JH, and back to SLC for Alta/Snowbird is a very tempting ski safari. SV sounds like a good place to warm up and get acclimated before adventures the other places.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
@gardenmary I'm still hoping they'll have their great packages at the Inn. It's been, in high season, $169 per person per night for lift ticket and lodging (and all the free extras, like airport pickup and ski storage at the base). It's been $79 pp early and late season. If not, there's always the 2 Best Westerns, in town and right on the bus line to the base. They are always around $150/night. And Liftopia seems to have deals regularly of you don't have the pass.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
Sounds like there was a lot of thought put into the final dinner at the SV Lodge dining room. In an article in the Idaho Mountain Express in 2014, Claude Guidon commented on the change. He ran the dining room 1980-98.
* * *
While Guigon said he is disappointed that the tuxedo and white-glove formal dining that the Lodge Dining Room was known for has lost popularity, he understands that many people desire a more casual dining experience.
“The legacy of the Lodge Dining Room will stay forever, but times have changed,” Guigon said. “I’m a little sad to see this room go, but on the other hand I’m happy because this is the right thing to do. Sun Valley is headed in the right direction, and the Holdings are going to make this renovation spectacular.”

* * *
 

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