In an ongoing effort to become true year-round destinations, ski resorts have increasingly embraced golf, mountain biking, hiking, adventure sports and culinary events. But they are finding out that one of the biggest appeals to travelers is the sound of music.
America’s top ski resorts, which tend to be full of luxury hotels, great restaurants, shopping and outdoor activities, also offer an incredible lineup of music, from classical to jazz, bluegrass, rock, and contemporary. Many of these destinations are also “off season” bargains in summer.
Sun Valley, ID: America’s very first destination ski resort also has one of the most well-established musical events, the Sun Valley Symphony, celebrating 31 seasons as the largest privately funded, free-admission symphony in America. A summer tradition (June-August), the symphony attracts locals and visitors alike who picnic on the lawn with Champagne and extravagant hampers. There are also 1,600-seats inside the beautiful purpose built pavilion. This season’s highlight is Stravinsky’s “The Firebird,” reimagined in a grand production using immense and elaborate puppets to bring the ballet to life (August 1).
Check out these hikes in Utah, Colorado, California, and Idaho
BY MICHAEL SCHRANTZ APR 20, 2016, Curbed Ski Magazine
It's waterfall season in the mountains, and that also means that soon the wildflowers will be popping up throughout ski country. Altitude is the biggest determining factor for when the wildflowers peak, but whether you're in Utah or Idaho, they are worth the effort. We've rounded up five of the best wildflower hikes in ski country to get you moving.
Albion Basin: Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah (above)
This 1.6-mile loop starting from the Albion Basin campground is a popular wildflower hike in the Wasatch. From the campground, hikers make their way through meadows full of blue Wasatch Penstemon and white Nuttall’s linanthus. Plan to make this hike in mid-July for the full effect or wait until August to get a glimpse of the meadows in bloom.
Alpine Loop: Ouray, Colorado (above)
Part of the Alpine Loop scenic byway, this part of the San Juans is host to spectacular wildflower scenes. The byway's 63 miles of unimproved roads require a high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle, but once on the trail, there are multiple places to stop and hike out into the wildflowers.
Mammoth Mountain Trail: Mammoth Lakes, California (above)
Climbing up the Mammoth Mountain Trail offers wildflower views from the state's highest ski area. While the mountain is also open to mountain bikers, the trail to the summit also welcomes hikers who abide by their trail markers. Once at the top, hikers can go back the way they came or take the gondola down.
Pioneer Cabin: Sun Valley, Idaho (above)
There are a couple ways to get to Pioneer Cabin, but each goes through prime wildflower country. In the spring, expect 40 to 50 different types of blooms on the way to the cabin, which can be used as a base camp on a first-come, first-serve basis. Or, tents can be pitched in the blooming meadows.
Santa Fe Basin: Santa Fe, New Mexico (above)
The Santa Fe Basin is prime wildflower viewing for those infatuated with wild orchids. The forests around the ski area are home to the Calypso orchid, spotted coralroot orchid and rattlesnake orchid. July is prime viewing time for these wildflowers, and riding the ski areas chairlifts can get hikers onto even higher ground.
HB570, the Local Innovation School Act, passed nearly unanimously this legislative session, and nothing like it has ever been seen here in Idaho. It was the law's intent that excited and fueled the Syringa School Board's recent actions seeking dialogue with the BCSD Board of Trustees (Serving Ketchum, Sun Valley, Elkhorn, Warm Springs, Mid Valley, Hailey, Bellevue, and Carey). HB570's raison d'etre was to drive improvement in Idaho’s public education system by paving the way for and facilitating education innovation to occur at the local level and with local control. The Act invited Idaho School District Boards and local innovative schools to consider ways to innovate together, in partnership, and for the benefit of their youngest patrons, their students, in what ever ways they saw fit. The Act created the possibility of new and different local conversations about harnessing the value of different public school choices for families by all occurring under one roof.
The outcome of the BCSD Board meeting last night was not surprising, even if unpalatable for Syringa, considering the great pressure the BCSD Trustees are under to cut 1.5 million dollars from their coffers, to realign their spending to live within a balanced budget, and to represent the competing interests of their diverse constituency of 500+employees, 6000 tax payer patrons and 3200 students. We all can understand the complexity and challenge they grapple with as trustees and public servants.
Ultimately, a sobering future most likely awaits BCSD, and other financially well endowed school districts, as the national and state discourse continues to focus on the inequity of public school funding, as the richer districts acquire all the newest educational trappings, and everyone else struggles to pass a local bond levy to repair a leaking roof or to raise teacher salaries enough to attract the kind of educators their students deserve and demand. It is no surprise our Governor and Legislature have formed a task force to examine Idaho's antiquated public school funding formula amidst the public concern and even outrage at the inequities found even in our state. It will be an interesting couple of years, as Idaho joins the majority of states who are grappling with this very issue-equity, fairness, adequacy of public school funding. And it is as it should be, that these issues are being debated on behalf of our children.
The Syringa Board was seeking dialogue with BCSD, but was never afforded that opportunity. Syringa is thriving as an innovative, rigorous and balanced public school choice in our valley. Now only completing their second year, it has been challenging to provide the truly enriched curriculum within the confines of the state $6,000 per student allocation. But they have prevailed, and flourished even under the financial burden. Community members have marveled at the quality of their program, their lean/mean infrastructure, and their early success, all accomplished within the constraints of their inadequate funding.
And they are not alone. Every charter school in the state faces the same reality of having to fundraise to close the gap between what the state funds and what it actually requires to provide a quality education. Our parents are not alone in questioning the state restriction that prohibits charter schools from accessing the local tax base, a base that parents and employees support yet their children do not benefit from. We understand that it is just a matter of time until that changes here in Idaho. And we look to other states like Colorado and Minnesota who have been and continue to be in the forefront of fueling local innovation and choice, and cracking the code of old school, entrenched bureaucratic practices and expenditures that no longer serve our children and families.
Unfortunately and inevitably, the conversation immediately lept to "our funding versus yours", and that's where it stayed. So unfortunate when there was such potential for discourse and fodder for collaboration. Just sharing the BCSD transportation system alone would have been a ripe starting place, to work collaboratively to reduce the carbon footprint, the traffic, and benefit from the economies of scale when both education agencies pooled there state transportation monies. But alas, the conversation ended before it even started.
Board service is a noble calling, and requires the ultimate sacrifice and selflessness to do the work as it is intended and for the greater good. The Syringa Board appreciates the circumstances underlying the BCSD's Trustees decisions, but mourns the missed opportunity for both the BCSD and SMS Boards to create something truly different and innovative together for the benefit of our Blaine County Students and Families.
The current education landscape is changing, albeit slowly, and public school choice will continue to be the sirens call both in Idaho and nationally. No doubt both of our local public education organizations will continue to thrive. Soon to enter its third year, Syringa will continue to stabilize its roots in our community, and flourish, and pursue collaborations where none have existed before. And most probably, valley students will continue to explore the "other" education choices our valley has to offer, to find their best fit in the array of quality education choices we all enjoy. And that is as it should be.
As prices have soared in areas such as Aspen, Miami and the Hamptons, some buyers are seeking out alternatives that offer luxury for a (relatively) affordable sum.
Instead of Aspen… Try Sun Valley
With its world-class skiing and mountainous natural beauty, Idaho’s Sun Valley has long attracted celebrities like Bruce Willis, and plays host to the annual Allen & Co. conference that draws media and tech moguls. But partly due to its remote location in the narrow Wood River Valley, hours from a major airport, the area remains far less developed—and less expensive—than other luxury Western ski enclaves like Aspen, Colo., or Jackson Hole, Wyo.
“You can really get a good value up there if you know what you’re doing,” said Claudia Graham, a Los Angeles-based biomedical company executive who recently paid $1.8 million for a three-bedroom log cabin on over an acre in Ketchum, where most of Sun Valley’s restaurants and nightlife are located. Last winter, Minneapolis resident Ranee Jacobus and her husband Randy, together with Mr. Jacobus’s business partner, bought an 85-acre property in nearby Hailey for $3.85 million. The property contains a roughly 7,300-square-foot log frame house and a guesthouse, both with mountain views.
Prices in the Sun Valley area (which generally refers to Sun Valley resort and surrounding towns) are a half to a third of those in Aspen, according to real-estate agent Sue Engelmann of Sun Valley Sotheby’s International Realty. The catch: getting there. Flights to Hailey’s tiny airport face challenges landing in bad weather, diverting travelers to Boise or Twin Falls, where they are bused two or three hours to Sun Valley. And there are no non-stop flights to Hailey from major hubs like New York City, Boston or Chicago, although the airport has recently added non-stop flights from San Francisco and Denver.
Sun Valley’s market hasn’t yet recovered from the real-estate downturn; two devastating wildfires in recent years also kept prices in check. In Ketchum, the 2015 median for a luxury home was $1.5 million, a 25% decline from 2005, according to Realtor.com. In contrast, the median sales price of a luxury home in Aspen rose 29% to $4.38 million in 2015, compared to a decade earlier. SEE FULL ARTICLE HERE