Idaho ski resort using man-made snow


by Andrea Lutz

Posted on December 20, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 20 at 2:39 PM

SUN VALLEY -- Sun Valley Resort like most of Idaho's ski resorts that depend on snow to keep their businesses going, but it doesn't have a lot of the white stuff right now. Forecasters say snow in the hills is still not predicted anytime soon.

Most of the snow currently sitting on the ski slopes of Sun Valley is man-made. Some residents have said they’ve noticed that the number of visitors are down.

“Usually we have quite a bit more snow than this,” said Sun Valley resident Alika Russo.

“It's a little disconcerting; snow is a really big part of our economy in this area,” said Russo. She knows how important the winter is for the community.

Sun Valley has been known to produce some great snow flurries in years past. Each year thousands of tourists flock to the ski destination taking in everything it has to offer. So far this year, the ski hills have offered only man-made snow.

Officials with the Sun Valley Resort are confident the snow is on the way. They are also hearing some great reviews from skiers coming down off the slopes.

“Of course it would help with the natural snow, it would get everybody and the whole industry talking, but the reports I'm hearing is we have some of the best skiing in the country right now,” said Jack Sibbach who is the Director of Marketing and PR for Sun Valley.

Sibbach said guests are doing much more than just skiing such as ice skating, hockey and shopping. Visitor numbers from the month of November are the best they've seen and Sun Valley had roughly 3,300 visitors from last weekend alone. Many visitors are even coming from neighboring Idaho towns.

“We’re doing well at Sun Valley, great product; we're excited,” said Sibbach

Even if winter is late to arrive, residents like Russo hope people will continue to visit Sun Valley anyway.

“People still come here for the atmosphere and ambiance and magic of the place,” she said.