Sun Valley is the place where it all began. An idyllic valley that became the setting for a winter playground that drew the famous, the glamorous and the accomplished. The first chairlift was invented here. Hemingway made his home here. Step inside The Sun Valley Story and discover the people and places that helped define an American icon. Author Van Gordon Sauter the remarkable story of the transformation of a remote Idaho mountain valley into America s first luxury ski resort and, eventually, one of the country s most beloved year-round vacation retreats. His fascinating anecdotal history is constructed around the personal passions and signal contributions of the resort s three successive owners: New York aristocrat and Union Pacific Railroad chairman Averell Harriman, Los Angeles land developer and Olympic skier Bill Janss, and self-made Salt Lake City oil man and hotel magnate Earl Holding. Sauter lavishes special attention on recounting how Harriman s founding vision was, with breathtaking alacrity over eleven months in 1936, translated into the unique, opulent, and acclaimed reality that formed the enduring base for the spectacular resort we know today.
Splendidly endowed by both nature and culture, Sun Valley and its environs are surrounded by four magnificent mountain ranges (one incorporating Bald Mountain, regarded by many as the premier ski mountain in the world) that are watered by four diverse, revered fishing streams, their beauty protected forever by virtue of their abiding largely on federal lands. It possesses a colorful history that includes Native Americans, fur trappers, late- 19th-century miners and railroaders, early-20th- century sheep barons, and, since the 1930s, a low key but glamorous life that has drawn not only the top European and domestic figures in the sport of skiing but also the rich, the celebrated, and the accomplished among them Ernest Hemingway and Marilyn Monroe, the founders of Facebook and Microsoft, and the author of this book s foreword, Clint Eastwood, to name a few to this exceptional place. Complementing Sauter s lively text is an offering of stunning vintage and contemporary images, many of them fresh to print, that capture the landscape, the history, and the individuals that have and continue to make Sun Valley an American original.