You Dont Go to Sun Valley to Party
In recent years, Americas top ski resorts have upped the ante with five-star hotels, slopeside luxury brand collaborations and outposts of pricey, big-city restaurants around town.
But sometimes, the Madison Avenue-in-the-mountains vibe becomes tiresome, and an old-fashioned ski trip is in order.
So last winter I went to Sun Valley.
The Idaho resort had been on my radar for years. Friends raved about its terrain, which ranges from wide-open bowls to tough mogul runs, and the groovy town, where dressing to the nines means sporting a flannel shirt with timeworn Wranglers. That its celebrity culture revolved around the legacy of Ernest Hemingway, who spent large chunks of time here from 1939 until his death by suicide in 1961, added to the allure.
But the challenge of getting to south-central Idaho in less than 10 hours held me back. Direct flights (limited and seasonal) from Chicago to the nearby town of Hailey were introduced in late 2017, so I finally made the trip to see how this mountain enclave has managed to safeguard its small-town charm.
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