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History of Sun Valley, Idaho

Averell Harriman and an Austrian count named Felix Schaffgotsch set out to find a ski resort area matching those in Europe. After a long search, the story goes they were ready to give up. The last place they heard about was Sun Valley, Idaho. They saw potential, bought the land within days, constructed a luxurious lodge, introduced the first chairlifts to the world (as opposed to rope tows), and publicized it in and around 1936. Soon thereafter, stars, such as Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper, world-famous skiers, such as Don and Gretchen Fraser, Gracie Carter Lindsey, Andy Henning, frequented the slopes. Ernest Hemingway lived, wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls, and is now buried with his fourth wife in Sun Valley. Only closing during World War II, Sun Valley steadily grew throughout the 20th century, changing hands and polishing the gems of the mountains, lodges, chairlifts, and properties. Most notably, Sun Valley, Idaho, was among the first locations in North America to host the World Cup, then called the "Sun Valley International Open". As of 2000 Census, the population was 1,427. Very few reside full-time and countless flock to this world-class ski resorts.

 

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