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“What the hell is a ‘Gondola ‘Ganza,’” I thought to myself as I headed into the overflowing parking lot at the base of Sun Valley’s Bald Mountain. I figured the name was just an attempt to dress up the ribbon cutting ceremony of Sun Valley’s latest edition to its lift infrastructure. Needless to say, I was a bit surprised to see the thousands who had gathered to kickoff the Idaho ski season and take a free spin on the new toy. The atmosphere was nothing short of electric, with the gondola line stretching several hundred yards beyond the end of the corral. In addition to the main feature of the gondola, Snow Park Technologies had set up mini-park at the base—a preview of revamped parks that will be features on Bald and Dollar Mountains this season.
For Sun Valley locals, however, this is more than just a lift-christening party. The event marked the beginning of an entirely new, more progressive attitude at Sun Valley. After the management overhaul that took place this spring, Sun Valley has emerged as a resort eager to redefine itself. It’s clear that the winds of change are blowing in Sun Valley, and the first destination resort in America is set to regain its status as a landmark in American skiing.
Here’s a video of opening day.