24hrs with a Local

24 Hours with a Local: Hailey Councilman Juan Martinez

You may know Juan Martinez from his position on Hailey city council, but Juan wears many hats in the community, from his job coaching varsity basketball for Wood River High School to working as a ticket-checker for Sun Valley to working summers at the Valley Club. A lifelong local, Juan moved back to the area in 2013 initially just to help his dad recover from a surgery but found himself loving being involved in his community in so many ways. He immediately started coaching at his former alma mater (WRHS class of 2010) and from there began adding the many positions he holds throughout the Valley, all of which give him the opportunity to do what he likes best: interact with his community. Now in his second term on city council (he ran unopposed), Juan is in a position to continue to help the community he has always called home. He and his girlfriend (who he met in the soup line at River Run Lodge) live in Hailey through Valley Club employee housing, and when he’s not at one of his many jobs, Juan is skiing, golfing, or mentoring people.

“I really enjoy being involved in a lot of things and trying to solve a ton of problems, whether it be a sport to being on the city council, especially for young guys like me who are trying to survive the valley and have a place to stay and work and live, because it’s a great place to live. This place is like my church.”

How does your morning start?

Juan: I try to wake up before everybody else—I don’t know if it’s just the competitive nature in me, but even if I go out the night before, I want to be the first one up. If I can rally the troops, I’m going to a breakfast spot. I love going out to breakfast. Growing up here, I’ve always gone to Shorty’s. Sunday after church, we always went with several families, and we’d get the big, round table. Shorty’s, for me—chicken-fried steak as big as your face. That’s my whole thing. I get chicken-fried steak, eggs over easy, no toast, pretty much every time I’m in there.

What’s after breakfast?

Juan: I like to get to the mountain late. Spring skiing in March is ideal: the snow is soft. Last year I switched to some 112 underfoots; it made me a bit nervous to switch to a bigger ski, but in the spring time it’s just magic. You just float on top of that stuff, but you can set an edge still. I like to get up there when the sun is rollin’: 11:30, crack of noon. I like to live it live—if I go up there with one or two people, I’m really excited to meet up with some people, but I go up there plenty by myself and just see who else is up there. I’ll recognize people in the lift line or skiing down and scream down to them and say hey, we’ll meet you up here. I like to crew up in a way that’s just fun and might never happen again.

What are you doing for lunch?

Juan: You live up here long enough, you don’t need a ton of skiing to feel like you did a bunch. You get the pass scan, do a couple runs, and then head to Johnny G’s. It’s a great spot to get lunch; I get the #1 Delbello. Anybody who goes there and asks me what to get, I say it’s number one for a reason. And it’s always packed in there, it’s got a fun little atmosphere. A place like that, that knows your name, that serves good food—you can’t pass that kind of thing up, and you ain’t gonna find a better sub.

What are you doing after lunch?

Juan: I’m taking a nap probably. I’m a good napper. I can pop a fifteen-minute nap. You’re the first one up, you’re gonna be the first one out too unless you get that nap in.

Where’s your night taking you?

Juan: I’m trying to be involved in something, whether that’s going out with friends, meeting with friends, going to a community event like a night ski at Rotarun. Just being around other people and contributing to some fun is huge for me. That could even just be a phone call to somebody. Like I said, my program is a lot of checking in with people, seeing what they’re feeling, sharing vibes, catching vibes. I’m getting a little older, so at 5 or 6 o’clock, I’m thinking let’s get an early dinner some place and then go see what we’re interested in doing. I’d hit the Pioneer, especially early. I get the pork ribs and a Jim Spud, every time I go in.

What’s after dinner?

Juan: The night starts at the Cellar; I like getting there early enough to get a table that can accommodate everybody. I’m usually meeting up with two or three other groups: We get a table downstairs, a ton of drinks, Karl’s hustling around, making sure we’re taken care of. We’re meeting up with a lot of Sun Valley employees so you have some seasonal stoke from people in town for only a little while; they’re new, they’re interested in going out, you’ve got single friends who want to meet somebody and I love wingmaning for them. It’s fun to start at the Cellar with that big group, and then obviously you shoot your shot at the Casino. The place is iconic and just fun as hell. I’m a Hammtini guy all day long—nothing beats a Hammtini.

Anything after going out?

Juan: Nah, I’m done around midnight. You gotta make sure you get a taxi home; it’s gotten much better over the years in terms of availability. If Aardvark is sitting out there, I’m going with them; those guys have gotten me home from Ketchum many times and they’re always super nice. I love getting the drive home.

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