24hrs with a Local

24hrs with a Local: Riley Berman, February

A born and raised local, Riley Berman wears many hats professionally in the Wood River Valley where he is manager of the Hailey ski hill Rotarun, a fishing guide for Silvercreek Outfitters in the summer, and the co-founder of small outerwear company Steel Zips. He and his wife Katelyn live south in the Bellevue triangle with a menagerie of animals, including dogs, cats, mini donkeys, horses, pigs, goats, and chickens. Now in his fourth year as manager of Rotarun, Riley Berman enjoys skiing on his off days, whether in the backcountry, on Baldy, or at Rotarun.

Riley Berman snowmobile

How does your ideal morning start?

Riley: For me, February is definitely work time and I like my job, so my ideal day would probably be my regular day. Regardless, I get up early at about five. Then I spend a few hours on my company Steely Zips, making sure orders and our website are up to date. We’re trying to do new marketing and branding for a new piece we’re going to launch in the spring. I’ll spend some time with my dogs, especially my corgi, Midge. I don’t do breakfast or coffee—not really a coffee guy.

Then what is mid-morning like?

Riley: I head to Rotarun between 8 and 9am. Being the manager entails anything and everything. Most mornings involve snowmobiling up and down the mountain real quick and making sure that if there was night skiing the night before, it didn’t wreak too much havoc on the mountain. Then I’ll spend some time on my computer and throw the ball for Midge, who comes to work with me every day.

What do you like to do for lunch?

Riley: I usually bring leftovers from the night before. I quickly eat lunch before our ski hours start in the afternoon; the morning is usually prepping the mountain and then the afternoon is when people ski. Depending on the day, we either have Rotarippers or another after-school programming.

What’s your afternoon like?

Riley: I debrief with the crew who comes in, or hop in the cab and start grooming. If I’m not grooming, I’d head home around 5:30 or 6 and cook something with my wife. We pride ourselves on eating local meat or meat we harvested ourselves; we try to get creative with our dinners. We make a lot of elk curry, that’s one of our go-tos.

What do you do after dinner?

Riley: We’re big board game people, so we would either play a board or card game between the two of us or often we’ll have some friends for dinner and play Settlers of Catan or Wingspan. Then before bed, I make sure the horses are fed, and the donkeys are taken care of. Then I go to bed pretty early, about 8:30 or 9.

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