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24hrs with a Local

24hrs with a Local: Hockey player Mike (Taco) Curry, March

If you’ve seen a Sun Valley Suns hockey game in the last ten years, then you already know Mike Curry, better known as “Taco” to those in the know. The Alaska native moved to Ketchum about ten years ago and has been playing defense for the Suns ever since. When he’s not on the ice, Mike works from his home in Warm Springs doing headhunting for Walmart Global Tech. In the winter, he enjoys snowboarding and snowmobiling (in addition to hockey, of course) and in the summer spends lots of time on the lake water skiing and doing a bit of fishing. We caught up with Mike to see what his perfect March day in Sun Valley entails. How does your morning start? Mike: I’d start out with breakfast at either the Kneadery or something quick at Wrapcity. At the Kneadery I like the cowboy benedict—it’s rock solid. At Wrapcity I get the Mayday wrap.   What’s after breakfast? Mike: I’d hit the mountain for a couple runs, nothing too crazy. I’m a snowboarder, so I try to stay off steep pitches so I can cruise; usually I’ll do Broadway top to bottom for my first run of the day. …

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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. 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: …

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Skiing & Snowboarding, What We're Made Of, Winter

Sun Valley’s Next Generation of Skiers and Boarders

It would be hard for the town of Sun Valley, Idaho, not to be mentioned when talking about professional and Olympic skiers and snowboarders; the town is practically synonymous with greatness. With Bald Mountain as their training ground, ski greats from Picabo Street to Gretchen Fraser back in the day to more recent pros like McKenna Peterson, Wing Tai Barrymore, Lexi DuPont, Banks Gilberti, Colin Collins, Karl Fostvedt, Lucy Sackbauer have added to the legacy of the place. And snowboarders too—did you know there’s never been a U.S. Olympic snowboard team without a member from Sun Valley? Repping the boarders are Olympians Chase Josey, Kaitlyn Farrington, Graham Watanabe and a whole lot of other pros and amazing riders. The time has come for some of those same skiers and boarders to pass the torch to the next generation, which promises to bring it just as hard, race just as fast, jump just as high, and continue to put Sun Valley on the map for winter athletes.   The Rafford’s “For me, skiing on Bald Mountain was a privilege that took me years to appreciate.” Toby Rafford Starting out the list of the new generation are brother and sister duo Addison (Addie) and Toby Rafford, both of whom are …

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24hrs with a Local

24hrs with a Local: Board Bin’s David Kelso, January

If you’ve stepped foot in the Board Bin in Ketchum in any of the 34 years its been open, chances are good that you’ve seen long-time employee and now co-owner and manager David Kelso (though, to be fair, he didn’t start working there until 1993). One of the founding fathers of board culture in Ketchum alongside original Board Bin owner Jim Slanetz, Dave took over the shop with local Quinn Baser in the fall of 2018. A skateboard afficianado first and snowboarder second, Dave grew up in Idaho Falls and moved to Ketchum in 1991. He’s been in the Valley ever since and lives with his wife, Erin, and 12-year-old son, JackHenry, out Warm Springs with their dog. When not on a board of some kind, Dave gets into fly tying and fishing, hiking, and camping. How does your ideal morning start? Dave:  I make coffee at home and then walk our dog Josie, a Border Collie/Aussie Shephard/Whippet rescue from Mountain Humane. I take the dog to the river and stand in the river meditating for a few minutes while she runs around. I always do the New York Times crossword puzzle and Wordle and various other games. Then I …

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Bucket List, Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter

Idaho Winter Vacation

An Idaho winter ski vacation is certainly a bucket list item for anyone. Names like “Aspen” or “Vail” may be more familiar to some, but Idaho’s ski resorts are known for tons of powder, minimal lift lines, and plenty of small-town charm. There are many small ski hills across the state, but the four listed below are the heavy hitters in terms of the best spots to visit for your winter vacay. Whether you’ve visited Idaho before and are looking to try out a different resort or it’s your first visit, these are the must-visit Idaho winter destinations. Bogus Basin As Boise’s ski resort, Bogus Basin is certainly the easiest resort to reach with the most options for places to stay and other, near-by activities. Founded in 1942, Bogus Basin is an accessible, family-friendly resort which receives between 200 and 250 inches of snow each season. At just 16 miles from downtown Boise, you can wake up and be on the slopes within the hour, ready to experience all Bogus Basin’s 2,600 acres of terrain has to offer. The 1,800-vertical-foot mountain is open for year-round recreation, but for the winter you’ll be enticed by downhill skiing as well as 37km …

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24hrs with a Local

24hrs with a Local: Luis Alberto Lecanda, December

Luis Alberto Lecanda moved to Sun Valley in 2019 to pursue Nordic skiing full-time with hopes to qualify for the 2022 Olympic XC ski team for Mexico. The catch? He was a complete neophyte in the sport, coming from a career as an engineer in Silicon Valley.

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Innovation, What We're Made Of

What We’re Made Of: Nomadic Van & Sync Vans

Many entrepreneurs launch startups in Ketchum simply because they can work from anywhere and would prefer to do so surrounded by the natural splendor of the Rocky Mountains. And while this is true for companies Nomadic Van and Sync Vans, they have tapped into both a national and local market by creating something perfect for outdoor aficionados like themselves: adventure vans. Luckily, these two companies aren’t in competition with each other since they’re involved in different sides of “van life”: Nomadic Van in the importing of Japanese Mitsubishi Delica vans and Sync Vans in the customization of Sprinter van interiors. Nomadic Van Although not officially started until the summer of 2019, Nomadic Van had its beginnings in Ron Arnold’s yard, where he would tinker around with the Mitsubishi Delica vans he had started importing from Japan as a side hustle in 2017. He had fallen in love with these durable, adventure-ready vans while traveling in New Zealand, where he also met the friend who would become his exporter in Japan. Ron’s friend, Gardner Cord, took an interest in Ron’s tinkering and wanted to learn about the vans. While the two worked on vans, they would spitball ideas for entrepreneurial opportunities, such as making storage bins or shot skis. Finally in the summer of …

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Winter

Seattle to Sun Valley Travel

People from Seattle have long visited Sun Valley, Idaho for ski vacations. In under two hours, a nonstop flight will whisk you away from Seattle and right into the Sun Valley Sun. The mid-winter break that many Seattle schools get, often referred to as “Ski Week,” brings families to Sun Valley every year. There are several travel options, whether you prefer to fly direct, save some cash by flying to Boise, or take your time on a beautiful road trip. If you’re wanting to book a flight to Sun Valley, you have two options: fly nonstop into Sun Valley’s Friedman Memorial Airport (actually located in Hailey, 13.5 miles south of Sun Valley) or into Boise which is 2 ½ hours away by car. The easiest and quickest way from Seattle to Sun Valley is the nonstop flight from Alaska Airlines, flying daily through the spring and again through the summer (note that frequency changes depending on the time of year). Winter weather does present the potential for diversions. If your flight is diverted during the winter there is typically a complementary motor coach transport to Sun Valley. When flying out of Sun Valley, be sure to call the local SUN …

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24hrs with a Local

24hrs with a Local: Travis McDaniel, November

Local singer/songwriter Travis McDaniel can be found playing weekly gigs at the Duchin Lounge and bi-weekly gigs at the Limelight, playing a mix of jazz, bossa nova, funk, and neo-soul on his guitar, accompanied by his vocal jazz crooning.The Boise native moved to Philadelphia for about five years before moving to Ketchum in 2016 to live somewhere he could play his music while also doing the skiing, fishing, and mountain biking he grew up doing and loves.

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What We're Made Of

What We’re Made Of: First Lite

In the lineup of businesses and companies started on the hallowed grounds of the Wood River Valley, First Lite used to be considered the new guy. Now in its 15th year of business since its founding in 2007, that’s hardly the case, and since its acquisition by media company MeatEater in 2018, First Lite has only continued to reach a bigger audience and market. First Lite, at its core, is a clothing company, creating merino wool garments in camouflage print for hunting. But with its focus on conservation efforts, a new flagship store, and the continuous growth provided by parent company MeatEater’s audience, First Lite has become a game-changer in the outdoor industry. How It Started First Lite started in the early 2000s as so many great ideas start—because of a need for something that doesn’t exist. Founders Kenton Carruth and Scott Robinson had both moved to Ketchum in the mid ‘90s and worked in the winter sports industry. The two enjoyed the outdoors, particularly hunting, but found that there were limited options to wear while hunting that would keep them warm in the chilly fall Idaho mornings. After wearing merino wool while hunting, which they discovered was an ideal …