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Mountain News: Sun Valley needs a brand



SUN VALLEY, Idaho - Tim Silva, with his first season under his belt as general manager of the Sun Valley Resort, has been trying to nudge some life into the perhaps stodgy resort.

The ski mountain infrastructure needs no upgrades for the time being, he told several hundred people at a luncheon. "They've been on quite a binge here," said Silva, who arrived at Sun Valley last year after stints at California resorts.

But he suggested Sun Valley does need easier access, broader demographic appeal, and a firmer brand identity.

In a sense, none of what Silva said was new. Others in Sun Valley and Ketchum have been saying the same thing for years. For example, the resort community at Ketchum and Sun Valley has been stewing over a new airport that would be farther from the resort than the existing airport, but with improved reliability.

Demographics also remain problematic. On Bald Mountain, the prime venue for Sun Valley resort, the average skier's age is 53. Snowboarders make up just 9 per cent of the resort's visitors.

As for branding, he said Sun Valley needs a precise brand that clearly and immediately tells people what defines Sun Valley. The personality of Sun Valley isn't clear, he said, and neither is the brand.


Sheriff calling it quits

ASPEN, Colo. - Bob Braudis, sheriff of Pitkin County since 1986 and a pal of the late writer Hunter S. Thompson, has decided to call it quits. He will, reports the Aspen Times , "hang up his badge to write, travel and nurture his inner activist."

Braudis arrived in Aspen in 1969 and became known for his approach to law-enforcement in which he saw police work as integrating with the community, not just chasing crooks.

"He has caught sporadic flack over the years," observes the Aspen Times , "for his decision not to conduct undercover drug investigations and the limited assistance to federal drug officers. But Braudis's ability to come across as just another guy, rather than a heavy-duty cop, endears him to lots of people."

He said he didn't understand why, but he knew that his law enforcement philosophy appeals to everyone from wealthy conservatives to ski bums working three jobs.

Braudis told the newspaper he wants to spent time in Mediterranean climates and also Florida during winter months. He also wants to write, speak and provide guidance to younger people working on social justice issues.

With another author, he wrote a book reminiscing about Thompson and said he enjoyed the discipline the writing assignment forced.

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