PK's Ski Tuner

Andy Buchanan at PK's Ski and Sports repairs ski bases Monday, in preparation for Baldy's opening on Thursday.

Sun Valley Resort will launch its 86th winter season on Thursday, Nov. 25, Thanksgiving Day, with top-to-bottom skiing on the River Run side of Bald Mountain.

The resort plans to run the River Run, Lookout Express, Roundhouse Gondola and Christmas lifts, which collectively provide access to the summit of Baldy from the River Run base area. Weather permitting, it plans to offer skiing and snowboarding on Upper College, Lower College, Sunset Strip, 42nd Street and Lower River Run. (Updates will be provided on the resort’s app.)

Food service will be offered at the River Run Lodge and at the Lookout, at the summit.

On the morning of opening day, a DJ will play music and Sun Valley will offer a limited number of free commemorative mugs, hot cocoa and a visit from its mascot, Sunny the Bear.

Weather permitting, Dollar Mountain will open on Saturday, Dec. 11, the resort stated.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the resort will again be implementing specialized health and safety protocols this winter at its ski areas, lodges and other facilities. In line with city ordinances in Sun Valley and Ketchum, masks will be required in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. The resort will not require masks outdoors, including while people are in lift lines, on lifts or in the Bald Mountain gondola, but is encouraging guests to physically distance when possible.

Resort employees are being encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and will undergo health screenings. The resort will have bag storage at the River Run base area this season, as well as an après-ski bar outside the lodge, so guests can choose to remain outdoors.

Other measures Sun Valley has implemented include installing hand-sanitizer dispensers at entrances and other gathering areas, and enhanced cleaning of resort facilities. Guests are also asked to follow recommended measures to limit the spread of viruses, including hand-washing and staying home if they are ill or have symptoms of COVID-19 or another contagious illness.

The resort is selling lift tickets and lessons online. This year, Sun Valley is offering one-day, two-day, three-day and four-day lift tickets for Bald Mountain and one-day or two-day lift tickets for Dollar Mountain. The tickets do not have to be used consecutively. They can be used four out of six days, three out of five days, or two out of three days.

The resort stated that it anticipates tickets to be available for most days to ski on Baldy and Dollar but strongly encourages guests to buy tickets in advance, as some days could sell out. Tickets can be purchased at sunvalley.com.

The resort also plans to open The Ram restaurant for the season on Thanksgiving Day. The restaurant has been closed this fall. 

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