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    As the days grow warmer, telltale signs of summer in the Wood River Valley—grills firing up, sprinklers fanning over lawns—make it easy, perhaps for just a moment, to forget the past few months of isolation.

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    The Wood River Valley has been struggling for decades to diversify its tourism-based economy, and one business area that has been expanding is locally made food products. The owners of three of them—Sun Valley Mustard, Five Bee Hives Honey, and Hangar Bread—say they’re doing well despite…

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    Stores in Idaho have, for the most part, reopened since statewide closures to slow the spread of coronavirus were lifted last month. But a shopping trip to one of the Wood River Valley’s favorite stores still may not look exactly as it did pre-pandemic.

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    By day, Matt Gorby is a graphic designer, by night a bartender at the Casino in Ketchum. To be more specific, Gorby is the best bartender in the valley. That title is practically indisputable at this point, with 2020 marking his 11th consecutive first-place prize in that category of Best…

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Nearly 2,000 of you took the survey this spring. We combed through and compiled each vote to verify the tally. Now, the results of our 12th annual Best of the Valley Survey are in—finally—and ready to remind you of what makes Blaine County great. Things may look a little different this year,…

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One-hundred-and-fifty years after Scottish trapper Alexander Ross became the first white man to explore the northern reaches of the Wood River Valley, Bob Rosso was skiing the opposite direction, southward down the valley from Galena, on his way to become the first skier to reach the finish …

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A thunderbolt moment. That one special class. A lifetime of lessons, passed down from mother to daughter. A self-described interest in “adolescent anthropology.” Of the hundreds of teachers working classrooms throughout the Wood River Valley, each has a unique reason for plying the trade. Th…

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Faced with many miles of hiking trails fanning out from the Wood River Valley, readers obviously considered accessibility from town an important criterion in their picks for Best Hike. The gold medal went to Pioneer Cabin, just as it did last year. Runners-up were the Proctor Mountain loop a…

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The city of Hailey may have hit its sweet spot. It’s thriving, but it’s not too touristy. Historic, yet still wild. Community-centered, yet close enough to Sun Valley to have a cosmopolitan perspective. No wonder Idaho Mountain Express readers voted it the best town in the valley to live in.

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Whether in Bellevue, Sun Valley or anywhere in between, residents and guests say they love the Wood River Valley. From the plethora of trails for running and cross-country skiing, to the endless hills and mountains for downhill skiing and mountain biking, activities abound. The small-town vi…

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Sheri Thomas never stopped teaching—first in a classroom, then on the river and for the past 28 years, as a property manager. Teaching is what sets her business, Boulder Mountain Property Management, apart from others. She doesn’t just look after properties, she expertly educates homeowners …

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The clever double-entendre in the name Branching Out Nursery refers to the growth of the plants and business, as well as to the ongoing mission of owners Jon and Sofie Wilkes to offer a wide variety of unusual plants not regularly seen in gardens in the region. The Wilkeses began the nursery…

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When you give fine jewelry as a gift, it communicates true investment in a relationship. Whether it’s for a proposal, a high school graduation or a 50th anniversary, purchasing jewelry is predicated on the promise of trust.

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Mike Menser, the owner of Diamond Buyers, semi-retired to Ketchum in 2005. He opened Diamond Buyers in 2008. Diamond Buyers specializes in buying diamond jewelry, diamonds 1 carat and larger, signed estate jewelry by Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Tiffany, as well as watches by Rolex a…

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Margaux Lunceford was looking for a change of scenery 20 years ago, so she left Aspen for the Wood River Valley. An art gallery owner in Aspen, she brought her creativity into a new field when she moved to Ketchum and founded Fox Creek Realty. After getting her license, one of her first jobs…

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It isn’t professional acclaim and achievement that keeps Mats Wilander on the tennis court—it’s his lifelong passion for the sport and the fitness it offers, something he hopes to share with others at Gravity Fitness & Tennis in Woodside.

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On any given morning, Sandra Castillo is probably in the kitchen at Lago Azul, her Mexican and Salvadorian restaurant in Hailey. She’s not just preparing food—through cooking, she’s sharing a lifelong passion for Salvadorian cuisine.

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The elegant, light-filled space occupied by PURE Medical Spa in Hailey radiates serenity and calm—with an ambiance that is far more “spa” than “medical.” Though it doesn’t feel at all clinical, there is serious science behind the procedures offered here, which are performed by a professional…

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Figure skating has lived at the heart of Sun Valley since shortly after the resort opened in 1936, and it’s there that the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club has trained athletes, held competitions and promoted lifelong love of figure skating since that historic time.