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About Your Community

Wood River Valley, ID

Living in the Wood River Valley has so much to offer!

The Wood River Valley began its history with its founding father John Hailey, during the Gold Rush Era creating the historic Main Street of Hailey, Idaho. Continuing to thrive and grow as a livestock community well into the 1930’s, the sleepy Wood River Valley was awoken by the new found American love for winter sports. A lifelong skier by the name of John Harriman came to hire another avid sportsman by the name of Count Felix Von Schaffgotsch to help him find an ideal site for a winter resort. Having heard from locals in Boise about a small town of Ketchum which was continually inundated with snow, Count Schoffgotsch went to explore the area. Schoffgotsch and Harriman immediately found the area to be ideal with adequate snowfall, absence of harsh wind conditions, ample sun, and more than one surrounding mountain to develop. Together, the men purchased the Brass Ranch and began the construction for a lodge. Built in seven months time, a publicist by the name of Steven Hannagan visited the lodge and subsequently named it “Sun Valley”. In the fall of 1936, Sun Valley Lodge became known as the place for the world’s first chairlift installed on the resorts Dollar Mountain. On December 21, 1936 the Sun Valley Lodge was officially opened to the public as the centerpiece of what is known today as the Sun Valley Resort.
Today Wood River Valley is home to just around 15,000 people year round and is one of the best kept secrets of the Pacific North West! Sun Valley Resort maintains its original vision of “Continuing our legacy by building for the future” as it works to renovate, update and expand various projects into 2020 and beyond. Sun Valley is committed to continuing to be one of the best ski resorts in the world and has some of the biggest and best snow making equipment available. This is Sun Valley-America’s Foremost Year Round Sports Center.
Whether in Bellevue, Hailey, Ketchum or Sun Valley- the entire Wood River Valley invites and welcomes you!