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Owner of Sun Valley Dies

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Earl Holding, owner of Sun Valley, Snow Basin, Sinclair Oil, and hotels in the Western U.S. died Friday at age 86.

 

He had had health problems for several years, having previously suffered a stroke.

 

He invested a lot in Sun Valley since acquiring it in 1977, including high speed lifts, extensive snow-making, upscale day lodges, a music pavilion and resort renovations.

 

One topic of chairlift conversation has been what was going to happen when Earl passed from the scene. I guess we'll find out.

 

Meanwhile, I'm off to ski Snowbird today.

post #2 of 12
Quote:
 

One topic of chairlift conversation has been what was going to happen when Earl passed from the scene. I guess we'll find out.

 

 

It's pretty easy to imagine a corporate owner coming in an ruining all of the things that make SV special--ie shuttering the historic buildings like the Roundhouse, remodeling the lodge to make it more like a luxury hotel, etc. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen. Did the resort actually make a profit for Earl? Baldy's always so empty when I come. 

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

It is privately owned so the financials are not publicly available. My guess is that the mountain does not make a profit but the resort as whole does.

Of course, there is also a big difference between an operating profit and a profit after amortizing the large investments.

post #4 of 12
Quote:
My guess is that the mountain does not make a profit but the resort as whole does.

That would be my guess also.  The Sun Valley Inn and Lodge host lots of groups, summer as well as winter.   The mountain, with all that intensive snowmaking and grooming and I would guess modest skier visits (300,000???), no way can it be stand-alone profitable.

 

So I would agree there would be concern if a corporate owner tried to separate the mountain ops from the resort as a whole.

 

Then there is Snowbasin....

post #5 of 12

Sun Valley is the Gold Standard for resort quality.

Holding was a very generous. He was a self made man

who started in the oil business. Sun Valley and Snowbasin

are two of his legacies.

post #6 of 12

From Idaho Mt Express:

Quote:

 

Resort spokesman Jack Sibbach said the skier count for the 2012-13 winter season was 386,782,

That includes Dollar of course. I wonder if it's possible it also includes their Nordic system. There's no way that many people skied Baldy! That number is almost identical to my home mountain (Crystal) which seems 100 times more crowded than Baldy.

post #7 of 12
Sounds like a good target for Boyne USA, another privately-owned ski area operator.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post

That includes Dollar of course. I wonder if it's possible it also includes their Nordic system. There's no way that many people skied Baldy! That number is almost identical to my home mountain (Crystal) which seems 100 times more crowded than Baldy.

Well, 386,000 divided by about 140 days equals an average of about 2750 per day. That seems reasonable for Baldy, considering that the biggest days are about 6,000 or 7,000 or so. The biggest difference compared to Crystal is that the skier count is more uniform and not concentrated on weekends. I bet Crystal is not crowded during the week.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Miles View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy319 View Post

That includes Dollar of course. I wonder if it's possible it also includes their Nordic system. There's no way that many people skied Baldy! That number is almost identical to my home mountain (Crystal) which seems 100 times more crowded than Baldy.
Well, 386,000 divided by about 140 days equals an average of about 2750 per day. That seems reasonable for Baldy, considering that the biggest days are about 6,000 or 7,000 or so. The biggest difference compared to Crystal is that the skier count is more uniform and not concentrated on weekends. I bet Crystal is not crowded during the week.

Interesting, numbers per day is almost equivalent to here, 324,000/120, even record days of 7000 the same.. I'm guessing the acreage impacts the impression of crowds. We've got half again as much as Sun Valley.. But Crystal acreage almost the same as here, so why do they seem crowded, I wonder? Lift layout?
post #10 of 12
Crystal doesn't actually seem crowded to me in general. It's just that Baldy at SV is empty when I go, so I was surprised to see the numbers are similar. But Bill is right, Crystal is pretty empty weekdays. And given that SV has two entirely separate mountains, and all the park and beginner terrain is on the mountain that I've never skied, I guess it makes sense-a lot of people are over there. Also I probably visit during the slow times.
post #11 of 12

My experience with Crystal is limited but its business is likely concentrated on the weekends.  FYI this year I skied Sun Valley on Saturday of President's weekend and Whitefish on Monday and both were quite busy.   The Big Mountain Express at Whitefish ran a 10 minute lift line all day until 3PM or so,  The most popular slopes at Sun Valley were moderately congested though with the massive lift capacity there were minimal lift lines.  One of the reasons I like big acreage is that skiers, especially on holidays, do not distribute themselves evenly over available terrain.  There were were plenty of quiet spots at both Sun Valley and Whitefish.  That even included leftover powder at Whitefish.

post #12 of 12
Just think, ten minutes the double whammy weekend of Presidents Day and Family Day. Killer lines we got here.
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