Ketchum - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Ketchum

Ketchum

In 1935, a Union Pacific Railway chairman set out in search of the perfect spot for a grand American resort, modelled after the magnificent ski destinations of Europe. His quest ended just outside the tiny mining community of Ketchum, Idaho, population 100. One year later, Sun Valley, a place to 'rough it in style', was opened to the public. It immediately gained glamorous regulars like Clark Gable, Gary Cooper and Ernest Hemingway, who eventually settled in Ketchum.

Today, the area continues to attract high-profile guests, and it certainly offers its fair share of sophistication and urban chic. But the impression left on visitors is rather different; it is perhaps what keeps them coming back year after year, or even what motivates them to make the area their permanent home. Sun Valley and Ketchum have retained their small-town charm. Residents, whether millionaires or ski bums, are first and foremost lovers of the outdoors. The emphasis here is on attitude rather than appearance. Standing at the edge of the pristine wilderness of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, with the jagged peaks of the Smoky and Pioneer Mountains in the distance, certainly puts pomp into perspective.

And, of course, with Bald Mountain, considered by many to be the single best ski mountain in the country, beckoning, time spent on showiness is slope time wasted. 'Baldy' is equipped with 13 lifts sending skiers up 3,400 vertical feet (1,036m) to a summit altitude of 9,150 feet (2,788m). Known for its incredibly light and fast snow, the mountain boasts varying terrain, from glades and bowls to bumps and groomers.


Information & Facts

Climate

The Sun Valley/Ketchum area, despite its evergreen forests, is actually in a mountain desert environment. During the winter, when it isn't snowing, the sun is shining, and the air is crisp and clear, making winter sports all the more enjoyable. Summers are also sunny, pleasant and warm.

Getting Around

Downtown Ketchum and the village of Sun Valley exude small-town charm, and walking around is a joy. However, renting a car is not a bad idea, especially for visitors who wish to have the freedom to explore the scenic areas outside town. The Ketchum Area Rapid Transit (KART) also offers free, year-round, fixed-route bus service throughout Ketchum and Sun Valley. The schedule changes according to the season.

Language
English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.
Money

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

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