You Need to See This Cheesy Vintage Video of Sun Valley, Idaho in the 1940s
While Sun Valley may not be America's first ski area, it's considered the country's first destination ski resort. This cheesy vintage video shows you what the resort looked like about a decade after it opened.
According to Visit Sun Valley, Union Pacific Railroad's chairman, Averell Harriman hired Count Felix Schaffgotsch of Austria to help find the perfect location for America's next great ski resort. Schaffgotsch toured many places in the Rocky Mountains, but ultimately told Harriman "Among the many attractive spots I have visited, this combines the more delightful features of any place I have seen in the United States, Switzerland, or Austria for a winter ski resort" after visiting Ketchum.
It was a win, win situation for ski enthusiasts and the railroad, which originally owned Sun Valley Resort. Ketchum had once been a booming mining town, but once the mining operations slowed down, most of Ketchum's population decided to leave too. Once the resort opened in 1936, there was a renewed interest in train trips to the area.
Union Pacific was also responsible for engineering and installing the world's first chair lifts at Sun Valley. You'll see them in the stills we pulled from this vintage film that we found on YouTube!
It was shared by Periscope Film, a group dedicated to preserving historic 8mm, 16mm and 35 mm films. According to the description they posted on YouTube, this promotional film for Sun Valley was called "Skifully Yours" and was produced by the Ford Motor Company in 1947. Ski pioneer and film producer, Otto Lang, makes an appearance to demonstrate ski skills toward the end of the film.
Ready for a trip back in time? Check out these photos!