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Sun Valley Invites Easterners Out West

Tools

By Jay Michaels and Aimee Burnett

Hailey, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Sun Valley has been doing its best to bring in more customers to the resort. A grant will help jump start some new airline flights, but that's just the beginning.

Half a million dollars. That's how much Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey got, thanks to a grant. That money will be used to help establish air service from the East Coast.

Local resident Debbie Dunn says, "We need tourism to be affluent. We need to encourage to come to our valley, especially in the winter to go skiing. Also in the summer for fly fishing, horseback riding, and camping. We just need as many people to come as we can during that peak season."

The Sun Valley Resort has to pay minimum revenue guarantees to the airlines. The Friedman Airport Authority applied for the Department of Transportation grant. But the rest of the team includes the airport, Fly Sun Valley Alliance, and Sun Valley Resort.

Local businesses have contributed $200,000 a year in recent years, and "Realtors for Air" raised more than $70,000.

Eric Seder, President of the Fly Sun Valley Alliance Board, says, "They will continue to play a big part. But the community also needs to step up. The way they can do that is to vote for the LOT tax increase in November."

The local option tax measure will be on the November 5th ballot. The purpose is to keep the East Coast air service up and running after the one year grant expires.

Jack Sibbach, Director of Marketing for the Sun Valley Resort, says, "It's not just the tourists, but it's for the local economy also. Accessibility just means jobs, plain and simple."

That's how they're growing the Wood River Valley economy one flight at a time.

The Friedman Memorial Airport Authority will hold the "Prepared for Takeoff" groundbreaking ceremony at the airport this Thursday October tenth from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

October 7, 2013.


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