Valley locals make their mark
(page 7 of 7)
SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS
Brian Callahan is Putting Sun Valley on the Terrain Park Map
While Sun Valley has long been considered a bastion of skiing heritage, the resort is proving that age is no impediment to change, as evidenced by a transition taking place less than a mile away from where the world’s first-ever ski chairlift once so proudly stood.
Over on Dollar Mountain, Terrain Park Manager Brian Callahan is working on a quest to couple Sun Valley Company’s image of a down-hiller’s paradise with one that relies on air as much as snow. For the second straight winter, Callahan is committed to improving Sun Valley’s terrain parks and pipes, and increasing the opportunities for alpine athletes who don’t have a penchant for skin-tight Bogner suits, stiff skis and even stiffer boots.
When he first arrived on the scene, Callahan found a mountain that boasted a mere three rails, hardly enough to make Sun Valley a top ten resort for terrain parks in North America. But with a total of 75 terrain park features (to mark the resort’s same numbered birthday this December) set for this season, Callahan is on his way to attaining that ranking, which he describes as his personal target.
Just because it’s been a skiing icon for 75 years doesn’t
mean it’s staying the same.”
“It’s such a clean palette—an opportunity to build something from scratch,” said Callahan, who spent the previous eight years working in the terrain park at the Breckenridge, Colorado. “That’s what inspired me to do this, along with the commitment from the resort.”
This commitment is coming from the top down, with Sun Valley Resort General Manager Tim Silva bringing along his expertise, which oversaw Northstar at Tahoe’s development into a terrain and mountain bike park destination.
“We’re showing people that Sun Valley is changing and growing,” Callahan said, while standing in front of a pile of metal waiting to be welded into shapes conducive to sliding skis and snowboards. “Just because it’s been a skiing icon for 75 years doesn’t mean it’s staying the same.”
The transformation is becoming well known, and not simply to locals and tourists. With a vigorous schedule comprised of photo shoots, events and film crews, the resort’s most recent offerings are finding an ever-expanding audience. A trend that, if Callahan has his way, is likely to continue and help Sun Valley once again regain its position as a pioneer in the ski resort industry.