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Sun Valley Village

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1937, Gilbert Stanley Underwood. 1 Sun Valley Rd.
  • Village Inn Pond (Photograph by Phillip Mead)
  • Opera House (Photograph by Phillip Mead)
  • Ram Bar (Photograph by Phillip Mead)

The Sun Valley Village, located 200 feet northeast of the Sun Valley Lodge, opened in 1937 as a less expensive alternative to the luxury hotel. It was also designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood with more explicit, though indirect, Alpine references than the lodge. For the design of the village, Underwood was influenced by a set from the film I Met Him in Paris, which depicted the St. Moritz train station but that was filmed near Sun Valley in 1936. The movie starred Claudette Colbert, who, like Ernest Hemingway, was frequently photographed in and around the resort. Unlike the lodge, the village is faced with smooth stucco and real wood. The Challenger Inn is the village focal point with an entry facade that incorporates small windows set in plaster walls and topped by an iconic chalet-style roof so commonly found in the Alpine regions of Europe. The inn’s L-shaped plan serves to enclose the village space, which consists of a swan pond surrounded by grass and groves of trees. There are no automobiles in the village, which adds to its quiet ambiance. At the end of the inn’s long wing is a hot sulfur pool surrounded by glass to keep out stray breezes. As the inn serves to contain part of the outdoor space, the Ram Bar, small shops, and the movie theater (Opera House) serve to define the remaining village space. The Opera House is located between the inn and the lodge.

Writing Credits

Phillip G. Mead
Anne L. Marshall
Wendy R. McClure
Phillip G. Mead
D. Nels Reese



  • 1937


What's Nearby


Phillip G. Mead, "Sun Valley Village", [Sun Valley, Idaho], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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