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SUN VALLEY BEAMING AS SKI SEASON ENDS
ENJOYED BEST YEAR SINCE 1981-82

Sun Valley has enjoyed its best ski season since 1981-82, with a 33 percent increase in skier days over last year, Sun Valley Co. officials say.

The final skier count this year hit 417,238, compared to 425,000 seven years ago. Dollar Mountain near the Sun Valley Lodge also had its best year in seven with 45,994 skier days.Sun Valley public relations director Shannon Besoyan predicted the skier economy will be healthy in the coming years.

"With good snow, it will be a constant climb," she said. The state suffered through two years of drought until the snow fell heavily this season. Sun Valley Co. added three new detachable quad chairlifts and envisions dozens of new runs and more snowmaking equipment in its master plan for Bald Mountain.

Ketchum City Administrator Jim Jaquet said the city's option tax receipts for November through February went up 24 percent from $279,919 to $354,002. The city has no numbers yet for March.

Wendy Jaquet, Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber of Commerce director, said the tourist counts still need to improve in the coming years.

"We still have a lot of empty beds and a lot of dining opportunities," she said.