From the Editor
The idea of putting a semi-naked young gentleman on the cover of the Sun Valley Guide is not one I had ever entertained.
But when the incomparable Van Gordon Sauter mentioned Steve Hannagan to me, saying, "We should look into him; I donít think his story has really been told," I was started down a path that led to re-creating one of skiingís most iconic images for our cover.
It was 1936, in a Manhattan photographer's studio. A model stood on a pair of wooden skis, stripped to the waist, tasked with appearing as if he had just hurtled down a winter slope under a scorching Idaho sun. With the help of a tub of Vaseline to simulate sweat and a white sheet to simulate snow, the image taken that day became the face of America's first destination ski resort, Sun Valley.
Seventy-four years later in a small studio in Ketchum, Idaho, a model (the valiant Jon Duval, a Sun Valley Suns hockey player) stood on a pair of antique 1930s skis. As he gripped the handles of Otto Langís ski poles and smiled doggedly into the lens of Paulette Phlipot's Nikon, art director Tony Barriatua sprinkled Epsom salt on his skis and a pregnant editor-in-chief plastered Vaseline on his torso.
Three hours later, the task was complete. In honor of Sun Valley Resort's 75th ski season, the Sun Valley Guide team had successfully re-created that original iconic image, the brainchild of Steve Hannagan, the resort's first publicity director.
Found now only in historical footnotes and asides, Hannagan was a key player in creating the Sun Valley we know today. He originated the aura of wealth, celebrity, style, glamour and excellent skiing that has characterized Sun Valley for seven and a half decades. Discover how he did it in It Happened To Sun Valley.
Sun Valley Resort is entering a new phase of its history, and as it ponders how to make the next 75 years as prosperous as the first, it would be wise to reflect upon the successes (and failures) of one of the men who started it all. As my fellow countryman Winston Churchill put it, "If we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall have lost the future."
Jennifer Tuohy, Editor-in-Chief