C:\Users\Michael\Documents\MKT files\Publications\Hannagan Project\Sun Valley\Hannagan & Harriman.jpg

 

As Steve Hannagan’s passed through Ketchum after his trip to the future Sun Valley, he realized that Averell Harriman could not depend on a run-down mountain town to entertain his guests. [1] Hannagan told Harriman that he should build a resort with world class amenities to serve the celebrities and monied crowd that he wanted to attract to Sun Valley.[2]

Harriman’s first goal was to site the resort so that “the last rays of winter sunshine as the sun [set] behind Baldy Mountain would shine through the ski lodge’s picture windows.”[3] This scene, like the winter beach in Miami, would become the archetypical scene in Hannagan’s publicity campaign for Sun Valley.

C:\Users\Michael\Documents\MKT files\Publications\Hannagan Project\Sun Valley\Hannagan & Harriman.jpg

Averill Harriman and Steve Hannagan Overlooking Construction of the Sun Valley Resort[4]

Image result for Sun Valley Lodge

The Sun Valley Lodge Rises[5]

During Hannagan’s return trip to New York, he wrote a ‘remarkably visionary two-page memo’ telling Harriman what he would have to do to make the resort a success and an unforgettable experience for its guests. [6] The lead for Hannagan‘s memorandum said –

That the “resort had to rise above the perception of being just another ski mountain like those in New Hampshire or Vermont or Massachusetts. It had to have European cachet.”[7]

In the memorandum, Hannagan pressed Harriman to incorporate the following concepts into his plans:

  • “There should be an ice skating rink.”[8]
  • “There should be a glass walled but open ceiling hot water pool … Imagine swimming pictures and diving pictures with snowcapped mountains as background [shades of Miami Beach promotions].”[9]
  • “People like to leave the hotel. Nearby there might be a billiard parlor and a bowling alley.”[10] [Bowling and billiards harkened back to his promotions for Brunswick-Balke-Callender; he never gave up on promoting old or new clients.]
  • “… and certainly a motion picture show [a place where entertainment stars can go to admire themselves].”[11]
  • “Mechanical devices must be installed to take people to the top of the mountain.[12]

Importing the success of Hannagan’s Miami Beach bathing beauties campaign to a wintery Idaho proved a highly successful, if surprising, ploy.

Harriman Built Hannagan’s Indoor-Swimming Pool[13]

Harriman, though feeling overwhelmed by Hannagan’s rush of ideas, eventually used most of his suggestions. Steve Hannagan had insisted that Sun Valley be the ‘best of the best’; and fortunately Harriman had the money to convert Steve’s grandiose ideas into reality. The close relationship between Harriman and Hannagan during the Sun Valley project worked well and was responsible for its on-going success as a leading ski resorts in the world.

End Notes

  1. Sauter, Van Gordon and Jennifer Tuohy (Winter 2010/11); “It Happened to Sun Valley”; Sun Valley Guide; http://www.svguide.com/w11/sunvalley.html (retrieved April 1, 2011); p. 15.
  2. Sauter, Van Gordon and Jennifer Tuohy (Winter 2010/11); “It Happened to Sun Valley”; Sun Valley Guide; http://www.svguide.com/w11/sunvalley.html (retrieved April 1, 2011); p. 16.
  3. Taylor, Dorice (1980); Sun Valley; Ex Libris Sun Valley; pp. 31-32.
  4. Sauter, Van Gordon and Jennifer Tuohy (Winter 2010/11); “It Happened to Sun Valley”; Sun Valley Guide; p. 13.
  5. Photograph of the construction of the Sun Valley Lodge (Retrieved August 25, 2017); http://www.adelheimer.com/history/
  6. Sauter, Van Gordon and Jennifer Tuohy (Winter 2010/11); “It Happened to Sun Valley”; Sun Valley Guide; http://www.svguide.com/w11/sunvalley.html (retrieved April 1, 2011); p. 16.
  7. Sauter, Van Gordon and Jennifer Tuohy (Winter 2010/11); “It Happened to Sun Valley”; Sun Valley Guide; http://www.svguide.com/w11/sunvalley.html (retrieved April 1, 2011); p. 15.
  8. Sauter, Van Gordon and Jennifer Tuohy (Winter 2010/11); “It Happened to Sun Valley”; Sun Valley Guide; http://www.svguide.com/w11/sunvalley.html (retrieved April 1, 2011); p. 16.
  9. Sauter, Van Gordon and Jennifer Tuohy (Winter 2010/11); “It Happened to Sun Valley”; Sun Valley Guid;; http://www.svguide.com/w11/sunvalley.html (retrieved April 1, 2011); p. 16.
  10. Sauter, Van Gordon and Jennifer Tuohy (Winter 2010/11); “It Happened to Sun Valley”; Sun Valley Guide; http://www.svguide.com/w11/sunvalley.html (retrieved April 1, 2011); p. 16
  11. Sauter, Van Gordon and Jennifer Tuohy (Winter 2010/11); “It Happened to Sun Valley”; Sun Valley Guide; http://www.svguide.com/w11/sunvalley.html (retrieved April 1, 2011); p. 16.
  12. Sauter, Van Gordon and Jennifer Tuohy (Winter 2010/11); “It Happened to Sun Valley”; Sun Valley Guide; http://www.svguide.com/w11/sunvalley.html (retrieved April 1, 2011); p. 16.
  13. Photograph of Two Women in Pool Regalia (Retrieved August 25, 2017); https://www.pinterest.com/pin/117797346479306341