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Rec News, April 8, 2009 

Sure the days may be longer and the temperatures a bit warmer, but winter isn't over yet, especially in the mountains. Snow still covers the ground, nighttime can be chilly and flip-flops are not in the cards. The perk, however, to six months of winter is that ski season is also still kicking.

Weather permitting, Sun Valley Resort plans to keep its famous Bald Mountain open through Sunday, April 12. And for the young ones, Dollar should remain open through April 12 as well. For complete conditions visit www.sunvalley.com.

Spring skiing can really be a hoot. The mountain is all but empty, with only the few remaining diehards on the slopes. The temperature is almost balmy often allowing for skiing without a jacket.

But the real bonus is that spending a day or a weekend on the mountain in Sun Valley gets a great deal cheaper in April. College students who present a valid college ID can ski the whole day for just $30, and all skiers with passes to other ski mountains can also enjoy discounted lift tickets. Little ones can ski for free. Even those with no special status get a discount with day passes for $55, down from the regular $80.

Another plus is that the Resort is offering a spring ski package. Starting March 28, guests can stay for only $74 per person. The price includes a double occupancy hotel room and a lift ticket for one day. Single occupancy rate is $121, and the package can be booked for multiple days.

Additionally, those who book three nights with any American Express card will receive a $100 Sun Valley gift card good for food, drinks and shopping. For reservations call 800-786-8259 or email reservations@sunvalley.com. Mention special promotion code AXP09.

And Sun Valley Resort isn't the only host with great deals. Apres Ski and a night on the town also got a little more affordable. While Bald Mountain has two terrific day lodges complete with outdoor patios, full bars and live music, there is also happy hour at Papa Hemi's Hideaway, a small restaurant just south of Ketchum on Highway 75. Between 3-7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, enjoy two-for-one fresh Idaho Microbrew pints, half-price Idaho wines and satiating snacks for less than $2. Musts on the menu include grass fed Idaho lamb, buffalo or beef sliders. The garlic fries are also worth the calories.

If the weekend is more a romantic getaway, try an upscale dining experience like CK's Real Food in Hailey or Globus in Ketchum.

CK's offers local, organic and sustainable food. It serves everything from steak with Chimichurri sauce to a complete veggie platter with unique vegetarian options like a black bean cake and red curry butternut squash. Globus, on the other hand, is a one-of-a-kind Asian fusion restaurant that offers everything from Hamachi tartar to Kobe Beef and Cucumber salad.

Better yet, if you visit the Farming in the 21st Century exhibit at Sun Valley Center for the Arts and purchase a local food discount pass, which supports Idaho's Bounty, a local food co-op (cost $20), you'll receive 10 percent off a meal at CK's April 3-9 and at Globus April 10-16.

—Della Sentilles

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