Food & Drink International - Winter 2017, Volume 2 - 118
Sun Valley Resort
Sun Valley Resort has continued the tradition of exceeding guests' expectations
with innovative concepts and food for more than 80 years. By Bianca Herron
Sun Valley Resort
HQ: Sun Valley, Idaho
Jim Snyder, director of food and
beverage: "It's about making an emotional connection with employees, who
in turn, make that connection with our
>> Sun Valley has 20 restaurants including Gretchen's Restuarant, The Konditorei and The Chocolate Foundry.
un Valley Resort was founded
in 1936 as America's first
destination ski resort. Located in Sun Valley, Idaho,
the four-season destination has consistently been ranked above other
resorts for its wide array of activities
including world-class skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, hiking, biking,
golfing, fishing, shooting, concerts,
shopping, and top-notch dining.
Sun Valley boasts 20 restaurants,
as well as three golf courses, The
Sun Valley Lodge and Sun Valley
Inn, many condominiums and its renowned movie theater, the Opera
House. "We were built by Union Pacific Railway, and they ran a train here
from Los Angeles," Director of Food
and Beverage Jim Snyder says. "Sun
Valley became famous for the many
movie stars that visited it." He adds
that "Sun Valley Serenade" starring
Glenn Miller, Sonja Henie and John
Payne was filmed at the resort in 1941.
After 81 years in the industry, Sun
Valley attributes its success to not
straying from tradition. Snyder, who
has 40 years of experience in the food
and beverage industry, understands
the importance of keeping the resort's
"For me, the key goal is to not do
things that will break away from the
tradition while still developing products that appeal to new guests to the
resort," Snyder says. "The level of
service our guests are accustomed to
is at a very high level."
This is why Snyder, who joined Sun
Valley one year ago, is focused on
building a team environment among
food & drink international * winter 2017 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com
the company's employees. "The first
thing I did was try to listen and understand," he says. "I spent time with locals, interviewing people here to find
out what Sun Valley meant to them.
There wasn't much to fix, but rather it
was more about polishing Sun Valley.
Everything was already great."
Additionally, Snyder serves as
a mentor to many of Sun Valley's
younger managers. "I think it's most
important to teach the next generation
about the ski and hospitality industry
and how to service it," he says.
"When it comes to management,
we find that retention is the most
important thing," Snyder notes. "We
say that we're in the retention business and not the recruiting business.
So once we hire someone, we try to
ensure we keep him or her employed
with us for a long time."
Sun Valley has a few guiding
philosophies, but the most important
is that everyone is responsible for
Sun Valley's success. "In food and
beverage there are many different
moving parts, so you have to practice
the philosophy that everyone plays a
role and is important," Snyder says.
Another key philosophy of Snyder's