×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sun Valley Prepares for Heatwave and Heavyweights This Week

SUN VALLEY, Idaho — Last year, Luke’s Family Pharmacy on Main Street had a run on wheelchairs during the height of this mountain resort’s summer season. This year, it might be aspirin.

Media moguls, tech barons, entrepreneurs and others are gathering Tuesday at Idaho’s Sun Valley Lodge for the annual conference and retreat hosted by investment bank Allen & Co. The movers and shakers come together at a time of disruption and transformation in the industry and turmoil and division in the culture at large.

The fates of the largest media companies are up in the air amid the battle for control of 21st Century Fox between Disney and Comcast, the dynastic drama surrounding CBS Corp. and Viacom, and AT&T closing the deal at long last for Warner Bros., HBO, and Turner. And then there’s the specter of the FAANG giants and their ambition expand in the content arena — the competitive threat that is fueling so much of traditional media’s M&A activity.

On Monday afternoon, as the temperature in Sun Valley topped 90 degrees, the mood outside the spacious resort was akin to an award show red carpet just before the limo swarm arrives. Hotel staffers were busy putting out the finishing touches — including plenty of pens and pads of paper — in the ballrooms and meeting rooms that will host the A-listers for the next few days.

The heat wave didn’t stop the resort from hauling out the ice resurfacing machine to get its outdoor skating rink ready for guests. The Sun Valley Lodge complex has a storybook feel to it, with floral landscaping and a gentle stream running through Alpine-style cottages. The grounds are also equipped with a second indoor ice skating rink, an outdoor pavilion for performances, a movie theater with Sony 4K projection (which will no doubt please Sony Corp.’s new CEO Kenichiro Yoshida in his first visit to the conference), and a clutch of tony shops and restaurants.

The locals in Sun Valley seem generally aware the Allen & Co. conference was about to bring a parade of moguls and dignitaries to town, but they weren’t overly impressed given the boldface names that visit the area’s resorts in the summer and winter ski season. A Luke’s pharmacy cashier who gave her name as Analia shrugged her shoulders and explained, “We’re used to it.”

At the Wicked Spud bar and grill a few miles (and tax brackets) away from Sun Valley Lodge, two regulars debated which held the title of world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates. Warren Buffett, No. 3 behind Bezos and Gates on Forbes’ list of the world’s wealthiest people, will also be in town for a Saturday Q&A session held as part of the conference.

More Film

  • Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt in

    Joanne Froggatt Treads Singapore Red Carpet, Revisits ‘Downton Abbey’ Memories

    “Downton Abbey,” the feature adaptation of the hit British television series of the same name, had its local premiere at the 30th Singapore International Film Festival on Friday night. Representing the film on the red carpet was Golden Globe best supporting actress-prizewinner Joanne Froggatt, who played lady’s maid Anna Bates in all six seasons of [...]

  • THE IRISHMAN (2019)Ray Ramano (Bill Bufalino

    Despite Controversy, 'The Irishman' Is Netflix's Biggest Theatrical Release at Home and Abroad

    Despite friction in the U.S. over its release in select cinemas, Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” is enjoying the biggest theatrical rollout of any Netflix film to date, with key international markets screening the movie and bolstering its profile as awards season gets underway. The nearly three-and-a-half-hour mob epic has secured relatively large releases in major [...]

  • Stone, guitarist for Taiwanese pop band

    Mayday Guitarist, Stone Rallies Fans at Singapore Film Festival

    Stone, the Taiwanese performer who has gone from being the guitarist in Mayday to a promising acting career, drew crowds on Friday, the first full day of the Singapore International Film Festival. Speaking at Projector, the indie theater inside the historical Golden Mile building, some two hundred fans gathered to hear the artist share career [...]

  • The Tempest (concept art)

    Film Bazaar: Rinkel Film Boards Tamil Western ‘The Tempest’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netherlands production outfit Rinkel Film (“Rafiki”) has reteamed with India’s Stray Factory (“Nirvana Inn”) for Tamil language Western “The Tempest” (aka “Aasaimugam”). It is to be directed by emerging Indian filmmaker Arun Karthick. The two companies previously co-produced Karthick’s communal bigotry tale, “Nasir,” which benefited from a grant of €50,000 ($55,350) under the Netherlands Film [...]

  • ‘Wallace and Gromit’ Studio Aardman to

    ‘Wallace and Gromit’ Studio Aardman to Make Short Film ‘Robin Robin’ for Netflix

    “Shaun the Sheep” and “Wallace and Gromit” producer Aardman is making “Robin Robin,” a short film, for Netflix. The project marks a move away for Aardman from working with the BBC, which has broadcast the Oscar-winning stop-motion specialist’s hit projects over the years. “Robin Robin,” which will bow around Christmas 2020, is about a bird [...]

  • Graham Norton to Host 2020 BAFTA

    Graham Norton to Host 2020 BAFTA Film Awards Ceremony 

    Popular British talk show host Graham Norton has been tapped to host the 2020 BAFTA Film Awards ceremony. Norton currently fronts the ratings-winning “The Graham Norton Show“ for the BBC. In assuming hosting duties for the upcoming BAFTA ceremony on Feb. 2, he will be taking over from “Absolutely Fabulous“ star Joanna Lumley, who hosted [...]

  • “Facing It,” an eight-minute 30 second

    U.K. Short 'Facing It' Takes Top Prize at 2019 VIEW Awards

    “Facing It,” a claymation/live-action film about how relationships mold people, has won the 2019 VIEW Conference Award for best short film. The film was written and directed by Sam Gainsborough and co-written by Louisa Wood and produced at the National Film and Television School’s Beaconsfield Studio in Beaconsfield, U.K. The VIEW Awards are an offshoot [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content