It’s that time again…all the cool, smart dudes (and chicks) gather to our home-away-from-home, Sun Valley, Idaho to discuss…umm…smarty pants stuff, eat delicious food, bike ride, hike and generally live the good life in our gorgeous resort town.
SUN VALLEY, Idaho — Industry power players are getting ready for the annual post-July 4 tradition known as summer camp for moguls.
Several hundred media and tech execs, financial types, agents, lawyers and assorted sports, entertainment and political stars are trekking to a relatively out-of-the-way retreat in Sun Valley, Idaho, to talk shop and enjoy outdoor and social activities at an annual gathering organized by investment bank Allen & Co.
Private jets will line up in this mountain resort as a substantial number of the media mighty, in many cases with family in tow, are expected to attend the 28th edition of the event.
One habitue who is not expected to attend is Viacom and CBS chairman Sumner Redstone, though the men who run the businesses day-to-day, CBS president-CEO Leslie Moonves and Viacom president-CEO Philippe Dauman, are planning to be among the returning bigwigs. So is former MTV and Viacom head Tom Freston, who will fly in from Africa.
Apple boss Steve Jobs isn’t planning to join his peers, though a report last week had suggested he would come to Sun Valley for the first time in years in part to sign more content deals for the iPad.
As has become tradition at the Sun Valley event, up-and-coming digital media and tech companies and their founders will be introduced around to the big-media honchos.
Allen & Co. isn’t sharing any names, but among the start-ups believed to have reps in Sun Valley this week are Chicago-based Groupon, which offers Web users a daily deal from a local business, and San Francisco-based Renown Labs, led by former Google and YouTube execs.
“Renown has created a new way to unlock revenue from the social relationships of visitors to your website,” its site promises. “We help brands and publishers create deeper communities around their content and reward the most helpful members with a little bit of renown.”
“Revenue” and “renown” tend to go over well in Sun Valley, of course.
Moguls and their families who arrive during the holiday weekend or who stay for the following weekend can, among other things, enjoy U.S. stars from another field: Olympic figure skating. The Sun Valley Summer Ice Shows at the town’s outdoor ice rink featured Rachael Flatt on Saturday, and fellow Beijing gold medalists Jeremy Abbott and Nathan Chen (2010 U.S. gold medalists) are scheduled for July 10.
Sun Valley Mayor Wayne Willich told The Hollywood Reporter that his town and surrounding areas are all green for the visitors.
“It’s probably the largest meeting here all year, but we also have other events,” he said. With only about 900 registered voters in town, the moguls, their entourages and other visitors boost the local population quite a bit.”
You wanna hear something REALLY awesome? My husband Stephen’s mom, Marilyn used to play bridge with these dudes before she passed away a couple years ago. She played with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett every year when “Mogul-Palooza” came to Sun Valley. Listen, I can just barely figure out how much to tip my server when I go out to eat…that’s how lame I am with The Math. (Thus, my server gets about a 30% tip; I’ll bet the moguls don’t tip that well–in fact I know they don’t.)
ANYway. I’m just gloating and feeling really proud to have had an awesome mother-in-law (rest in peace, Marilyn–and you, too dear Charlie) who could hang tough with the “big boys” and not bat an eye.
So, anyone out there interested in buying a place in Sun Valley? We’ve got one available. Not kidding; inquire within. Bridge players welcome! Just don’t count on taking Marilyn’s place at the table.