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Ketchum Cruiser Program Gets New Lease of Life

**Published with author's permission**

The cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley are excited to re-launch the very popular Ketchum Cruiser program first introduced in 1997. However, because of the valley’s changing demographic, the relaunch has been given a new twist. Beginning in April, both cities will be furnished with 15 custom walker prototypes to help residents get around downtown.

“I think this is a fantastic idea” said a local business owner. “I really think this has a chance of reinvigorating the business core. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched a potential customer look at my store front from the Atkinson’s parking lot, ultimately to decide that it requires just too much physical effort to make the journey. I think the Ketchum/Sun Valley walker program is going to energize that customer to go the distance and cross over the road to explore what is on the other side.”

The Walkers will be distributed throughout the downtown core and will be distinguishable to everyone by the fresh neon green paint job the program organizers have given each of the frames; a nod to the original green Ketchum Cruisers that were launched back in the nineties. A Ketchum cruiser organizer added “We went with neon this time so that they will really stand out to our customers. We are hoping to add reflective decals, GPS, Siri and a panic button, provided we can get additional funding.”

In the spirit of this wonderful partnership between Ketchum and Sun Valley, consideration was given to bridging the often daunting trip between both cities with the proposed introduction of two transfer stations located on the bike path at the entrance to both Ketchum and Sun Valley, along the Sun Valley Road. Each transfer station will be equipped with three Hoveround Power Chairs that will be available on a first come first served basis to make the journey.

A long time Sun Valley resident said “We are thrilled at the prospect of this cross cultural exchange between the two cities. I have not been to Ketchum in at least three decades; I will be the first in line to make the trip and can’t wait to saddle up to the bar at Slavey’s again for a well-earned beverage!”

We were able to find one young person to get their opinion of the program. When asked what he thought about the prospect of seeing a bunch of ‘walkers’ around town, he said, “Ketchum has felt like The Walking Dead for years now, I don’t understand your question”.

The organizers have high hopes for this initial trial and hope to roll out production models by July. They are so confident in fact, they are already working on plans to retro fit the walkers in the winter (assuming it ever snows again) with mini skis for easier maneuverability. And perhaps even more ambitious, early designs are underway for an off-road walker to be introduced in the spring of 2016

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