Bob & Kate – a message from the owners
The gear we sell at The Perch has always been the best in the outdoor industry, but it is our people who really make the difference.
The Sun Valley area draws unique outdoor enthusiasts, and we try to sort out the most passionate and caring individuals we can find.
Our core group of employees live and breathe the outdoor world, and our seasonal employees are on their way to that same passion!
As the founder and owner of the Elephants Perch for more than 37 years, Bob Rosso is no stranger to the constant and rapid changes that have had a profound influence on outdoor equipment and the retail environment. With ever expanding internet sales and large outdoor retailers vying for the customer’s attention, Bob Rosso and the Elephants Perch continue to grow and enjoy success based on the simple formula of hard work, excellent customer service and product knowledge that the large scale retailers could only dream of.
It is usually the love of the outdoors that initially draws a person into the outdoor retail business. At 65 years of age Bob Rosso has not forgotten his love and passion for outdoor sports. When he is not challenging a difficult pitch on a rocky wall, Bob can be found tearing up the pavement on his bicycle, piling up the kilometers on our local cross country ski trails, backpacking on the numerous mountain trails, or finding an untouched shot of backcountry powder. Originating from the sun and surf of California, Bob also sneaks away from the mountains to free dive and surf whenever the opportunity arises. Competing in a variety of events and placing consistently in the upper tier of competitors provides Bob with the opportunity to test the gear that he sells and pass his knowledge on to his customers.
Bob also enjoys spending time with his son, Steve and wife, Kate, to whom he has been married for 37 years.
As Bob has so often commented, ‘The past 40 years have flown by us.’ You can bet that in the next 40 years the store will continue to improve as The Elephants Perch builds on its foundation of customer service, product knowledge and the irreplaceable experience of the past decades.
Running a successful business alongside her husband, Bob, has provided Kate with 37+ years of enjoying a life of working and playing in the mountains. As co-owner and soft goods buyer for the Elephants Perch, Kate derives a great deal of pleasure in meeting and helping the active Elephants Perch customer. Like so many people that live and work in the Wood River Valley, Kate came here to spend a summer working before college and fell in love with both the mountains and Bob Rosso, although we are not sure which one came first. Kate also derives a great deal of satisfaction and inspiration working with the numerous and fascinating employees that have helped to add vitality, and at times, scheduling challenges to the Elephants Perch over the years.
A family that plays together stays together, and Kate is a willing and constant participant in the numerous outdoor activities that await right out her doorstep. Skiing, hiking and bicycling are just a few of the many activities that Kate enjoys doing with her husband and friends. Learning to fly fish in the pristine pools and rivers of Idaho is another activity that Kate is looking forward to perfecting.
One of the things that make living in a resort community so interesting is the diversity of its residents. Kate shares in this diversity by mixing her love of the outdoors with her deep interests in reading, gardening, cooking and other artistic endeavors.
Whether helping a customer find just the perfect garment for their next adventure or planning more than a year in advance for ordering the latest in outdoor clothing, Kate’s warm personality and sincere demeanor add significantly to the shopping experience at the Elephants Perch.
After falling in love with Bob Rosso and the mountains during that summer long ago, Kate can proudly say ‘over 40 years later were still here; working and enjoying life in the mountains.
Raised by a mute order of religious zealots in the dark , fetid recesses of a southern swamp, it’s a wonder that this bright and talented, if somewhat dodgy, man functions within civil society at all let alone as the headman of a serious bicycle shop like The Elephant’s Perch where convivial erudition, mechanical prowess, ego – crushing sublimation (and occasionally, brute force) are orders of the day. Both a joy to work with and for, Jason is like a cold, light-sucking black hole of bicycle love who desires solely to see good people enjoy riding. And to see bad people dismembered and fed to feral pigs. He craves and is also repelled by human contact but he generally holds it together long enough to see a professional job done on each repair he lays his trembling hands upon.
Anaya came to the valley from Stillwater, a little river town in Minnesota. She grew up playing Hockey (on one of the first girls hockey teams in MN), soccer, doing competitive gymnastics, and skiing the icy slopes of her local hill Afton Alps. When she was 16 she fell in love with climbing and spent her summers through college guiding groups of kids climbing on the North Shore of Duluth. After going to college in Santa Barbara CA she road tripped around the west and traveled to, – among other places – New Zealand, Thailand, and Nepal. After her travels Anaya ended up settling in beautiful Sun Valley because of her love for the mountains and this peaceful town.
Suz Bilkey – Softgoods
I am from Long Island (North Shore), New York. I moved to Sun Valley in 1994 after spending 6 years in the Middle East. I stayed here for 9 years, then returned to the Middle East for 3 more years. I started working for the Perch in Fall of 2007. Spare time activities = being outside, gardening, hiking, fly fishing,rafting and camping in the summer. I love cross county and down hill skiing in the winter. And of course, being involved with and attending classical music concerts and St. Thomas Playhouse.
Liza Wilson – 25 years in Hardgoods
I came to the Valley in the early 70′s to ski and teach nordic skiing. At first I only spent the winters here but moved full time sometime in the 80′s and that is when I started working at the Elephants Perch. I still love to nordic ski in the winter as well as ski Baldy and enjoy our beautiful backcountry. In the summer I enjoy all things outside, hiking, rock climbing, fly fishing and even a little plein air painting.
Roger has been a UAW employee with Ford at a plant in Illinois, is a veteran of the US Army, and has advanced training in massage from one of the country’s best schools for the healing arts. He has competed in all but one of the grueling Leadville 100 mountain bike races having had to sit out just one because of a broken femur. He has been a multiple time competitor in the Race Across America and has crewed on RAAM for a multiple athletes. He nearly killed himself and another prominent local while crewing for former Tour de France racer Jacques Boyer. He has competed in the insane Iditabike race across the frozen, unforgiving terrain of Alaska (although he did have to be rescued by ski plane he remembers it all fondly). He holds the local record for most skins up Bald Mountain during winter. He has competed in PAC Tours, has been a boxer, a body builder, has bike toured all over the U.S. and Europe, has built his own bicycle frame and was one of the earliest adopters locally of the 29er platform and has a beautiful daughter named Emma.
32 years ago I came to visit my best friend and I ended up staying. I have worked at the Perch 17 winters. I love where we live. We have the best of all things in summer and winter. Friends and great people. Hiking, biking, camping, climbing, music and art, skiing, x-c, downhill, and backcountry, snowshoe and hockey. How lucky are we!
We moved to the valley (Gabrielle, Addison-11, Toby-9) 5 years ago. Gabby was lucky enough to obtain a job at the Community School so it was kind of a no brainer!! We moved from Bethel, Maine (Sunday River) where we were both working for Gould Academy. Neither one of us had ever been to Sun Valley before the move but living out west a few different times and a few different places we knew that we would love it!! And of course we did.
I’ve worked at the Perch for 3 years and love it. I feel like this place is the heart and soul of Ketchum and being a part of it has been really cool. Most of our customers are passionate about the outdoors and having those people to talk to all of the time is a great way to spend the day.
When I’m not working I can be found riding the mountain bike, hiking the hill, Nordic skiing with the dog, camping with the family, or dreaming of the next great day!
Hailing to us from the land down under – this Australian native has come to call Sun Valley her home. Taina is always fashionable whether it’s on the Nordic trails or in the streets of Boston – her favorite city to visit. Her favorite color is black (yes, black is a color) and her favorite Spanish word is “vino.” She has two kids – Bronwen (a retired junior Nordic racer) and Henry (a hockey/soccer player extraordinaire). Taina loves white chocolate, fashionable hats, and the TV show How I Met Your Mother.
Setting sail for the west many moons ago – Maria came to us from back east. A true fan of fried clams – Maria is now swim coach to the superstars, mountain biker to watch, and backcountry skier to join. Maria is a passionate country music fan and a rocking rider on her town bike cruiser. She spends her free time reading poetry and jump roping.
Shannon Moss – Ultimate Girl Friday
Shannon Moss arrived to the valley at the age of six, just in time to start first grade at Hemingway school. She returned shortly after college. She started at the Elephants’s perch (This part I am not sure about) 7 years ago in the basement wrapping presents. In her spare time she loves to hike, ski, and surf.