It’s one of those quirky parts of life in Idaho: the Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley.  The state’s largest resort becomes a playground for the big politicos, big money and big deals for a week each summer.

There’s a funny mystique about Sun Valley: Hemmingway and his book writing in the Lodge. The hokey pokey being ‘invented’ in the Ram Bar. The Olympians. Ahhhhnold.

But perhaps SV’s biggest impact on the world are the deals that come together here. When you put together titans of industry – with a concentration of tech and media – and let them relax under blue Idaho skies and with a few drinks… business magic seems to happen. Like: 

  • Verizon & AOL
  • Comcast & NBC Universal
  • Jeff Bezos & the Washington Post
  • Disney & ABC

Though not hashed out in Sun Valley, the home shopping mega-merger of HSN & QVC will likely be a big topic. Maybe we’ll get a Verizon & DIsney tie-up.

This year, the names expected at SV (via Variety) include Oprah, Mark Zuckerberg, Tim Cook, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Roger Goddell, Adam Silver, Tom Brokaw, Charlie Rose… and others.

Summer camp for billionaires is next week.

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Don has been covering news in Boise for 20 years. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.