Rob Cronin came to the Wood River Valley by way of New York City where he was in corporate restaurant management for many years. In 1991 he was the first employee hired by then start up Planet Hollywood, and during four years with the company he opened and ran units in Chicago, Miami, and Cancun, Mexico. In 1995 he took the reigns at Valley Entertainment in Sun Valley opening The Mint and Dyn-o-mite Lounge for actor Bruce Willis. In 1996 he opened Mezzaluna in South Beach Miami and the Fashion Café in New Orleans. In 1996 he took the position of Director of Operations for Motown Café, where he worked for three years, and opened units in NYC, Las Vegas, and Orlando. At Motown he had a team of 33 managers and over 500 employees between the three units.
By 1999, Rob, then made his way back to the Wood River Valley, where he purchased the Red Elephant Saloon in Hailey with Brendan Dennehy and turned it into a cornerstone of the community. In 2002 he and his partners opened, an award-winning Asian Fusion restaurant with national acclaim. Following the sale of the Red Elephant Saloon they purchased Viva Taqueria in Hailey. Rob has been actively selling real estate in the valley for six years and is now a managing partner of Sun Valley Brokers and principal of Pilot Investments LLC. Over the past two years the partnership of Pilot Investments has been responsible for just under 50 million in commercial/investment and residential real estate sales.
Coupled with his commercial and personal real estate ventures he brings a substantial amount of experience to the table. His true passion though, as a cancer survivor, is Camp Rainbow Gold, a summer camp in Sun Valley for Idaho children diagnosed with cancer, of which he has been a volunteer Co-Director for the past decade. He helps runs the camp with the love of his life, his wife Kris who moved out from New York as well and shares partnership in all the business ventures.
Together they founded the Share Your Heart Ball to benefit Camp Rainbow Gold, a yearly fundraiser that draws over 500 guests and has cumulatively raised almost $3 million since its inception 8 years ago.
Kris Cronin, co-owner of, was crowned Miss America in 1995……actually, she really wasn't, but now that we have your attention, here's who she really is.
Moving to the Sun Valley/Hailey area in 1999 with then boyfriend Rob for a "slower-paced life change" after several years as a Marketing Director for Hugo Boss USA, Kris quickly became entrenched in the business and non-profit communities of the Wood River Valley. With very limited experience in the restaurant industry (having only waitressed part time at Chili's to make ends meet during college) she jokingly claims that when she married Rob she thus also married into the restaurant business as a way to spend "quality time together".
Slower-paced wouldn't be in the cards as she immediately began working full time in the Sun Valley Company/Resort Marketing Department, waitressed several nights a week at Rob and business partner Brendan Dennehy's popular Red Elephant Saloon, catered for an alternate restaurant on Saturdays, hosted a Live one hour local morning TV show, served on the Camp Rainbow Gold Advisory Council (a camp for Idaho children diagnosed with cancer), volunteered at Camp Rainbow Gold each summer and founded the Share Your Heart Ball to benefit Camp Rainbow Gold, a yearly charity fundraiser garnering 500+ guests and raising between $500,000 and $750,000 in one night. In between that, she has planned and executed several large scale events for various high-end out of state clients.
Driving 10 miles for dinner at a Ketchum sushi bar several days a week with soon to be business partner Ramie Dennehy, both girls decided one night in 2002 that a sushi restaurant down in Hailey was essential. From there each piece of the puzzle fell swiftly into place…the partnership, the location, the investor, the opening chef, the menu and a welcoming community. Thuswas soon born on June 20, 2002. Shortly after its inception, was recognized by Wine Enthusiast Magazine as "One of the Top Ten Best New Restaurants in the Country" and "Best Sushi in a Landlocked State".
Kris has been the recipient of several awards honoring both her business and her charity involvement over the last decade including: one of the 2003 Governor's "Brightest Stars", the 2004 Hope Award for the State of Idaho, one of Sun Valley Magazine's 2006 "Local Heroes", the 2006 Ann & Doug Christensen Humanitarian Award, one of Idaho Business Review's 2008 "Women of the Year", Hailey Chamber of Commerce's "Volunteer of the Year", one of ABC/Channel 7's "Seven's Heroes" and Sun Valley Guide's 2010 "Best Volunteer" runner-up in Best of the Valley.
She enjoys life in the Wood River Valley with Rob and her black lab Cole and when possible, loves to visit family in California's Bay Area where she grew up. Almost all of Kris' free time is spent working on ways to positively enhance the lives of Idaho children diagnosed with cancer.
Decedant of wild west gunslinger, Doc Holliday, Derek Holliday is a six-foot four inch, knife-wielding, head sushi chef with eyes greener than the Irish blood flowing through his veins. Hailing from Coeur D' Alene Idaho, Derek is well travelled and has spent many of his years fishing the Pacific ocean from Los Angeles to the Arctic Circle. Wandering back to the Wood River Valley, Derek eventually found his way towhere he would apprentice under Japanese Master Chef Motohiko Sato for four years. Using his great knowledge, experience, & committment to tradition, Derek would later go on to command the helm that is the sushi line as head chef. Applying french infusion to traditional japanese recipes & techiques the rest is history as has forged a name for itself not only locally, but on the national scene as one of the most creative, consistent, and enjoyed restaurants around.