Props and Disses 1.30.13

By on January 30, 2013
Taylor Wollart with Sen. John Barrasso. - photo by BRUCE NICHOLS

TV versus TOJ, battle of the bulges DISS
Build it and they won’t go somewhere else.

In their mad race to outdo one another, County Commissioners (Teton Village) and City Councilors (Town of Jackson) are each building their stairways to heaven. Out-of-control growth once checked by a handful of local watchdog agencies is now regularly OK’d by groups like the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance (former Puzzleface Ranch) and Save Historic Jackson Hole (Snow King zip line).

Both sides claim there is no competition; that they get along fine with the other. But with every action taken at their respective meetings they continue to approve, approve, approve in order to hoard sales tax revenue.

A zip line will not save Snow King any more than the alpine slide and putt-putt did. And how long before the former turns into the neglected junk show that the slide and mini golf have? Armond Acri (SHJH) spoke in favor of a zip line application for state handouts. What part of the newfangled craze is “historic?”

The best use of Snow King would be the de-development of the alpine amenities. Incorporating zip lines and downhill mountain biking is chasing the wind straight to a Disney World ending. The trend today is au naturale, anyway. Uphill skiing is all the rage and that couldn’t fit Snow King Mountain’s agenda more perfectly right now. Shut down the lift (oh yeah, it IS shut down because it’s squeaking) and let the cute little hillside return to nature.
It will never be Aspen. It can’t compete with JHMR. Snow King wants to be a beer player in a champagne league.

Now, Joe Rice wants to build a monster 100-room Marriott or Hilton near the five-way. His reasoning: the town needs some nicer, upscale hotels to compete with the Village – a notion shared by the current mayor. He needs not only approval of the project but a zoning change first. In today’s thirst for jobs and revenue-generating businesses, he’ll get whatever he wants, especially by telling Town officials it’s one way to stick it to Teton Village.
When the dust clears, both the Town and the Village will be built to the hilt with every sales tax-maximizing venture developers can come up with. Jackson Hole is practically unrecognizable to folks who called it home 40 years ago. What will it look like in another 40 years?

Literate, ethical and gettin’ paper PROP
Kudos to the folks at the American Dream essay contest. The annual statewide competition formerly known as the Laws of Life essay contest is underway. The contest is open to all Wyoming high school students in grades 10 through 12.

Not only is the encouragement of decent writing skills much-needed today (judging from JHW’s standard quality of post-story Internet blogging) but the topic – “Cowboy Ethics: Wyoming’s Code of the West” – couldn’t be more aptly pointed at today’s self-absorbed social-media generation.

Taylor Wollart with Sen. John Barrasso. - photo by BRUCE NICHOLS

Taylor Wollart with Sen. John Barrasso. – photo by BRUCE NICHOLS


Desiree Young said the American Dream essay contest gave away more than $35,000 dollars in awards to students and teachers last year. Young is the Boys & Girls Club of Central Wyoming teen coordinator. Local winners receive $300 for first place, $200 for second, and $100 for third. Those winners are then invited to a state luncheon held in Casper on April 21, and are eligible for a $1,000 grand prize.

Last year’s overall first place winner was Taylor Wollert of Lingle-Ft Laramie. No one from Jackson has ever won; in fact, Young said she would like to see more participation from our area.

Learn more at

Reader Comments
How often do YOU ski at Snow King? How many times have you ridden the alpine slide or done putt putt? As a reporter you might want to have more depth of experience with which you are reporting. Arrogance only gets you so far. Uphill skiing is somewhat popular. It’s currently allowed at Snow King, something a reporter commenting should know. Personally I would rather use the lift to the top and access the BC rather then skin to a front country run. You are right about the lifts needing an upgrade. Snow king will have money for lift upgrades when mountain biking is made accessible to those who can’t already ride the mountain. Your insistence that Snow King should close the hill is self centered around the fact that you can’t downhill ski. Snow king is a good ski hill, but it suffers from ignorant press. The snow king ice wall is one of the coolest things to happen to recreation in Jackson. It’s exciting to see where Snow King goes from here.

40 years ago? More like 20 even 10.

Thank you Earl. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m not one who usually comments, but as a devoted Downhill mountain biker I felt I had to say something. I think the zipline is a great idea, and will bring more people to Jackson. I think Downhill mountain biking is the future for all ski areas considering winter will continue to get shorter as years pass. The trend at all ski resorts is to move towards year round business.

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