By on March 25, 2015

The other Jackson Hole

CBS This Morning recently aired a piece on the Jackson Hole in China. It contained nothing much we didn’t know already but provided some pretty cool video to go along with our imaginations of the place.

The Chinese Jackson Hole is at the same latitude as Yellowstone. OK, we didn’t know that. And there are about 1,200 houses built so far. Our favorite part of the story was the online commenting. One person calling himself Ferblungen wrote: “Do they have drop toilets and rampant STDs?”

Do we?

Security Guard at China’s Jackson Hole. (Photo credit: CBS News

Security Guard at China’s Jackson Hole. (Photo credit: CBS News

Vertical Harvest to the rescue

When architectural trade blog ArchPaper claimed on March 16 that Vertical Harvest was born out of a fear that Jackson Hole could run out of fresh produce during its harsh winters, we snickered but kept it to ourselves. Now the story has legs after being picked up by Building Design + Construction’s website, so we just had to comment.

The three-story, 13,500-square-foot hydroponic greenhouse might well provide restaurants and grocery stores with another option for locally sourced produce, especially in winter. But, to suggest that Jackson Hole is a barren wasteland with no access to cabbages and carrots is a little over the top.

“The city of Jackson, Wyo., gets around 400 inches of snow falls [sic] a year, and its valley location means most of the city’s produce is brought in from other places,” wrote BD+C. “With these two conditions, there can be times when the city is cut off and becomes a food desert.”

Really? A food desert? Fresh fruits, vegetables and seafood are flown or trucked in daily. We are hardly holed up in our log cabins hoping the cavalry makes it through with supplies like 200 years ago.

Skiing blind

Amanda Chodnicki did a nice job with her piece for USA Today’s “Voices from Campus,” and not just because she mentioned Jackson Hole. The Michigan State University student is a collegiate correspondent for the national paper.

“For spring break, Jordyn Castor, a Michigan State University computer science senior, went skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming,” began Chodnicki’s lede. “That may sound like an average spring break, but there’s a kicker — she’s blind.”

Castor also praised JHMR staff for being “so welcoming.”

Royal shaft

Don’t expect to see that footage of Pippa Middleton dancing the night away at The Wort Hotel’s Silver Dollar Bar. NBC has apparently scrapped plans to use the royal sister as the host to some kind of reality TV show it had half-cooked up. According to Britain’s Daily Mail, a source close to NBC said the video footage was a flop.

Toni Jones wrote in MailOnline: “In the clip, [Middleton] looked uncomfortable as she danced with an aged local in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for no ascertainable reason.”

One insider called it “a bit grand, awkward and bored, rather than enthusiastic.”

“Cringe-worthy,” said another.

Middleton enjoyed it, though. She wrote a column about it for Spectator back in December.

“Wyoming is real cowboy country,” she said. “Everyone wore cowboy boots and the men had big, non-ironic moustaches that curled upwards. My dance partner was about 80, and I did my best to keep up. But it turns out I have two left feet, at least as far as moving to rhythm is concerned.”

Presidential bracketry

Barrack Obama’s 2015 March Madness bracket picks made headlines across the country. Don’t think we didn’t notice the fact he jumped on the University of Wyoming bandwagon, picking the Cowboys to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Judging from his handwritten brackets, Obama had originally scribbled down Wyoming, crossed it out and wrote UNI (University of Northern Iowa), then changed it back to Wyoming. While Obama’s “bracketology” included a few other cross-outs, he never flip-flopped to the point of returning to his original pick.

The Pokes lost to the Panthers, 71-54, in the first round.


JH Property Guide’s Mark Huffman pulled a sweet quote out of businessman and developer Jay Varley. The former mortgage banker from Chicago is looking forward to bulldozing his Western Motel sometime this week in order to make way for a 121-room Marriott.

“I wanted to operate the Western for about 20 minutes,” Varley told Huffman. “I ended up running it for more than 20 years.”

Varley might still be bitter he isn’t building the new hotel. He sold out to developers from Utah and Oregon. “I took the deal,” Varley said. “I was pushed into it by the town, but I took it. I think I got less of a price than what I think it was worth.”

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