By on November 29, 2016

50 candles (and, hopefully, 50 inches) for JHMR

161130tou-1_jhmrJackson Hole Mountain Resort was feted in USA Today for turning 50, though the ski resort did so dark. A lack of early snow pushed back opening day to Thursday, December 1 but that didn’t stop the nation’s paper from showering JHMR with love from the pen of contributor Larry Olmsted who called the resort, “arguably the world’s top independent, family-owned ski resort.”

JHMR turned 50 in 2016. Stories last December and January poured in from Conde Naste, Forbes, Powder Magazine, and others while the resort celebrated in March with a fireworks show and its usual Rendezvous music festival featuring the Zac Brown Band.

USA’s story focused on the future as well, highlighting JHMR’s new $10 million Sweetwater gondola, part of the first phase of “a dramatic expansion of the ski school,” Olmsted wrote.

Resort president Jerry Blann added that, “What we’re most proud of is that we’ve (invested) in a manner that’s kept the spirit of Jackson Hole the way it’s always been …  We will never have one million skier days, our guest experience will not become industrial, and we will never experience the sort of sprawl you see in other ski destinations. Jackson will remain wild and adventurous and true to our character.”

Vacation life

161130tou-2_nordic-skiingAnother tourism-generating story featured former Planet scribe Dina Mishev and her piece for The Washington Post. It began, “My life is your vacation.”

Mishev focused mainly on her introduction to the fabulous world of Nordic skiing in Jackson Hole.

“Even if only for a weekend, I would leave the dishes behind, see a moose without worrying whether it was going to eat my new aspen trees, and do something I usually don’t: cross-country ski,” she wrote. “The Tetons do not have foothills; they explode without hesitation 7,000 feet up from the valley floor. Nordic skiing in the Tetons is either flat or very much uphill.”

Drab lodging, dramatic land

161130tou-3_gtnpChristopher Reynolds’ piece for the Los Angeles Times didn’t begin like it was about to shower Jackson Hole with love. “The Jackson Lake Lodge is an ugly, brown box—a bad moment in mid-century design—but you might want to stay in one of its 385 rooms anyway,” he opened.

The short story was part of a 100-item travel and tips series celebrating the National Park Service’s centennial year. The Times is running one per day through the end of the year. Yesterday’s installment chatted up Grand Teton National Park as a destination “like no other.”

No griz hunting in parks

161130tou-4_griz-huntHunters: Don’t get your bear gun loaded just yet. National Parks Traveller reported the Wyoming Game and Fish Department as stating it has “no intent” to allow grizzly hunting on Park Service land in Wyoming.

Kurt Repanshek, founder and editor-in-chief for the Internet’s sole site dedicated to the NPS, which launched in 2005, assured readers WG&F is not eyeing griz hunts in Yellowstone or Grand Teton.

“Right now there’s no intent to hunt,” Dan Thompson told the Traveller. Thompson is the supervisor of the department’s large carnivore section. Thompson was assessing how his department would react concerning the state’s hunting regulations if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delists grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Eclipsing record tourist numbers

161130tou-4_griz-huntA Google search of “solar eclipse 2017 Jackson Hole” turns up 46,200 results. That will likely only increase as the weeks and months tick by toward the historic event on August 21, 2017.

To prepare for the anticipated crowds, the Town of Jackson has been talking about a temporary hire of a dedicated person to coordinate the tourism blitz and help the town deal with influx of vacationers. An additional 40,000 travelers are expected to descend on the town at a time when hotels are already booked solid.

Among the long list of preparations are port-a-potties. They will be in high demand, promised Rich Ochs, Teton County emergency management coordinator. Illegal camping will also be an issue authorities will have to deal with. It will be all hands on deck for Wyoming Highway Patrol. WHP told its troopers not to expect time off August 14 through the August 27, according to Wyo4News out of Sweetwater County. PJH

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