“After struggling for so many years to keep the lifts spinning, it is sad to see the negativity associated with proposed improvements to the mountain. For the past five years Snow King has gone above and beyond other businesses to reach out to the community for input and suggestions, while investing in some of the best ski industry consultants, to establish a viable plan for the future. No other ski area, or business, in the region has voluntarily sought input from a group of community stakeholders and continually adapted plans to achieve community desires.
Our doors are open, and we continue to do our best to listen, explain and make changes based on the feedback we receive for the mountain.” – Ryan Stanley, GM Snow King Mountain (*courtesy of Jackson Hole News and Guide)
Ski towns are very opinionated places. Even the slightest change can send shock waves through our isolated communities.
So you can imagine when Snow King Mountain announced plans to make big improvements to the ‘town hill,’ not all Jackson locals were stoked. Whether it’s deserved or not, expressing outrage at any and all development within the ski community is now cliché .
Find the entire masterplan here: Phase 2 Master Plan
That’s unfortunate for ski areas like Snow King. Such smaller, non-destination ski areas are working on dwindling margins that only crazy people (*skiers) would think about undertaking. Simply put, we’d bet money there isn’t a pile of cash to be made off this development like Chris Dickey claims in his recent op-ed.
But what we have learned from watching this battle unfold is that a lot of people stand to lose if they can’t come to a reasonable compromise– the town of Jackson, its aspiring winter sports athletes, not to mention the thousands of locals who use the resource year-round are just a few of the losers.
Without necessary development, the ski hill’s P&L statement continue look more and more lopsided and ultimately, the ski hill will fail to operate and will fall into disrepair (*this almost happened in 2011).
Full disclosure: we praised the implementation of a gondola, no zip line option back in July. Snow King currently wants to build a gondola, zip-line, planetarium/observatory, all the while expanding the ski area boundary by an undisclosed amount.
So with that in mind, we urge our readers to do your homework, reach out to the other side or town council and express your opinion. We also ask developers to take local sentiments seriously, don’t take easy path towards development, and think outside of the box.
Find the entire Jackson Hole News and Guide op-ed here: We want to build a Snow King for all