Eerily mirroring Snow King drama, ski resort film comes to town

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Even as the Jackson community struggles with how to retain the charm of the state’s first ski area nestled in the middle of town while acknowledging that current owners and investors of the hill have expressed a desire to update the resort to modern-day standards, along comes a story from a legendary Tahoe filmmaking duo that will play out on a local stage next week.

Squaw Valley

The Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance will host a showing of The Movie to Keep Squaw True at the Pink Garter Theatre on Wednesday, January 30.

“Jackson isn’t the only community working to protect its local ski hill,” said Tisa Djahangiri, Conservation Alliance organizer bringing the movie to Jackson. “We can learn from other mountain towns who have done the same.”

The movie is the epic struggle to keep a famed Tahoe Mountain from turning into a Vegas-style amusement park, and it’s the perfect fit for an outdoor-loving mountain community like Jackson.

Hill Climb at Snow King (Buck)

The movie was produced by nonprofit Sierra Watch.

“We’re big fans of the work of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance,” says Tom Mooers of Sierra Watch. “And we’re looking forward to them hosting this screening.”

The film tells the story of the biggest development fight in the Sierra Nevada. Ski conglomerate Alterra Mountain Company threatens to remake North Tahoe with massive development—a series of high-rise condo hotels, a roller coaster, and a 90,000 square-foot indoor waterpark that would be wide as a Walmart and nearly three times as tall.

The project would take 25 years to construct and add thousands of car trips to Tahoe’s already crowded roads. But Alterra’s development scheme has run into a mountain of determined opposition, organized as the movement to Keep Squaw True.

Directors Robb and Scott Gaffney. (Courtesy)

Legendary Tahoe filmmakers Robb and Scott Gaffney have captured the dramatic struggle in The Movie to Keep Squaw True.

“This is not a time to keep quiet for mountain communities throughout North America,” says Robb Gaffney. “It’s a time to show the world the strength and wisdom of these communities.”

“There is so much of a story to tell here,” adds his brother, Scott. “And I’m proud to be doing it.”

The movie has been received by enthusiastic audiences in sold-out shows throughout the Sierra Nevada. Now it’s coming to the Jackson, with a screening on January 30 at the Pink Garter Theatre. Additional screenings are scheduled for February 20 in Auburn, California; February 28 in Park City, Utah; March 7 in Davis, CA; and April 4 in Reno, Nevada.


‘The Movie to Keep Squaw True.’ Wednesday, January 30. Pink Garter Theatre, 6-9pm, $10.

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