Fallout at JHMR over Jay Kemmerer hosting far-right fundraiser

JACKSON, Wyo. – Patagonia will no longer supply Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) with their products after resort co-owner, Jay Kemmerer hosted a fundraiser for the House Freedom Caucus, according to a report from WyoFile.

According to the report, Patagonia confirmed with WyoFile on Tuesday that they would no longer supply any of JHMRs’ five retail stores: Hoback Sports, Jackson Hole Resort Store, Teton Village Sports, Jackson Hole Sports, and Rodeo.

The decision was applauded by some locals on social media, including Patagonia ambassador and Exum guide, Zahan Billimoria.

In a statement to Buckrail, Billimoria said he “couldn’t be more proud to be associated with Patagonia, as Yvon says ‘there’s no business to be done on a dead planet’ so it’s no surprise that they are saying no more.”

“I think we will see other major brands find their voice in this time. Young people in Wyoming may be left out of the political process, but they cant be cut out of voting with their dollars. I think that’s the future of activism, and I think JHMR will feel that,” Billimoria said.

Billimoria worked at JHMR as the Communications Manager “for many happy years,” he said.

U.S. Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) headlined the event held on Aug. 5 at Spring Creek Ranch. Each has perpetuated the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. Following a Department of Justice investigation, no evidence of widespread voter fraud was found.

Taylor Greene was recently suspended from Twitter for posting COVID-19 misinformation. She was removed from her house committees due to her support for QAnon and other conspiracy theories. Along the 2020 campaign trail, Politico released a series of old videos of Greene in which she called George Soros a Nazi (Soros is a Democratic mega-donor and Holocaust survivor) and also called the 2018 midterm election part of “an Islamic invasion of our government.”

The fundraiser drew a crowd of protestors at the corner of Spring Gulch Road and Highway 22, just down the road from Spring Creek Ranch. Community members made homemade signs protesting the Kemmerers and calling out the rhetoric of the politicians attending.

Teton County is historically a predominantly Democratic county. 67% of voters voted for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the 2020 election.

In response to the coverage of the protest, the JHMR board of directors, John Carney, Robert Grady, Eric Macy, Dennis Nau and John Valiante, penned a guest shot in the Jackson Hole News&Guide, titled “Resort is sound community leader.”

They said, “The resort welcomes guests and employs fantastic associates who have a diversity of views. We welcome them all, as we believe that diversity is good for our company, our community, and our country.”

The article went on to tout the resort’s various initiatives and investments including green energy, the resort’s commitment to health and safety, the guest experience and how the resort benefits the community.

According to the board of directors, JHMR employs 1,900 full-time employees making them the largest private employer in Teton County.

As a former JHMR employee, Billimoria shed light on what some employees might be feeling, especially those that are environmentally conscious. He said, “I think that many of the workers at JHMR, many of whom have worked there for decades, are embarrassed, it’s not fair to them.”

“You ask them to do all this work to make their operation more sustainable, and then you go and fund the destruction of the planet on a scale 100x more powerful – you’re deliberately undercutting the work your employees are doing. What kind of leadership is that?” Billimoria said.

“We would be well on our way to a sustainable future if it wasn’t for the power of a few very wealthy individuals, and the fossil fuel lobby behind them. There’s no future for young people if we keep letting them run our country,” Billimoria said.

Buckrail reached out directly to JHMR for comment with no response.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.

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