JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Snow King Mountain Stakeholder Group presented its findings before the town council during an afternoon workshop. The group brought forth four wide-ranging scenarios it identified as possible outcomes for the future of Snow King.
No action was taken but it was the first look for the councilors at what came of long hours of discussion over Snow King.
A strong turnout for anything and everything to do with Snow King Mountain has owners excited about the engagement, and conservation organizations urging elected officials to get it right.
Wherever one stands on what should be done with Snow King, all agree the attendance at open houses and presentation meetings has been impressive.
“We are really grateful and honored that over 500 people attended open houses and presentations, over 1,000 people signed a petition supporting our Phase 2 Plans; and many, many more have contributed feedback through emails, public comments, and speaking to us one-on-one,” said Snow King Mountain Resort general manager Ryan Stanley. “This community and our neighbors have engaged in this process for years and Snow King has actively and responsively made changes along the way, taking into account the input we have received as best we can.”
After a 14-member stakeholder group put forth its recommendations concerning the resort’s master plan, Snow King says it is working on amending Phase 2 proposals to “reflect the community’s input over the last months.” It is anticipated that Snow King will submit revised plans soon to the Forest Service for on mountain improvements, and the Town of Jackson for proposals at the base of the mountain, as soon as they can be finalized.
The Conservation Alliance is one organization that has been watching the issue closely. All along the watchdog group has been saying, “We all want Snow King to succeed—and to do so in a way that respects and reflects our community values as our Town Hill, not a private amusement park.”
The Alliance also points to a few “red flags” that bear close scrutiny, including fair deals for public land and access.
“Snow King wants to land a new gondola on Phil Baux Park. Additionally, Snow King started charging locals for uphill access this season, even though the Town leases almost 30 acres to Snow King for only $100 a month,” the Alliance stated in a recent press release. “We see a pattern of Snow King taking public land and not returning a fair exchange.”
The Alliance also wanted to hold firm on no additional expansion of the ski resort footprint into wildlife habitat. East, west and backside (Leeks Canyon) expansion was strongly discouraged by the Alliance.
“We ask that the Forest Service not allow new development, roads, or chairlifts outside the existing operating footprint. Instead, we encourage Snow King to improve terrain within their existing footprint,” the Alliance stated.
The Alliance further stressed the importance of making sure all added amenities or new development be properly mitigated with respect to housing and parking.
Representatives of Snow King admitted they are challenged with striking the best balance to adequately reflect the diverse perspectives within the community, and the variety of user groups on the mountain. “Snow King Mountain Resort is committed to developing a solution that holds to the best interests of the valley and the best future for the small ski resort,” Stanley assured.
Snow King Mountain Resort board member Jeff Golightly said, “We are pleased with the collaborative nature of [the stakeholder] group. Our plan will take into account all of these voices and will seek to balance those interests to the best of our ability. We look forward to the next steps of this process and will work hand-in-hand with the US Forest Service and the Town of Jackson to ensure the best outcome for all parties.”
Snow King Stakeholders Group Members
Anna Olson, Bob Carruth, Bob McLaurin, Brad Nielson, Brian Krill, Chris Owen, Christy Gillespi, Geneva Chong, Jeff Golightly, Jim LaRoe, Joe Madera, Mary Erickson, Rod Newcomb, Ryan Stanley, Samantha Danahy, and Tyler Sinclair.
685 & 695 BOOSHWAY STREET Driggs
236 E 5TH AVE Afton
13 W DOGWOOD STREET Victor
1296 BROOKTROUT DR Victor
8580 CREEK CROSSING LP Jackson
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