JACKSON, Wyo. — The Jackson Town Council approved a concessionaire agreement with WW Productions, the operators of the Jackson Hole Rodeo during the Oct. 4 regular meeting.
During the meeting, Phillip Wilson, owner of WW Productions, spoke to the Council, thanking them for the past 12 years. “We started out with a dream and a vision of how to produce a rodeo and what we needed to do for the community.” The family-owned business is run by Phillip and his three sons along with the entire Wilson family.
The new agreement will allow the Rodeo to operate for five years, until Sept. 30, 2026. The agreement expires during the same year the long-term lease for the grounds expires with Teton County, the owners of the property. The town of Jackson leases the land from Teton County.
The Agreement requires the concessionaire to pay the Town 10% of gross proceeds or $50,000, whichever is greater. The past several years the amount has been, $75,415.45 in 2020, $145,348.27 in 2019, $129,036.68 in 2018, and $123,960.68 in 2017.
According to the staff report written by town staff, “the Town Council has not yet engaged in dialogue about the future of the land now occupied by the fair and rodeo grounds beyond 2026. In June of 2021, Town Council directed Community Development staff to begin these conversations in 2022. When that occurs in the new year, and if it is the will of the majority of the body, Council will be able to direct staff to consider potential options related to this large topic including whether to begin a neighborhood planning process for the area or whether the use and property should remain as is. This dialogue will begin in 2022 and is expected to continue for years to come.”
In response to discussions about neighborhood planning and affordable housing opportunities on the land, a petition has started called, “Save The Fairgrounds.”
The petition asks the Town of Jackson and Teton County to hold a special referendum, “allowing the citizens of Teton County the opportunity to vote on whether or not we want to not turn our historic Rodeo and Fairgrounds into affordable housing, or anything else other than its current use.”
“Our historic rodeo and fairgrounds serve an integral purpose in safekeeping Jackson Hole as “The Last of the Old West.” The convenience and profit of a few must not allow the Rodeo and Fairgrounds to be turned into affordable housing thereby irrevocably destroying the character of the Jackson Hole we know and love,” states the petition.
An end-of-season report from the Jackson Hole Rodeo will be presented at the Oct. 18 meeting.