JH Airport considers onsite bear spray rental/exchange program

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – What is the one item you will likely never need but want to make sure you have on your person while enjoying a hike in Jackson Hole? Hint: If you try to bring it with you on your flight, TSA will pull it from your bags.

Bear spray is one of the most common items to wind up in the confiscated bin at the Jackson Hole Airport. It is on the list of items you may not fly with. Visitors on their way home often forget they even have it (and probably have little use for it when they get back to Chicago…or Dallas…or San Francisco). Frustratingly, it is also something you can’t pack for your trip here.

It sounds like the perfect item of necessary to rent—like an umbrella in London—but there are few places to do so in Jackson (Teton Backcountry Rentals is one). The perfect solution may just be in the works.

The Jackson Hole Airport Board is currently seeking proposals for its use in selecting a vendor to provide an exclusive bear spray rental service at the airport. The hope is to provide a place where bear spray is the first thing on the minds of arriving visitors and gives a place where departing visitors can leave behind their canister for the next guest.

It’s all a part of the airport’s effort to be more environmentally conscious, said assistant administrative manager Anna Valsing.

“We’ve had several local companies approach us through the years and the board determined it was something we would like to look into this season as a great option for passengers at the airport,” Valsing said.

Current practice is to hand over confiscated bear spray canisters to a private company in Montana that disposes of the contents and recycles the cans. It is a process that often wastes good pepper spray.

The board will review proposals at its meeting in May or June and should have the program implemented this summer.

The selected vendor will be expected to bring their own kiosk setup which will be installed in the vending machine area off the baggage claim. Signage and pricing will be determined by the vendor and airport board.

A similar program allowing for simple pick-up and returns is in place at the Bozeman Airport with Explore Rentals.

Interested in providing the service?

Proposal information may be obtained at the office of the Executive Director of the Jackson Hole Airport by contacting Kaitlin Perkins at [email protected] or 307-733-7695.

Proposals must be received by 3pm on May 9 at the:

Administration Office
ATTN: Anna Valsing, Assistant Administrative Manager
Jackson Hole Airport, Airport Terminal Building
1250 E. Airport Rd.
Jackson, Wyoming 83001

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