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JHMR employees demand free parking, JHMR and TVA say its more complicated

Editor’s note 3 p.m. Dec. 10: The petition which received over 500 signatures has been taken down off change.org. This is an ongoing story and will be updated when Buckrail has more information. 

TETON VILLAGE, Wyo. — Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) employees have started a petition asking for free parking in the village. The petition has been circulating online, with over 500 of the 1,000 signature goal.

The petition lists JHMR Leadership and Teton Village Association (TVA) as decision-makers. It also includes a letter, outlining employee concerns this season surrounding public transportation and parking in Teton Village, saying, “Specifically, we are concerned about the way the current parking and transportation system elevates risks to employee health, and puts an undue financial burden on employees seeking to mitigate that risk.”

The letter lists three proposed solutions, “Pay employees a stipend of $20 per day they work to offset the cost of parking in the Ranch Lot. Open new parking lots for employees only. Open up the Ranch Lot to free employee parking, and open other lots for carpooling to replace the Ranch Lot.”

JHMR and TVA say the situation is more nuanced. Decisions surrounding parking in Teton Village are dependant on the Transportation Demand Management program, created in 1998. The plan was created to, “encourage travel by alternative modes and ensure that vehicle traffic from the expanded ski resort would not overwhelm the road system.”

Melissa Turley, Executive Director of TVA, explained this further, saying, “We do have a limited amount of parking in the village, and that is really intentional. Not only is it a place where we are simply limited on space, but that master plan and transportation demand management program limit the number of public parking spaces available in order to reduce trips specifically on Teton Village Road.”

Tyler LaMotte, Chief Brand Officer at JHMR explained a few solutions that JHMR and TVA were able to create while adhering to the Transportation Demand Management plan.

“We started this process a long time ago, trying to look at areas where we can get creative and explore alternative parking situation and scenarios even outside of TVA, trying to talk with different property owners and who could we work with where there might be flexibility with additional parking spaces,” said LaMotte

One solution is a new employee parking area for permanent employees that was recently approved in Teton Village.

“That lot opens up another 150 additional spaces for our employees,” said LaMotte adding, “that’s a great thing being able to add something that we just didn’t have before, and we’ve been working on that for a long time.”

LaMotte also described a new shuttle system from Stilson for employees. “We are working with TVA on having a dedicated  JHMR employee-only shuttle bus from Stilson. If an employee wants to carpool or drive by themselves, from the Stilson lot they can take that employee shuttle. Capacities are also reduced with health and safety protocols in place.”

The shuttle will run in both the mornings and afternoons. LaMotte describes the new shuttle as, “A dedicated transportation outside of public that employees can take and feel comfortable in.” There is not yet a specific date the new employee-only shuttle will begin running, but LaMotte, said, “likely it will be middle of this month as we get ready for busy peak season.”

“It’s a different year, there’s no question, we are trying to accommodate and find as many different solutions as possible and knowing that we also need partnership and collaboration with our stakeholders, that includes our community and our employees,” said LaMotte.

“At this time we are not making any changes to the carpooling requirements or parking fees in the parking lots, that is what we need to do to keep in line with the transportation management plan,” said Anna Cole, Communications Manager at JHMR.

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