JACKSON, Wyo. — Jackson Hole’s tourism engine is sputtering to life this summer. Some seasonal tourism-based operators are opening, some not, and a great majority are just trying to figure out what the future looks like.
The latest loss for this season’s lineup of tour operators is Mad River Boat Trips. Operating under the Forever Resorts flag, the Jackson Hole river rafting outfitter has pulled the plug on the 2020 season.
“Due to public health and logistical considerations, Mad River Boat Trips will not operate for the 2020 season,” said John Schoppmann, executive vice president for Forever Resorts. “While we made the difficult decision to shutter our Mad River operation for this season, we look forward to welcoming our river passengers back to ride the river with us next year.”
Despite the bad news, Forever Resorts did announce Scenic Safaris will be up and running for the 2020 summer season.
The year-round outdoor and wildlife tour operator specializing in the wildlife and scenery of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and their environs, plans to open in mid-June. The company will offer van tours into the parks, as well as guided and self-guided tours for ATV’s and side-by-side rentals.
Also available are self-guided tours for side-by-side rentals in Bridger-Teton National Forest. Scenic Safaris is operated by national park service concessioner Forever Resorts.
“We are pleased to be able to offer Scenic Safaris tours this summer into some of the American West’s most dazzling national parks,” Schoppmann said. “Our company has always adhered to the highest standards and continually monitors new developments to ensure the health and safety of our guests and employees.”
In addition to using cleaning and sanitizing chemicals recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scenic Safaris has implemented the following supplemental standard operating procedures:
- Guides and guests will be expected to wear proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), where applicable.
- Guides will maintain a six-foot minimum social distance from guests.
- Transport vans will be outfitted with social distancing dividers – separating guests from each other and from the guide.
- Guests will be greeted by office staff wearing PPE.
- Guests riding ATVs and side-by-sides will be handed disinfected and clean helmets from a secured helmet fitting area. When guests return to the office, they will be instructed to leave helmets outside.