JACKSON, WYO — As the crow flies, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a mere 4.5 miles from Jackson Hole Airport, however the two locations are separated by the mighty Snake River. Utilizing existing road and bridge infrastructure air travelers are forced to embark on a 21-mile journey that takes roughly 35 minutes, a taxi can cost upwards of $70 to $100 dollars for the ride. Growing traffic problems and increasing winter visitation to Jackson require an out of the box solution and PowdAir has provided just that.
PowdAir Transportation, LLC has recently received approval on their application to install a zip line across the Snake River. Utilizing a network of Polaris side-by-side ATV’s outfitted with snow tracks, a zip line and private land use rights, PowdAir will offer adventurous travelers a 7 minute transit time from “Plane to Powder”.
Shelton Wiley III, CEO and Co-Founder of PowdAir, sat down with Buckrail to chat more about this innovative and first of it’s kind transportation experience.
“You have just the right ingredients to make this all work; adventure-seeking visitors, a serious traffic problem and the right terrain for a zip line” said Shelton.
A victim of Jackson traffic problems himself, Shelton said he was stuck in traffic when his Uber driver started to explain the Green Bridge/North Bridge proposal, a new road and bridge connecting the airport to Teton Village. “While this may save time it doesn’t take cars off the road,” Shelton said. “It just puts them on a new one.”
Drawing on inspiration from a Sandals resort vacation back when Shelton was just 14, he remembered a zip line canopy tour his family took and thought, “This might just work”.
“We really wanted to consider the ecological and environmental impacts of this project,” Wiley said. “Zip lines are far less intrusive than a bridge or road, are less harmful to wildlife, and, let’s be honest, way more fun.”
While the proposed North Bridge is tied up in red tape and may never get off the ground (pun intended). PowdAir is able to set up their zip line in just a few days with no permanent impacts on the local environment.
Shelton is also in a unique situation to negotiate land use rights as his family owns considerable acreage on both sides of the river. “My father has always supported my ideas, he helped fund Wyoming Air Company back in 2016 and is thrilled to be the sole investor in PowdAir. As long as he can use the service, he said we can run this operation on his land.”
Teton County officials applauded the project’s innovation and out of the box thinking. Many agree that PowdAir’s Zip Line transportation project aligns with the community’s mission to utilize public transportation, alleviate traffic congestion and lower overall vehicle emissions.
Arriving in Jackson for the 2019/2020 season, PowdAir will offer transit from the Airport to Teton Village for $39.95 per person. Significantly more affordable then current taxi transportation, Shelton noted. Your gear and luggage will follow you across the zip line in an attached cargo car and accompany you in the side-by-side.
At its fastest, PowdAir clocked a start to finish transit time of just 4 minutes and 1 second. Check your calendar.
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