According to Jackson Hole News & Guide, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort lost an estimated $2.5 million due to last weeks 5-day closure. The entire Jackson Hole area lost an estimated $5 million dollars due to that same ordeal. 17 downed power poles forced JHMR President and CEO Jerry Blann to close down the mountain for a total of 5 days. An estimated 1,500 rentable units in the area were deserted due to the lack of power and mountain closure.
It wasn’t just lost revenue that caused Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to lose money, they also began to incur costs throughout the closure. Ski patrol had to do avalanche mitigation, snowcat drivers helped dig out power poles, and marketing teams worked around the clock to ease concerns of stranded mountain guests. As profitability has declined from coil, oil, and gas extraction, the state has become more reliant on taxes for funding. It was estimated that roughly $400,000 to $500,000 in tax revenue was lost last week, with an 8 percent sales tax in the Village and a 2 percent lodging tax.
“It was a tough five days,” Blann said. “While we weren’t bringing in revenue we were also taking on a lot of expenses. But when these kind of events happen that’s when people step up.”
Thankfully, a lot of guests didn’t leave Wyoming, they went to town and stayed there. Local hotels and motels in town experienced a huge jump in reservations once the power had gone out at the Teton Village. The Teton Pass was closed due to avalanche mitigation, snow removal, and dangerous driving conditions, which meant that employees were stuck in town if they didn’t live there. Establishments soon wore out the only employees that they had, so they had to figure out a solution. They were able to stay at local hotels and motels, but they were needed to work. This situation has influenced the city to start working towards affordable housing for local employees. We hope to see progress on this initiative in the near future. All in all, it was a disastrous week in Jackson Hole, but it could’ve been a lot worse without local help and cooperation from guests.
“Every access point to Jackson was closed,” Paul Beaupre, CEO of St. John’s Hospital said. “About 35 percent of our workforce does not live in Jackson. … We have people here that can’t get back home. … We actually open up housing for them at the Hitching Post or open patient rooms and we put them up, we feed them. There’s significant cost but we do it because we really need them a part of the work force.”