Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY, Owner Pens Letter to Employees Defending His Political Contributions

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Jay Kemmerer, Jackson Hole, owner
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort owner Jay Kemmerer. Credit: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Following a couple of weeks of controversy, culminating in Patagonia withdrawing its products from retail outlets at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY, Jay Kemmerer, joint owner, has now had his say.

Two weeks ago, it came to light that Jackson Hole residents were reconsidering their season pass purchases after the owners of the resort had hosted a fundraiser attended by Republicans Jim Jordan and Marjorie Taylor Greene, and former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows reported the Jackson Hole News & GuideThe three were invited for their ties to the House Freedom Caucus, which includes the “most conservative of all Republicans.” A week later, Patagonia announced that they would no longer supply the resort with its products for the same reasons.

In a letter (in full below) sent to all employees, Kemmerer says he is “saddened and troubled that my personal political contributions would negatively affect you and the resort,” adding that his views are his own and do not reflect those of the resort. He goes on to add that he believes “everyone should live their lives according to their personal beliefs and values, and support causes of their choice.” In response to Patagonia’s actions, he highlights the resort’s “commitment to our surrounding landscape, wildlife and authentic community character” and their changes to reduce their environmental impact.

Full letter below:

Dear JHMR Team,

Let me start by thanking you for being a part of the JHMR team, for your commitment and your support of the Resort. The ‘20-‘21 winter season was our most challenging and your hard work ensured we protected jobs at JHMR and in our Community. My focus and priority have always been and will continue to be our team, our guests and continued investment in the business to enrich lives, create lasting memories, and preserve the environment we cherish and live in.

Recently, protests and the Patagonia boycott in response to my personal actions have made the news. I am writing to let you know what I stand for and what my commitment is to you, our valued employees.

I am proud of what JHMR has accomplished over our 29 years of ownership. With an enduring commitment to our surrounding landscape, wildlife and authentic community character, we have been and will continue to be focused on reducing environmental impact. We have transitioned to 100% Green Power for all of our electricity needs, running our buildings, lifts and snowmaking on wind energy. Many of our vehicles run on veggie oil, we recycle consumables used by employees and guests, and support and contribute to Protect Our Winters. We modified our operations last season to introduce health and safety protocols to protect our guests and our employees which enabled our guests and our community access to our resort during the pandemic. We will continue to strive to be a company which is a leader in serving our customers and in providing a positive, engaging and safe workplace for our team.

I am saddened and troubled that my personal political contributions would negatively affect you and the Resort. It was never my intention to create unwanted media attention. I want to stress that JHMR does not support any political candidates or political causes. The Resort did not co-host the fundraising event in question. The contributions I make are what I believe are in the best interests of America, a Country I love with all my heart. I believe everyone should live their lives according to their personal beliefs and values, and support causes of their choice. I have always kept my personal views separate from my leadership at the Resort and will continue to do so. I would never impose my values on others.

Please know, I respect you for your beliefs and values. I do not want to cause you stress due to the conflicts that dominate today’s political landscape, particularly with the re-emergence of Covid. I ask that we be united under a common goal: to be the best stewards of our mountain, protecting the environment, serving our Community, and providing enjoyment and safety to our guests. Working together, we will continue to serve this purpose for the benefit of all.

Thank you for all you have done to make the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort one of the leading ski resorts in the world.

With heartfelt appreciation, Jay Kemmerer

Jay and Karen Kemmerer have owned Jackson Hole Mountain Resort since 1992.

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8 thoughts on “Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY, Owner Pens Letter to Employees Defending His Political Contributions

  1. Jay kashmorer the 3rd ,born into big coal bucks.
    Corporatists and capitalists are not sustainable for the common person.

  2. Saying the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is reducing its environmental impact is like a coal plant saying it uses wind power for all its electrical needs.

    Industrial tourism is all about wasting natural resources for pleasure.

    Auden Schendler (VP of ‘sustainability’ with the Aspen Skiing Company) can’t even pretend his company does it.

    “Corporate sustainability as currently practiced is complicit with the fossil fuel industry.” AS

    In regards to the uproar over the far-right politics butting heads with the far-left, if the pow is good this winter, none cares.

    1. No ones trying “cancel free speech.” He has the right to support anyone he wants and they, his employees, towns people and pass holders who find his support of these candidates repugnant, have the right to no longer give the resort he owns their hard earned cash.

      1. Howard, you are completely right. Those employees don’t have to work there if they don’t like the owners choices when they exercise their right to support whatever causes they see fit. Patagonia isn’t nearly as “pristine” as they would like everyone to believe. Hypocritical would be more fitting. They will disparage a citizen for exercising that citizens rights to make political contributions or support candidates and causes they deem worthy by standards set by themselves, yet this is the company’s policy when dealing with a country with a horrible record of human rights abuse and the biggest polluter in the entire world.

        From their very own Footprint Chronicles.
        “We’ve made the choice not to disengage
        from countries on the basis of their policies. We believe in choosing factories wisely and in constructive engagement with others to
        lobby or work for change.
        Of the 43 factories we currently contract with to make Patagonia
        products, 13 are in China and nine are in the U.S. (Click here and
        scroll to the bottom left of the page for the entire list.) Far more
        of our products are made by those Chinese suppliers than they
        are by the U.S factories because of their expertise and price”

        1. Don’t really understand what’s hypocritical about that. House Freedom Caucus tried to lead a soft coup and is actively spreading lies about our electoral process NOBODY is willing to repeat under oath as they know they would be committing perjury.

          I think you’re allowed to draw a line at hosting a fund raiser for them without being pure of heart and mind.

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