By Jim Stanford on June 29, 2012
A few weeks ago I stopped in at Teton Village and noticed a change. The “Jackson Hole Ski Resort” sign had been removed from the old entrance road.
Call me a stodgy traditionalist, but I always use the old road to enter the village. And there was something welcoming about that wooden sign, a throwback to another era when ski resorts were guests on public land.
After some investigating, I found that the sign was removed at the behest of the Forest Service, whose new supervisor, Jacque Buchanan, reportedly felt it was out of date. “It was not good representation of the forest,” Bridger-Teton spokeswoman Mary Cernicek said. “It was in a pretty poor state.”
The sign may have been the original entrance greeting to the village. It dates at least prior to 1973, when the Bridger and Teton forests were combined. I have been unable to reach former ski school meister Pepi Stiegler to verify its age.
Built in 1965, the resort was known as the Jackson Hole Ski Area until about 1998, when, in an effort to broaden year-round appeal, it was renamed Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
The Forest Service plans to install a new sign with the full “Bridger-Teton National Forest” insignia, possibly as early as this summer, Cernicek said. No word yet on the cost or what the design will look like.
The old sign sits in a maintenance yard at the resort. Snow King Ski Area used to have a similar marker, but it, too, was removed.
The old entrance road to the village is slated to fade into history soon as well, said Sue Bybee, president of Teton Village Association. A new road will be built slightly north, providing direct entrance to the Ranch Lot; the current layout sits on land slated for development, she said.
My use of the old road is rooted in nostalgia, for it was where I went on my first night in Jackson Hole (on the way to the Sojourner Pub), and utility, as it is the easiest route to free short-term parking in front of the hotels and the discounted Ranch Lot.
Despite all the upscale additions, I can’t help but pine for the old Teton Village.
(Photo via JHMR)