Snow King seeks zip line approval

Today the Jackson Town Council will consider a request by operators of the Snow King Ski Area to build a zip line on town land at the bottom of the mountain.

Snow King first floated the idea last May, and the reaction (here and here) has been less than enthusiastic.

This clip, apparently a promotional video made by the manufacturer, illustrates how the zip line would operate. Snow King has provided little information about the design, other than a diagram showing the proposed location.

The zip line would be 700 feet long, constructed east of the Cougar chairlift and west of the ice rink. The top and bottom stations would be on two parcels of land owned by the Town of Jackson. Snow King owns the parcel in between.

As reported in today’s Daily, Snow King pays the town $100 a month to lease this land for the ski area. Operators began digging the foundation for the top station of the zip line last fall without permission.

Proposed configuration. “SK Leased Property” is owned by the town.

At issue is whether the council should expand the permitted uses of the ski area “to include ziplines, mountain bike trails, and other outdoor amenities that may from time to time be approved by resolution of the Town Council.”

The zip line is the first in a series of projects Snow King Resort Holdings is planning for the mountain, including a network of downhill mountain bike trails, expanded snowmaking to the summit, construction of a pond atop the mountain to hold water for snowmaking and firefighting, and an alpine coaster. Operators will discuss these plans today as well.

To give input, email

The workshop begins at 2 p.m. The zip line proposal is expected to come up around 2:30 and last an hour.


Posted under Economy, Entertainment, Environment, Politics, Ski Resorts, Sports, Town Government

16 Comments so far

  1. Jim Stanford January 22, 2013 7:46 pm

    The council voted 4-1 today to approve the zip line. I cast the lone vote in opposition. No one from the public spoke against the proposal, although we received two emails urging rejection.

  2. stan January 23, 2013 1:41 pm

    If they are constructing the same type of zip line as in that video, LAME. They should do a traditional type of zipline that thing in the video looks absolutely stupid and that “fart” sound that it makes should surely enhance the atmosphere at the park and bouldering area . Thank you for opposing. Perhaps if people were more aware of what this “zipline” really will be.

  3. Paul P January 24, 2013 6:59 am

    Just get it over with and bring Disney in to run the King. It used to be a fine mountain next to town which provide an uncrowded and peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle below. Let the Village have the zip lines and bike tracks and the Tea Cup Rides.

  4. Jeremy M January 24, 2013 10:23 am

    paul p could not have said it better. too bad more council members did not see it that way.
    who won that miami/duke game last night?
    Go UNC!

  5. cm January 24, 2013 2:36 pm

    Zip line, alpine slide, alpine coaster, mini golf… sounds like the base area at The Canyons, which looks like a circus. I hope they are at least planning to upgrade the world’s lamest mini golf course.

  6. John R January 24, 2013 6:03 pm

    I really don’t think it’s fair to complain about the electeds response to this.

    There was quite a bit of dissent, in addition to Jim’s, about this concept at the council meeting. This was in direct contrast to unanimous support for the zip-line from Snow King and the Community Organizations that want Snow King to remain open for the public, basically no matter what. And critically, as Jim said, no one from the community stood up and opposed this, although two brave (laugh) citizens sent emails opposing it.

    The simple reality is that there’s pretty close to zero community action, involvement, or discussion about the future of Snow King.

    If you don’t want it to be a circus, then send an email to the electeds as Jim suggested, or better yet go to a Town Council meeting and give an impassioned speech describing what you want seen done. Or you can even track me down.

    If the comments on jhunderground were letters to the electeds instead or public comments, it would have made a real difference.

  7. The 53 Percent January 25, 2013 6:55 am

    What we really need is a blog where we can all attack or praise ideas at our convenience.

    Few of us want to attend a meeting – we work. And even fewer of us know what’s on an agenda.

    I like the give and take of a blog better than City Hall. You can praise an idea which didn’t cross your mind or pan it and get feedback that my change your mind. And you can run through those ideas at any time, not Council time.

    Besides that, you can criticize ideas that may be special to those you know closely without compromising working relationships. In a small town, that can be critical on issues like prayer at the rodeo.

    Snow King only survives with subsidies, not zip lines, but every revenue stream is one less tax dollar invested in ML’s retirement fund.

  8. SKundergrounder January 25, 2013 12:49 pm

    They need to figure out how to sell tickets during the winter. That should be their main focus. These types of expansion ideas will continue to further distract the mountain from its skiing/riding potential for years, hurting winter business worse each year. They are desperate for cash and these plans are like their panic button…
    They have released plans for public review, they can be found on their town hill facebook page or
    Look it over and post some feedback somewhere, discussion is needed.
    The sketches for rafferty base area are pretty darn laughable. Can’t find the link now, hope they were deleted..
    That zipline video was horrible, like a cheap carnival version of a chairlift..
    I wish they would scrap nearly all these plans for the meanwhile(keep the snowmaking expansion/swimming pond at summit) and go for a small TRAM to the summit, 3min rides. That’ll be making money year-round for 30+ years… I want to eat a burger and have a beer up there too, and I want to bring my parents up there for a sunset, safely. Currently the exhibition/summit lift is broke down and the building is haunted.

    The king is more popular than any rec center we will ever build, and it will take lots of forethought if they want to cram in ziplines, coasters and many downhill bike trails around the alpine slide, horseback riders, and the public and their canine friends.
    If this is truly the town hill, they will need to reach out to everyone, especially the ski and snowboard community. Some of you heroes that grew up here need to speak up too. If they win back locals, we’ll fix up those woods for free and put it back on the map… Tram laps in town by 2016? Maybe if we all speak up, they will find a way to make that happen.
    This is a unique ski area and they need to be more creative and efficient.
    Jim is the only right council member, management is rushing into this. Thanks for your vote, it speaks for a lot of people that forgot about the king. Glad someone still cares about Snow King-the mountain…
    After years of being broke/idle, this isn’t exactly what locals in America’s best ski town have been waiting for. Keep it a ski area, with only pure forms of recreation offered. Keep the slide and mini golf, they need some improvements as well though…

    We’ve all got ideas, you can’t go an hour there without saying “They need to…” …Never heard anyone say “They need to gamble money they don’t have on a zipline so we could someday make enough money to make up for our subpar winter operations…” Speak up before they rush through this… Stop focusing on the front yard and come help reclaim your backyard.

  9. Rob Weinstein January 25, 2013 7:06 pm

    What will happen, in theory, once the lease to TOJ expires in 20 (or however many) years? Who will take control of what?

  10. mat January 26, 2013 6:15 pm

    $500,000?? For that thing?? It’s a ski area first, put some money into that.

  11. Peggy January 26, 2013 7:31 pm

    Wait. We rent the TOJ’s land for $1? Really? Is that all it’s worth to ML? I want to rent the land for $2. They can double their money today. And I’ll pay more for the school land on the village road than any current lease holder. Why don’t we open it up for bid???

  12. Amy January 28, 2013 6:36 am

    Run a zip line off the Town Square Tavern balcony into Town Square.

    The zip line on the King is all about money & attracting visitors in quantity.

    We need quality attractions and quality visitors. We don’t need more traffic, more police to keep the drunks in line, and more visitors destroying what brings quality visitors here: fewer people and the natural environment.

    Jackson has sold out to the lowest common visitor.

  13. Michael van Hatten January 28, 2013 2:42 pm

    Do not allow this! It will bring no revenue to the mountain! What will is a Woodward training facility. Look at Copper resort in Colorado or in Tahoe

  14. John January 28, 2013 3:12 pm

    Well said, Michael. Here you go:

  15. SKundergrounder January 29, 2013 11:50 pm

    Thank you John for creating the Snow King Rebirth project. I’m in. Everyone here should have a voice in the town hill’s future, and a website like this is a giant first step towards the future. I hope to see a forum there soon with real discussion.
    Also, as John R and “53% ” said above, there needs to be some kind of online forum where everyone can address our county officials etc.. Meetings suck.

    It’s your own private ski area in your backyard, what do you want??? Please don’t say a Soaring Eagle Zipline, thats chump change, a cheap thrill. I think its an insult. My vote goes for a small tram, and a town hill run by its users, a new beginning, Jackson Ridge… I think the attraction of a tram can make everyone’s dreams possible there, and I can’t wait.

  16. recreationsnobs February 3, 2013 11:31 am

    You’re boulder park is ok. You’re ice climbing park is ok. Thousands of mtn bikes, hikers, and dogs impacting the king all summer for free are ok….but you point hissing fingers at a zipline? hilarious.

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