lodging tax funds: winners and losers

By Jim Stanford on January 26, 2012

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Aaron Pruzan carves a fresh turn Tuesday, when the morning snow glittered like diamonds. Pruzan has done yeoman's work on the Travel and Tourism Board, but often is outvoted by those who favor conventional marketing.

The Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board has decided which community groups will receive lodging tax funds for promoting their events this year. The distribution is somewhat puzzling.

The chamber of commerce — well represented on the board — is the biggest recipient, netting $46,500 for Old West Days, Jackson Hole Marathon, Destination Wellness and WinterFest, the News&Guide reported.

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort will receive the maximum $20,000 for its Mountain Fest, the centerpiece of which is a free concert March 31. The resort has not yet booked a band, but the additional funding gives promoters a stronger hand, said Andy Calder, who produces the event for the resort with Dom Gagliardi of Poppa Presents.

“Let’s shoot for the stars* here,” Calder said.

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Posted under County Government, Economy, Entertainment, Music, Politics, Sports, Town Government

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King’s Summit Chair down

By Jim Stanford on March 4, 2010

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Town Downhill may be abbreviated.

A mechanical problem has forced Snow King to close its Summit Chairlift until the middle of next week.

Workers will be replacing the bearings in the bottom bullwheel, which have worn out after 30 years.

“It’s a big project taking all that hardwear apart,” says Ski Area Manager Jim Sullivan. The lift has been closed since Monday.

Sullivan said the resort aims to have the chair ready in time for the Town Downhill on March 13-14 and Snowmobile Hill Climb on March 26-28.

Of greater concern for both events is the lack of snow. The Grizzly slope, where the downhill is run, is thin near the top.

Sullivan says it’s doubtful the race will be run at its full length, although the Jackson Hole Ski Club’s race crew is exploring every option.

For the Hill Climb, always controversial because of its impact on the mountain, snowmobilers are likely to tear through a soft, shallow base on the Exhibition run rather quickly. The key, Sullivan says, is proper reclamation after the event.

The ground froze solid on the north-facing slope this year, which will help keep sleds from ripping up too much vegetation, he says. The resort also made a lot of snow on the lower part of Exhibition.

Sullivan sticks by his challenge for anyone to inspect the slope on July 15 and find much damage; hikers and dogs cause more impact, he says.

As for the lack of snow, “We’ve seen much worse,” Sullivan says.


Posted under Ski Resorts, Sports, Weather

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radical women disrupt tranquility of Hill Climb

By Favio Snimp on March 28, 2008

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Jackson police respond to threatControversy erupted at the 33rd World Championship Snowmobile Hill Climb late Thursday as event organizers were ambushed by last-minute entries of hybrid snowmobiles.

The four-woman team from California-Amazon Technical School, calling themselves “Team Al Gore Rhythm,” arrived unannounced in a Toyota Prius towing two experimental sleds which they claimed burned an alternative fuel.

Jennifer Flynn, the team captain, said, “We’ve been working on a recyclables-based technology we call pre-apocalyptic craptacular fusion. Using a mixture of sea water, pulverized No. 1 plastic and shredded coated-print stock — we use Victoria’s Secret catalogs because we love the irony — we have created a 55-pound engine that delivers nearly pure energy. The gimbal-mounted flywheel acts as a gyroscopic stabilizer, too.”

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Posted under Environment, Humor

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odd buzzing noise heard in east Jackson

By Eddie Swirling on March 27, 2008

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dude, that's annoying! — photo by Duncan SmithResidents of east Jackson reported being disturbed this morning by a nuisant whining noise that began abruptly and has carried on for hours.

“Dude, what is, like, someone clear-cutting Cache Creek with a chainsaw?” said Carter Stoneman. The part-time ski instructor reported feeling “shanked” when the buzz became audible over the Widespread Panic jam he was listening to.

“It sounds like someone is drilling an oil rig straight into Snow King Mountain,” said Emily Trussfund, who nearly spilled her herb tea at the nonprofit she works for, upon hearing the grating sound.

Customers at nearby Pearl Street Bagels began coughing after mysterious fumes wafted through the neighborhood. Authorities are investigating.


Posted under Environment, Humor

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skid marks

By Jim Stanford on March 26, 2007

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no more virgin snow on the King's Exhibition run this seasonIt looks ugly, but by summer no one will notice.

So says Snow King Ski Area Manager Jim Sullivan, speaking of the S-shaped gashes left on the hillside by the “World Championship” Snowmobile Hill Climb this weekend.

Any damage inflicted on the mountain by snowmobiles will be remedied, Sullivan said Monday morning, preparing to head up and begin reseeding by hand.

Officials from Snow King and the U.S. Forest Service will meet this afternoon with the Jackson Hole Snow Devils, which organizes the event, to assess the damage, Sullivan said.

“I am not saying it looks good,” Sullivan said. “We are going to fix it, and it will be just fine.”

Although the Hill Climb, in which racers ride souped-up snowmobiles straight up the King’s steep Exhibition run, typically leaves a mark on the slope, this year the tracks were particularly glaring because of thin snow cover and unusually warm temperatures.

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Posted under Environment, Sports

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