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The battle begins

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
for state funding of a new Jackson Hole aerial tram as the Wyoming legislature begins their budget session and decides if state funding for the tram will be paid for in part with the $1.8 billion surplus they are sitting on.

Just got off the phone with one of buddies who has been active in Teton County politics for 30 years. Wyoming's Senate President who is from Jackson is backing the funding. Interestly his son is a bigwig at Snow King, and is a conservative Republican.

They estimate the cost at around 25 million, the owners of the resort, the Kemmerer family has pledged 5 million. Most local officials from the Mayor of Jackson to Teton County Commissioners are backing it.

The original tram which was built in 1965 was paid for by a federal economic developement grant. The resort has some strong economical reasons for the state to help fund the tram. It's going to be interesting how this turns out.

Since the state is so flush I think they will come thru.I think it will be close. This has now been put in the political arena so I guess one never knows how things will end up. I wouldn't be surprised if there is strong opposition from the other side of the state.

Overall the people of Wyoming are pretty conservative and by the resort's own data 75% of the resort's business comes from destination guests most coming from out of state.

If you care about this you can write to the legislators who are members of the Budget Committee. Doesn't matter if your not a Wyoming resident, you represent tourist dollars, a major Wyoming revenue channel.
post #2 of 23
On a related note, it's now pretty widely speculated that the ski corp will NOT be putting a surface lift on Rendezvous Bowl. They're switched over to favoring a chairlift during the "interim" when there is no tram rather than putting up a poma or t-bar.

I'm still enormously in favor of the idea of the ski corp offering five hundred or a thousand liftime lift passes for a price of $20,000 each. That would be ten or twenty million toward the new tram.
post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
I'm still enormously in favor of the idea of the ski corp offering five hundred or a thousand liftime lift passes for a price of $20,000 each. That would be ten or twenty million toward the new tram.
Hm. Seems like you could finance the extra $20M and bilk the 500 or 1000 people out of seasonal passes every year and eventually come out ahead.

Now, a $40,000 lifetime pass that could be transferred one-time only would be an interesting investment and you'd probably be able to find 250 or 500 people willing to do that.

Good luck with everything up there!
post #4 of 23
I hope The Wyoming Legislature is more enlightened then The Utah Legislature. Many in Utah still don't see skiing as being all that great for the over all economy. Every time ski resorts ask for more dollars for marketing. Someone in the Legislature will make a point that there are more visitors to the Mormon Temple then come to Utah to ski. What they fail to see is the average skier spends per day vs. What the average visitor to Temple Square spends per day. Maybe now that we have a Governor who skis things might change.
Colorado has a great system. Part of The sales tax that is generated by lift ticket sales goes right back to the resort to be used for on mountain improvements and or Marketing.
I'm sure that the some Engineering firm and Construction Company has a lobbyist working the Wyoming Legislature for all it's worth.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah49
I hope The Wyoming Legislature is more enlightened then The Utah Legislature. Many in Utah still don't see skiing as being all that great for the over all economy. Every time ski resorts ask for more dollars for marketing. Someone in the Legislature will make a point that there are more visitors to the Mormon Temple then come to Utah to ski. What they fail to see is the average skier spends per day vs. What the average visitor to Temple Square spends per day. Maybe now that we have a Governor who skis things might change.
.
The rumor around these parts is that your skiing governor is putting large piles of his own money into real estate around Victor, Driggs, and Grand Targhee.
post #6 of 23
Take the money out of the tourism tax dollars raised for car rentals, hotel stays, lift ticket sales, etc. Maybe see if Dick Cheney and friends can get a no bid contract to build the tram; I hear Dick likes to ski at Jackson, along with a good buddy of his named Scooter. Gee, maybe the Wyoming Republican's that recieved money from Abramoff could donate it to the tram cause.
post #7 of 23
The line that is making the rounds was generated in the states largest newspaper. "If the people of Wyoming end up paying for this private venture then they should get a free trip on the tram, no reason to have to pay twice to get taken for a ride". The Govenor has cime out against it and there are laws on the books about state money funding private projects, although I think JHMR is working to get around that by making Teton Village the benifactor of the project. They have a rough road to hoe to sell this to the rest of the state that doesn't consider JH as being a part of the "real Wyoming" "read extreme consertive".
post #8 of 23
I don't get what the opposition to something like that would be. Do people complain when roads are re-paved or improved? It benefits many people and is iconic with that part of the state. Seems to me to be a small price to pay for such a large public benefit.

Powdr
post #9 of 23
Powrd:
I agree with you 100% but when did public good and common sense every enter into politics. What most people and especially the people in and around JH don't understand is that the rest of the state really don't like them or even consider them a part of the state (I'm not a part of that group or condone those feelings). Wyoming is a VERY conservative state, mabe more so than even Utah. We are an agriculture and energy driven economy. Both would be described as boom and bust at best. Jackson on the other hand is a very transiant and affulent part of the state that has nothing in common with the other 95% of the state. It's all good when JH is dumping $$$ into the coffers when the ag and oil is down but don't come around with you're hand out when oil is king. (Ag is always a drain on Wyoming in my opinion). Remember about the only people in the legislature are from the ag industry (they're the only ones that can take that much time off) and yes people bitch and moan when hiways are built or improved. As a matter of fact the big road improvement project to rebuild the road from Dubois to JH has been so bitched about that it has been shoved back for another year.
Just the views from a life long Wyoming resident.
Rick
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by adipose
Powrd:
I agree with you 100% but when did public good and common sense every enter into politics. What most people and especially the people in and around JH don't understand is that the rest of the state really don't like them or even consider them a part of the state (I'm not a part of that group or condone those feelings). Wyoming is a VERY conservative state, mabe more so than even Utah. We are an agriculture and energy driven economy. Both would be described as boom and bust at best. Jackson on the other hand is a very transiant and affulent part of the state that has nothing in common with the other 95% of the state. It's all good when JH is dumping $$$ into the coffers when the ag and oil is down but don't come around with you're hand out when oil is king. (Ag is always a drain on Wyoming in my opinion). Remember about the only people in the legislature are from the ag industry (they're the only ones that can take that much time off) and yes people bitch and moan when hiways are built or improved. As a matter of fact the big road improvement project to rebuild the road from Dubois to JH has been so bitched about that it has been shoved back for another year.
Just the views from a life long Wyoming resident.Rick
Rick....so true, so true. I went to UW(go pokes) then moved to Gillette after graduating for a couple of years then got a job with the state in Jackson. I got the job primarily cause they could not find anyone who was willing to move there. Personally, I was thrilled as it was exactly where I wanted to end up.

All my friends around the state referred to Jackson Hole as Wyodisney. I worked for 6 years as the contract photog in JH for the Casper Star-Tribune(the paper I assume you are referring to) and the State Editor, who I worked very closely with, refused to come up to Jackson for a meeting. I had to drive to Casper. I never could understand why everyone around the state hated the place so much. Actually I do, figured it out when I moved back to Vermont.

Nice to see a "real" Wyomingite on the board.
post #11 of 23
The Gov doesn't have to take a 2nd mortgage on his Deer Valley estate. The Huntsmen Family Has a few bucks in the Bank.

In a way I kind of understand The why people from other parts of Wyoming would be resentful of putting up funds for The Tram at Jackson Hole. If Park City/ Deer Valley, were to seek State funds for a project like that The rest of the State would be up in arms. It is a short sighted becuse Jackson Hole does bring in a lot of tourist dollars that is distributed around The whole State of Wyoming.
post #12 of 23
Let Cheney call in Halliburton to build the tram.
post #13 of 23

in Wyoming

The Wyoming agriculture that was a drain probably kept you well fed while you were tending to other important matters. If the restaurants and groceries closed, skiing would soon drop down a notch or two in importance.
post #14 of 23
The real solution should have been that JH charge a little more (perhaps as little as a few bucks) to use their lifts and put some money away starting 10 or so years ago to replace the tram when it was inevitably retired. I'm sure that a couple buck premium on the lift tickets and other ski activities wouldn't have scared any tourist away, at least compared to going to a tramless Jackson.
I am all for having the government help JH replace the tram, but $20M out of $25M? Maybe half, but even that is pushing it. They will have to look at the tax revenues and see if the state will ever get that money back..
It was stated that the Ag industry was a drain...of course it is. Government subsidies for Ag businesses is the only way they survive, unless you like paying ridiculous prices for food, or start importing food from China and destroy the farmiculture and Ag industry in the US. If there was a question whether to give the $20M is JH or give it to the struggling farmers that put food on our tables, I'll choose the farmers.

-Matt
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve crumbaugh
The Wyoming agriculture that was a drain probably kept you well fed while you were tending to other important matters. If the restaurants and groceries closed, skiing would soon drop down a notch or two in importance.
Yeah, while the farmers were tending to feeding us, others were tending to:

-Gas (so they could get that argiculture to market)
-Vetrinarian Drugs (so they could get their aminals healthy)
-Seed Producers (so they could plant something in the 1st place)
-Drug Companies (so they could be healthy enough to farm)
-Doctors (see above)
-Insurance Salesmen (so they could recover from their wiped out crops)
-Water Companies (so they could irrigate their land)
-Utilities (power, water, etc)
-Even Lawyers (so they can sue the Govn'ment when their subsidy check is late)

So what? We ALL provide a role in society. NO ONE is more important that anyone else (well, except for ski resort opperators, of course).

Powdr
post #16 of 23
I actually understand, but don't condone, the resentment of Jackson from the rest of the state. I grew up in the Big Horn Mountains, and most of my family still lives there. The concerns of Jackson have very little to nothing in common with the concerns of the people of the rest of the state. Most people in other parts of Wyoming will never have the money to enjoy skiing at Jackson.

On the other hand, much of the revenue for Wyoming comes from excise taxes on minerals and oil extracted from Federal public land, which belongs to all the citizens of the US. So, one side of me says go ahead and use that money to enhance JHMR and let people from all over the country enjoy it. On the other hand, because JHMR is a privately owned business, allowing tax revenue to be used for a private venture rubs me the wrong way.

My selfish side would really like to see a new tram in place, though.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudpeak
I actually understand, but don't condone, the resentment of Jackson from the rest of the state. I grew up in the Big Horn Mountains, and most of my family still lives there. The concerns of Jackson have very little to nothing in common with the concerns of the people of the rest of the state. Most people in other parts of Wyoming will never have the money to enjoy skiing at Jackson.

On the other hand, much of the revenue for Wyoming comes from excise taxes on minerals and oil extracted from Federal public land, which belongs to all the citizens of the US. So, one side of me says go ahead and use that money to enhance JHMR and let people from all over the country enjoy it. On the other hand, because JHMR is a privately owned business, allowing tax revenue to be used for a private venture rubs me the wrong way.

My selfish side would really like to see a new tram in place, though.
Hi Cloud:
You picked a great name...Cloud Peak, the crown of the Big Horns. I spent many years, my younger years, mountaineering the Tetons but without a doubt my fav trip was during the summer of 1977 when 3 friends and I hiked into the Cloud Peak Wilderness area via the Mistymoon Trail just west of Powder River Pass when we were living in beautiful(lol) Gillette and bagged the summit of Cloud Peak.

What town are you from? I think If I moved bck to Wyoming I would live in Sheridan...what a great place.
post #18 of 23
Does Wyoming have a lottery system? Make a 50/50 lottery. 50% goes to the tram and 50% goes to winners. In that "winners" 50%, Jackson can throw in some season passes (to defer admin costs).

The tram at Jackson Holes is part of the "face" of Wyoming and it should be kept/replaced with another.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 

interesting post on RSN

Here is an interesting post by someone on RSN::

>The Kemmerer family kills the Tram
The Kemmerer family kills the Tram

Let?s get right to the point, if the Kemmerer family can?t afford the 26 million (estimate) to replace the tram, they should simply sell Jackson Hole Mountain Resort to one of the big boys such as Intrawest, Vail Resorts, Inc., or American Skiing Company. Then they can go back to what they do best, raising cattle and collecting mineral rights. The Kemmerer?s are richer than God. 26 Million is a drop in the bucket to them. But NO! heaven forbid! While the Kemmerer?s and Jerry Blann whine about no dividends, etc, look at the allocation of their capital resources that JHMR has made. How much money have they made in this arena? Millions! Any accountant can ?allocate?, count and stack the beans into certain piles to make things seem whatever way they want, so stop your whining Jerry and stop dancing around the issues.

If the Kemmerer?s want to own a ski resort, then they need to pay the maintenance bills, or sell to someone that will. And they now they have the audaciousness to focus their initial efforts (to pay for the new tram) on a Public-Private partnership. Sounds kind of like what an owner of a pro ball club tells the city, give me a new stadium or I?m moving the team? Sellouts asking for a hand out, pure and simple. Shame on you Kemmerer?s. If you REALLY cared about Jackson Hole, Fire Jerry Blann and sell JHMR IMMEDIATELY!

As Jerry Blann stated in his recent closing statements: http://www.jacksonhole.com/info/pr.tram.asp ?while we focus our attention in the short-term on the public-private partnership, we will secondarily consider more creative private or retail financing structures, which by their nature will inherently bring with them conditions or covenants that could impact the way we operate our business. However, we are not foreclosing the possibility of pursuing any reasonable option should the public-private alternative(s) not bear fruit in the future.?

Sadly, there is no mention of simply replacing items found to be defective, in lieu of killing the ol? girl due to ?risk management and sound business judgments.? I believe JHMR should look at spending more money in weld testing and structural inspections by multiple engineering firms. I mean, If you get cancer, do you rely solely on your Doctor?s recommendation, or do you seek a second opinion?

J Henry
Va Beach, VA<
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
On a related note, it's now pretty widely speculated that the ski corp will NOT be putting a surface lift on Rendezvous Bowl. They're switched over to favoring a chairlift during the "interim" when there is no tram rather than putting up a poma or t-bar.
As usual, Bob has his facts straight: a temporary double chair up Rendezvous Bowl next season... visit the press release below. Can't wait to be on that bad boy when a 70mph gust comes over from Cody Bowl.

They will also add uphill capacity to the Bridger Gon and possibly Thunder (much needed on weekends with no tram).

HH

http://jacksonhole.com/info/jhpressr...06.release.asp
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadman
Take the money out of the tourism tax dollars raised for car rentals, hotel stays, lift ticket sales, etc. Maybe see if Dick Cheney and friends can get a no bid contract to build the tram; I hear Dick likes to ski at Jackson, along with a good buddy of his named Scooter. Gee, maybe the Wyoming Republican's that recieved money from Abramoff could donate it to the tram cause.
Dick Cheany on skis,,, oh gawd we are in trouble. He can't even go hunting with out causing harm to some one.:
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 

the battle has ended

The battle for state funding has ended with pretty much not really getting much of a start. It's kinda sad how clueless the management of JHMR is regarding the rest of the state.

Jerry Blann in one of his press releases stated that the JH Tram is the 2nd most reconized icon for the state after the Grand Teton. This is very debatable. I think maybe Yellowstone NP, Old Faithful, Devil's Tower might beat it out. They haven't make a movie about the JH tram have they? :

While getting support from the local state senator, which kinda surprised me, it really didn't get thru the front door down in Cheyenne. Local county funding is possible but not likely as many in JH are dead set against any kind of public funding for a new tram.

Most of my friends who are still in the valley seem to think that there is a 50/50 chance that if the chairlift works that's the way it will stay. After all, except for Rendezvous Bowl and the couloirs you can access most of the terrain without the tram.

and so it goes......
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHrefugee
The battle for state funding has ended with pretty much not really getting much of a start. It's kinda sad how clueless the management of JHMR is regarding the rest of the state.
The tram plan was about as well thought-out as the post-war Iraq plan. It is almost as if the Kemmerers were seeking planning advice from Quick-Draw Cheney... "The anti-tram insurgency is in it's final throes."

Amazingly, it all worked out very well for the resort in the end. They generated a lot of free international press about the tram's demise. Coupled with a great snow year and huge visitation, they will ride this accidental PR coup for several years to come in the form of repeat vacationers.

They will continue to spend money only where it promotes a better experience for tourist skiers: More uphill capacity on existing lifts, plusher dining options, high-dollar accomodations... catering to Tad and Muffy and their little brat kids from New York.

They will pay only lip service to the local market and those die hards will become more and more likely to hike for their turns over Blann's rip-off passes.

The East Ridge Double Chair will be temporary... if your idea of temporary is ten years.

HH
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