50 Facts about Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Today is October 8, which means we’re exactly 50 days away from celebrating the 50th opening day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. To prepare you, we’ve compiled 50 fun facts about the resort.

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50. When the resort opened in 1965 the cost of a lift ticket was $6. Wish you could have enjoyed those days? They’ll be offering $6 lift tickets on “Flashback Friday” November 27.

49. JHMR is made up of two mountains, Apres Vous and Rendezvous.

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48. The resort has the longest continuous vertical rise of any ski area in the U.S rising 4,139’ from the valley floor to the top of Rendezvous Mtn.

47. We’re not just for experts. 40% of the trails are intermediate and 10% are beginner, 50% are expert.

46. The original aerial tram did not open for the first year of the resort – it opened the following year in 1966.

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45. The original tram took 10 ½ minutes and held 52 passengers.

44. A new tram was built in 2007, opening in 2008, and whisks 100 passengers to the top of Rendezvous Mtn. in 9 minutes.

43. The aerial tram is often referred to as ‘Big Red’ or ‘The Red Heli’.

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42. The aerial tram is able to operate in winds up to 70mph.

41. The resort’s original owners and developers were Paul McCollister and Alex Morley.

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40. The Kemmerer family purchased JHMR in 1992 and have since invested more than $110 million into capital improvements.

39. Before purchasing the resort, the Kemmerers were a longtime Wyoming coal mining family. There is even a town named after them… Kemmerer, Wyoming.

Kemmerer Wyoming, circa 1910

38. The state of Wyoming is also honored in the naming of runs at JHMR, all are named after cities and towns in the state. Ridges are named for the area’s early mountain men.

37. Ever wonder how the color red was chosen for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort? Paul McCollister graduated from Stanford University with degrees in sociology and economics, showing his Cardinal pride with the brand color for the resort.

36. Founders Paul McCollister and Alex Morley originally looked at Cache Creek and Static Peak in Grand Teton National Park as potential areas to build the ski area.

35. Even though Teton County (home to Jackson Hole) often tops the list for richest zip codes in the United States, in the 1960s the county was classified as “economically depressed.” This classification also qualified it for federal funding which allowed Morley and McCollister to obtain an EDA loan to build the resort.

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34. McCollister was honored with the first National Ski Area Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994 for being a “true pioneer” and creating Jackson Hole from just a dream.

33. Barry Corbet was not the first person to ski Corbet’s Couloir. In fact it was ski patrolman Lonnie Ball. The couloir was named for Corbet after he looked into the couloir and told McCollister, “someday, someone will ski that – it will be a run.” Corbet did eventually ski his namesake couloir.

32. In 1961, McCollister began purchasing land at the bottom of Rendezvous Mountain for just $1,355 per acre.

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31. An elk hunting trip is what first brought McCollister to Jackson Hole.

30. In 1978 Melissa Malm became the first woman on the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Ski Patrol. She moved to Jackson Hole from New York.

29. The first national Powder 8 Championship was held in Jackson Hole in 1970. Want to view these races again? They will be taking place the weekend of February 5-7 for the 50th Celebration.

28. Jackson Hole is also known for its incredible “sidecountry” access. The backcounty gate system was first opened in the winter 1999-2000.

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27. The Bridger Gondola was opened in the winter of 1997-98. The new Gondola took only 7 ½ minutes to rise 2,700’.

26. 1964 slalom gold medal winner, Pepi Stiegler, was signed on as the ski school director of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in 1966. McCollister wanted a world-class skier to head the ski school and even named a run after him on the edge of Cheyenne Bowl, Pepi’s Run.

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25. Continuing with the Olympic tradition, Tommy Moe was signed on as the Ambassador of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in 1994. That was also the year he was the gold and silver medal winner.

24. In 2008, all of Teton Village celebrated when the first LEED certified hotel in Teton Village opened. You might recognize this hotel – it’s us! Hotel Terra Jackson Hole.

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23. Speaking of eco-conscious, JHMR won the NSAA Golden Eagle in 2011, the highest recognition for environmental achievement in the ski industry. The resort is a 2-time winner of this award.

22. Dick’s Ditch is named for ski patrolman Dick Porter, who survived a 55-minute avalanche burial in the steep gully.

21. Do you hate it when your sunglasses fall off? So did JHMR ski patrolman Bobbie Fuller. To combat this he invented what is now known as Croakies. They were so successful that they ended his ski patrol career in favor of early retirement.

20. Love skiing the Hobacks? They are named for John Hoback who explored the area with Lewis & Clark in 1806.

19. There will be a new ski run named after a famous Wyoming family, the Kemmerers. The Kemmerer run will be off the new Teton Lift which will open December 19, 2015.

18. The cowboy spirit lives on. Ski joring is slated to come back to Teton Village in February 2016. This crazy event consists of a skier being pulled by a horse through a course of jumps and turns.

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17. Average winter temperature is 21° F.

16. Valley inversions can make the top of the mountain nicer and toasty. Warm air rises pushes the cold air onto the valley floor, making temperatures toward mid-mountain and the summit 20-40 o warmer.

15. Jackson Hole is known for its natural terrain, but it is also the only home to Burton Stash parks in the Rockies.

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14. Jackson Hole receives an average of 475” of snowfall. 2011 was a record year with 605”.

13. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is 2,500 acres.

12. The resort isn’t just for winter. In the summer it boasts mountain biking, an incredible trail system and a ropes course. The aerial tram also operates in the summer offering incredible views of the valley floor.

11. School is not just for the kids. The resort’s renowned ski school has instructors for every level skier possible. They have everything for the person who has never skied before with their beginner lessons, to the Steep and Deep camps for expert skiers who want to try Corbet’s Couloir for the first time. They even have an all-women’s camp, Elevate Ski Camp, with female pro skiers as instructors.

10. The resort is named for Jackson Hole. Are Jackson and Jackson Hole the same thing? Jackson is the town itself. Hole was a term used by mountain men for valleys. Jackson Hole then refers to the whole valley including Teton Village, the town of Jackson, south of town and Grand Teton National Park.

9. Resi Stiegler is Jackson Hole’s most recent Olympian. You might recognize her last name, her father was Pepi Stiegler (see #26). She competed in the 2006 and 2014 Winter Games.

8. The fans love Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. They are the number one winter resort for social media followings. Be part of the conversation using #jacksonhole, #jhdreaming and #jh50

7. When you ski JHMR, you are also visiting Bridger-Teton National Forest.

6. New this year you can save up to 47% off when you purchase the 10-day 50th anniversary pass. Meaning you can save over $500. What’s truly epic is there are no blackout dates.

Golden Ticket

5. Do you own a season pass at any other ski resort in the world? You can ski Jackson Hole January 11-31 for 50% off that day’s ticket window rate if you show them your current pass and purchase the Golden Ticket.

4. Rendezvous Festival began in 2005 —and has continued to grow. This year it’s held March 17-20 and will be bigger than ever for the 50th anniversary with a line-up of world-renowned talent.

3. Have you seen the 50th anniversary artwork? The resort asked 6 local artists to enter their design. Mike Tierney won with his piece “The Wildest Mountain Alive” and you will now see his piece of Corbet’s throughout the winter.

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2. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has won many awards including being named the #1 Ski Resort in the U.S. in 2013. Forbes named it the Best Place to Ski in 2014.

1. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is simply the best. Fact: If you haven’t visited yet, this is the winter to visit and celebrate the big 5-0.

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