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Jackson open for business despite landslide

By Luke Jones
Published On: Apr 27 2014 06:15:56 PM CDT

Several businesses in Jackson are worried misinformation about the severity of the slow-moving landslide might scare away visitors as the town prepares for the upcoming tourist season. Luke Jones reports.

JACKSON, Wyo. -

Several businesses in Jackson are worried misinformation about the severity of the slow-moving landslide might scare away visitors as the town prepares for the upcoming tourist season.

"For the entire state of Wyoming, tourism's the No. 2 industry, and for Jackson it's far and away the No. 1 industry,” said Jeff Golightly, executive director of the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce.

Since the landslide began earlier this month, some have made comparisons between this slide and the deadly one in Washington state.

At a press conference Thursday, incident commanders said the landslide was moving about half an inch each day.

"There's been a little bit of hype that might not match the reality,” said Golightly. “It's moving 1 inch a day. It's not like this – you know, kids are out watching it."

But that hasn't stopped some from worrying. At the Rustic Inn, the phones have been ringing nonstop since news of the landslide made national headlines.

"A lot of inquiries about the landslide in Jackson. People wondering if it's affecting the whole town or if there were any fatalities,” said the hotel's manager, Mike Shipp.

Shipp said hotel staff try to put people's minds at ease and that no reservations have been canceled so far.

"We just assure them that everything is -- it's only affecting a very small part of the town,” said Shipp.

While there's never a good time for a disaster, if there were a time, Golightly said, "April would probably be one of the months that you would select. Fortunately, it is the slowest month.”

Local News 8 is told the four closed businesses in the Hillside Complex near the landslide could reopen as early as Wednesday.

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