Snow King Ski Area plans to expand
After the U.S. Forest Service accepted its Master Development Plan, the Snow King Ski Area in Jackson is one step closer to expanding.
Snow King received a letter of acceptance from the Bridger-Teton National Forest Service's office on February 19. Snow King's Master Development Plan met the requirements for proposed improvements to its Special Use Permit.
"I think the community's really looking to see Snow King revived," said the ski area's general manager Ryan Stanley.
Everywhere you look, you're reminded, Jackson is a ski town and Snow King watches over it.
"It's the backyard playground for the people that live in the town of Jackson, and it's also a great attraction for the many visitors that come here," said Stanley.
However, Snow King has been bleeding. In the past 40 years, the ski area has only had two profitable seasons.
"The current financial situation is such that it just can't go on forever without a change," said Stanley.
Stanley said now is the time for change. He's spent two years putting together a Master Development Plan -- something that hasn't been done in over three decades.
"There's pressure on all fronts to really change the way the ski area operates and make it sustainable financially into the future," said Stanley.
The plan is to expand the ski boundaries, add more runs and lifts and a new snow-maker which would double the water capacity and open Snow King earlier in the season. But, this plan is bigger than just winter.
"What we're doing is embracing a wide range of activities for the ski area that can really serve year-round to attract people to snow king," said Stanley.
That includes an Alpine coaster, zip lines, mountain bike trails - and even a gondola that would hopefully bring customers to a new restaurant and conference facility at the summit, year-round.
Customer Chris Moll has lived in Jackson for 23 years. He said Snow King is part of the soul of Jackson, and he'd like to see improvements.
"I like the idea because Snow King really needs a way to expand it's revenue and increase it's revenue, or it can't continue to operate at a loss," said Moll. "I think the town ski hill is really the heart of this community."
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