City cancels events due to COVID-19

Town of Jackson councilors and Teton County commissioners listen as Bob Culver talks during the public opinion portion of their meeting Thursday morning at Town Hall. Elected officials decided unanimously to revoke permits for the 44th World Championship Jackson Hole Snowmobile Hill Climb, a related snowmobile exhibition by Octane Addictions and the town square concert for Jackson Hole Rendezvous festival. The county also moved to revoke the permit for the Rendezvous Festival at Teton Village.

Three Jackson Hole events are canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The town of Jackson and Teton County commissioners jointly revoked permits for the 44th World Championship Jackson Hole Snowmobile Hill Climb, a related snowmobile exhibition by Octane Addictions and the town square concert for Jackson Hole Rendezvous festival. 

The county separately moved to revoke the permit for the Rendezvous festival at Teton Village.

The decision was made after hearing testimony from health officials, emergency responders and members of the public, who all expressed a willingness to stand behind the electeds' decision.

"I came in here thinking surely we can find a way through this without canceling these events and threatening people’s jobs, but I don’t think we can," Commissioner Mark Barron said.

What's more, Wort Hotel manager Jim Waldrop said, "I think it was said earlier that this community will come together and support whatever decisions you make."

The decision was unanimous.

Public health officials and elected officials stressed the importance of “flattening the curve” by slowing the rate of virus transmission so as to not overwhelm our medical resources, which includes personnel and equipment.

"Ronald Reagan once talked about this concept of how would we respond if the planet were threatened by alien invaders, this conversation is sort of our moment on that," Jonathan Schechter said.

Mayor Pete Muldoon added: "I’m going to support the motion, we have to take this seriously. We’ve done very little testing and I think we have to make the assumption that this virus is right here, right now."

Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce President Anna Olson said that taking action now might preserve the economy later in the summer when businesses really rely on bookings. 

"We recognized a short term decision could slow the spread and reduce our community's exposure," she said. "A proactive public health action may actually mitigate the lgonterm economic harm for our summer."

Town Councilor Jim Stanford also stressed the importance of taking immediate steps.

“The health and well-being of our community in Jackson Hole is of utmost importance,” Councilor Jim Stanford said. “Taking these steps is not panicking, it’s being cautious. We’re taking these kind of steps so we’re not panicking later.”

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7062 or entertainment@jhnewsandguide.com.

Teton County Reporter

Previously the Scene editor, Billy Arnold made the switch to the county beat where he's interested in exploring Teton County as a model for the rest of the West. When he can, he still writes about art, music and whatever else suits his fancy.

(4) comments

richard aurelio

As a community, we should all seriously think about "cancelling" spring break travel given the high probability that anyone traveling will unwittingly bring the virus back to Jackson with them.

TERRENCE MILAN

I dunno, they are leaving a place with 22 incoming flights a day with people coming from all over. Tram rides with a 100 packed in like sardines, and gondolas running constantly. People packed into the Mangy Moose like it is 1999. Colleges cancelling school after Spring break, which will mean a Spring break that goes on for ever (don't let high student debt fool ya). Its a matter of getting it here or somewhere else. Less of a worry of bringing the virus back to Jackson as opposed it coming into Jackson everyday.

TERRENCE MILAN

They shutdown the flying petri dish yesterday. Not to late to be infected on the gondola's however.

Noah Osnos

I, for one, am thankful for the responsible, thoughtful, and diligent actions of our council and board of commissioners. We will need to reach out to the workers effected by this decision, and make communal efforts to make them whole. Remember this at Old Bill's, and throughout the intervening time, because they are the literal backbone of our community. Good will and empathy will get us through.

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