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.”