Wyoming State Alpine meet

Sophie Parker competes in the giant slalom during the Wyoming State High School Alpine Championships in March 2018 at Snow King Mountain.

With the finish line nearly in sight for a refurbished Snow King master plan, a former Jackson official has proposed a complete 180: Use private philanthropy and tax money to finance a community buyout of the Town Hill.

In light of opposition to some of the resort’s development plans, Bob McLaurin, a Jackson town manager of nearly two decades who stepped down in July, is suggesting a change from the course the town has been pursuing for months in addressing the long-term economic viability of Snow King. He outlined his strategy in a Guest Shot in Wednesday's News&Guide.

“This may be a harebrained idea,” McLaurin said about the piece. “It won’t be the first one I’ve had. But I wrote that to initiate a community conversation about this particular issue.”

It’s an issue he knows well, after working closely with Friends of Snow King when it attempted to buy the mountain in 2011. The nonprofit failed to reach an agreement with Snow King’s investors, and negotiations collapsed. But he believes specific purpose excise tax funding, along with help from private and nonprofit partnerships, could tip the scales this time.

The idea is to get Snow King out of the hands of a for-profit company, thereby eliminating the need to generate revenue through attractions like the zip line that many critics have argued run counter to Jackson’s character.

Read more here.

Contact Cody Cottier at 732-5911, town@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGtown.

Cody Cottier covers town and state government. He grew up with a view of the Olympic Mountains, and after graduating Washington State University he traded it for a view of the Tetons. Odds are the mountains are where you’ll find him when not on deadline.

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