Snow King Seeking New Owner
There could be a new king of the mountain this winter when snow starts to fly. Jackson Hole's oldest ski mountain nearly closed this winter and the whole resort is looking for a new owner.
"Snow King Mountain is iconic in the Jackson Hole community," said Jackson Mayor Mark Barron.
It's been around for more than 70 years, but now its future is up in the air with the whole resort for sale.
"Our hope is whoever purchases the company won't interrupt what we've all come to enjoy since the early 1900s, which is our local ski area," said Tim O'Donoghue with the Chamber of Commerce.
Summer season is winding down, and once the snow starts to fall, the mountain loses money.
But for some in Jackson, it's more than just a ski resort.
"It's the town hill. We all have a piece of ownership in Snow King," said Barron. "Whether it's our children growing up and learning to race over there, or playing on terrain park, or if it's us taking a lunch break to hit the slopes, it's certainly a part of this town's fabric."
"It's definitely something that is not only an economic asset, but it's also something that's a source of great local pride, as well," said O'Donoghue.
It's because of that pride that Friends of Snow King formed about a year ago to raise money to buy the mountain, but this past month, negotiations ended.
Snow King owner Mauel Lopez said he wants to sell the mountain as a whole, not in parts, and his reasons for selling are personal, not financial.
Now, Jackson is working to keep the convention center up and running.
"The town of Jackson has a responsibility to provide all the amenities with skating, ski club, home, all community events, and create the atmosphere so that May through October, we have a healthy convention center generating business for downtown Jackson," said Barron
While no one knows the future of the mountain, the town is confident it's not going anywhere.
"I might be considered an optimist. I am very optimistic that we will not lose our ski area," said O'Donoghue.
"It really is the town hill and it is certainly a cherished piece of this community's fabric," said Barron. "We're going to keep it that way."
Lopez has had several offers on Snow King but is still undecided. He hopes to have the resort sold within the next month or two.
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