Park cuts wipe out weddings

By on March 30, 2013
Some brides are being left high-and-dry on their wedding plans in Grand Teton National Park.

CUTLINE: Some brides are being left high-and-dry on their wedding plans in Grand Teton National Park.
CREDIT: Katy Gray Photography (www.KatyGray.com)

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Budget woes plaguing Grand Teton National Park are already being felt by select visitors this coming season. Numerous prospective brides and grooms have been sent scrambling after being informed all events scheduled for Schwabacher Landing, a popular site for wedding ceremonies, would be scrapped this summer due to sequestration cuts.

Mary Gibson Scott on Monday identified several places officials would be scaling back — those savings opportunities included closing some of the more remote or lesser-used areas of the park including 20 campsites along Grassy Lake Road and Schwabacher Landing. The latter is a picturesque spot with a dead-on view of the Tetons. Park spokesperson Jackie Skaggs said regular trash pickup and bathroom service at Schwabacher was considered too costly to continue  this season. The area will be closed all summer.

“This is the reality of it,” Skaggs said of the budget cuts. “It is painful for all of us.”

Skaggs said the closing would affect about 40 scheduled wedding ceremonies. She added that park staff has been busy contacting disappointed brides and working with them to find an alternate location within GTNP. The $50 permit fee each applicant must file to reserve the location will not be refunded, according to Skaggs.


About Jake Nichols

Jake is a work in progress.

14 Comments

  1. Susanne Hicks

    March 30, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Unfortunate all around, but I think, as a matter of good faith, the least the park service could do is refund the $50 fee and, perhaps, direct the brides to an alternate location. In the big scheme of a wedding, $50 isn’t much, but it also does not represent the reservation these families thought they had so, unless the contract they signed upon leaving the deposit says that it means nothing and isn’t refundable, I think they’re owed the money returned to them.

  2. Maria

    March 30, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Mmhh, 40 x $50 non-refundable deposit = $2,000, nice little bit of change for the park….unfair to the brides and grooms.

  3. Marianne Zura

    March 30, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    How on earth can they keep the $50? Hear ye Hear ye brides, get your photos taken at the viewing areas on the inner loop road (you still need to pay to get into the park) OR save your money and drive up to Brooks lake Lodge for fantastic views. The heck with the park.

  4. Nathan

    March 31, 2013 at 7:14 am

    The Park Service desperately needs to hand over the keys to someone with some common sense.

  5. victoria

    March 31, 2013 at 10:18 am

    April Fools. There is no campground at the landing.

  6. Timothy C. Mayo

    March 31, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Grand Teton National Park Spokesperson Jackie Skaggs stating “This is the reality of it,” and “It is painful for all of us.” is absolute BULL. The reason Grand Teton National Park was slow with their sequestration plans was that Queen Mary elected to vacation in Hawaii rather fulfill her duty managing the park.

    As stated in National Parks Traveler magazine this last week: …I do sense a concerted effort to demonize sequestration and an attempt to make the cuts the most publicly painful rather than budget efficient manner and many park superintendents are willfully or by force, playing the game.

    Grand Teton National Park, Jackie Skaggs and Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott have decided to BLACKMAIL the American public…it is time for Jackson Hole to put an end to the nasty vindictiveness of the Queen.

  7. Timothy C. Mayo

    March 31, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    …and has anyone noticed that Grand Teton National Park signs don’t say WELCOME…kinda says it all doesn’t it…seriouly…it is time to revolt!

  8. Timothy C. Mayo

    March 31, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    …and I will contribute $200 towards the return of the brides forfeited deposits that the park won’t return…how about it Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce should we give back the deposits to the brides that have been defrauded?

  9. dave

    April 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    i got marries at schwabachers a few years ago and did not have to pay any fee. of course that was pre obama. does that explain it?

  10. Jake Nichols

    April 2, 2013 at 11:58 am

    To be clear, y’all, the $50 permit fee is NOT a deposit. It is a one-time processing fee that the Park states upfront is non-refundable. Of course, this declaration seems likely crafted in the event a wedding ceremony is moved or cancelled by the bride. I dont think GTNP could have anticipated the need to close the area and cancel every wedding there themselves. Still, the $50 barely covers the paperwork and overhead in managing that part of the park for events (mostly weddings), according to Skaggs. There is nothing to refund, the money is spent — especially if park personell are busy now calling all brides and working with them to relocate.

  11. Timothy C. Mayo

    April 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    ENUF …I do sense a concerted effort to demonize sequestration and an attempt to make the cuts the most publicly painful rather than budget efficient manner and many park superintendents are willfully or by force, playing the game.

  12. 22

    April 6, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Schwabackers landing isn’t in the pay-to-enter part of the park. Pit toilets aren’t that expensive to operate…..

  13. Catherine Cox

    April 23, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    The $50 was to reserve a spot and pay for the permit for a wedding. No spot & no wedding, refund the money. This is so sad! Let’s see…….how stupid is it to throw this cash machine away, Mary? 40 weddings. 80 families, plus friends all paying park entrance fees, plus no doubt some lodging……..wonder how many $$$$$ this cost the park. Guessing a lot more then it saves.

  14. Catherine Cox

    April 23, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Even if it isn’t in the park people would have no doubt paid the fees to see more of the park.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

30,498 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

HTML tags are not allowed.