PROPS & DISSES: 2.26.14
JACKSON, WYO – VRB-Busted! PROP
The short-term rental debate has raged on since before we broke the story on September 12, 2012. Illegal and semi-legal vacation rentals, often appearing on popular websites like Airbnb, have popped up throughout the town and county.
They alter the community nature of neighborhoods and take business away from lodging facilities. Sales tax is often lost on many places that rent under the radar, and forget about getting a two percent lodging tax from these shady VRBOs.
Where zoned against, owners and agents have simply found wiggle room in prorating a week’s worth of stay out of the minimum 30-day restriction. Others are more blatant, counting on the town and county’s inability to conduct any kind of code enforcement. There simply isn’t the manpower.
Now, the biggest blow yet has come down on short-term rental units illegal or legit, and it comes from a forgotten angle. Joint planner Alex Norton blew an inch of dust off the state building codebook and found a little-known fact that could threaten to put all short-term renters out of commission.
Short-term lodging is considered a commercial venture as far as the state is concerned, which means building owners need, among other things, their structures to adhere to stricter fire regulations including sprinkler systems and other amenities.
Norton said he will recommend county commissioners nix all residential rentals – even in places where they are currently allowed by the county like Teton Village and Teton Pines – until they can figure out how to live under the law.
Former planning director Jeff Daugherty apparently had a workaround in place but Norton said that will never fly with the state now that the cat’s out of the bag.
Snow King getting grander PROP
I wasn’t down with any Snow King expansion at first. I thought it was throwing good money after bad. Snow King is a dump.
But it doesn’t have to be and new owners are turning things around at the resort. Center Management has its head on straight as well and the ice arena has never run smoother. The town does need to compete with Teton Village for sales tax revenue and, while the Town Hill will never be mistaken for a run down Rendezvous, improvements could be made to the King.
So here’s mud in your eye, Snow King. Congrats on making the first step toward reinvigorating the property: Conditional approval from the Forest Service to expand.
Officials from the Bridger-Teton signed off February 19 on the Snow King Ski Area and Mountain Resort’s planned expansion. The master plan now calls for an alpine coaster, zip lines, a bike skills park, biking and hiking trails, a boundary expansion, new beginner and intermediate ski and snowboarding trails, additional lifts, expanded snowmaking, and another building or two.
Funding will be the tough part, but the groups involved have already shown promise with the Wyoming Business Council’s grant and lending programs. What a way to celebrate the King’s 75th anniversary.
Gold medal yoga studio PROP
The Winter Olympics already have enough bizarre events in them like snowboarding, curling, and the “sport” where you cross-country ski and then shoot a rabbit with a rifle. I get it; there isn’t much to do in winter. It’s cold and snowy.
So let’s just pile on one more event: Yoga.
I have no earthly idea how one would go about scoring yoga, but I’m pretty sure the IOC would find a way to corrupt it by adding a Russian judge or two on the take. But Darcie Peck assures us that yoga can be competitive. In fact, the studio owner has trained and coached a team for the past three years, and they’re getting pretty good.
The newly minted USA Yoga Federation has been sponsoring national and regional competitions with the goal of getting yoga into the 2016 Olympics. Peck, who owns Wind River Yoga & Body Works Studio in Pinedale, took nine of her yogis to the Utah/Wyoming competition last month and plans on hitting up the nationals in Texas next month. Six of Peck’s girls are in the nation’s Top 10 for their age group.
Peck has started a nonprofit to help cover training and travel costs. She hopes to get interest from Jackson Hole. Peck is holding a fundraiser on Thursday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Lovatt Room at the Sublette County Library. The event will include a free yoga dance show and Indian-style dinner.
Sublette County’s young athletes. Winning smiles and certificates. Photo: WIND RIVER YOGA