PROPS & DISSES: 12.24.13

By on December 23, 2013

Walgreens, Starbucks… bring on Walmart and get it over, already DISS
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – Told ya so. A year ago.
When town councilors approved Walgreens to be slotted into the hillside on Broadway across the street and exactly 666 feet from its competition – the local, family-owned pharmacy Stone Drug – Council Chronicles carried the advanced notice and no one seemed to be terribly alarmed. Town electeds approved the national chain, stating it was not their business to stifle free enterprise and tell a big box to pack up and go home.

Then Starbucks swooped in and swapped out our Town Square clock for their mermaid logo and drove Shades out of the local coffee arena after more than 25 years in Jackson.

Promoting small town enterprise and protecting Jackson’s unique brand and character is exactly what you get paid to do, councilors.
Two present councilors never got the chance to vote for the project – they were not yet in office when the 13,300-square-foot Walgreens was green lighted for Broadway.

Hailey Morton said during her campaign for Town Council that she will probably shop there and Walgreens was “something that could probably benefit our community.” Jim Stanford was going to vote with his dollars and choose to shop elsewhere suggesting rankled Jacksonites simply do the same if they didn’t like big franchises muscling into Jackson.

A unanimous vote moved Walgreens ahead and, for the significant number of our readers who may feel befuddled or betrayed by the famous cursive “W” slapped upside their daily commute, we will once again point out those responsible and those who weren’t afraid to say no to corporate America.

Mayor Mark Barron said he liked the building design and called the store “an oasis from the busyness of Broadway.” An oasis? It will attract hordes of pill-popping drones that care nothing for their community. Broadway is a painfully clotted main artery already and businesses on the north side of the boulevard have always been an ingress/egress nightmare.

Mark Obringer said he didn’t think it was too big and Melissa Turley actually said she wished it was bigger – or at least more development should have been piled onto the property.

Despite residents writing letters saying the big box wasn’t needed and would compete unfairly with local businesses, electeds pushed Walgreens through. The project deadlocked 3-3 at the planning and zoning stage with Eric Logan calling it a “disaster.”
“I just think it doesn’t indicate anything that’s unique for this location of prominence,” Karen Parent said.

K.J. Morris added: “It doesn’t have any relationship to Jackson as I see it.”

Dancers’ Workshop delights with twist on popular tale PROP
Dancers’ Workshop’s production of Princess and the Pea wrapped Sunday to a sold-out audience and not enough can be said or written about the show. Technically a ballet, the “fractured fairy tale” was danced wonderfully by lead Ruby Jones, who hopes to continue the craft after graduating from Jackson Hole High School next spring.

Ariella Spence, Esther Grossman, and a cast of nearly 150 dancers also helped put on four memorable performances over the weekend.

The pace was perfect. Upbeat numbers were interspersed with slower, moodier pieces. So much deliberate action was written into the stagework that repeated viewings (we saw it three times) always brought something new to the table that was missed before.

The music was brilliant. The staging and costuming were magnificent. Director/choreographer Erin Roy pulled together a production to remember. Thanks, DW.

Creek stewards step up PROP
Much appreciation goes out to the pair of unnamed landowners who took it upon themselves to help clean up Fish Creek and Spring Creek.

Residents who own portions of the streambeds along each waterway have contracted with Brian Remlinger’s Alder Environmental to enhance and improve the important Snake River tributaries for the sake of spawning cutthroat and the benefit of all creek users.

Anonymous individuals are funding the restoration projects. Spring Creek is home to crucial and sensitive cutthroat spawning ground and Fish Creek was recently targeted by the U.S. Geological Survey as a waterway in jeopardy due to extraordinarily high concentrations of nitrate from septic and sewer systems and manure.

About Jake Nichols

Jake is a work in progress.


  1. Leave it to Jake

    December 23, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    “Broadway is a painfully clotted main artery already”

    The clotted nature has nothing to do with Walgreens. Cars will still flock to Broadway. Broadway is the only game in town for getting from one side to the other in a timely manner. Tourists don’t know about Snow King Ave. And it’s the main commercial zone. Should we put the stores elsewhere?

    Quit pretending that the council or anyone is going to bring back the good old days. Not happening. “Jackson’s unique brand and character” is as phony as Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A. We had character in the 30’s. Jackson is the gateway to something better – the federal land that surrounds it. These days, character is found outside of town just like Miss Hill.

    Broadway could be better looking – fewer big ugly signs, ugly gas station canopies, more evergreen trees, more landscaping variations, better mix of housing and commercial, no Mall-of-America American flags, etc.

    I have no problem with Walgreens or Starbucks being here. They didn’t kill Shades. Shades may have been a nice cafe but it’s failure has more to do with Shades than Starbucks. Stone Drug may be a different story but it wasn’t exactly a busy place before K-Mart got to town or Walgreen’s.

    I agree that the Walgreen’s building is not an oasis and that the signage is in poor taste. Too many signs and too big. Perhaps it’s fitting that the slope is falling down on the property.

    Since you’re complaining, Jake, why don’t you tell us what commercially viable & uniquely Jackson thing should have resided on the property?

    Contribute something that gets us going in the right direction.

  2. Larry

    December 24, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I have always felt that the City Council needs to protect the small business owners of JH. These are the people who have for generations supported the town and have been dependent on JH. Walgreens and Starbucks will survive with or without JH, but Stone Drugs and the smaller Coffee Cafe’s will NOT. At some point the decision makers of JH need to realize that JH is unique with regards to its small businesses. Corporate America can stay out of JH and JH will be just fine. We can make change through electing people who share the same interest in protecting small business owners and not allowing these corporate giants to take over. Larry Catt

  3. Free Market

    December 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Larry, you are correct. The Town should support small business. It does a poor job. However, the government should not be picking winners and losers. You can move to China if that’s the type of government you want.

    I, for one, would like to see a Sportsman’s Warehouse come to Jackson because every other local option is so lame and expensive.

    Millions of local dollars are spent on new cars and trucks – in Idaho. Millions go to WalMart in Idaho. Millions go to Cal Ranch – in Idaho. Millions go to shopping malls – in Idaho. Millions go to Sportsman’s Warehouse – in Idaho.

    Walgreens may keep some of that money here.

    The town should support ‘small’ business owners who support ‘small’ employees. Exploiting poorly compensated labor in order to stay in business is good for no one. Those business owners are a leach on society. Taxpayers should not subsidize those business owners by picking up the tab for housing, medical care, social services, transportation, energy, food, etc.

    Stone Drug never prepared for competition or changing consumer interests. It could have. It depends upon a dying relationship with consumers for business.

    Walgreens may be a leach too. Its Rev. per Employee is $295,282 but I doubt they share the love like COSTCO.

  4. sajenup

    December 26, 2013 at 8:23 am

    well,mark: maybe you can go there on vacation and sit in the malox isle and sip a mai tai !

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply