A Mixed Blessing – Ski Town Growth

From the perspective of local residents who now have challenging careers while living exactly where they want to live, ski town job growth has been a blessing. Many here in Jackson that were sure they were going to have to leave after a season or two have been pleasantly surprised by all of the new full-time job opportunities that have allowed them to stay. More career opportunities, economic growth … the positive side of things.

What has so many up in arms though, in just about every ski area in the west, are some of the unwelcome realities that have come along with all this growth … soaring housing costs. So while job growth and modern technology is telling us to stay, housing costs are pushing us away. What are the options? Affordable housing within the ski towns and many thriving bedroom communities anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour and a half outside of the main ski town areas. Both good options for first time home buyers these days.

The housing situation is a tough one, and there is really no way to sugarcoat it, but there is another reality that I feel is worth mentioning. People (who are not millionaires) are still moving to all of these different ski towns, and I believe they will continue to do so because it’s a lifestyle that a certain niche of people truly want that bad. Just as the aspiring actor (with little money) will always move to NYC or LA for his career, so will the outdoor loving soul (with little money) seeking a slower pace move to a place like Jackson Hole … It’s just not always about money.

These thoughts actually came to mind today after I read this article from the New York Times about “location–neutrals” in Steamboat Springs (I know some of them, but have never heard of this term before today). Another perspective about who’s moving in … Off to Resorts, and Carrying Their Careers.

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