Real Estate

Jackson Hole agents affect key road breakdowns.

A section of Teton Pass, connecting workers living in Idaho to the tony tourist town of Jackson, Wyoming, collapsed over the weekend.

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Real estate agents and property managers are bracing for the impact after a section of a major mountain road that connects the popular tourist area of ​​Jackson Hole to more affordable Idaho towns collapsed over the weekend where workers collapsed.

State officials rushed to respond Saturday after an entire section of U.S. Highway 22, known as Teton Pass, slid down the mountain, killing tourists and nearly two-thirds of Jackson’s workforce. runs through the town, blocking a major thoroughfare. The closure drew backlash from top state officials, who vowed to rebuild the mountain pass as soon as possible. But that left vacation rental managers facing high cancellation rates heading into one of the busiest times of the year.

“We had about 15 cancellations this weekend,” said Eddie Bain, owner of PMI Grand Tetons, a vacation rental property manager. “It’s high. I’m expecting more. I don’t even know how to think about it right now.”

The town of Jackson, Wyoming is about 33 miles from the town of Driggs, Idaho. Real estate in Jackson is among the most expensive in the United States, sending many of the employees who operate hotels, resorts, bars and restaurants in Jackson to towns in Idaho such as Driggs and Victor in the Teton Mountains. Home prices and rents are less than half there.

Employees who live in Idaho and commute to Jackson now face driving times that more than double as they navigate mountain and valley roads for the commute, which is now 93 miles each way.

“It’s pretty devastating,” said Bomber Brian, an associate broker with Keller Williams Jackson Hole. “It will be amazing to see.”

Teton Pass is a popular route for visitors who fly into Jackson, visit Grand Teton National Park, and then continue on to Yellowstone National Park or beyond.

Driggs, Idaho, on the west side of the Teton Range, has a total population of about 1,600, similar to the nearby town of Victor, Idaho.

In addition to being an attraction for people living in Jackson, Idaho’s Teton Mountains are a popular tourist destination.

Tayson Rockefeller, a Teton Valley Realty broker who also helps manage vacation rentals in the area, compared that to what he expects to be a drop in visitors after COVID-19.

“I don’t know if we’re going to see mass cancellations, but we’re going to see them,” Rockefeller said.

As for the for-sale market, Rockefeller said living in the Grand Tetons will continue to appeal to buyers.

“Am I surprised people aren’t buying their dream home in the Tetons?” he asked. “no.”

According to an interview with News outlet WyoFileLuther Propst, chairman of the Teton County Commission, said the issue highlighted a dire need for more housing that is affordable for the employees who keep the region running.

“This represents the risk of having so many of our local workforces travel over a geographically unstable pass,” Propst said. Told the shop. “It certainly provides a very clear example of why we need a better balance between the number of jobs and the number of people at home who work.”

Email Taylor Anderson.

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