• JH

    I meant to say that the rich should NOT have to subsidize others…

  • JH

    Having lived in Jackson, I can tell you that most of the people that live there were not born there. They are people that visited and decided that it would be a great place to live. (and it IS) But, having said that, if you moved to Jackson, a big time tourist community, and you didn’t do your homework so that you understood the housing costs, you have no right to complain. If you are working for $10 hr and you pretty much knew that’s what your situation was going to be, there are 2 points to make: #1 if you did your research, understand the housing costs and STILL moved to Jackson, stop whining about the housing costs. 2. If you moved to Jackson and didn’t do you homework regarding housing costs, shame on YOU. Stop your whining. Your situation is your fault either way.Now… should there be more affordable housing in Jackson? Sure. But, as liberals always feel, the rich and better-heeled folks should have to subsidize it. I am not one of those rich folks but do not feel that, simply because you are more well off than I am, you should have to pay for my decisions. Pertaining to our guitar shop, we sold our home in Jackson and have moved to be closer to family but, not only was our shop the ONLY guitar shop for a 100 mile radius, we didn’t adopt the “Jackson Pricing Policy” as most retail stores did. The JPP was pretty much marking up and additional 25-30% those items that you just can’t buy anywhere else in or near Jackson. We were (and still are in our new community) a lot more sensitive to the needs of our customers.

  • jen
    • Mike Hardaker


      Interesting to see this issue effecting mountains towns across the country. I am starting to think that I love the mountains but hate how a ski resort can change a town. Appreciate the link you sent.


  • Mike: I just shared your posting on my Facebook page, and I agree with most of it for sure:

    …Heres what I wrote on my FB posting:

    This is just a small fraction of what I am facing here in Jackson as I look for yet another place to live…Why am I still here? Because I love it in so many more ways than one… but eventually, unless I win the lottery, etc, I will likely have to leave…and that is such a major problem in these kinds of town nowadays: good peeps who put their heart and soul into the place, still end up one day leaving in sadness, and disgust…Who is to blame? The wealthy? Hardly! Its GREED. Locals…getting greedy. I hate to say it, but in the end, all landlords and homeowners do have a choice when it comes to setting a rent or a price, but it seems they all take as much as they can get, and don’t give damn about the increasingly fragmented communities they leave behind. Its the “More is better, I got mine, I am sorry you don’t have as much”, etc etc, mentality that is now more common than bad Madonna songs. lol. Sad, indeed.

    • Mike Hardaker


      My advise, take a trip to Kmart today. Or anytime this week.. They just had a “boatload” of workers leave and now there is no staff.. I waited about 15 minutes in line with another 20+ people before giving up. Willing to bet we will see more and more and more of this. Look how many jobs are in the paper, why so, because no one can afford to live here on $15 an hour. Or the $9 Lucky’s market is paying.

      But what you said here “Because I love it in so many more ways than one…good peeps who put their heart and soul into the place, still end up one day leaving in sadness, and disgust…” is so true, something I am feeling as are my peers.

      Its all fun and games until there ain’t anyone to answer the 911 dispatch calls or respond for that matter.

  • Steph

    While I do understand where you are coming from, we bought our home in Victor last October because of rising rent, What I do not understand is how you can write up a rant about the housing in JH without understanding the county regulations that make it the way it is. Instead you lazily wrote an article, basically blaming rich people instead of doing your research.
    We looked for quite a long time, into plots, subdividing, owner financing an acre from some “rich” friends and yes even the shipping containers.
    Regulations are what’s killing us now, and the idea to build that new hotel downtown and taking out so little available housing there was a stupid move. That permit should have never been issued.

    • Mike Hardaker


      Thanks for the comment, however “blaming rich people” I never said anything to the such. The housing prices are currently inflated, the jobs are not paying decent wages. That is the issue this community is facing. Look for us to cover more issues regarding this in the coming months. I for one am bummed there is BLM land that I can’t access because of private land owners. That’s a large issue to me then inflated rents.

      – Mike

  • JH

    I defy you to show me a desireable resort community that is managed by the poor and middle class earners… Of course, the wealthy dominate Jackson Hole. And, as I said, this is a resort area. Everyone has a choice as to where they live. If it’s too pricey, the answer is simple. Live somewhere else.

    • Mike Hardaker


      Attitudes like this comment “If it’s too pricey, the answer is simple. Live somewhere else.” are awful, if you feel Jackson is only for those that can afford the current prices kudos to you. Tell that to all the locals that grew up here who’s families have been priced out as well. You can find a bunch of them living down in Star Valley..


    • Mike Hardaker

      So does this mean I should shop for guitars where I can afford them instead of in Jackson Hole at your guitar shop?

    • Brian

      “Everyone has a choice as to where they live. If it’s too pricey, the answer is simple. Live somewhere else.”

      This has got to be the most common lazy-man’s response to this problem in JH that needs an actual answer. There are options for creating affordable housing in the valley and no doubt businesses have an interest in retaining long-term workers here. Housing prices should not be punitive, and, if they are, there are both private sector and government options able to combat it and give those who work in the valley a fair shake at renting and even owning.

  • R G

    “How is someone to get into home ownership now in this community?” I can think of a couple of ways:
    -Allow people with lots out in the county to split off a piece and plat it for sale. This was allowed here some years back- people would subdivide their property this way so that their kids could build. The County and what was then the Jackson Hole Alliance for Responsible Planning put a stop to that.
    -Allow people who own a few acres in the County to build extra structures, provided they are for rental. Private enterprise would provide solutions, if the government would get out of the way. More rentals would be available. Prices would come down. The people would make the investment, take the risks, and gain from it. As it is, they severely restrict building, and throw every obstacle in the path of anyone trying to build.
    -Allow creative, small scale solutions to rental housing. The Tiny House movement shows the way. I could, for instance, set up a couple of shipping container homes on my property, complete with water, sewer, and power. Small rental units that would serve singles or couples for much of the year. Can’t do that now.

    What I am proposing is small scale, dispersed, flexible private sector solutions. The Town and County government you vote for doesn’t want that- They want concentrated development under bureaucratic control. It is not simply the rich driving up prices that is shutting you out of this valley.

    What I have outlined is a funkier, dispersed, disorganized community where the folks at the bottom have a chance to craft their own solutions, and work together to provide them. I have seen it work around other mountain towns, like Boulder and around Tahoe, and in British Columbia, before the bureaucrats shut it down.

    Let’s say you could find someone who would sell you a half acre, and finance it, and let you connect to water, power and septic for a fee. Let’s say you could build a shipping container home on it, instead of an architect-approved, LEED certified, engineered house that is five times what you need. Let’s say it wouldn’t take two years and five variances to get a permit. Would that work?
    Right now you can enter a lottery for an “affordable” home, which is basically public housing, and hope you get lucky. If you do, you will have some County bureaucrat looking over your shoulder as long as you live here.

    Your government WANTS you to blame the “wealthy” and private enterprise for this problem. They want you to vote for their program. You might want to consider whether their way is the only way.

    • RG,

      Wow I agree with you 100% here. I was not aware land owners are not able to subdivide their properties, yikes. No wonder my landlord looked at me funny when I asked if the place I am renting (which has been on the market for 2 years) could be split up, it I take the barn and small chunk of land for a fraction of what your asking price. But as a landowner you should be able to split it up and divide however you want, now putting commercial in residential I see issues there otherwise whats the problem?

      Are you saying current country zoning is not allowing for tiny houses or shipping container houses to be built? Wow, thats something if true I take offense to. Again not everyone is ealthy enough to throw up a stick built SFH.

      The “affordable” housing program here is a joke, one I will not be putting a ticket into the lottery for. Hundreds of thousands of dollars is not affordable by any means!

  • R G

    “We have homes sitting empty and people in need of places to live…..”.

    You seem to imply that there is a connection between the empty homes, which are private property, and the potential renters. How do you intend to connect the two? Government mandated rental of private homes? Outright confiscation? Squatting? Please elaborate.

    This interests me because, after building my family a house with my own hands, I built a guest house as a rental. You seem to believe that you are entitled to determine whether, and for how much, I rent this property. However, I do not recall that you, or any other current “community activist”, offered to help when I was working to save the money to build, was building, or when I sit down to write checks for the mortgage, utilities and property taxes.

    • Mike Hardaker


      Thanks for the comment when I mentioned “We have homes sitting empty and people in need of places to live…..” this is a common phrase heard in this town and other destination areas. It’s a tongue and cheek joke, take this example for instance. I was walking my dog around Christmas and the people that own the house across the street from the *barn I rent asked me “you live here year round?” as if it was a bad thing? On my block in Jackson, WY there are 4 full time occupied homes and 8 homes that only turn their power on when either A. its Polo season or B. they want to take a family vacation to Wyoming.

      How is someone to get into home ownership now in this community? Or is Jackson Wyoming only for the wealthy? I work two full time jobs, am sober, and am smart with my money yet am having trouble making this work. Am I missing something $$$$

      I think its great you built your own home, and have a guest house too. If it wasn’t for a guest house I would still be living in the Motel 6 in town which does monthly rentals for $750 during the winter. I want to build too, however the cheapest piece of land available is a .25 acre lot in the Hobacks for $350,000 USD.

  • Mandy Cartwright

    I’d pay the $3,200. That is if I could afford Jackson Hole @ all!

  • Jeremy

    You just need 30 really close friends. I remember sharing my first A-frame in Mammoth with about 6 guys, although I think prices have gone up since then. At least you save on tax in Wyoming…

    • Mike Hardaker

      Love it Jeremy!

      Thanks for the comment, I didn’t realize you lived in Mammoth. No wonder you snowboard so well 🙂

  • Jim Wilson

    you seem bitter

    • Mike Hardaker


      Thanks for the comment, my humor comes off dry. However I am not bitter just calling out the current housing in this area. Just like the rest of the country the wealthy are dominating while the working class suffers.