WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE FAIRGROUNDS?

The Teton County fairgrounds are located on Town of Jackson-owned land in central Jackson. The fairgrounds host a multitude of activities in addition to the County Fair held each summer: the rodeo (the rodeo business itself is owned by a private company); 4H clubs; dog agility groups and the dog park; the Tough Mudder; roller derbies; cornhole leagues; private parties and equestrian groups; and many other entities’ events.

The Fair Board contends that the fair and its associated groups have outgrown the acreage available in town and need to relocate on a larger plot of land somewhere else in the county.

WHY SHOULD WE CARE?

If the fairgrounds are relocated, there would be a significant piece of publicly-owned land available in town, where dense housing is most appropriate. Our Comprehensive Plan directs us to put homes for locals in town near transit hubs, jobs, schools, and the hospital. 

Besides opening up valuable land in town for potential housing, finding a new home for the fairgrounds would allow the community groups who use the facilities to have a permanent, larger, state-of-the-art home.⁠ There is potential for a win-win if we relocate the fairgrounds by the time the ground lease expires in 2030!

OUR POSITION

We support a collaborative process with the Fair Board and the many community members who enjoy the fairgrounds to make a plan to move the Fairgrounds and then to build a significant amount of housing on the current site.

FAIR BOARD POSITION

The Fair board applied for SPET funding this year to start the relocation process. The fair manager has also included funds for the purchase of a larger parcel for the fairgrounds in the capital improvement budget request for the last four years. The following statements are excerpts taken from the SPET application from the Teton County Fair board:

  • The Fairgrounds currently operates on approximately 12.35 acres of land. If the County obtained 2-3 times that much space, the opportunity to masterplan a world class, multi-purpose events complex would be very feasible⁠
  • Currently, the Fairgrounds lacks a covered stall barn, a livestock pavilion, proper RV sites & hookups, an adequate warm-up arena, and an outdoor food service area⁠
  • There is no room to build any of these facilities at the current site⁠
  • Without being able to offer these things, the Fairgrounds is ill-equipped to attract or court large, western heritage and agricultural events. The community lost a few western heritage events over the last few years due to this reason.⁠
  • Navigating Snow King Ave during the summer on fair, rodeo and special event nights creates traffic congestion and is very difficult for many participants
  • Many people from the local and regional agricultural and livestock community have expressed difficulty in maneuvering large vehicles and trailers down Snow King Ave and contending with the bollards. A site with easier access would be an improvement⁠

Imagine a home for our western heritage with adequate parking, an expo center, an amphitheater, RV hookups, multiple arenas built for year-round use, space for 4H to raise animals and a covered stall barn! Imagine not having to navigate around bollards on Snow King Avenue with an enormous trailer! Did you know that the fairgrounds had to stop hosting Team Ropings, Barrel Races, and Professional Bull Riding “PBR” events because of insufficient facilities and the lack of space?!

WHAT’S NEXT?

The Town Councilors just voted to extend Teton County’s lease of the fairgrounds until 2030. We need to use this extension to locate and secure a better, permanent, more suitable location for our fair, 4H clubs, and plethora of community activities.

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?

Tell your commissioners today that you support relocating the fairgrounds to support a world-class fair facility and building dense housing for locals in town! commissioners@tetoncountywy.gov⁠

Although approaching representatives can be intimidating, remember their job is to listen to you!

HISTORY

What is the history of the rodeo?

Check out a brief history of the rodeo here.

See how the area has evolved since 1945:

FAQS

What is going on at the Exhibit Hall?

Check out information and our stance regarding the Exhibit Hall here.

What about the Save the Fairgrounds/Eyes on Teton County PAC?

This PAC was created by Rebecca Bextel, a local realtor. She has been vehemently against many public housing programs, including the Preservation Program. A win-win for the fairgrounds and locals who are housing insecure is possible if we don’t give into the false nostalgia of the ‘Save the Fairgrounds’ PAC, whose crusade to “protect western heritage” is simply no-growth code to block development of critical affordable housing. We must fight to keep our community a community rather than an enclave for ultra-wealthy pseudo-cowboys. Real cowboys want a permanent, state-of-the-art home for community programs and ALL of the hard-working people of Jackson.

Last updated: 8/4/22