On October 19, the Teton Climbers’ Coalition sent the following letter to Town and County elected officials in support of the climbing gym.

Dear Jackson Town Council, Teton County Commissioners and Staff,

On October 1, the Jackson/Teton County Parks & Recreation Department (Parks and Rec) Advisory Board wrote to you in support of the complete construction of the Recreation Center expansion as voted on and funded via the 2019 SPET and commented on by the public via the August 2021 open house.

We, The Teton Climbers’ Coalition (TCC), agree with the Parks and Rec Advisory Board in this matter. In particular, we urge you to approve the preliminary designs for the climbing gym as presented by Parks and Rec Director Ashworth during the October 4 Joint Information Meeting.

The TCC commends Parks and Rec on their efforts to incorporate the community’s feedback into the development of the climbing gym. The retention of Entre-Prises (EP) as an independent climbing wall consultant has helped ensure that the gym’s design is creative and efficient, and that it maximizes square footage while still incorporating community space—a key ingredient for a successful gym.

Our research indicates that EP’s involvement will help avoid costly structural and maintenance issues related to HVAC and building rigidity. As well, the design’s community space will provide a unique venue for events, expanding the gym’s utility by serving multiple community sectors and needs rather than just those of climbers.

We’re also encouraged by the increase of the gym’s size from the initial plans for 5,750 square feet to the current design of 8,500 square feet. While we continue to advocate for a larger gym that would provide multiple benefits to the community, including the generation of additional revenue that could be used to offset other Parks and Rec programming, we recognize the gym’s development must be balanced with that of other programmatic priorities.

Once the gym has been constructed, it will serve the community for decades to come. Eliminating or phasing the gym’s mezzanine will exacerbate crowding while reducing the amount of revenue the gym can generate through, for example, the rentals of shoes and harnesses to visitors.

It is for these reasons that we join the Parks and Rec Advisory Board in urging you, as they put it, “to explore all additional funding sources to cover the SPET budget shortfalls and to understand that programming like the climbing gym … are investments that are revenue generating.”

Thank you for your consideration of our request, and for building the gym right the first time, as currently proposed.


The Teton Climbers’ Coalition