A recent Jackson Hole News & Guide article was written while the reporter was stuck in traffic there. The next article was about a crime wave in Jackson.
At least it’s not as bad here as there. Yet. How do we keep Ketchum from becoming Jackson Hole?
We need to ask ourselves some questions. Should we be subsidizing tourism with 1% for air service, or has that served its purpose? Do we really want ITD to widen the road at the entrance to Ketchum, or does that just shift traffic congestion into the center of town? Are we all good with the recent zoning code revisions that permit six-story hotels in Ketchum (like the Marriott), and multiple four-story apartment complexes without enough parking in the retail core of Ketchum? Do we want more massive buildings in Ketchum at all? Should we subsidize low-wage employers with taxpayer paid-for housing like Bluebird? Is it time to stand up against Boise and regulate Airbnbs/VRBOs? Should we be tying future development to water availability, as it seems we are now in a permanent drought?
I don’t see the Ketchum mayor and City Council doing anything to limit over-development—indeed, they seem to be full speed ahead to turn Ketchum into Vail or Jackson Hole, with their encouragement of out-of-state developers like the one who built KETCH and the one who is building Bluebird and the one who is building the Marriott rather than listening to the legitimate concerns of their electorate.
If we keep on the path we are on, pretty soon some Mountain Express reporter will write an article while sitting in traffic next to the Hole in the Ground.
Is this the future we want? Maybe it’s time for a change.
Sue Dumke, Ketchum