Expansion plans at Snow King Mountain in Jackson, Wyoming, triggered a historical assessment of the area. Parts of the 76-year-old ski resort were found to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. While the assessment took into consideration everything from buildings to ski runs to chair lifts, the designation won’t impede any of the development plans, according to the Jackson Hole News and Guide.
Preservation Solutions, the Boise, Idaho–based firm that conducted the assessment, wrote that “[t]he ski area continues to clearly communicate its historic winter recreational setting and landscape,” the News and Guide reports. The study also says the ski area played a big part in establishing Jackson as a winter tourism destination. “Snow King played a critical role in the mid-20th century growth not only of Jackson, but development of the whole Jackson Hole valley as a major winter recreation hub. Places like Snow King literally both reflected and directly changed the development of towns like Jackson.”
The possible historic designations won’t put the kibosh on any developments Snow King is exploring. The resort is in the midst of a $2 million replacement of the Rafferty lift, built in 1978, and is planning new ski runs and a ropes course. The ropes course, which is proposed on public land, wouldn’t be affected because, “it’s going to be in the trees and not really visible from the majority of the ski runs,” Brian Beadles, of the Wyoming Historic Preservation Office, told the News and Guide.
When any new projects arise, the board will review them and come up with mitigation plans should the development detract from the ski area’s historic significance.