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"We Don't Want to be Vail": Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Looks to Its 50th Ski Season

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This winter, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. And while things look mighty different than when the mountain first opened in 1965, Resort President Jerry Blann and Chief Marketing Officer Adam Sutner told the Jackson Hole News & Guide that the spirit and excitement that founded the resort is just as strong today as it was years ago. In fact, the resort is pulling out all the stops this winter, with new lifts, new terrain, and new restaurants on tap. Jackson Hole is officially in "a renaissance period." Curbed Ski breaks down all the juicy details from the interview, why exactly Jackson Hole doesn't "want to be Vail," and when exactly the new Teton Lift will open up this winter.

In honor of Jackson Hole's upcoming anniversary, we pulled some of the most interesting quotes and facts from the Jackson Hole News & Guide interview with Blann and Sutner. You can find the full interview, over here.

· Blann: "We're kind of in a renaissance period. What characterizes a renaissance period? We're firing on every cylinder. New lifts, new terrain, new restaurants."

· Sutner says that proportionate to Jackson Hole's size, the ski area reinvests in capital expenditures at a more significant rate than most major competitors.

· Blann: "There's a difference between Jackson Hole and the pure vanilla resorts that we compete against."

· Blann argues that Jackson Hole's competitors are all ski areas with over 1 million ski visits. He says, "we're the small guys. We like to think we fight above our weight, and we do in many categories." In the 2014-2015 winter season, the resort reported 546,125 skier visits, its second highest winter ever.

· Sutner: "We don't want to be Vail. We like being Jackson Hole, and we want to stay distinctive and we want to stay special. We don't have aspirations to be a 2 million [skier-day] resort, nor does it fit with the ethos of our community."

· Blann: Jackson Hole is a true destination resort. "Twenty-five percent of our visits are local, roughly, and 75 percent are destination visitors."

· Sutner called the Jackson Hole Airport the "lifeblood" of the ski area.

· Summer activities are becoming a more important part of the Jackson Hole Resort plan.

· Sutner discussed the special promotions tied to the 50th winter of JHMR. In January, the ski area will offer a Golden Ticket from January 11 to the 31 to any season-pass holder in the world to get 50 percent off the price of a window lift ticket.

So what big improvements are slated to open this winter? The new Teton Lift will launch on December 19, the exact day when the lifts opened 50 years ago. Along with the new lift, JHMR will also open 200 new acres of intermediate and advanced terrain that was formerly hike to only. Construction is also underway at the Rendezvous Lodge where a renovated deli will be transformed into a new 120-seat bistro style restaurant, called Piste.

· Growing ski destination readies for 50th [Jackson Hole News & Guide]
· See How Jackson Hole Has Changed From 1969 to Today [Curbed Ski]
· These Are the Median Rents of Ski Country's Most Popular Towns [Curbed Ski]
· Ai Weiwei's Zodiac Heads Look Spectacular in Jackson Hole [Curbed Ski]
· Jackson Hole's Local Ski Hill To Get $9 Million in Upgrades [Curbed Ski]