That cumulative donation has made the lodging company, which is owned by Vail Resorts, the largest and one of the longest running corporate partners in Foundation history.
Gifts from Grand Teton Lodge Company properties—Jackson Lake Lodge, Jenny Lake Lodge, and Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis—originate through a voluntary program that allows guests to contribute $1/night of their stay to the Foundation’s work in the park. The gift includes in-kind services provided by the group as well. Through this generous private support, the Foundation continues to enable an extensive list of visitor service, education, and improvement projects and assists the park in offering high-quality interpretation, recreation, and education to visitors.
As the primary fundraising partner for Grand Teton National Park, the Foundation works with individuals, foundations, and businesses to raise funding that underwrites projects and programming in Grand Teton.
“We want to celebrate our long relationship with Grand Teton Lodge Company and take this opportunity to publicly thank John Rutter, his team, and Vail Resorts for providing ongoing funding for park projects and for understanding the value these projects provide for park visitors,” Foundation President Leslie Mattson said. “We also thank each and every guest who has contributed through the lodging program. It’s gratifying to see many visitors who want to participate in the education and improvements that help Grand Teton remain one of the country’s top outdoor destinations.”
The lodging program originated in 1999 with Clay James, former president and general manager of Grand Teton Lodge Company, which was owned by CSX Corporation. Vail Resorts continued the program when it purchased the company in the latter part of 1999.
Mr. James launched the initiative at Jenny Lake Lodge and Jackson Lake Lodge with the goal of educating visitors about the benefits of private support in parks while generating significant funding for on-the-ground projects in Grand Teton National Park.
“We were the first park concessioner to create a check-off program in a national park,” said Mr. James. “Guests were happy to contribute because the money stayed in the park for projects that benefited visitors.”
Today, lodging programs based on this model can be found in national parks and their gateway communities across the country.
Projects supported by Grand Teton Lodge Company have spanned a wide range of enhancements and educational initiatives that connect visitors to Grand Teton and improve resources. These critical projects include the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center, the auditorium addition that opened in 2011, and trail restoration.
“To work on behalf of the park is a true honor,” Ms. Mattson said, “and the relationships we form with partners like Grand Teton Lodge Company are one of the main reasons we can bring exceptional projects and programs to the millions who visit each year. Jackson is a community that truly understands the power of giving back. People see a need and it becomes important for them to help solve it.”