Why Did Jackson Hole Change Its Name?

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In 1807, David Jackson gave the valley its name. In the early 1800s, the area was a popular trapping location. Several famous mountain men traveled through the valley. They were responsible for giving the town many of its names, including Jackson Lake and Bighorn Pass. But, why did the town change its name?

The Teton Range was first sprouted about nine million years ago. Later, the Yellowstone Caldera erupted and carved much of the landscape we know today. The area was eventually declared a national park. As a result, big game hunters and foreign royalty flocked to the region. They were attracted by the area’s abundance of wildlife.

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The first ski resort in Jackson Hole opened in 1964. McCollister paid $1,355 per acre for land on Rendezvous Mountain. In 1962, he hired Colorado ski area consultant Willy Schaeffler to assess the area’s avalanche dangers. In 1963, he formed a company called Jackson Hole Ski Corporation with two Cheyenne men, Alex Morley and Gordon Graham. Construction began in spring 1964 and the resort opened in 1965.

After the Great Depression and the World Wars, vacationing changed in the west. Now, families could drive at their own pace, letting them see more of the country. During this period, the region began to boom, and the emergence of motels created a new era for the town. As a result, the town saw a rapid increase in overnight visitors.

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