Jackson Hole Accommodations – The Hostel’s History
In a world of cookie-cutter big-box retailers, hotel chains and brand name restaurants, the Hostel is a one-of-a-kind experience in a place itself unique in all the world. The geysers, canyons and wildlife of Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, are a must-see. But to us, the iconic Tetons, the youngest of the Rockies rising nearly 8000 feet along the floor of Jackson Hole, are so inspiring that one constantly sees them in movies, nature shows and even car commercials.
Adjacent to all this natural beauty, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort opened in 1965 as a destination ski resort 12 miles from the town of Jackson, WY. While Jackson sported its own ski hill, Paul McCollister and Alex Morley saw the nearby Tetons as the perfect place to open a world-class ski area in the style of a Bavarian resort.
Limited lift access opened some lower terrain in the first couple years. However, it was the building of the iconic Tram in 1967 that put Jackson Hole on the map. With just a few high-end lodges and not much else adjacent to the Tram dock, it looked like Teton Village would remain an elites-only playground. Enter the Wilson family from Cleveland. Seeing the potential of the resort and the need for accommodations that the average family could afford, the Wilsons raised the money to finance construction of a hostel that would feel at home in the Alps. The entire family moved to Jackson Hole, and lived in the Hostel as owner-operators. For the next 40 years, as summers followed winters, the Hostel came to embody Jackson hole ski culture, and a favorite to many who would return year after year.
In 2008, a local family purchased the Hostel. As the economy recovered from the Great Recession and people started to travel again, the new owners decided to invest back into the property, upgrading the guest rooms, replacing antiquated equipment, and getting out word of the Hostel far & wide. Contrary to rumors, the Hostel is here to stay for many years! While accommodations remain basic – no TVs or air-conditioning in the rooms – the Hostel yet remains the most affordable lodging amongst Jackson Hole accommodations in the summertime, and the most affording slope-side lodging in Teton Village during the ski season.