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Storm and outage drained $5M from Teton economy

Feb 16, 2017 - The Associated Press

JACKSON (AP) -- Stormy winter weather downed 17 power poles near a Wyoming resort last week, causing the region's residents and visitors to abandon several hotels and hundreds of homes.

The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce estimates that 1,500 rentable units were deserted last week, including all eight hotels in Teton Village.

The power outage cost local businesses more than $5 million in lost revenue and inventory, $2.5 million of which came from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort being closed for five days, according to The Teton Village Association.

"It was a tough five days," said Jackson Hole Mountain Resort CEO Jerry Blann. "While we weren't bringing in revenue we were also taking on a lot of expenses. But when these kind of events happen that's when people step up."

Teton Village Association director Melissa Turley said the financial laws will have a statewide impact because of government funding shortages.

As revenues from coal, oil and gas extraction have decline, tourism has become a more significant part of the Wyoming economy.

Turley estimated that roughly $400,000 to $500,000 in tax revenue was lost last week.

The Village charges a 2 percent lodging tax and an 8 percent sales tax.

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