Respecting the Power of Place
The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce's brand says "Respecting the Power of Place." What does that mean? What is the power of this place we call Jackson Hole?
Jackson Hole and the greater Teton area's power can be expressed in terms of our ECONOMY, COMMUNITY, AND ENVIRONMENT.
The power of our economy is reflected by the fact that while Teton County's population according to the latest census is approximately 19,000, we have 25,000 jobs that are filled. Our unemployment rate is approximately 2 % - the lowest in Wyoming and among the lowest in the nation (Wyoming has the nation's lowest unemployment rate). Teton County's economy produces over $1 billion annually, placing us #1 among 3,140 counties in the nation in per capita income.
The power of our community is reflected by the fact that we have over 200 nonprofit organizations that raise over $4.3 million in donations annually through a single community foundation event, placing us # 1 in the nation in charitable giving among community foundations. Nonprofit organizations typically are created by and attract visionary people who have a strong social mission. Our arts community has been recently ranked in the top 5 in the nation in terms of gross revenue. The Fall Arts Festival and other events and facilities including the $35 million Center for the Arts are indications of the vitality and power of our culture. Our culture and heritage is also expressed through numerous other events such as Elkfest and Old West Days, our museums and galleries, and much of our diverse and robust business community. The power of our community has been shown repeatedly through the fundraisers that have been held for our friends and neighbors that have become ill or have medical needs that are not covered by health insurance. In one specific fundraiser over $100,000 was raised over 4 hours through raffles, auctions, games, and bake sales and was attended by more people that the venue could hold, including many who did not know the person in need but knew that they could help.
The power of our environment is reflected by the fact that over 3 million people from all over the world come to visit here to see and take in our incomparable scenery, wildlife, and quality of air and water. Some of us are drawn to live and work here because of this. We live next to two world-class national parks surrounded by relatively pristine national forests comprising the largest intact natural ecosystem in the lower 48 states and the southern end of a corridor of wildlands stretching to the Yukon. The source of water for our nation is Yellowstone National Park which serves as the wellspring for 8 major rivers. The opportunities are innumerable and unparalleled to recreate, enjoy life, receive inspiration, and be well.
Respecting the power of our place is realizing that not only are our economy, community, and environment what makes this place special, but being aware that the three are interrelated. What helps or harms one will affect the other two. Our economy, community, and environment are woven together into a value that can serve to guide our businesses, organizations, and agencies in our development, operations, promotions, and challenges. The long term health of our business community is sustained by these three legs which engender a triple bottom line of a healthy economy, community, and environment.