Patagonia stakes its reputation on environmental stewardship. So, when an owner at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort hosted the House Freedom Caucus, it cut ties.
Don’t expect to buy Patagonia gear at Jackson Hole this winter. After one owner held a fundraising event for the right-wing House Freedom Caucus, the iconic outdoor brand announced it would no longer sell to the high-profile ski resort.
Last week, Patagonia confirmed it would stop doing business with Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR), its most prolific customer in the area. Not only will Patagonia pull its gear from the resort, but also the company’s various holdings in Teton Village and nearby Jackson, Wyoming.
A part owner co-hosted the event on August 5 at an upscale Jackson hotel.
Part Owner Hosts House Freedom Caucus; Patagonia Responds
Jay Kemmerer, who purchased JHMR in 1992, helped host the mixer for the House Freedom Caucus. Headliners included U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia), former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), whose reputations precede them.
Patagonia splits decisively from the group’s proven stances regarding, but not limited to, environmental policy. The Freedom Caucus also trenchantly opposes initiatives that Patagonia has supported, such as protecting voting rights.
According to Corley Kenna, head of communications and policy at Patagonia, the decision to split from JHMR sprang from the company’s “really strong commitment to using both our business and our brand to advocate for our strong priorities.” She added that “[w]hen there’s a misalignment on that, then we take action.”
In Statement, Jackson Hole Counters
Dissonantly, JHMR underscored its commitment to environmental sustainability in a statement from president Mary Kate Buckley:
We have been a leader in the ski industry in adopting initiatives to reduce our energy consumption, recycle the consumables used by our employees and guests, and treat the spectacular natural habitat which surrounds us with vision and care.
Buckley also noted that the resort operates on 100% wind energy.
Ultimately, Patagonia made a tough financial decision on the basis of ethics. “This was our biggest account in a community we care deeply about,” Kenna said. However, she explained that a misalignment exists when a company simultaneously supports climate policies and bolsters politicians who deny climate change.
Asked what it would take for Patagonia to reconsider its decision, Kenna said, “[we] would revisit our decision if we saw a serious commitment to a healthy planet and healthy communities from the owners of JHMR.”
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has not responded to requests for comment.