Spotting an opportunity amidst a global pandemic, a developer has applied for a conditional use permit to raze the Teton County courthouse and build a 400-unit glampground in its place.
Expense Experience Corp, a resort chain out of Las Vegas, Nevada, is only the latest in a series of developers who have discovered the low property costs and high scenic value of Teton Valley. Head project engineer Sham Scamman explained to the Teton Valley News that the company views the property on the west side of Little Avenue as the perfect place for a high-density, high-cost glamping “experience.” The company is proposing 400 three-room tents to be installed onsite, each with a wood-fired stove, veranda, and small attached swimming pool.
“They’re terribly tasteful,” Scamman said about the tents. “They have an incredibly low carbon footprint, yet the tents are made with tanned hides of rare South American tapirs, making them very luxe. It’s a camping experience for the most discerning venture capitalist.”
Scamman added that while the project seems like a money-grab, it’s actually crafted to benefit the community, because, service jobs.
“We’ll need nail artists, housekeepers, yardkeepers, valets, butlers. This is really a rare opportunity for Teton Valley. It would be foolish to deny us our glampground,” he said.
The courthouse was within the Driggs city limits, but the developer has already successfully lobbied for deannexation, meaning Teton County will now have the deciding say over the glampground application. When asked how exactly a private company could receive the rights to bulldoze a county-owned, taxpayer funded building, county planning administrator Grant Legstrong gave a helpless shrug.
“The county land development code is pretty vague and often contradictory,” he said.