With over 22 years as President of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) Jerry Blann will cap an impressive history at the end of the 2017-18 ski season in order to consult, ski more and enjoy the resorts he’s helped to shape.
Blann’s remarkable 47-year career in the ski and tourism industries included 25 years in California and Colorado before joining JHMR as President in 1995.
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead said, “I would be surprised if any ski resort President has done more for a mountain resort than Jerry over these last 22 years. His leadership at the Village, in the community and across the state is as awe-inspiring as the mountain itself. I say a big Wyoming thank you to a friend and great leader.”
“Each and every business in the Jackson area profited through the 22 years Jerry has been President of the Mountain Resort,” said Pete Lawton, Chairman and CEO, Bank of Jackson Hole. “The benefit to thousands and thousands of locals and their families is significant. Their businesses grew, they saw uneven winters become more balanced in our seasonality, and they saw visitors arrive to spend money and recreate. Financially our area benefited enormously under Jerry’s tenure. As a businessman and exceptional executive he guided the last two decades allowing our local economy to strengthen; we all need to give well deserved recognition to Jerry,” Lawton added.
Michael Berry, President of the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) commented, “Jerry is a leader in the ski industry. Looking across the ski resort landscape very few places have had the incremental success that Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has had under Jerry’s leadership. The mountain improvements, greater accessibility and much more visibility in the market place have allowed Jackson to increase visitation in a way that has caught the attention of his peers.”
Jackson Hole, as well as the industry, has changed and improved dramatically over the course of his career. Among the highlights:
JHMR skier visits increased from the 200,000’s to nearly 600,000, transforming the historically slow winter period of the economy in Teton County.
The unprecedented capital improvements and guest centric mission established Jackson Hole as a premier resort player in the current consolidation taking place in the ski industry.
Led over $200 Million in capital improvements throughout Blann’s tenure, including the replacement of Jackson’s iconic Tram in 2006-2008.
A combination of enhancements and continuous guest focus led to numerous acknowledgements of Jackson Hole internationally as a top destination ski resort, including Ski Magazine #1 and Forbes #1.
Blann spearheaded the Teton Village Master Plan and conceived the Teton Village Association, and later the Teton Village Resort District, to enable Teton Village governance and ability to compete as a top resort destination.
Together with community members he created the JH-AIR non-profit to support community air service goals in winter.
Blann serves on Boards of Jackson Hole Airport, Teton Village Association, JH-AIR and the Wyoming Business Council.
Governor Matt Mead presented Blann with the state’s Big Wyo Award in 2016, an honor of Wyoming’s top achiever in tourism and business.
For Blann’s part, he said one of his motivations is to spend more time traveling, skiing and spending time with his wife and family. “There is an irony when you work in the tourism industry that you have little time to actually enjoy the benefits. I’ve worked hard with a passion for the ski industry and have extraordinary admiration for an incredible team at JHMR. Proud does not begin to describe it, but gratitude certainly does. I’m thankful to all those with whom I have the opportunity to work with over the years.”
Prior to arriving in Jackson Jerry was President of Aspen Skiing Company where he worked for 18 years, and also was President of Bear Mountain in California. While in Colorado he chaired Colorado Ski Country U.S.A. He served on the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) Board, the ski industry’s trade organization, for multiple terms and currently sits on three standing committees where he chaired the Environmental Committee for nearly ten years.
Under Jerry’s leadership, JHMR achieved the following environmentally focused recognitions:
Golden Eagle Award (highest industry environmental award) in 1995 and 2011
Silver Eagle Award Excellence Visual Impact 2005; Energy Conservation 2003
First in Friends of Pathways Commuter Choice Challenge – 3 straight years
Chamber of Commerce “Green to Green Award”- 2012
Jay Kemmerer, JHMR’s owner and Chairman stated, “The Kemmerer Family has been honored to have Jerry’s leadership for nearly 23 years. His steady hand over many years has been greatly appreciated. We congratulate his stewardship and wisdom to lead one of Wyoming’s greatest assets. He has been a true friend and a pleasure to work with. Following the 2018 ski season we want to celebrate his past and cheers his future.” In January, the Kemmerer Family expects to make an announcement on Blann’s successor.