Popular outdoor clothing brand Patagonia cut ties with one of Wyoming’s most popular ski resorts over the owners’ political views.
The owners of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Jay Kemmerer and his wife Karen, are staunch Donald Trump supporters. They donated more than $200,000 to his re-election campaign, The Daily Mail said. The couple also recently held a fundraiser for the House Freedom Fund, which funds the Freedom Caucus.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Rep. Jim Jordan, and former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows all took part in the Aug. 5 fundraiser, which cost $2,000 per couple minimum.
The Freedom Caucus is one of the most far-right-wing groups with the Republican Party. It includes members such as Jordan, Florida Gov. Rick DeSantis, and former Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. All of them have parroted Trump’s complaints that Joe Biden stole the 2020 election.
Patagonia said it was canceling three orders from the resort, which is the clothing company’s biggest client in that area. The company added it wouldn’t work with the Mountain Resort again until they “demonstrated commitment to a healthy planet and healthy communities …,” Patagonia told The Daily Mail.
Officials at the Jackson Hole resort pushed back at that assertion.
“We’ve 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, president Mary Kate Buckley said in a statement to WyoFile. “We are proud to be the largest mountain resort operating on 100% wind today. …”
Protest Plague Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
When the Freedom Fund fundraiser was announced, protesters descended on the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Many of them were locals, who were aware of the Kemmerers’ political persuasions but felt this crossed a line.
Protester Jorge Colon told the Jackson Hole News & Guide that he is considering canceling his season ski pass, which would cost him thousands of dollars.
“It’s just a shame that it’s gotten to this point,” Colon said. “I know they supply a lot of people with work, but to be backing up that group … is pretty embarrassing.”
Another protester Marisa Sullivan, 35 was at once a frequent visitor to the resort. But she said she stopped buying a pass years ago over the Kemmerers’ politics.
“If you’re going to give people that kind of money, I don’t want it to be going to things like this,” she said. ‘This is ridiculous to me.”
Patagonia is also currently boycotting Facebook for what the company said is the social media platform’s inaction against misinformation. Several other major brands including REI and North Face are taking part in the boycott, CBS News reported.
“For too long, Facebook has failed to take sufficient steps to stop the spread of hateful lies and dangerous propaganda on its platform,” Patagonia said in a statement. “From secure elections to a global pandemic to racial justice, the stakes are too high to sit back and let the company continue to be complicit in spreading disinformation and fomenting fear and hatred.”