KOA rec trailer plan considered by county

Owner says changes are needed to keep up in a world where things are getting bigger.
By Kevin Huelsmann, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
January 09, 2013

A request to allow more recreational park trailers at the Snake River KOA is being considered by Teton County.

Planning commissioners could approve the campground’s plan for the semipermanent mobile cabins at a meeting later this month.

The number of campground sites for recreational vehicles and tents would remain the same, but the number  taken up by recreational park trailers would increase. The plan is an attempt to update a campground designed in the 1960s and keep up with industry trends, owner Bud Chatham said.

“We’re trying to find a balance there to make sure that people who stay with us are happy and having a good time,” he said Tuesday.

The application will be the first to go through the county’s approval process under a new set of regulations for recreational park trailers,  hard-sided trailers that are built on a chassis and hook up to utility connections.

County commissioners approved the new rules in March after spending months battling some campground owners who wanted to bring the units onto their properties.

In 2010 commissioners approved an application from Chatham to bring 27 of the rec park trailers onto his property. He has only 20 at the campground.

Chatham’s new proposal would allow him to bring 45 recreational park trailers to the KOA. That’s the maximum number allowed under the new rules, which limit trailer campsites to 40 percent of a campground’s spaces. There are 112 campsites at the KOA.

In an October letter to county planners, Chatham said the campground wasn’t designed to accommodate new, larger recreational vehicles. Its RV spots are too small and draw regular complaints, he said.

“Snake River Park was laid out in the late 60s, when a big RV was 20 or 25 feet” long, he said in the letter.

Chatham said customers prefer newer recreational park trailers, which would help reduce traffic problems at the campground, bring more visitors to the area and help keep the campground viable.

Many of the RV sites are hemmed in by mature trees and utility lines and can’t be widened, he said.

If the planning commission signs off, county commissioners could consider the change in February.

Mackay pulls request for tent guidance

Jackson Hole Fireside Resort Owner Jamie Mackay withdrew a request this week seeking an opinion from county planners about whether he could install high-end tents at his campground.

County commissioners said Monday they probably would require Mackay to go through a new review process if he wants to put the tents on his property. The walled tents, which are intended to have beds and other furniture inside, represent a new use and should be reviewed as such, commissioners said.

“That’s a big hotel room, folks,” county Commissioner Hank Phibbs said Monday.

Phibbs and other commissioners said they needed to do something to regulate the tents.

“If we don’t think about these long-term changes, we’re just inviting the kind of problem we had with [recreational park trailers],” he said. “We need to get out ahead of it.”

Mackay withdrew his request Monday afternoon.



Read timely news about the Jackson Hole real estate market, including planning and development news. is the only real estate site in Jackson Hole offering local and out-of-area real estate buyers and sellers relevant real estate news from a reliable source, the Jackson Hole News&Guide. is presented by Jackson Hole News&Guide - a trusted source

Information and resources provided by are delivered by the trusted Jackson Hole News&Guide. strives to provide the same quality of writing, editing, design and photography that has earned the Jackson Hole News&Guide national recognition and awards among its publishing peers.