Rosalie Mansir says she began hyperventilating when a packet of paperwork marked with an “E” came in the mail. 

After 11 years of residence she had to leave the Star Valley Trailer Court near Grover in less than a month. That “E,” she understood, meant eviction.  

“I was a nervous wreck,” Mansir said. “I’ve just got to stay focused and not get overwhelmed, which I tend to do.” 

Mansir’s daughter, Tiffany Lawrence, insisted that her mother not deal with the new owner or property manager directly. In June of 2021 Mansir suffered a major heart attack and Lawrence was “scared to death” it would happen again. 

“I bought a blood pressure monitor,” Lawrence said. “I’m so scared she’s going to have a heart attack again.” 

Mansir’s trailer is one of 11 in the cluttered, ramshackle 30-unit park that received pamphlets marked with the E. She and the other recipients were told to remove their mobile homes by the end of the month. Anyone who wanted to stay would need to replace their home with one from 1995 or newer, the paperwork said.

A memo from the new owner, Teton Real Estate Investments Principal Jim Miller, also told them to clear out their yards: old vehicles, fencing, derelict sheds, feral cats — all of it had to go. 

Teton Real Estate Investments Principal Jim Miller purchased the Star Valley Trailer Court just to the north of Grover on March 28. (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

At his home overlooking the decidedly more upscale Wilson, Miller told WyoFile that purchasing the Star Valley Trailer Court was his first major real estate play in Wyoming, and that his intent was to make the neighborhood more attractive to working families. His aim, he said, is to provide affordable housing for the teachers, nurses, plow operators and others who have been priced out as Alpine and surrounding Star Valley towns morph into bedroom communities for Jackson Hole. 

“It’s no different than Jackson,” Miller said. “What’s happened in Alpine is the Alpine workers used to live in Alpine, but the Alpine workers can no longer afford to live in Alpine so they have to live somewhere else.” 

“People talk about the Jackson people getting kicked out,” he added, “but now it’s the Alpine people getting kicked out.” 

This dynamic made the dilapidated trailer court in Grover, 28 miles south of Alpine and 65 miles south of Jackson, an attractive business proposition for Miller. According to residents, the former owner, Bruce Hendrick, had the 7-plus-acre property on the market for years. It sold on March 28th for $1.3 million, a party familiar with the transaction said. 

Housing-cost spikes aren’t unique to Star Valley. The national trend has afflicted other parts of Wyoming as well. But it’s made more acute in the state’s northwest corner where Teton County boasts the highest median income in the western hemisphere and the median single family house price has eclipsed $4 million, creating a ripple effect that’s driving the market in surrounding communities.

As of Wednesday, the least expensive house listed on Zillow.com in Alpine was a single-family 2-bed, 2-bath listed at $749,000. In Etna prices of finished homes bottomed out at $625,000. Star Valley Ranch’s cheapest home listed on the website was $599,000 and the lone house near Thayne was listed at $469,000. 

Even Star Valley residents who earn substantial salaries are watching their prospects for homeownership rapidly evaporate. 

Brett McPeak, a real estate agent at Sotheby’s International, compared the Lincoln County home sale numbers from the first quarters of 2021 and 2022. The median sale a year ago was a 4-bed, 3,500-square-foot house in Thayne that went for $440,000. In a year’s time, that median sale price climbed nearly 50% to $642,500. But it bought less house: a 3-bed, 2,050-square-foot place on a similar-sized lot, also in Thayne. Among homes currently listed, McPeak said the median asking price is now $749,000. 

“There’s a huge demand for affordable housing,” Lincoln County Planner Emmett Mavy said. “It’s hard to say how much affordable housing actually exists because the housing stock that we do have is generally full. There’s just not a lot of vacancies available at any price range, whether it’s affordable or not affordable.” 

Addressing the issue is on the table for lawmakers. “Workforce housing” is the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee’s second-highest priority in the interim.

Dislodged 

In the process of trying to create a more attractive neighborhood in Grover, Miller is also dislodging Star Valley’s neediest residents from the most affordable housing in the community. That’s not his intent, he said, even if it’s happening.

“As far as I’m concerned, everybody is welcome to stay in the park,” Miller said. 

Feral cats are numerous in the Star Valley Trailer Court. Paperwork given to residents from the park’s new owner said that outdoor cats would be removed from the property in June. (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

But squalid conditions and trailers in disrepair, he said, won’t be tolerated.  “In my opinion,” Miller said, “these people belong in government housing.”

Social Services Supervisor Matt Banks, who works for the Wyoming Department of Family Services’ North Lincoln and Teton County office, said that options are limited for where the displaced residents can go. There are some federally subsidized apartments in Afton and Alpine, he said, but there’s always a waitlist, limited accessibility for felons and the units aren’t always ideal.

“Folks come in with money and are trying to shape the valley the way they’d like to see it,” Banks said. “But there are a lot of folks who have been here forever who are really just being pushed out. I don’t know where they go.” 

Larry Kujala along with his wife, Lisa, are the longest-tenured residents, with 30 years under their belts. They’re among those being required to find a newer place, or leave. 

“I raised four kids here,” Kujala said. “She’s a little run down, but she’s still my home.” 

The Kujala children didn’t go far: They also rent trailers in the park. 

Kujala, like half of the 10 Star Valley Trailer Court residents interviewed by WyoFile, survives on a fixed income. He had a stroke three years ago, and gets by on about $1,250 a month in Social Security Disability Insurance, he said. Lisa Kujala doesn’t have a job but works caring for her husband.

Larry and Lisa Kujala are the longest-tenured residents of the Star Valley Trailer Court, having raised four children in the neighborhood. (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

Kujala said a friend offered him “the deal of a lifetime” and is putting him up on their property. He harbors no resentment for what’s happening. 

“I’m actually tickled to death that somebody’s taking the initiative to clean up this trailer park — I have fought for 30 years to get this trailer park cleaned up,” Kujala said. “There needs to be new homes put out here. The way they’re doing it, though, is the wrong way.” 

Star Valley Trailer Court resident Bob Nisson wasn’t as understanding as Kujala as he talked through his impending eviction last weekend. 

“They’re making a buck,” Nisson said. “This is nothing but money. Money and people that are just selfish and don’t care about nobody. They don’t care about us little people.” 

“They’re making a buck … They don’t care about us little people.”

Star Valley Trailer Court Resident Bob Nisson

The 78-year-old, like others who received the folder with the “E,” was supposed to be out by April 30. A 15-year trailer court resident and U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, he had to scramble to find a place to lay his head. His new digs — a 21-foot-long camper trailer — were parked outside his current 56-foot-long trailer, which he shares with his 21-year-old grandson, four dogs and many cats. 

“Everything in there supposedly works,” Nisson said. “God has provided a covering for us. It might not be the best, but I’ll tell you what, you’ve got to make due.” 

Bob Nisson, 78, is among the residents who are being told to leave the Star Valley Trailer Court because of the dilapidated condition of their homes. Nisson said his fixed-income budget is so tight he can no longer afford meat from the grocery store: “Forget about steak,” he said. “Even hamburger’s getting out of sight.” (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

Still, he said, moving into a camper is not ideal. The pets can’t come to the new, smaller trailer and there’s no space for his tools, kitchen supplies and most of his other stuff. 

Miller, days after Nisson and WyoFile spoke, said he’s been working with Nisson’s Church of Latter Day Saints congregation to identify a better solution. 

“I told his pastor he can stay, but he needs to apply for senior housing,” Miller said. “The government has senior housing for these people and he needs to go apply for some of the places. He can stay there until he’s accepted.” 

Making due

Other residents who were getting kicked out didn’t wait around to work something out. Three left almost immediately, Miller said, abandoning their homes, including one residence that was littered with dog feces. 

Jason Freeman, 21, lives with his grandfather, Bob Nisson, in a Star Valley Trailer Court mobile home that must be removed from the property. The two are moving into a 21-foot-long camper trailer instead. “It’s better than nothing,” Freeman said. “But there’s nowhere near enough space. And I won’t be able to take Chewy with me.” (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

Those with trailers that are in decent enough shape to make the cut are facing a rent hike. The monthly rate for a lot used to run $280. Miller bumped rates to $425 per month, more than a 50% hike. That’s a special rate for existing tenants, Miller said. New tenants will pay more. 

“I think $425 is going to push it for them,” he said. “That’s why I didn’t put it up to $525 for them, because that was my way of being nice — although I’m sure some people won’t see it that way.” 

Resident Tina Myles and others said the rate hike will leave them stretched. She said her predicament is a “Catch 22”: There’s nowhere else she can afford to move to, but she also doesn’t have the means to renovate her trailer to the standards the new owner requires. 

“I don’t have the money, at $13 an hour, to fix everything up,” Myles said. “I’m certainly not going to go take out a huge loan for a month-to-month lease and no guarantee that I won’t get kicked out a couple months later.” 

Mansir, meanwhile, is packing her bags and heading to Tennessee to live in a camper trailer in her daughter’s driveway year-round. On Saturday, she was making the best of the situation, boxing up a decade worth of antiques that she’d accumulated in her Grover trailer. Jake Stewart, another park resident, was helping, and he even planned to take the day off on Monday to aid his soon-to-be-former neighbor to get out the door. 

Tiffany Lawrence helps her mother, Rosalie Mansir, pack her belongings in the Star Valley Trailer Court following her eviction. (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

“I can’t afford any of the rent around here,” Mansir said. “I’m lucky I have my daughter, because I don’t know what would have happened.” 

Her daughter, Lawrence, didn’t have as rosy a view of the situation. 

“Really, she’s being displaced,” she said. “She’s frickin’ homeless.” 

Hendrick, the Star Valley Trailer Court’s former owner, is “heartbroken” by the plights of residents like Mansir.

“Those were my people for 30 years,” Hendrick said. “All I can say is I wish I could take it back, but I can’t.”

Mike Koshmrl

Mike Koshmrl reports from Jackson on state politics and Wyoming's natural resources. Prior to joining WyoFile, he spent nearly a decade covering the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s wild places and creatures...

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  1. Bruce Hendrick is doing more than most would to help residents while protecting his investment. Trying to improve the community for present and future residents is a balancing act. He could have been far more ruthless. Good for him to chime in and share his replies. I wish all parties the best of luck.

    The real failure is with society at large. Too much income inequality. Too many government regulations and laws that deter affordable housing from ever getting built. The utter failure of the private marketplace to build affordable housing. Greed run amok.

    Homeowners from previous generations had access to smaller homes at the start of their financial lives. Homes that allowed them to build wealth and be secure in their homes.

    In the late 1970s, an average of 418,000 new units of entry-level housing were built each year and we had a much smaller population. For 2020, an estimated 65,000 new entry-level homes were completed. It has been a straight-line decline every decade since the 70s. And wages never kept pace with inflation over the decades for most workers, especially true in Teton County in the last couple decades. And for much of Wyoming outside of the extractive industry.

    Nationwide, second homes accounted for an average of 15 % of new home sales in 2021, according to the NAHB (far more in Jackson). As many as 10 million may be second homes nationwide according to Pacaso’s “Second Home Market Report”.

    Life has become about monetizing everything. Home ownership isn’t for shelter. It’s an investment. It’s a business. It’s a racket with tax breaks the likes of which a renter will never see. The genie has been out of the bottle for decades. NW Wyoming will only get worse.

    Just look where Teton County spends public and private money. It is spending 34 million on a climbing wall for the county’s recreation center. A place, like its airport, that seems to get remodeled every few years. A brand new, and huge, private indoor athletic facility with ball fields and a gym just opened up.

    The county is far more interested in expanding housing for tourists and second-home homeowners than locals. Far more interested in a bike path to Yellowstone than a path to keeping its workforce in the county.

    New vacation lodging goes up every year despite the lack of workers and housing for them. And despite local opposition, lodging overlays (zoning) allow for more. Teton County expanded short-term rentals to please developers and real estate agents.

    Teton County pretended to care about workforce housing in their “Comprehensive Plan”. It was all virtue signaling that didn’t seriously address real housing needs or offer up realistic solutions. And most subsidized housing was for people who could easily afford housing in bedroom communities. The people who could least afford to commute were pushed out and expected to commute.

    On Saturday, May 14, the University of Wyoming will bestow an honorary doctoral degree upon Joe Kelsey during UW commencement ceremonies. Where did Joe live? On forest service land at the base of Teton Pass in a cabin with no running water, no electricity, in the middle of prime moose habitat.

    Such a place could never be built today. You can’t plop a tiny house on an equally tiny lot in downtown Jackson especially without running water and electricity. You can’t live off the grid in the forest unless you’re a cow and paying $4 a month. The Forest Service is far more interested in expanding ski resorts on their property than workforce housing on their property. Try getting the state to allow anyone to develop workforce housing on their square-mile lots in Teton County. Never happen.

    You can build 5-story hotels and vacation condos in Jackson Hole but not 5-story workforce apartments. Hopefully, Lincoln County has a better eye for the future than Teton County.

    The real threat has always been the government going out of its way to favor those with housing security over those without it. Redlining out the poor, the minorities. And favoring business development, often low-wage business development that rakes in tax dollars, over development that actually improves the lives of its citizens. The experience that the folks in Alpine faced is a real possibility for many of the long-term, working-class residents of the Jackson Hole community. We dispose of them like our trash.

    1. Copied the wrong name, “Bruce Hendrick”, former owner, should have been Jim Miller, the new owner.

  2. Appreciate that Jim Miller made himself available and has responded to comments here, and as a finance executive I appreciate that investment was probably needed and that can lead to changes. That said..

    Jim, you didn’t do this to save the tenants from themselves. You did this to make money, and doing so is requiring that you enforce standards that some of these folks clearly cannot afford. You issued 11 eviction notices to poor people as part of a plan to increase the value of the property. Some of these people will be rendered homeless as a result.

    Can’t you find a way to make money that doesn’t force a 78 year old veteran to live in his car? Sure they weren’t living the way you or I would want to, but at least they had a place to call home. The idea that there is enough subsidized housing in the area to meet demand is a nice story, but you just need to strike up a conversation with a local to know that’s not the case.

    Change how you are doing this or sell it back to the previous owner and save yourself the headaches.

  3. It was very interesting article to read. I understand that the previous owner had a right to sell the property and the new owner can make new rules of how he wants the property to look like.

    What bothered me were the comments that new owner and landlord made. ” But squalid conditions and trailers in disrepair, he said, won’t be tolerated. ““As far as I’m concerned, everybody is welcome to stay in the park,” Miller said. In my opinion,” Miller said, “these people belong in government housing.” Later in the article speaking of a Veteran, Miller stated “I told his pastor he can stay, but he needs to apply for senior housing,” Miller said. “The government has senior housing for these people and he needs to go apply for some of the places. He can stay there until he’s accepted.” These statements reflect that Mr. Miller has come into to a community that he doesn’t know, understand or want to know.

    Matt Banks is right. The options for people in this income level is limited and they will not have any place to go.

    There are articles that show the negative of Gentrification that states; Gentrification has the power to displace low-income families or, more often, prevent low-income families from moving into previously affordable neighborhoods and as areas have gentrified, families in poverty cannot afford rent, which pushes them into homelessness. High rental costs also prevent them from bettering their situation once they lose housing. Georgetown Law stated in an article titled “Examining the negative impacts of Gentrification”; “Gentrification usually leads to negative impacts such as forced displacement, a fostering of discriminatory behavior by people in power, and a focus on spaces that exclude low-income individuals and people of color.” Sad day for Wyoming.

  4. Wyoming should have a law that makes the owner of the court buy the trailer or pay to move it if renovation or redevelopment occurs. Nevada has a decent one and would have at least put money in the tenants pocket

  5. Lived in Jackson 25 years ago and my wife lived there since the early 80’s and the problem has only gotten worse. So who will work in the valley? Maybe robots are the answer. My friend who drove from Driggs everyday always wore a button which read Hungry? Eat the rich.

  6. Do not refer to yourself as “the little people” if we sold our house we couldn’t afford to live here . The ide that property taxes are linked directly to what someone perceives as the market value is rediculous . Your property value for tax purposes should correspond to what you paid initially , and maybe after 10 years of ownership a 5% increase . When I sell my house the next owner will pay the taxes on that sale $$$. I’m not sure the person who came up with the new formula was thinking about the family who’s lived in there house for 20 or more years. Building work force housing doesn’t rectify the problem, if the workforce has to move out when they reach 65 and retire , where are they supposed to move to , having worked here, raised a family , contributed to the community , fallen in love with the valley , now forced to move out , where’s the humanity !

  7. Politics aside, let’s remember how Jackson, Alpine, Star Valley, and other WY & other US locales going thru similar housing circumstances got to where they are today….. people put their properties on the market to sell. Albeit (lately) at ridiculous prices. For the money. Its not wrong. Free enterprise. Yes, some are becoming millionaires on this real estate cyclone and others are caught in the wake. Some had great foresight to buy property when it was less expensive, to resell when prices went up, like now. They call this an investment. I don’t begrudge anyone making a good investment.

    So, the mobile home park residents are caught in the wake. New owner, new rules. But, as one current resident remarked, they’ve been trying to get the place cleaned up for the 30 yrs they’ve lived there. Its a shame the prior owner let things get as bad as it sounds. Because one doesn’t have alot money, doesn’t mean you don’t take care of your things. Because you rent, doesnt mean you shouldnt take care of the owners property. So, the new owner is also caught in the wake. Hes kept the property a mobile home park and is trying to do what some residents, and likely surrounding neighbors want, and, in the process he’s going to have to take the hit for being the bad guy to get it done. But he has to protect his investment. It sounds as if some residents will be happy to comply and all will benefit. Others will move on to less expensive locations. You are living in prime real estate country right now.

    Mr Miller paid a lot of money for that land, which he rents out for people to park mobile homes on. The land could just as easily have been purchased by anyone to build a single family home or anything else, displacing all residents. It doesn’t sound like Mr Miller wants to displace anyone, but he wants the park to be a nicer place for all the residents to live. He’s protecting his investment. Any rental property comes with rules.

    The economy stinks and real estate is going nuts. Housing prices are going up everywhere. I don’t like it anymore than anyone else. We are pricing ourselves out of being homeowners. Yes, the billionaires want to gobble up all the pretty places, for houses they will rarely visit. So, how do you get people to stop selling? You wont. The market will eventually calm down as interest rates are on the rise. But if you are a home owner and could sell in the bubble for MORE than you can after this bubble bursts (and it will), youre likely going to do it. Our other investments are declining thanks to this terrible economy, and selling a house for more than what we paid is a great money maker for retirees, investors, young families trying to make ends meet, there are multitudes of reasons.

    Lincoln and Teton counties are not alone, these counties just happen to be in or near one of the most beautiful locations in this country, the world. Don’t be mad at the billionaires for being rich, they have what we all dream of, money. Buy your lottery tickets and cross your fingers, you too could be one. And, you would likely do same, buy real estate.

    The answer isnt simple, people aren’t going to stop selling. We buy and sell real estate to make a profit, God love America!! And the cycle continues. It’s life, as sad as it sometimes, but stop asking the govt and the rich to bail you out.

    I feel horrible about the housing issue that we, as a country, have gotten into again. To be clear, I’m not rich, and I’m grappling with my own housing issue, but its MY issue, not yours, not the govts!!

    1. This is perhaps the most accurate and insightful analysis presented here. If only the “social justice” activists and writers would pay attention. Thank you.

  8. This is very heartbreaking, I have fought for years for equality, I understand the need to fix up the trailer park, but displacing families is not right, new trailers should be brought in for these residents with affordable rent, people with existing trailers should be able to fix up their trailers for the residents, instead of being forced to move, there can be laws that people obey, not keeping broke down vehicles and taking care of their pets, there are other options then making people move. People need to be respected and helped in their time of need, not displaced.

    1. Sandra, you bringing in trailers to rent at affordable prices would be great! I’m doing 3, we need 5 more. Please post your phone number and we can make arrangements for you to do a couple. I’ll give you free lot rent on your home until you rent or sell the unit!

  9. As I read all the comments regarding this issue, I’m caused to reflect on my own life when I was trying to raise a family and make ends meet living paycheck to paycheck. It was a hard time in my life and it was also a driving force that caused me to work harder to try to get ahead. But it seemed like the harder I worked I never really improved my situation. Then a wise man told me you will never make more than you can spend. At first I was angry at him because He didn’t know my problems in life and I was working hard. But as I thought about his statement I realized he wasn’t condemning me. He was just pointing out that maybe I could manage my money and life style better and then I might gaining on my situation. Once I took his advice as as constructive and got some financial counseling, and trust me them guys don’t tell you what you want to hear. But I was amazed what I could get done to improve my situation when I started doing the hard things that they counseled me to do. So I guess what I’m saying is rather than blaming wealthy people for everyone’s problems or blaming the landlord for wanting his investment to look respectable and have a desirable place for people to want to live. Let’s look in the mirror and say what can I do to help myself and improve my station in life. And if it’s a money issue seek out someone who understands finances and see if there are things that can be done to make us more financially stable so we can afford to meet our needs. These things are hard but 95 percent of us do not manage our money well and it’s hard to give up things that we may be asked to give up. And problems aren’t fixed overnight but then again we didn’t get where we are overnight (most of the time). Yes there are a lot of problems and issues facing society on this subject and some do need government intervention and regulations. But in the meantime we need to do all we can to help ourselves. My heart goes out to those who are being impacted by this situation. But we can’t expect others to fix our problems for us. We can ask for help but we also need to do all we can to help ourselves to.

  10. Some facts that the author left out, but was aware of:
    – One of the families featured in this article owed 6 months in rent, had 40+ vehicles in their yard, a broken water pipe under their foundation that likely had been running for 6+ months, and living in a home with a missing window.
    – The lady I made “homeless” was widely called a snowbird by the seller and a neighbor resident. Her front door was never shoveled all winter. Clearly she has another home to live at all winter for many years.
    – There is widespread accusations that there are two drug dealers in the park. I’ve asked 6-8 people about it, including the sheriff and the answer has never been none.
    – That I tried to find someone in Lincoln County Government to condemn these homes and their is no one. Many of these homes would be condemned if their was a government official to do so.
    – What good landlord would allow ANY single one of those conditions to exist in an apartment they owned, let alone 5+ that occur at many of them?

    A more balanced article would have interviewed the neighbors, and what they thought of the condition of the park. Or asking some Lincoln County residents if they were willing to live there – because the answer would have been no in the condition it was in. At the end of the day the park is going to be a safer, more desirable place to live. I am not building $750,000 homes. I have already bought 3 used 2010 trailers to move people into – the most expensive of the 3 is $165,000.

    While it will always look like mobile homes, 1995 or newer manufactured housing is constructed the same as a new home, only difference being the foundation. For those that can’t afford the Lincoln County median price of $642,500, this is a great alternative.

    1. Thanks for the careful read, Jim. As you had never interfaced with the residents as of when we spoke, I spent a good deal of time fact-checking some of the allegations you provided.
      A few thoughts in response:
      —I tried twice to reach out to the family quoted in the story you alleged was late on rent and had 40 vehicles in their yard. My efforts to reach them failed after my initial in-person interview, which partly explains that omission.
      —The “snowbird” resident you reference is moving out of necessity into a camper trailer, which is stated in the story.
      —I interviewed Sargent Thompson at your suggestion to discuss the alleged drug problem in the park. My feeling was that he did not substantiate the claim, which is why that allegation was not included in the story.
      Thank you again for being willing to do the interview. It made it a better story, no doubt. But I’m frankly surprised you found the story so imbalanced given that you told me “I like to hear the other perspective,” and that you’ve “spent a lot of time in echo chambers, and it sucks.”

  11. I gotta say that’s a pretty good article. I can’t see any good solutions coming out.

  12. Root cause just another same old from the little r republican congress who brought you the last super criminal, imposter, 45th president, with so many more mealy-mouthed, terrified congressional small rs even now toadying up to the deranged 45. Tax cuts = many more millions for the Jackson billionaires who gobble up more and more of the area’s open land for their mega-over-scaled, behemoth, look-at-how-super-rich-I-am, “houses”. Veblen can’t stop spinning in his grave at such over the top conspicuous consumption by some of the 20th-21st century robber barons who reside in Jackson for maybe 1-2 max months before they Gulfstream off to the next place they’ve ruined for all but a few of their own kind. Speaking of kind, let’s talk about how unkind, unjust, many of their kind can be. No long-term vision for anything but their billions, their power, and their pathetic sad egos. Some of the decent billionaires, I believe they are part-time in Jackson also, give substantial amounts to worldwide humanitarian causes as well as to the Jackson community. But others throw only a $$-bone to some locally-favorite cultural, social, or animal cause in order to bolster their images and hide the greed and maybe some luck that earned them their other-wordly wealth and personal rocketships. Very few make a vast fortune by not putting the screws to someone, some rival, some company, somewhere. So I suggest the Jackson billionaires pay their fair share to help in a substantial $$$-way solve the crisis of affordable housing for all in the Jackson area that they themselves created, a type of cost-sharing if you will, except they kick in the lion’s share $$, of course. Similar to the new-think idea that super-sized Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Tech, Big Every Corporation should pay with some of their obscene amounts of yearly profits, and their millions in saved tax incentives to correct the mammoth ills of our current world they knowlingly created. Stop making the rest of us, especially those who are least able to pay any burden, for their deceits. Time to pay up, Jackson billionaires, but I’m not holding my breath until you do.

    1. It is very sad to see people have to move no matter how horrible the conditions of their homes but why are you making this out to be a D vs. R issue? You may be confused. Many of the billionaires you refer to in big pharma, oil and tech happen to be Ds (including those in Jackson). You should pay attention to the politics of the people to whom you refer.

      In order to truly understand the situation get in your car and take a drive through that trailer park. If you were someone who lived nearby you would be glad it is getting cleaned up. Whether or not you agree with how it is getting cleaned up, it is getting cleaned up. That is exactly what one of the soon to be displaced residents has wanted to happen for 30 years. Did the man who wanted it cleaned up for 30 years care if someone else lost their home if he did not like the way his neighbors lived? That is a long time for something to be such a mess. I am sure there are many good people who are very happy somebody is finally going to clean the place up.

    2. Nancy. Now be fair. 45th President didn’t create all the rich in his single term. The problems we have today have the roots in FDR/LBJ creating a welfare state and USA sliding deeper into such welfare state. Politicians of all ilk do no planning for future it merely moves from one crisis to another An spends money all long the way. Think of the $33 billion Biden/Democrats gave Ukraine. Think of the $1.5 TRILLION Biden is fixing to wipe off the books in student debt! Do they wipe off the degrees gotten? Now inflation is eating us all alive. Regardless of political affiliation. But nancy be fair. Trump never created the issues that result in mess we are in. Biden Pelosi schiff and many others have served way to long. How did they get rich on a $174,000 year job?

  13. A “better play” for Teton Real Estate Investments would be to work with the town of Alpine to purchase undeveloped acreage and build a hundred unit condo complex for area workers.

    1. That does sound like a great play! It is probably very easy to do. You should do it before he takes your advise. I am sure the developer will be reading the comments from people who have never done anything so he can find a better play.

  14. Capitalism is amoral. It is not concerned with the rightness or wrongness of an act or thing. Capital’s purpose is to generate more capital. Owning property is a tried and true way to generate capital.

    It can be argued that landlords don’t provide housing. Someone who owns a house buys another one and takes it off the market. In effect, a landlord “hoards” housing, renting it back to people who can’t buy a house because landlords hoarding drove the price of housing up.

    Koshmrl’s quotes from the landlord are telling. “These people belong in Government housing.” It seems his attitude is that the rich people in Jackson screwed the Jackson middle class, and now they’re screwing Star Valley poor people. This is a perfect example of trickle down economics.

    While capitalism is amoral, those who work within it can choose to be moral, immoral, or something in between. To actually say that a group of persons belongs in government housing seems pretty immoral to me. That said, it seems that in the Jackson region of Wyoming treating people like this is normal, and hence, the landlord’s actions fall within the scope of normality and could be considered moral. That’s crazy. Something is wrong here.

    1. Hi Jeff,

      This is Jim, I am the landlord. Are you in favor of building codes? Because that is essentially what I am doing. Enforcing building codes. Homes had broken windows all winter. I found one home with a 3′ x 3′ hole in the floor. With trailers that means the outside air comes in. Another home had a dog poop room with 200 piles in it. One home had 40+ vehicles stored there.

      Do you think people should live like that? Their is no government in Grover. So that leaves it to the landlord. Isn’t that who government housing is for? If people are choosing to live in 200 piles of dog feces, or a home open to the Wyoming winter, then living in government housing is probably a step up for them. They should live someplace where they are going to be checked up on and other assistance is available to them. One thing is certain, they don’t seem to be getting any help in Grover. I tried to find someone in Lincoln County to condemn the homes. Their is no one.

      So ultimately, for better or worse, it comes down to the Landlord. I’d rather not be in those shoes. If you’re against this – then know that you’re against any kind of building standards. On a national basis you would be in the vast minority of people.

      1. I myself live in a trailer,nothing like what your describing,my home is very clean. but what is it your business what the inside of their trailer looks like. If the outside is up to your standards then its really none of your business to tell them what the inside should look like.they own those trailers,if they want to live in filth its their choice.do you think people would be living in trailers if they could afford more.these are peoples homes and your kicking them to the curb like trash. You dont care about these people,you have money so you have no idea how the poor man lives and struggles. You should be ashamed of yourself for suggesting they be in government homes,why not try to come to a better agreement with them so they can stay in their homes.try having some compassion.

        1. You’re right – if the exterior of your house is pristine I don’t want to go inside and see how you’re living. That is probably the case for 5 out of 30 homes when I bought the park.

          For the 25 out of 30, the exteriors were/are in extremely bad condition. 1970’s homes don’t have modern windows or insulation and all of the problems noted elsewhere. If someone spends a winter in their home with a missing window in Wyoming, then most of us would really question if that person is OK. And if they are missing a window, of all the homes I’ve seen they have far more worse living conditions inside.

          I have the exact opposite opinion as you. Someone missing a window in February in Wyoming needs someone’s help. Making the resident do something about it, is compassionate. Doing nothing is being ignorant and uncompassionate in my opinion. Had I done nothing, and continued the status quo, I’m sure the author would have wrote the article as “look at this slumlord and the living conditions he is allowing”. Then you’d still be saying the same things about me.

          The LDS church has taken charge in helping residents. They had 30 men out this week. I have financially contributed low five figures so far. I have created a webpage directing the residents to government assistance programs. I have created rules and am enforcing them. I have given Bob a reprive and allowed him to stay for the summer as long as he follows a couple conditions. What will YOU do to help them and show compassion?

  15. This is very sad to see. I feel sad for the folks who got eviction notices however they knew that was a possibility from the day they first moved into the trailer court. What happened and what is going in in Star Valley and surrounding is entirely predictable as this same thing has happened in resort type communities and the surrounding areas since at least the mid 70s forward. Telluride, Aspen, many other names and the nearby surrounding areas and communities. More recently it was reported hyappening in Resort town Sun Valley and the nearby communities of Hailey, Bellevue and further south towards Twin Falls. It was reported that in order to have that precious job in the Sun Valley area with the exploding cost of rent/housing, people are are living in cars and or tents in National Forest campgrounds just to afford to live and getting in line for so called affordable housing which may be years out. Supposedly the Federal land agencies such as BLM and USFS are understandably starting to restrict and crack down on it due to the burdens that causes.
    In Jackson there have been millionaires crying that they can’t afford to live because they are being bumped out by the billionaires. In fact it was claimed that one privately said the millionaires are looking at going to Alpine/Star Valley.
    Even if they don’t in Alpine with rising prices people can’t afford to live so are in essence getting bumped out so down Star Valley they go. Now Star Valley and South is starting to become outrageous in terms of home and other prices and people are getting bumped out. People will be headed to the Geneva/Montpellier area and within 5-7 years that will become outrageous and unaffordable.
    As with all resort communities and surround areas, pretty soon people are commuting hours and miles just for the precious job in a resort community.
    Its not just in Star Valley either. Rent is also increasing in and around Idaho Falls. Some older apartment complexes are planning to charge 1800 to 2K a month rent for a two – 3 bedroom apartment that used to be $750 per month. Once peoples contracts come up on the old price there rent goes up. New town homes are going in with people buying them as investments planning to charge (and getting it) $2 to 2500 per month rent.
    I would make the following observation. Unless you are making over 60K per year at whatever the resort or near resort community is (one person) incomes you are probably screwed. That has never gotten better in history and won’t get any better. The so called “Affordable Housing” phrase has been tossed around for decades. In the end it doesn’t amount to anything other then people keep running it up the flag pole, legislatures talk about it, pass this or that bill but in the end rent and housing still goes up unless its some kind of highly select community that people wait in line for many years. Even then the owners tend to bump the prices every chance they get. Also keep in mind what “affordable” means. In Jackson an “affordable” home might be 1 million dollars. In Star Valley an “affordable” home might be $600K. BTW that 600K home could be a 50 year old house that prior to the resort boom might have been $150. So in the end “affordable home” with some exceptions usually means whatever the owner can sell the property for in the current market.
    Here is a few of the question individuals need to ask them selves.
    1) How much in terms or commute time and high prices is that precious job in the resort community or nearby community worth to you? Is it worth spending 1 to 3 hours per day on way commuting? Is it worth not being able to afford rent increases? Is it worth paying the normal (resort or near resort community) higher prices for food, grocery’s and gas? Prices are only going to go up. Can you afford higher rent, higher prices, i.e. does it make economic sense to stay at that location.
    2) Is it time to start looking at moving to smaller communities (Montpelier, others) or elsewhere which is more economical and affordable?
    The person who sold the trailer court. Probably finally in a position to sell it and make a quick million plus then get out. Most everybody else is going to do that with their business, properties, houses if they are able and I don’t blame them.
    I have heard stories about Star Valley farmers getting outrageous/obscene offers on their properties (multi millions) so developers can come in and build outrageously expensive homes.
    This is what folks should expect. Prices of , property, food, grocery’s are going to do is go up, up, up. You can see that, you know that now so you either make a plan to leave or you stay. Remember that if you stay, you are choosing to stay and live with high, unaffordable property, housing, prices of food, grocery’s and most everything else. The likely only way this will change unless the nation collapses economically and or something like a nuclear war happens. Even if that happens it probably won’t matter to most of us anyways.

    1. This situation is definitely sad. All sides here have a point. However, this kind of thing isn’t isolated to just resort communities. It’s happening all over the Mountain West. There is a modern displacement of older residents with modest means being pushed out by new, wealthy residents. Escalating costs of living, sky-rocketing property values and property taxes, loss of legacy industries, large corporate businesses pushing “mom and pop” outfits out of business. Things that all come with growth. Now we are getting a small taste of what white settlement did to Native Americans. A few posters here are minimizing the issue by saying “just move away”, or “it’s ok, that’s just the way Capitalism works”, etc. Wow… So, just pack up your life and move away from a community where your family may have lived for generations and go to a less desirable place? If you live in a place like Jackson, Cody, Lander, Sheridan, Buffalo, or Pinedale (etc.) that is close to the mountains and are mid-low income, you are considered an undesirable, and are not wanted. The message is clear: “You have to move to Rawlins, Shoshoni or worse Topeka or Tulsa or some other place with the other poor, dirty people.” and “I don’t know what you’re going to do, I don’t care, just leave.” The new elite will have to hire and travel with their own staff to cater to their every whim as there will be no native, permanent residents left to serve them. I probably sound like a crazy liberal with these thoughts, but I’m seriously concerned that people like my family and I are next. But, we’re new… Only been in Wyoming for 5 generations.

  16. What can anyone say? This is appalling. Perhaps the multi millionaires in Jackson can raise a big resettlement purse to be distributed to the displaced residents. Or front the money for the more modern trailers? And the guy who sold the place and the one who bought it should contribute.