Patagonia said it is open to reconsidering the withdrawal from the resort if the owners committed to "protecting the planet."
Leading outdoor clothing and gear company Patagonia cut ties with a popular Wyoming ski resort after one of the venue's owners, Jay Kemmerer, hosted a fundraiser for far-right lawmakers. The brand confirmed this week that it will no longer sell its merchandise at the three stores operated by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, despite the resort being its largest single customer in the area. Patagonia acknowledged that the move came after Kemmerer co-hosted an August 5 fundraising event for the House Freedom Caucus, a bloc of some of the most radical conservative Congress members, including Georgia Representative and prominent conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene.
After Jackson Hole Mountain Resort's owner held a fundraiser with Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows, Patagonia said it wouldn't supply its products to the resort.— David Gura (@davidgura) August 21, 2021
It was Patagonia's "largest single customer in the Jackson Hole area."https://t.co/JWEx616kgx
According to The Washington Post, the event also featured Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. With a minimum admission cost of $2,000 a couple, the fundraiser drew a gaggle of protesters, some of whom held signs that read, "Hey JHMR, your Green(e) washing is showing" and "JHMR passes fund treason?" Speaking to WyoFile, a 73-year-old protester named Jorge Colon said: "It's just a shame that it's gotten to this point. I know they supply a lot of people with work, but to be backing up that group... is pretty embarrassing."
We're a company that proudly embraces our activism on issues like the environment, our democracy, and equality and we don't plan on backing down anytime soon.— Patagonia (@patagonia) August 22, 2021
"Those that know us in Jackson Hole are aware that we make business decisions and build relationships in alignment with our values and advocacy efforts," Patagonia spokeswoman Corley Kenna said in a statement. "We join with the local community that is using its voice in protest. We will continue to use our business to advocate for policies to protect our planet, support thriving communities, and a strong democracy." However, Patagonia is open to reconsidering the withdrawal from the resort if the owners committed to "protecting the planet."
Patagonia has stopped providing its merchandise for sale at a Wyoming ski resort to protest the owners' sponsorship of a Republican fundraiser featuring Marjorie Taylor Greene and other top Trump supporters. https://t.co/GrGjhfBc21— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 22, 2021
The move was celebrated by Democratic lawmakers over the weekend including Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.), who tweeted: "I'm going to buy a Patagonia jacket this Fall. I've had one for years and while still stylish it's getting a little smaller. Hoo ray for Patagonia for taking a righteous stand!" Mary L. Trump, the former president's niece and a vocal critic of her uncle, also applauded the company by tweeting: "Way to walk the walk, Patagonia."
Mary Kate Buckley, president of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, said in a statement that the resort would "continue to offer world-class brands across our retail locations with the aim to provide the best service and product assortment for our guests. We have 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." She did not comment on the GOP fundraiser.
According to Jackson Hole News and Guide, Kemmerer and his wife, Karen, have been donors to Republican candidates and have contributed a whopping $200,000 to Trump's reelection campaign in recent years. As per records, since February the couple has donated over $100,000 to conservative political action committees and candidates such as Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), who replaced Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), a vocal Trump critic, as chair of the House Republican conference. Dan Brophy, who co-hosted the fundraiser with the Kemmerers, said that they supported Greene and other members of the House Freedom Caucus because they were "principled and carry through with their campaign promises. We walked away from Republicans who campaigned on platforms we supported then voted against those platforms immediately on entering office."