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Patagonia boycotts Wyoming ski resort over owners’ Republican fundraiser

The company said it’s “using its voice in protest” after the resort owners co-hosted an event for the far-right House Freedom Caucus earlier this month

SHARE Patagonia boycotts Wyoming ski resort over owners’ Republican fundraiser
The Jackson Hole Resort Store in downtown Jackson, Wyo., is pictured on Aug. 18, 2021.

The Jackson Hole Resort Store in downtown Jackson, Wyo., is pictured on Aug. 18, 2021. The outdoor clothing and gear company Patagonia has decided to quit supplying Jackson Hole Mountain Resort with its products, fallout from the resort owner Jay Kemmerer’s support of the House Freedom Caucus. The resort, which is Patagonia’s largest single customer in the Jackson Hole area, operates retail stores in Teton Village and the town of Jackson.

Bradly J. Boner, Jackson Hole News & Guide via Associated Press

If you can’t find any Patagonia gear at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort this coming ski season, you can blame partisan politics.

The outdoor apparel and gear company is boycotting the resort, its largest account in the state, after the resort’s owners co-hosted an Aug. 5 fundraiser for the far-right House Freedom Caucus.

“We join with the local community that is using its voice in protest,” said Patagonia spokeswoman Corley Kenna in a statement to The Associated Press. “We will continue to use our business to advocate for stronger policies to protect our planet, end hate speech and support voting rights and a strong democracy.”

Tickets for the event started at $2,000 a couple, according to an invitation obtained by WyoFile, which first reported the boycott. The dress code was boots, jeans, and cowboy hats encouraged, with “no ties” allowed.

The fundraiser benefitted the House Freedom Fund and featured former President Donald Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows and House Freedom caucus members Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. The Republican House members both voted against certifying election results in January, and Greene was temporarily suspended from Twitter earlier this month after posting misinformation about COVID-19 safety measures.

While it’s become common for businesses and brands to speak out on social and political issues in recent years, growing scrutiny could challenge the status quo. Online tools make it easy for consumers to see where businesses and their executives make political donations, and politicians today aren’t shy about calling out companies whose politics they don’t agree with.

Patagonia, however, doesn’t seem likely to back off its activism.

The company said it has funded 1,020 environmental groups in the past year, and according to Goods Unite Us, which tracks corporate political donations, All of Patagonia’s donations go to Democrats.

The popular outdoor company has a history of wielding its influence on political issues. In 2017, Patagonia said it would no longer exhibit at the Outdoor Retailer show if the event stayed in Utah because of Republican opposition to creating Bears Ears National Monument. The twice-a-year show relocated over the dispute and is now held in Denver.

Wyoming has become a battleground in the fight over the future of the Republican Party ahead of next year’s midterm primaries. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January for incitement of insurrection, and she’s a member of the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. Trump hopes Cheney will be defeated next year, and he has reportedly met with potential primary challengers.