Clothier Patagonia boycotts ski resort after owner hosted GOP fundraiser with Marjorie Taylor Greene

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Patagonia will no longer sell its merchandise at a popular Wyoming ski resort after one of the owners hosted a fundraiser featuring Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and other Republicans supportive of former president Donald Trump.

Patagonia confirmed this week that it was pulling out of three stores operated by Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, its largest single customer in the area. The outdoor gear and clothing company acknowledged the move came after Jay Kemmerer, a co-owner of the facility, co-hosted an Aug. 5 fundraiser for the House Freedom Caucus, a bloc of conservative Congress members who have allied themselves closely with Trump.

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The event at Spring Creek Ranch to benefit the House Freedom Fund, the fundraising branch of the caucus, with a minimum admission cost of $2,000 a couple, featured Greene, R-Ga., Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

The news was first reported by news outlet WyoFile.

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The company, which has championed progressive causes and environmentalism, suggested the fundraiser linked to the Jackson Hole retailer did not align with its values. Greene, Jordan and Meadows have supported Trump's false claims of election fraud and faced criticism for their records on environmental issues. Some area residents protested the event and called for a boycott of the resort, which is among the most popular spots in one of the most Republican states.

"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 to The Washington Post. "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."

Patagonia said it would reconsider the withdrawal from the resort if the owners committed to "protecting the planet."

Representatives for Greene, Jordan and Meadows did not immediately return requests for comment early Saturday. A resort spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment, and attempts to reach Kemmerer were unsuccessful. Mary Kate Buckley, president of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, said in a statement to WyoFile 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," Buckley said.

The statement made no mention of the GOP fundraiser.

Kemmerer and his wife, Karen, have been donors to Republican candidates, reported the Jackson Hole News and Guide, contributing $200,000 to Trump's reelection campaign in recent years. Records show that since February they've donated more than $100,000 to conservative political action committees and candidates such as Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who replaced Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, a vocal Trump critic, as chair of the House Republican conference.

Dan Brophy, who co-hosted the fundraiser with the Kemmerers, told the News and Guide 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," Brophy said to the newspaper.

The invitation to Greene came days after the Georgia congresswoman was among a group of right-wing Republicans who showed up at a Washington D.C. jail demanding to inspect the treatment of those detained in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, whom some Trump supporters have cast as martyrs. Days after the fundraiser, Greene was again suspended from Twitter after she falsely tweeted that coronavirus vaccines are failing.

The resort in nearby Teton Village - which, according to the resort's website, has averaged 459 inches of snow a year in the past five skiing seasons - is located in one of just two Wyoming counties that preferred President Joe Biden over Trump in last year's election. Trump easily won the state with 70% of the vote.

The move, which was the top trending topic on Twitter on Saturday morning, was celebrated over the weekend by Democratic lawmakers like Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee, who said he was "going to buy a Patagonia jacket this Fall." Mary Trump, the former president's niece and a vocal critic, also applauded the company: "Way to walk the walk, Patagonia."

When residents got word of the GOP fundraiser, protesters gathered near the resort and held signs that read, "Hey JHMR, your Greene washing is showing" and "JHMR passes fund treason?" Among the protesters was Marisa Sullivan, 35, who told the News and Guide she has stopped buying passes to the resort because of "the things that they support."

"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."

Jorge Colon, a 73-year-old protester who has worked ski jobs in the area for decades, told WyoFile that he hoped to trade in a seasonal pass he had already bought.

"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."

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