It’s 3 p.m. on a Tuesday in February and a palpable energy is building inside a new hotel at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. As I walk from my van into the lobby of Continuum, I first notice the massive, theater-sized screen above the soft-lit bar playing recaps of Kings & Queens of Corbet’s, an event that took place earlier that day on the nearby mountain. The Grateful Dead plays over speakers and all heads in the restaurant are turned toward the footage of 24 of the world’s top skiers and riders taking turns down the famous couloir for a shot at the crown. And many of those athletes—like two-time free rider world champ Arianna Tricomi and Teton Gravity Research (TGR) star Tim Durtschi—were descending on the hotel for an epic aprés-style party that night.
Dressed in a ski bib and Boston Red Sox hat, Todd Jones, co-founder of TGR, sat in the middle of the action and enjoyed a drink at a high-top table after a day of filming in the backcountry. He and his brother, Steve, are, in a way, the kings of the hotel. The hotel is a dream 10 years in the making and came true when it opened in mid-December through a partnership with owners Ellie and David Gibson, longtime visitors to Jackson, and hotel operators at the Yarrow Group.
The four-story hotel has 90 rooms, varying from the $200 standard queen room to the Premium TGR Loft that accommodates six people. Sliding doors on one wall of the bar and restaurant open up in the warmer months to a 40-person hot tub, heated pool, and outdoor patio. And while the clean, white walls and couches, cast-iron railings, blonde-wood accent wall, and flickering fireplace give off a high-end vibe, most guests are rocking helmet hair and goggle tans, and carrying snow-dusted gear. Like the TGR brand, the property is top-shelf in a way that’s still friendly to ski bums and dirtbags.
We caught up with the TGR brothers about the evolution of their brand, and what the hospitality experience will bring to their fans and the greater outdoor industry.
Movie-makers getting into the hotel biz: What sparked this idea and what can you offer that other hotels in Jackson can’t?
Todd Jones: When we started TGR in 1995, we wanted to start a brand. It was never just about being movie-makers. We didn’t call it content then; we called it movies. But as we transitioned into a media company and we continued to build the brand with different products and merchandise, Steve and I started talking about how it’d be cool to have a world-famous TGR bar or the TGR hotel or something that just encompassed our culture and lifestyle and was true to the roots of who we are and what we are.
The resort lacked the true TGR experience and we wanted to bring that kind of culture and vibe into a hotel and restaurant. At the Continuum, we’re starting to get world premieres and film festivals and other events up and running. We want to bring in the athlete and adventure experience as well, so you can come in and we can put together a package that gets you on the mountain on skis, on a snowboard, or on a bike or down the river or whatever adventure you want. We can help you design that experience and make sure you’re getting an authentic and cool version of adventure, and not some cookie-cutter experience that you might get elsewhere.
So can fans expect to rub elbows with TGR athletes and other elite skiers and riders?
Steve Jones: Absolutely. Over the holidays, we did a handful of different aprés events. One of them was for our movie Roadless, which features Travis Rice, Bryan Iguchi, and Jeremy Jones. They did meet and greets and drank beers with the fans. We did another event for Winterland, where we had Griffin Post and some of the filmmakers there. That was super fun because we had all ages— kids as well as adults who have grown up on TGR. It’s really representative of the hotel’s spirit, which is so much different than any other property in Teton Village.
It was so cool that Continuum hosted the athletes and after-party for the third year of Kings & Queens of Corbet’s. How did that feel and fit in with your vision?
TJ: If you’re going to bring the outdoor industry to Jackson Hole, [the Continuum] is where the athletes, locals, families, and fans belong. There’s no hotel open until midnight in Teton Village offering a premium party experience. For people not even tied into the event, how cool is it to be in the middle of all that? I think people are figuring out that this is the place to gather … We want to be a basecamp for families and adventurers. We want a young, fresh, vibrant environment that can help you get on the mountain, that can be where you come when you get off the mountain, all contained right here.
You guys travel a lot. What’s your favorite place to stay, and why, and how did those experiences inform Continuum?
SJ: A really good example is this place called the Ski Lodge in Engelberg, Switzerland. It has that skier fiber and DNA baked into it. They work with a lot of pro athletes and all the photography is done by the guys that shoot for POWDER Magazine. The whole property is centered around adventure and it’s a really quality product, but it’s not overdone or over-priced or pretentious.
Take a tour of TGR's Continuum Hotel
What’s your favorite feature of Continuum?
TJ: I’m a media guy so the giant screen is super exciting. It’s 16-feet wide by 9-feet tall, and super hi-res. There’s a lot of things we’re trying to do with the place, but one of them is provide entertainment and showcase our films and that kind of content.
SJ: The indoor/outdoor party bar space. The glass doors are fully retractable, so when it’s warmer, the space is fully open air indoor/outdoor. We do Tiki Tuesdays, where the whole pool and hot tub is open whether you’re staying there or not. That pool area is really unique to the village.
What’s your favorite thing on the menu?
TJ: We helped create the signature cocktails named after the films. The Tangerine Dream—100 percent agave tequila, fresh OJ, a splash of soda, and a lime—is rad. I think the Disco Fries are super cool. New York strip carne asada, salsa ranchero, and cheddar cheese top fries. The pizza is lights out. All this stuff is so fresh and the idea is to evolve it, to listen to the customer, and to continue to make it better and better.
SJ: Hands down, the street tacos. You can choose Baja fish, carne asada, or chicken with different sauces.
Jackson is known for being spendy. How does Continuum compare to other hotels in the village, and what kind of guest are you hoping to attract?
SJ: We’re working with ownership to run specials that make it more affordable to ski-bum-type people. In regards to the village, it definitely accommodates a lower price point than almost every other property except for The Hostel.
What other aspects of TGR are you integrating into the property?
SJ: We're waiting to get high-res photography so we can build a TGR timeline of our 25 years, with captions and explanations of each photo. We’re also integrating TGR artwork in rooms and there will be a handful of suites named after films and themed with memorabilia and photography. Inside rooms, we’ll be offering TGR products and merchandise, like balaclavas, water bottles, coffee mugs, and other cool hotel-related things. The retail aspect, where we’ll sell goggles and other things, is still a work in progress in the lobby.
The other notable thing we plan to do in the off-seasons is offer behind-the-scenes TGR production classes, so kids can learn filming techniques and editing basics. They’ll get to review some of our work and immerse themselves in the process. We want to offer things like that along with mountain biking and skiing clinics all four seasons.
What does “living the dream”—TGR’s tagline—mean to you?
TJ: I feel like there were a lot of people living the dream today up there during Kings & Queens. There were all these athletes who had this unreal day, there were spectators that got to experience all that. I met two firemen from Boston who had gone out with one of our friends on the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides and they had one of the best backcountry days ever. It’s all of that. It’s having fun and connecting with the outdoors and cool people and just trying to have these cool, enriching experiences that they just can’t get anywhere else.