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The Ski House
As told by Maggie and Les Gibson
Photograph by Cole Buckhart
We thought we had built and were living in our dream house—a 2,700-square-foot home south of Wilson. But it turns out an investment property in the oldest part of Teton Village that we bought during the recession after 9/11 is our dream house, even if it came with shag carpeting, was 1,100 square feet smaller than our Wilson house, and had only a shed instead of a garage. It was one of the first houses built in the Village, back around 1965.
We had it in the rental pool for several years, but after seeing how often renters trashed it we realized how attached we were to it. In 2005, we moved into it with our daughters Reily and Anna, who were in first and third grade at the time. Back then, there weren’t as many families living out in Teton Village, and our daughters definitely pooh-poohed it, but now that they’ve gone away to college and have this home to come back to they’ve actually thanked us for raising them here. And we’ve come to love living in Teton Village year-round.
We spend most of our time as a family together in the cozy kitchen/living room area, but what is really special is our access to the outside. A trail across the road skis right to the tram dock. We call North Colter Ridge “Home Run,” because skiing down it we’re coming right at our house (and from the kitchen sink, it’s the run we look at). In summer, hiking trails are all around us. We see wildlife all the time—bears, moose, foxes, and, most often, deer. We’re one mile from Grand Teton National Park. Les works in Teton Village and loves that he can walk to work. Before the resort opens and after it closes, we can skin up it right from the front door. In the spring, Les goes corn skiing in the morning and works in the greenhouse in the afternoon. (Tomatoes grow in Teton Village!) Today, this property is likely more valuable without this small, old house on it, but not to us.