Jay has been working hard to keep Teton Pass open for the past six weeks, even through the shutdown that considers him “nonessential staff.” If you believe Jay is an essential part of Teton Pass, consider chipping in to help Jay cover expenses. Give a gift through Friends of Pathways and we’ll make sure Jay gets paid for all his hard work.
Pistono said he feels like if he doesn’t continue working, bad things could happen. With 400-plus cars a day parking at the top, it takes just one mistake.
“Without a little bit of refereeing it could get chaotic in a hurry,” he said. “I feel like if I don’t go up there, you might get that one glitch that closes the access. That kind of hanging by a thread thing will always be the situation.”
So he continues emptying trash cans full of dog poop, reminding people of where it’s unsafe to park, and trying to keep the relationship between Teton Valley commuters, skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, dogs and the Wyoming Department of Transportation intact. Luckily for Pistono, his former employer, the nonprofit Friends of Pathways, is helping somewhat pad the lack of paycheck. But he’ll soon be in the negative again.
“Hopefully it won’t last for too much longer,” he said. “There are a lot of us in the same situation, living paycheck to paycheck. I don’t know too many folks who are casual about it … it’s a weird feeling not to get money.”
Read more about how the shutdown is affecting workers in Teton County, including the Teton Pass Ambassador, who is employed by the Bridger-Teton National Forest and supported by Friends of Pathways.