‘Chasing the Dragon’ podcast episode delves into desperate housing solutions in the Tetons

The Modern West episode from KHOL includes residents living in vans, sharing bedrooms with friends and commuting long distances.
Copeland Laris sits in his 2003 Dodge van, which he has built out to live in for most of the year to avoid paying rent. Laris is one of the Jacksonites featured in KHOL's new episode of The Modern West. (Hanna Merzbach/KHOL)

by | May 24, 2024 | Housing

Residents are finding creative solutions to make a life in the Tetons amid the rampant housing crisis.

If you live here, you’ve heard the stories. Some live in vans, some share bedrooms with friends and others commute long distances over heinous mountain passes every day.

But, for others, the only way to maintain their lifestyle is to move to a different mountain town entirely: Bozeman, which actually feels affordable to some people who’ve cut their teeth living in Jackson Hole.

KHOL recently partnered with Wyoming Public Media to explore these topics and how people are making it work in a place where the typical cost of buying a home is in the multi-millions, and the cost of renting a room is in the thousands. And, at what point is it time to call it quits?

This story is part of the new season of The Modern West podcast, High Altitude Tales, that goes behind the scenes with reporters out in the field.

KHOL’s Hanna Merzbach dives headfirst into these desperate housing solutions and even shares her own worries about making it work in the region, living on a reporter’s salary.

Give it a listen below, or on Jackson Unpacked wherever you get your podcasts.

A full transcript of ‘Chasing the Dragon’ is available here.

This story was part of a year-long reporting project from KHOL. It was produced by Hanna Merzbach and Tyler Pratt with additional reporting from KHOL’s Emily Cohen and Sophia Boyd-Fliegel with the Jackson Hole News & Guide. Sound design by McKenna Lipson and Melodie Edwards. Digital production by Ryan Kelly and Mike Gray.

Want More Stories Like This?

Donate any amount to support independent media in the Tetons.

KHOL 89.1 Jackson Hole Community Radio Membership Support Ad

About KHOL staff

Related Stories

Pin It on Pinterest