Located at the base of the Teton Mountains, the Jackson Hole Racquet Club condominium community is ideal for those wanting a quiet resort-style lifestyle with close proximity to both Teton Village and the town of Jackson.
Originally called the Aspens, the Jackson Hole Racquet Club was one of the first condo projects to be built outside of Teton Village. The original developers were Chuck Luton and Floyd King who purchased the land from Parthenia Stinnett.
The project began with lots for single family residences, and several years later, after much controversy, condominiums and commercial lots were also developed. In the mid-1970s, Luton was forced to sell the property because of financial difficulties to Racquet Club Ventures. This entity consisted of Art Brown, a local developer and at the time County Commissioner, Charlie du Pont, Tim Hess, and Robert Russell.
Racquet Club Ventures had the concept to turn the Aspens into the Jackson Hole Racquet Club and market it as a unified project versus separate independent condo units as Luton was doing. To accomplish this, they had to buy back many of the properties that were sold to Luton. In the end, they had control over enough to make the project viable. During the same period of time, the third complex of condos was being completed. This was the Woodlands complex, and the developer of this was Institutional Securities Partnership, Inc. Soon after this project was completed, it ran into both financial and legal problems.
However, Racquet Club Ventures was continuing to move ahead with their plans to create a western tennis village. San Francisco architect, John O'Brien was retained to develop a condo building that would reflect the western nature of Jackson. His units were called the O'Brien units and have high flat front faces of a typical western town. These units are connected by covered boardwalks, and constructed out of wood. The interiors are compact, yet efficient - reflecting O'Brien's work as a yacht architect. He used built-in bunk beds and typical galley kitchens. In the Racquet Club project, this was the most extensive condo style used.
In the winter of 1974, Racquet Club Ventures moved ahead with the marketing for the entire project. A company that specialized in selling condos on the southern coast of Spain by flying groups of prospects to the projects was retained. In the spring of the same year, the Racquet Club was a beehive of activity because the first of the O'Brien units were being completed. With the arrival of the first group of prospects, most of the available units were sold, and the project was off to a great start. The only glitch was that the model unit building actually caught fire and destroyed two of the units.
The first O'Brien unit was completed in August 1974, and for the next six years over 300 O'Brien units were developed and sold by Racquet Club Ventures.
During the same time period, several other buildings were built by other entities. These included the Cinquefoil building by the Rodel Pullen and Racquet Club Ventures. The Wheatgrass, Windflower, Lupine, Yampa, Yarrow were all designed by Kerry Norwalk of Norwalk/Berlin and were developed by various partnerships with Racquet Club Ventures.
Racquet Club Ventures also developed the major structures in the Aspens commercial area. The first of those structures was an indoor tennis court that is now the parking lot for the Balsam Lodges. The second building was the Court House Restaurant which is now named Stiegler's and the adjacent swimming pool. The third structure was Aspens Market which is now the West Side Store. The last building built by Racquet Club Ventures was the resort check-in building; the conference center which is now Medtech, and the small office east of Steigler's. The Court Club, which originally focused on racquet ball, was developed by Bill Winkler and Dan Willert.
Although in late 1979 when the market in Jackson began to falter, the last four buildings were sold to a timeshare operator who successfully sold off the remaining units. Meanwhile, Art Brown and his partners proceeded to develop a new lot with another Norwalk design. Unfortunately, this project was caught in a national financial crisis and was delayed until 1982 when it was picked up again for two years until the market again slowed. This development was finally completed in 1990 with the Cove units.
Art Brown retained ownership of some additional land and was able to subsequently build the Balsam Lodges and several other condos.