JACKSON, Wyo.— While the dramatic backdrop of the Teton Mountain Range bursting from the valley floor attracts many to our town, it is the experiences had within the mountains that create lasting memories. Whether it’s spotting a loping grizzly in Yellowstone, or gliding through the snow on cross country skis in the foothills of the mountains, with Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures, not only do you experience the magnificence of our flora and fauna, but you’re guaranteed to do so with the guidance of an experienced professional. It is their dedication to keeping employees happy and engaged that earned Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures gold for Best Wildlife Outfitter, and Taylor Phillips bronze for Best Boss, in this year’s Best of Jackson Hole.
Having studied the sciences in college, Taylor Phillips’ deep love for the flora and fauna of our valley was cultivated in the field. After working for various guiding services, Phillips struck out on his own in 2008 to start JH EcoTour Adventures. “I knew that I could provide a stellar product for clients while sincerely taking care of employees and giving back to the community and the resources here,” said Phillips in an interview with Buckrail.
With a twenty-five person staff today, Phillips has been dedicated to providing a work environment, payment plan, and benefits that are sustainable to Jackson Hole since the beginning. “I want to offer less of a ninety-day-wonder job and more of a career path option,” said Phillips, a mentality that is not necessarily the norm in our transient town. “My philosophy is to pay more and provide benefits. Sure, it’s more money out of the company’s pocket, but these are seasoned guides who can offer the best services for our customers.” Starting at $140 for half-day tours in the summer, the programs aren’t cheap, but with the experience and skill delivered by these seasoned guides, the experience is well worth it.
Not only does JH EcoTour Adventures provide a stable and exciting work environment for its employees, but they also focus on giving back to nonprofits that promote wildlife stewardship for the greater Teton and Yellowstone ecosystem, donating 2% of sales to organizations such as the Teton Raptor Center, Teton County Search and Rescue, the Wyldlife Fund, and much more.
With winter upon us, JH EcoTour Adventures is by no means slowing down their operations or services. This winter marks the fourth year offering guided snowshoeing and cross country skiing tours in Grand Teton National Park. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to limit indoor gathering, a guided snowshoe or cross-country ski might just be the perfect solution to spend some extra time outside this season.
For Phillips, winning gold for Best Wildlife Outfitter and Bronze for Best Boss in the Best of Jackson Hole this year is a testament to the hard work of himself and his team. “I feel very humbled to receive that honor,” said Phillips, “and it motivates me to continue to do a stand up job.”
When it comes to other businesses that stand out in the community, Phillips is impressed and grateful for the commitment and services provided by Teton County Search and Rescue. “I spend a lot of time in the backcountry,” said Phillips, “Knowing that there are incredibly high caliber guys and gals willing and excited to be on call for the safety of our community members is pretty awesome.”