JACKSON - The holiday weekend's 36th annual Jackson Hole Shrine Club Cutter Races were canceled because of unsafe track conditions, costing some area lodges thousands of dollars in lost income.
The President's Day weekend event typically attracts 4,000 to 5,000 people to Jackson Hole, making it the second busiest winter weekend behind the Snow King Hill Climb weekend, which attracts about 10,000 people each year, according to Rob Weed, Jackson Hole Shrine Club president.
The Virginian Lodge and the Antler Inn are town lodges taking the biggest hit. While both had been completely booked, half of their weekend reservations were cancelled when the event was called off. For the Antler Inn, that totals nearly $7,000 lost in gross revenue for the weekend.
Other town accommodations are feeling the effect, but not quite as much.
Cutter Race Association officials had declared the Melody Ranch race track south of town unsafe for horses and team drivers due to its uneven surface, littered with patches of ice and pockets of frozen dirt.
Thirty-six teams and more than 70 horses were signed up for the annual event aimed at raising funds for the Intermountain Shrine Hospital for children in Salt Lake City.
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