A Frontier of Collaboration

> Story by Katy Niner
> Photography by David Agnello, Latham Jenkins, Ed Riddell, and David Swift

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The Property
Snake River Sporting Club

Real Estate Team
RE/MAX Obsidian Real Estate

Interior Design Team
WRJ DESIGN

Artwork
Altamira Fine Art

The red bridge signals the shift. As you follow the single lane across the Snake, you approach a limestone ridge rising from the riverbed, bending toward sights unseen. Whitebark pines pepper the slopes, sheltering wildlife. The river rushes on, tempting with rapids and trout. A bald eagle arcs above, scanning the canyon. The historic red bridge is the threshold. Discovery awaits.

This discovery defines Snake River Sporting Club: the discovery of exploring a large tract of land, the discovery of exploring new ways of doing business. To realize the sporting club’s renaissance, four local businesses came together toward a collective goal: to make the peerless property as refined as it is rugged. Working in concert, the quartet created a sophisticated world greater than the sum of its parts. They forged a new frontier of luxury inspired by landscape, defined by a full-service approach to the Western lifestyle.

Snake River Sporting Club, WRJ Design, RE/MAX Obsidian Real Estate, and Altamira Fine Art are now linked by shared success and committed to future collaborations beyond the bridge. Within this trailblazing paradigm, the sporting club has become an arbiter of valley entrepreneurialism, of vision honed by experience.

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“Crossing the bridge becomes symbolic,” says Klaus Baer, principal of WRJ Design. “You are driving into history and heritage. You are moving from one time and place into another.”

THE DESTINATION

A day spent at the Snake River Sporting Club is a transporting, all-encompassing experience.

Hit the road early to make the most of your adventure. The real world melts away as you drive the 12 miles south from Jackson. Park at the clubhouse, warm up at the driving range and then play 18 holes of championship golf, an experience envisioned by Tom Weiskopf.

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Break for lunch at the clubhouse overlooking the Snake River. Post-feast, head to the barn and saddle up for a trail ride through the cottonwoods and willows. Or, borrow a compound bow and practice archery with life-sized targets. Spend the late afternoon with your kids or grandkids at the beaver pond using the club’s kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards.

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Dusk finds you casting into pools along a 6-mile stretch of the Snake River. Cap the day with cocktails on the deck, watching the waning sun paint Wolf Mountain pink. Days like this are de rigueur at Snake River Sporting Club. “We have created an authentic Jackson Hole experience within a private club setting,” says Chief Operating Officer Jeff Heilbrun.

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THE TEAM

The collaborative approach adopted by Snake River Sporting Club extends to the team spearheading sales. RE/MAX Obsidian Real Estate’s boutique nature belies its robust standing: Since forming three years ago, it has become one of the largest firms in Wyoming, and the global Web presence of RE/MAX lends a reach that extends far beyond the valley itself. With nearly 40 agents, RE/MAX Obsidian has adopted a collegial approach to selling real estate, a results- and service-oriented focus that benefits the clients, says associate broker Chip Marvin.

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As with all properties RE/MAX Obsidian represents, the sporting club team tries to connect person to place. (The firm’s downtown office even features a 3-D model of the club). The club appeals to a buyer who is “genuine and grounded,” says Marvin, adjectives which also describe the Obsidian team.

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A club homeowner must appreciate contrast. Consider the four new Tall Timber Cottages. The golf course unfurls from their back decks, deer and elk graze along the rough, and the mountains loom above. “We are down there because we believe in the project,” Marvin says. “The Club has such an appealing combination of amenities.”

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The Design

Snake River Sporting Club exemplifies the creed adopted by WRJ Design: “Inspired by the natural world, informed by the rest of it.” Both the club and WRJ are distinguished by their parallel attunements to nature and sophistication. Embracing the club’s intrinsic contrasts, WRJ has introduced aesthetic discoveries that harmonize with the outdoor bounty. Indeed, natural inspiration has defined the trajectory of WRJ.

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“A house should unfold like a story. It should unfold with some mystery,” says principal Rush Jenkins. “There should be discovery. And there should be beauty.” On these pages, WRJ Design presents a range of their work in Jackson Hole and beyond. Every project is united by the same goal of expressing client lifestyles through their environment.

After building their design careers in New York and London, WRJ principals Rush Jenkins and Klaus Baer moved west to reorient their lives and work in the magnificence of the mountains. Since opening their flagship showroom three years ago in downtown Jackson, the two have become tastemakers in the valley and beyond. Drawing upon their diverse backgrounds in residential, landscape, and exhibition design, they bring rare insight into the creative and collaborative process required to make their clients’ design ideas extraordinary.

Whether approaching the private collections of Laurance Rockefeller and Bunny Mellon or considering a new Tall Timber Cottage, WRJ translates the vibrancy of people’s lives into spatial experiences. The interiors designed by WRJ become timeless reflections of people and place, evocative rooms at once refined and reflective.

The Art

When curating a site-specific collection, Altamira Fine Art considers the defining characteristics of the space and its surroundings: colors, forms, and values. Snake River Sporting Club presents a rich palette from which Altamira curates a compelling assemblage of art.

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“September is a rarity in the art world, having command of charcoal, watercolor, and oil, all the while creating lyrical signature works that engage the eye and move the soul,” says Dean Munn, the gallery and exhibitions director at Altamira Fine Art. “Her paintings demonstrate a spirituality and life force that are native to the environs of the Snake River Sporting Club and are well-suited to exemplify the vision of the club itself. Exceptional art in an exceptional locale.”

Paintings depicting the essence of nature resonate in the clubhouse, and no body of work better speaks to this organic resonance than Jackson-based artist September Vhay’s Red Horse series. An architect by training, Vhay turned to painting as an expression of her profound connection with animals. Equine and Western essentialism converge in her gestural red horses: Pairing the flow of sumi-e painting with the minimalism of abstract sculptures, she hones in on the horses’ innate elegance. What began as an exploration in watercolor has grown into a fulsome series including large oil paintings—a breadth that belies the intimacy she achieves in each individual composition.

Contact Information

Snake River Sporting Club Membership
Jeff Heilbrun • 307-201-2560
jheilbrun@srsportingclub.comsrsportingclub.com

RE/MAX Obsidian Real Estate
Chip Marvin • 307-690-2657
chipmarvin@gmail.comjacksonholeobsidian.com

WRJ Design
307-200-4881 • wrjdesign.com

Altamira Fine Art
307-739-4700 • altamiraart.com