Snowboarder Travis Rice has toured the world, dropping out of helicopters onto the highest mountain peaks and shredding the most pure powder you could find. He's witnessed more nature than we could ever dream of, yet after everything he's experienced, Rice's home base remains where he grew up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He continues to contribute to the community with camps, competitions, and most recently a new bar. Set to debut a next-level Red Bull-sponsored snowboarding competition called Supernatural this weekend, Rice spoke to Complex about his roots in Jackson Hole and rehashed some memories from his childhood.
What has kept you in Jackson Hole?
I have roots there. It’s home and always will be. There’s something subtle and special about bumping into your third grade teacher in the grocery store. [Laughs] Or going to school with the mayor’s son, or being out at the resort and the person that stops you when you’re going too fast is the same one that was working there 15 years ago when I was a goofy little kid running around. Plus, my whole family is there.
You mentioned the Westside Store in a previous video. Was that a hang out for you?
When I was a kid, for sure. That was the only local place that I could actually walk to. I grew up right in that neighborhood.
How does that stand up against all the general or corner stores that you’ve come across in your travels?
Westside Store has done great things. For a little while they were restructuring and fired a bunch of great people and I don’t know what was going on. Then they re-cleaned house and did some work, and now they’re totally back again. They’re great.
How did things change in Jackson once you got more popular and hit celebrity status?
People were proud of what I was doing and able to achieve. Especially bringing Natural Selection, a contest that I threw together in partnership with Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, to the area. When I brought that contest to Jackson, I think that meant a lot to the whole community. When I go home, I have a lot of friends there. People don’t really treat me too abnormally. I help coach a local snowboard team there. I have an art and photography business there as well. It’s just life as usual. If anything, it’s change for the better. I get to work with a lot of good people. We’re just opening a an awesome speakeasy-style bar there. It’s called The Rose.
How’d that come about?
It was really just through necessity. We didn’t really have a place to call our own in town, and we ended up partnering up with a bar from New York City called Death & Co., which has the most-renowned cocktail menu in the city. It was started by a kid I went to school with and he came out and collaborated with us for the menu. It’s truly a specialty cocktail and light fare bar that’s connected to famous old theatre in Jackson called the Pink Garter. So, it’s this awesome new facility. In the years to come, we should be able to run some incredible musical acts or things like that. It’s a great set up in downtown Jackson.