The Cutthroat Guest Ranch will be prohibited from providing any amplified acoustic entertainment moving forward.

That was the unanimous decision the Park County Commissioners came to at their meeting Nov. 10, rejecting a special use permit amendment requested by co-owners Courtney and Randel Hooper. County planning and zoning staff recommended the denial.

This prohibition will prevent the Hoopers from hosting their Songwriters Music Festival and any other amplified, outdoor musical acts for the public.

A substantial impact to neighboring surroundings and a transgression from the original intent of their SUP, were the most prevalent objections posed to the request.

“Is this use of the land compatible?,” Park County Commissioner Chairman Joe Tilden posed. “It’s not compatible anymore. The amendment, I believe, would not be compatible to the neighborhood.”

If the Hoopers can get an SUP approved specifically for the music festival, or come to an agreement with their neighbors, they will have grounds to pursue their desired activities, commissioners said. They declined to put in any new conditions on the Hoopers’ current SUP to allow for any of the requested uses.

“I don’t see any effort on the part of planning and zoning to see how this could be compatible,” the Hoopers’ attorney, Collin Simpson, said at the hearing. “There’s no recommendation from them to make it compatible.”

The amended SUP would have removed restrictions on the types of events that could occur and the time of day they would take place.

“The lack of specificity of the proposed language could result in more outdoor amplified entertainment events on the Hooper property, which are not necessarily consistent with a highway commercial business,” the staff report said.

However, it would have adhered the Hoopers to the county’s approved decibel level at their property line.

The commissioners approved the Hoopers’ original SUP based on an agreement they came to with their neighbors.

“We had an agreement that can never be changed apparently,” Simpson said.

Under the SUP, the Hoopers are allowed to hold private events of any size with amplified acoustic music at any frequency, but cannot do the same for a publicly held gathering outdoors. Non-amplified music is still allowed anywhere on the property.

Simpson criticized the amplification criterion especially, mentioning that a marching band or even bongo players could legally perform at the establishment and likely create more noise.

The Hoopers have said their business has grown much more than anticipated when first set up shop in late 2017. Because of such, they have pursued new avenues for their operation including weekly music acts and the music festival.

“I keep coming back to when this came before me (before) … whatever reason that is, it’s (agreement) not occurring anymore,” Lee Livingston, Park County commissioner, said.

Once the meeting commenced, Randel Hooper spoke to some of the neighbors in attendance.

“The olive branch is out there folks, it’s always been there,” he said.

(9) comments


The kings upon their thrones ruling over the common man simply attenpti g to earn a lively hood. They love the taxes and as long as they can keep the screws tightened. God forbid a business enjoy success in Wapiti. It's amplified acoustic music not cannon fire. This is still America, well unless you ate in Park County where the Kings and planning and zoning reign Supreme. Planning and zoning, what a pathetic waste of tax money.

PJ Roemich

I'm not sure the Irma's gunfights is a good analogy BUT, yea, the Irma does what it wants, never gets questioned and basically doesn't have to follow any, or few guidelines. They get to close up public property (a city street) and force customers of other establishments to either park far away or just plain don't shop.


While it's easy to jump on the bandwagon and dispute the decision there are many factors that come in to play. The ranch is situated near private homes. While the homes may be a mile away, this is a private residential area, not a party spot for the public. For the people who call this home having outdoor concerts that invite the public and travelers to come for concerts is a little assuming on the part of the restaurant. Comparing this situation to the Irma or Rodeo grounds is a poor example. These venues are in town. If this ranch was a large acreage that would be different, but it is a small piece of property, not actually a working ranch.


Happy days the rodeo grounds are not in town number one number two do you live up South fork where this echoes up there until 10:00 10:30 11:00 at night probably not because you have no idea can't wait


I realize the rodeo is not actually in town, but the proximity is close, so thanks for pointing that out! It's unfortunate that the noise echoes down the SF. It's not an easy solution for sure. I would imagine it is a frustration for many.

P Demoney

Thank you to our county commissioners! This business is not the only one with rights.


So Sad. When the Irma can have festivals, and gun fights every night. When the rodeo can blare their speakers every night until 10:00 pm or longer but this? Ridiculous! Why is one company more special than the other? Commissioners, stop bowing to the "regular good old boys of Cody." It is sad that so many people in town want to have a business but are stopped because of this list of who's who control and run the city government. What a shame.


Disappointing ruling by the county commissioners.


I live up South fork and I can hear the rodeo every single night so when the rodeo starts again this summer I'm going to start calling the police department and complaining complaining complaining that I can hear it and it's very distracting

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