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Snowboarder dies at Grand Targhee Resort


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Jay Jurgens, 47, of Florida, left, died last Saturday while snowboarding at Grand Targhee Resort. He was visiting family in Teton Valley with his wife and two children.

DRIGGS — A Florida man vacationing at the Grand Targhee Resort was found dead Saturday.

Jay Jurgens, 47, of Coral Springs was found unresponsive at about 2:30 p.m. in the East Woods area of the Teton County, Wyoming ski resort.

Jurgens, his wife Maria and two children had just spent the Christmas holiday in the valley skiing at Targhee almost every day, family friend Jennifer Marlar of Driggs said.

“He loved the valley so much,” Marlar said Tuesday evening. “He called the valley his happy place.”

The Teton County, Wyoming Sheriff’s Office reports Jurgens was snowboarding by himself Saturday. It’s not clear what caused his death, however Teton County, Wyoming Coroner Dr. Brent Blue told it wasn’t the result of trauma.

Jurgens was discovered by another resort patron.

After being alerted to the unresponsive snowboarder, the Targhee ski patrol responded and administered CPR for about 20 minutes before the county coroner was called. Authorities confirmed the death was not suspicious in nature, although it remains under investigation by both the coroner, and sheriff’s offices.

“We regret to report the death of one of our patrons,” Grand Targhee spokesperson Jennie White said in a news release Tuesday. “Grand Targhee Resort extends our deepest sympathy and condolences to the guest’s family and friends.”

Jurgens grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming and moved to Florida as an adult where he sold yachts for HMY Yacht Sales. Marlar said he and his wife started coming to Teton Valley four years ago to visit Jay’s mother-in-law and he often talked about wanting to move to the Tetons.

Marlar added he was an incredible father to his children, ages 8 and 9 years old.

“You could always find him on the field coaching and cheering for his kids. He attended all of his kids’ activities,” she said. “He was the kind of dad that wives wanted their husbands to be.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the family.

Marlar said Jurgens always wanted his ashes spread in the Teton Valley, and the family plans to honor that request.