JACKSON, Wyo (KIFI) - For the past 43 summers, the nightly Chuck Wagon Dinner shows have entertained Jackson Hole residents and visitors from around the world.
Babe Humphreys founded the business and earned a local ranchers trust to purchase the land. Humphreys asked the rancher why when he had so many after him to purchase the land? It was not a lot of money just a promise of 5 cents a plate for each dinner sold.
"I have all these developers say they want the land and how I am going to be rich, develop the lots and I am going to be a rich man," he said. "You come along and say I am not going to make a dime, so I figure you have to be telling the truth, so we shook hands.”
On Monday night, the season and the Bar J as it exists now will close. It's been a family tradition with the Humphrey sons following Dad's passion to entertain western style.
"The product we produce reaches people," Scott Humphrey said. "It’s not just dinner and a show. We are the whole package. The place , the atmosphere, the whole experience people are having is one that brings them back and some have made an annual thing out of it or a reunion. People are having a great time with us out there. It’s a family thing and it’s a blessing to be part of that.”
The family says it is grateful for all the fans they have enjoyed serving in more ways than one.
"People are coming out and some think we are big stars. We are not! We are out pouring coffee and it makes more of a connection," Bryan Humphrey said. "They think this guy is pouring my coffee then next thing he is up on stage yodeling at me. They don’t expect that."
The whole summer season has been pretty much a sell out, and the last show has long been standing room only. The family is not selling the Bar J brand but just the property. They don't rule out it resurfacing somewhere in the Jackson area in the future.
Babe is retiring but his sons will still perform in the area with some of the remaining wranglers.