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Big Sky, Montana

| December 1, 2017

Big Sky Resort

Big Sky Resort

Wide-open winter

High in the Northern Rockies, the small town of Big Sky, Montana – population 2,300 – offers some of the biggest skiing in the U.S. on the wide-open slopes of Lone Peak.

Envisioned and built by legendary NBC News anchor Chet Huntley, Big Sky Resort opened in December 1973. In the decades since, it has grown to become one of the biggest ski resorts in the country. But being big doesn’t mean being crowded, with the resort boasting nearly nonexistent lift lines and two acres per skier.

 

TODAY, BIG SKY CONTINUES TO GROW

In 2016, the resort installed two new chairlifts as part of a 10-year project to make improvements on the mountain and to lodging, dining and shopping experiences. At the Moonlight Basin
community next door, cabins and homes provide ski-in, ski-out access to the mountain and amenities for owners and travelers alike.

 

ON THE MOUNTAIN

At Big Sky Resort, skiers and snowboarders will find average annual snowfall of over 400 inches, 300 named runs and seven terrain parks, with 23 chairlifts and 11 surface lifts.

Last year, two lifts were replaced with brand-new Doppelmayr chairs – one of them was the most technologically advanced chairlift installed in the world in 2016. Powder Seeker, in the bowl, is a six-seat high-speed lift with heated chairs and blue bubble covers, while Challenger accesses expert terrain. Not to leave out beginners, nearly every magic carpet is being replaced this year and a new one is being added.

The Lone Peak Tram, however, is what places Big Sky among the top resorts in the country.

Before the tram was installed in the mid-1990s, Big Sky was known for its intermediate terrain. Installation of the tram opened more advanced terrain at the top of 11,166-foot Lone Peak, increased the resort’s overall vertical to 4,350 feet and expanded its size by 50 percent. The tram also earned a spot in Warren Miller’s 1996 film “Snowriders.”

Of the resort’s 5,800 acres, 40 percent is beginner to intermediate and 60 percent is advanced to expert.

The resort’s programming includes lessons for both children and adults, as well as guided tours and specialty clinics. Likewise, Moonlight Basin offers lessons and tours for residents and guests staying in homes there – including skiing on terrain that isn’t open to the general public.

Offerings by Moonlight Outfitters include guided backcountry skiing down to a toasty campfire at the Moonlight Clubhouse, where s’mores, hors d’oeuvres and après-ski beverages are waiting, and snowshoeing by starlight on The Reserve golf course to a wine-paired dinner.

 

OFF THE MOUNTAIN

Aside from skiing and snowboarding, Big Sky Resort’s plaza features open-air games and activities for kids.

Moonlight Basin’s Ulery’s Lake area has a recently expanded ice rink with skating and hockey, as well as a snow tubing hill. Also available at Moonlight are Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and even fat biking trails on the community’s 8,000 acres of land.

And while the kids are playing, Mom and Dad can be pampered at Moonlight Lodge’s spa, pool, hot tub and fitness center.

Only an hour away from Big Sky, West Yellowstone is the western gateway to the vast wilderness of Yellowstone National Park. In winter, the park can be explored by snowmobile and
snowcoach tours.

 

LODGING AND DINING

Big Sky has a variety of lodging options fitting most any budget – many accommodations even offer ski-in, ski-out access. Surrounding the resort’s plaza, for example, are a variety of
slopeside hotel and condominium options.

At Moonlight Basin, larger luxury cabins and mountain homes are available for rent right off ski runs. Real estate options are also available in a variety of neighborhoods, from cabins in the trees or with mountain views, to new slopeside townhouses and spacious six-bedroom homes with prices ranging from $750,000 to $5 million.

Down the mountain in the Town Center, Big Sky will see its first major hotel brand open in the 2018-19 ski season. The Wilson Hotel, a Marriott Residence Inn, is currently under construction.

Outside of hotels, dining is available at restaurants on the mountain, around the plaza and down through the Town Center, including espresso, micro-breweries, deli sandwiches, pizza and burgers, steak and game meats, and Mexican, Hawaiian sushi and Thai.

At Moonlight Basin, the Moonlight Tavern offers residents and guests a relaxed lunch, après-ski appetizers, full dinner, craft beer, wine and cocktails. Slopeside snacks, salads, soups and grilled items are available to all at the Madison Base Area.

 

FIND OUT MORE

Big Sky is located about an hour south of Bozeman through Gallatin Canyon on U.S. Highway 191.

Most major airlines serve Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport. During winter 2017-18, United Airlines will increase nonstop daily service between Bozeman and Houston between Dec. 20 and Jan. 7 and between Feb. 15 and March 18. United will also increase Saturday/ Sunday service to Houston between Jan. 8 and Feb. 14, and between March 19 and April 1. Visit www.united.com for flight schedules and to purchase tickets.

Information about lodging, skiing, snowboarding and other activities at Big Sky Resort is available at www.bigskyresort.com or by calling 800-548-4486.

Information for cabin and home rentals at Moonlight Basin, as well as the community’s amenities, is available at www.moonlightbasin.com or by calling 406-995-7700. Real estate information is available at www.bigsky.com.

Big Sky is also a summer destination, with hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, whitewater rafting and golf courses. Moonlight Basin’s Jack Nicklaus-signature course, The Reserve, was named the No. 2 best new private golf course for 2016 by Golf Digest magazine, behind only Tiger Woods’ Bluejack National in Montgomery, Texas.

Silvertip Cabin

Silvertip Cabin

Snow tubing at Moonlight Basin

Snow tubing at Moonlight Basin

Moonlight Lodge

Moonlight Lodge

 Skiing at Big Sky Resort

Skiing at Big Sky Resort

The Reserve Golf Course

The Reserve Golf Course


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