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September 14, 2007

WaPo Article About Big Sky (somewhat dated)

Big Sky is just sick. Verticle. Steeps. Snow (400+"). Acreage. Uncrowded. I cannot say enough how Big Sky has every single thing that makes a resort great. Lift tickets are $20 less than Vail or Aspen and the resort is growing with new condo developments and base area improvements every single year.

Folks like the Washington Post are noticing too:

When American skiers start talking about really big resorts, the conversation generally turns to huge mountain meccas such as Colorado's Vail, where the yawning back bowls offer endless powder; or Lake Tahoe's Heavenly, where some runs are so long they start in Nevada and finish in California; or those paired areas in Utah, Alta/Snowbird and Solitude/Brighton, where a single ticket gives you access to every lift on two connected ski hills.

But this winter, the biggest single ski site in the United States will be found far from those famous destinations, in a secluded corner of Montana barely a snowball's throw from Yellowstone National Park. Two resorts operating on opposite faces of 11,166-foot Lone Mountain -- the well-established Big Sky Resort and its perky young neighbor, Moonlight Basin -- are offering a combined lift ticket that provides access to 5,512 acres, with 23 lifts serving about 220 distinct runs.

All those Montana acres tend to be uncrowded as well. Big Sky and Moonlight Basin are so remote from the more familiar skiing centers of the Rocky Mountain West and so far from population centers (the nearest city, Bozeman, is a pleasant university town but nobody's idea of a metropolis) that they draw relatively few skiers. Vail reports about 1.5 million skier visits each season; the Montana twins total about 350,000. Big Sky, which has lift capacity of 32,000 skiers per hour, averages just 2,000 skiers per day.

The result is that lift lines are unusual at the Lone Mountain resorts, and untracked powder is easy to find.


Posted by Justin at September 14, 2007 09:04 AM