The ski season is winding down across Montana, but the major ski areas are staying open into April. There’s plenty of time for Heartlanders to plan one more western trip to close out the season.
Snow conditions at Big Sky are excellent this season. (Big Sky)
Big Sky Resort, part of Boyne Resorts headquartered in Michigan, is planning on spending over $150 million on resort improvements over the next eight years. The improvements will include the most advanced chairlift network in North America, elevated lodging, dining and shopping, and more on-mountain activities, according to Stephen Kircher, president of Boyne’s eastern operations and Big Sky.
The aim is to establish Big Sky Resort, with its iconic Lone Peak, and surrounding area as the American Alps.
“For more than 67 years, my family and our organization has remained committed to creating a memorable experiences at unique destinations, often inspired by sense of place and attention to detail,” said Kircher in a prepared statement. “Big Sky will become the best representation of that ideal with our 2025 efforts.”
This past summer as part of the program the resort installed a couple of new state-of-the-art lifts replacing older, slower and less comfortable lifts. A six-seat, high-speed detachable accessing Lone Peak’s bowl replaces the old triple chair, and it’s a Big Sky blue bubble chair with heated seats. Talk about comfort. The other chair, a new fast, fixed-grip triple, will serve the long, steep runs in the Challenger area; reserved for expert-level skiers and riders. It replaces an old, slow double and is more wind resistant.
Big Sky Big Grass returns to the resort for the 11th year in a row, Thursday -Sunday, Feb. 9-12.
Live Music Featuring: Sam Bush Band, Del McCoury Band, Billy Strings, Drew Emmitt Band, Jeff Austin Band, The Travelin' McCourys, 2016 Grammy Nominated artist Sierra Hull, Darol Anger and the Furies, and The Good Time Travelers.
West Yellowstone and Yellowstone National Park, just 45 minutes away, makes a great day trip. National Park snowcoach tours will take you to Old Faithful, bison viewing and more.
Big Sky offers several lodging packages throughout the winter; 30-percent off the nightly rate in the Huntley Lodge on select dates, and a fourth night free at several of the village lodges and hotels. Some blackout dates may apply.
With all the snow the resort has received so far this winter conditions are excellent. They set visitation records over the holidays.
The Big Sky eighth annual Big Grass Concert, Feb 4-7, includes some of the top blue grass acts in the country; The Sam Bush Band, David Grishman Bluegrass Experience, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Travelin’ McCoury's, Keller Williams, Drew Emmitt Band, Billy Strings and Don Julian, Two Bit Franks, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, The Good Time Travelers, and more. A weekend concert pass is $185, which gets you into all shows. Single show tickets are $35 each early bird and $50 at the door. Plan ahead.
The West Yellowstone, Gallatin National Forest area of southern Montana, which includes Big Sky Resort, offers plenty of winter adventures to choose from. It ranks high among western trip choices for skiers/riders from Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas.