Everett Kircher purchases Big Sky Resort
After Chet Huntley's passing, Everett Kircher purchased Big Sky Resort from Big Sky, Inc. in 1976, adding to the Boyne Resorts family-owned properties.
Mad Wolf Triple Installed
In 1978, the Mad Wolf triple chairlift installed on Andesite Mountain. At the time, Mad Wolf was the longest triple chair in the world, and substantially increased total skiable acres, as well as enhanced the intermediate and expert terrain offered at Big Sky Resort.
First Major Snowmaking System Installed
Boyne Resorts, a pioneer in the snow making industry, began installing what was at the time a state-of-the-art snowmaking system on key runs on Andesite and Lone Mountain.
Transportation District Formed
The Big Sky transportation district was formed to provide bus service to the greater Big Sky area. The service first launched as SnowExpress, which later became Skyline Bus.
Big Sky Resort Tax District Formed
On April 13, 1992, the general electorate of the Big Sky area created the Big Sky Resort Area and adopted a 3% Resort Tax to be charged on "luxury" goods and services not deemed necessities of life. The tax is collected by local businesses within the boundaries of the Resort Area.
Big Sky Resort Purchases Mountain Lodge
Big Sky Resort purchased the Mountain Lodge facility, which transformed into seasonal workforce housing units with pedestrian access to the resort. The Mountain Lodge campus included 174 beds, Big Sky’s first major step in acquiring housing dedicated to employees.
Lone Peak Tram Built
The state-of-the-art Lone Peak Tram was built in 1995. Opening access to over 300 degrees of skiing off the peak, the opening of this lift catapulted Big Sky Resort into the eyes of extreme skiers and onto their bucket lists around the globe.
Boyne Resorts Founder Everett Kircher Passes at 85
Everett Kircher, founder of Boyne Resorts and pioneer of the ski industry, passed away in 2002 at 85. Everett had a profound influence on skiing across all of North America, as a visionary entrepreneur who sparked the early successes of Big Sky Resort when he purchased it in 1976. From installing Michigan's first chairlift to setting the standard for Olympic snowmaking, Everett Kircher's legacy is immortalized in Big Sky's community and throughout the resort.
The Biggest Skiing in America Announced
In 2005, Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin jointly announced "The Biggest Skiing in America," offering a combined 4,500+ acres under one lift ticket or season pass. The launch of these products further accelerated Big Sky as a must-visit destination for skiers of all ability levels.
Golden Eagle Workforce Housing Purchased
Big Sky Resort acquired the Golden Eagle, providing additional seasonal workforce housing.
Everett Kircher Inducted in the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame
Everett Kircher, the founder of Boyne Resorts, was inducted in the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame as "a passionate skier along with being a mechanical genius, innovator, entrepreneur, and management master" building North America's largest family-owned four-season resort company.
Zipline Course Opens
Big Sky Resort opened the Nature Zipline Tour in 2009. Accessed via a short hike, this course is over 1,000 feet in total length.
In 2010, Big Sky Resort added the Twin Zip which zips over both the Swift Current and Ramcharger lifts. In 2013, the Twin Zip became the ending point for the newly completed Adventure Zipline Tour, creating a total zipline experience over 2,500 feet.
Lone Peak Expedition Opens to Summer Guests
The Lone Peak Expedition (LPE) began service for summer guests of the resort. This two and a half hour expedition takes guests from the Mountain Village to the top of Lone Mountain with no hike required. 360 degree views of the surrounding area await guests at the top, including being able to see across three states, two national parks, and several mountain ranges.
Big Sky Resort acquires Moonlight Basin
On October 1, 2013, CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC, in partnership with Boyne Resorts, completed the purchase with a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. to acquire the assets of Moonlight Basin in Big Sky, Montana.
This aquisition also included the ski terrain of Spanish Peaks, and further solidified 'The Biggest Skiing in America,' bringing the total acreage of Big Sky Resort to over 5,750 acres.
Mountain Biking Expansion
The summer of 2014 marked a milestone for mountain biking at Big Sky Resort. Several trails were added and existing downhill trails revamped off both Explorer and Swift Current lifts.
More efforts over the next several years would expand mountain biking even further, including biking off of Thunderwolf and adding new trails off of Swift Current, bringing the total to over 40 miles of trails in the area.
Located on top of Andesite Mountain at 8,800 feet, Everett's 8800 is an elegant, rustic restaurant serving American alpine fare. Everett's 8800 is the most iconic on-mountain dining spot at Big Sky, with incomparable views of Lone Peak, an expansive deck and dining area with massive indoor/outdoor fireplaces.
Big Sky Medical Center
The community as a whole benefitted from the addition of the Big Sky Medical Center, a new, state-of-the-art medical facility in the heart of Big Sky's Meadow Village.
Big Sky 2025: A Vision for the Future Introduced
Big Sky Resort's vision for the next decade announced, including the near, mid, and long term plans for the resort through 2025 and beyond.
At the time, announcements included the Powder Seeker six-person chairlift replacing the Lone Peak Triple, Challenger Lift being replaced and upgraded, new carpets, retail row improvments, and much more.
Golden Eagle Housing Expanded
Thirty seven new, modern season workforce housing beds were added to the Golden Eagle complex.
Ramcharger 8: The World's Most Technologically Advanced Lift Ever Built
Ramcharger 8, an eight-seat, D-Line chair with ergonomically-shaped, heated seats and a Big Sky Blue Bubble, now transports 3,600 skiers per hour to the top of Andesite Mountain. Boyne Resorts partnered with the Doppelmayr shop in Wolfurt, Austria to bring its most technologically-advanced lift to Big Sky, Montana.
Speed at Shedhorn
The new, updated high speed quad lift at Shedhorn reduces ride times from 12 minutes to less than five. Lift lines have been reduced with added capacity, and guests benefit from more laps in less time on this incredible part of the mountain.
The Exchange: The Mountain Mall Reinvented
Formerly known as the "Mountain Mall," has been completely reimagined and opened for the 2019-2020 ski season as "The Exchange," including a new modern food hall, named Vista Hall, on the top floor. Vista Hall is open for the 2019-2020 winter season, featuring six new eateries, fireplaces and warm décor, additional seating, a brand new bar, and expanded and enlivened deck space for après ski. Westward Social, Mountain Village's newest restaurant and après ski spot, will further enliven the plaza with an emphasis on social gathering after a day of skiing.
The new food hall offers plentiful indoor seating for guests taking a ski break, warming up, or grabbing a bite to eat. Seating capacity will nearly double with an increase of more than 350 seats for use from breakfast to après. Après ski will be enlivened with new outdoor decks boasting prime views of Lone Mountain and a cozy outdoor fireplace. The enhanced deck will seat more than 250 people, perfect for soaking up the sun and drinking in the quintessential Big Sky views.
Big Sky Resort will construct over 250 new parking spaces for the 2019-2020 ski season. The new parking spaces are phase one of a long-term parking plan to add over 500 parking spaces near the ski slopes.
This new parking will be located in Mountain Village, east of the current parking, located downhill from the existing lot. Skiers will have a choice of walking the short distance to the slopes or taking the parking shuttle system.
Additionally, Big Sky Resort will increase shuttle capacity by 50 percent in conjunction with the parking expansion.
For the third consecutive year, Big Sky Resort constructed additional seasonal workforce housing, right in the Big Sky community. The resort added 75 new beds, located in Mountain Village with pedestrian access to Big Sky Resort. With this expansion, Big Sky Resort has produced over 500 affordable accommodations within the Big Sky community.
This new housing, like recent additions, offers occupant-friendly designs and modern features. It is located within the Mountain Lodge campus that provides workers pedestrian access to the Resort for convenience, quality of life, and will not burden transportation infrastructure.
For more than 25 years, Big Sky Resort has been committed to accommodating seasonal workers by constructing, acquiring, and expanding housing campuses in the Big Sky community without relying on public funds.
Swift Current 6
Big Sky Resort has announced the installation of a major new chairlift, Swift Current 6. This new D-Line, six-person, high-speed chair with a signature Big Sky Blue Bubble and ultrawide heated seats will also become the fastest six-person chairlift in North America. Swift Current 6 is the resort's next step in creating the most technologically-advanced lift network in North America, a key pillar of the Big Sky 2025 vision.
Huntley Lodge Remodel
Big Sky Resort continues to raise the bar on lodging and amenities in Mountain Village. The Huntley Lodge is anticipated to start a significant renovation of its 200 hotel rooms, keeping the unique architectural aesthetic, natural colors and textures found in Montana, with a new, sleek design to evoke a sense of authenticity and warmth. The modern mountain luxury theme enhances the guest's experience and comfort with modern plumbing features, showers, improved sound dampening, furniture, and top-of the-line electronics throughout. Located in the heart of Big Sky Resort's Mountain Village, this traditional slope-side ski lodge was an original landmark in the late NBC News broadcaster Chet Huntley's original vision for Big Sky Resort.
Summit Hotel Remodel
The Summit Hotel, the premier slopeside lodging in Big Sky, will undergo a transformative renovation that will completely update 213 guest rooms and common spaces in the luxurious lodge with a lighter, sleeker, alpine luxe aesthetic. A warm respite from the breath-taking grandeur of the natural beauty of Big Sky, The Summit Hotel will debut new common spaces and restaurant renovations for the 2020-2021 winter season. Room renovations will debut for the 2021-2022 winter season.
Near Term Projects
We are consistently listening to feedback and strive to improve our guest experience at the resort. As a result, we have prioritized the following enhancements and updates throughout the resort:
- Tram Experience Upgrades
- Two-stage Gondola to Explorer Area/Bowl
- Addition of several on-mountain F&B experiences
- Additional skier services
- New Snowsports Learning Center
- New Adventure Activities hub
- Night Skiing Operations
- Ramcharger 8 Dining Cars
- Andesite Night Skiing
- Madison side upgrades, including:
- Headwaters update
- Upgraded Food & Beverage experience
- Unveiling of the Montana Club Community