Our History
Near Term

Our History

1968-2018
Future

1968

Chet Huntley & Big Sky, Inc. Conceptualize Big Sky Resort

While Chet's role was massive in gaining government and public approval for the project, he was mainly the face of Big Sky, Inc. The resort project's financiers included Chrysler, Conoco, and Northwest Airlines.

1970

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Study

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) performed a study of the Big Sky Mountain Village area, which determined the feasibility of development and eventually informed Big Sky’s Master Plan.

1973

Lifts Open for First Winter of Skiing at Big Sky Resort

Big Sky Resort opened for it's first winter season in 1973.

1974

Chet Huntley Passes from Lung Cancer

On March 20, 1974, just three days before the dedication of Big Sky Resort, Chet Huntley passed away from lung cancer.

Read Chet Huntley's Obituary

1976

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.

Learn More about Boyne Resorts

1978

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.

Learn More about Boyne Resorts

1981

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.

1982

Lone Mountain Trail Paved

The Highway 191 roadway spur is paved up to Big Sky Mountain Village.

1984

Gondola 2 Built

Gondola 2 opened, providing additional access up Lone Mountain from Mountain Village.

1988

Challenger Lift Installed

The installation of the Challenger lift in 1988 helped Big Sky Resort overcome the stigma of being an intermediate-focused ski area.

1990

Shoshone Condominiums Built

Located adjacent to the Huntley Lodge in the Mountain Village, the Shoshone Condominiums added over 90 rooms to the resort.

Opened the Yellowstone Conference Center

The Yellowstone Conference Center added over 15,000 square feet of much-needed meeting, group, and conference-focused space to the area.

1991

Southern Comfort & Ramcharger Lifts Built

The Southern Comfort lift created access to what is now over 225 acres of terrain on Andesite Mountain.

At the same time, Ramcharger High Speed Quad replaced Rams Horn. This lift increased capacity substantially from the two-person, fixed grip lift.

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.

Learn More about the Skyline Bus

1992

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.

Learn More about Resort Tax

1993

Thunderwolf replaces Mad Wolf

The Thunderwolf High Speed Quad replaced the Mad Wolf double fixed-grip lift.

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.

1995

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.

Read a 10-year retrospective on the Lone Peak Tram

1996

Swift Current replaces Gondola II

The Swift Current High Speed Quad replaced Gondola II in 1996. This lift greatly increased capacity to skiers in the Mountain Village.

1997

Snowcrest Lodge Opens

Snowcrest Lodge in Mountain Village opened, significantly improving village amenities such as ticket sales, retail, Snowsports School, and childcare facilities.

1998

First Terrain Park Built

The resort's first terrain park was built in 1998 under the Swift Current lift.

2000

Moonlight Basin Opens

Moonlight Basin ski resort opened for the 2000 winter season. This ski area stretched 1,900 acres, including the northern side of Lone Mountain. Moonlight Basin featured several lifts, terrain parks, and included a variety of terrain.

Summit Hotel Completed

The Summit Hotel finished construction and opened for the 2000 winter season. This 10 floor, 222 room hotel sits slopeside to both Ramcharger and Swift Current lifts in the Mountain Village.

2002

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.

Read Everett Kircher's Obituary from the New York Times

Southern Comfort upgraded to High Speed

The Southern Comfort lift was upgraded from a fixed-grip triple to a detachable, high-speed quad over the summer of 2002.

2005

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.

2006

Whitewater Inn Acquired

Big Sky purchased the Whitewater Inn, adding additional beds for seasonal workforce housing in Big Sky.

2007

Village Center Suites completed

The Village Center Suites opened for the 2007 ski season. This beautiful slopeside complex added 59 new units, a board room, a pool, and several new retail outlets and restaurants to the Mountain Village.

Andiamo Italian Grille opens in the Village Center

Andiamo Italian Grille opened in the Village Center plaza, serving delicous, fresh itialian cuisine.

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.

Read Everett's Hall of Fame bio

2009

President Obama Visits Big Sky Resort

In 2009, President Obama and the First Family visited Big Sky Resort on their way to Yellowstone National Park.

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.

2010

Vice President Biden Visits Big Sky

Vice President Biden visited Big Sky Resort in 2010 on a trip through Yellowstone National Park.

2011

Solace Spa & Salon Expands

The Solace Spa & Salon moved to their new location in the Huntley Lodge, creating an expansive spa and salon area. Features include a relaxation room, several private areas for spa services, a salon, and changing rooms.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative Conference Held at Big Sky Resort

In 2011, with strong community and state support, Big Sky Resort hosted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative (APEC). This conference further proved Big Sky Resort was ready for any size conference or group on the global stage.

2012

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.

2013

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.

Read the Joint Statement from 2013

2014

Everett's 8800

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.

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.

2015

Montana Jack Opens in the Mountain Mall

The former Whiskey Jacks location in the Mountain Mall received an overhaul, making way for the new Montana Jack, with craft burgers and craft beer. 

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.

Learn More about the Big Sky Medical Center

2016

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.

Challenger Replaced

The Challenger Double Chair lift was replaced with a brand-new, advanced carpet loading triple chair with loading carpet. Due to the carpet load, the speed of the lift was able to be increased, and as a result, ride times on Challenger were reduced. 

Powder Seeker Replaces the Lone Peak Triple

A new, state-of-the-art, six-place lift with a Big Sky Blue Bubble was added.

2017

Rental Shop Upgrades + North Face Store

Investment continued in the rental store at Big Sky with impovements to the lineup of skis, snowboards, performance rentals, and more.

In addition, the resort introduced the first North Face store in Montana.

New Carpets in the Base Area

Big Sky Resort replaced several carpets in the Mountain Village Base Area, including one with a 'Big Sky blue' dome covering the main carpet.

Snowmaking Capabilities Expanded

Big Sky Resort expanded snowmaking infrastructure, increasing capacity by 50%.

2018

Boyne Resorts purchases Moonlight Basin Ski Assets from Cross Harbor

In the summer of 2018, Boyne Resorts purchased the former Moonlight Basin ski assets from Cross Harbor. As of summer 2018, Boyne Resorts fully owns and operates the Moonlight Basin ski terrain and assosciated lifts.

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 Dopplemayr shop in Wolfurt, Austria to bring its most technologically-advanced lift to Big Sky, Montana.

Learn More about Ramcharger 8

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.

Learn More about Shedhorn 4

2019

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.

Employee Housing

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.

Parking Expansion

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.

Upcoming Projects

2020-2025
Past

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.

Near Term Projects

We are consistently listening to feedback and strive to improve our guest experience on 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
  • Summit Hotel Renovations
  • Ramcharger 8 Dining Cars
  • Andesite Night Skiing
  • Madison side upgrades, including:
    • Headwaters update
    • Upgraded Food & Beverage experience
  • Unveiling of the Montana Club Community

Late Stage Projects

More improvements are in the works before 2025. These projects include:

  • Southern Comfort upgrade
  • Iron Horse Replacement & extension
  • Madison Base Area lift replacement
  • Madison side terrain and lift expansion(s)
  • Lone Moose upgrade