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Big Sky, Montana

December 8, 2011 By: Adam Leposa Travel Agent


Big Sky
Big Sky provides children’s lessons in small groups, for a parent and child or for the whole family.


Your ski clients who are looking for wide-open spaces should enjoy Montana’s Big Sky Resort. With approximately 2,000 skiers per day spread over 3,800 skiable acres—the most contiguous skiable terrain in the U.S.—travelers will have plenty of elbow room. With fewer fellow skiers per acre to collide with, this resort is a good fit for families with small children.

New This Season

Five new runs on Andesite Mountain this season present an enticing challenge for more advanced skiers. The resort’s natural glading technique makes runs open enough for both wide turns and tight navigation through small clusters of trees. Wolverine, Congo Line and Madagascar, all rated as “More Difficult” by the resort, range between 1,000 and 2,000 feet long, with an average grade of 15.6 degrees, and are geared toward intermediate skiers who may not have skied glades before. Wolf Den, rated “Most Difficult,” runs 1,100 feet and has an average grade of 19.8 degrees, while 2,500-foot Shady Chute, with an average grade of 19.8 degrees and sections that approach 40 degrees, is designated “Extreme Terrain.”

This season also marks the debut of the revamped and expanded Solace Spa and Salon. The remodel includes a new salon service that allows clients to get their hair cut and styled while enjoying spa services. Two new specialized rooms are set aside for couples’ treatments and wet wraps, including rose wraps, skin toning, aromatherapy oil, mud and salt glow.

Looking ahead, this spring the resort will begin remodeling the Mountain Mall, Big Sky’s main day lodge in the heart of Mountain Village, and one of its original structures. The first phase of renovations will update the exterior of the north and south entrances and east fascia while maintaining a classic ski lodge look.

Family Fun

Big Sky prides itself on its lack of crowds, which makes it a relaxing experience for families. As a result, the resort has a wide array of family-friendly options both on and off the slope.

Big Sky’s children’s ski programs cover a range of ages and skill levels. Ski & Snowboard Camp gives longer lessons to children ages seven to 14 of all skill levels, while mini camps allow for smaller class sizes for children ages four to six or ages seven to nine. Forty-five-minute Small Fry Try lessons are available for the youngest set, either skiers ages three and four or snowboarders five to seven. Longer, two-hour private lessons are also available. For families who want to learn to ski together, the resort arranges private family lessons with a maximum of five people or Mommy and Me lessons that help coach a parent on how to develop his or her child’s skills. Reservations are recommended for most private lessons—visit the website or call 406-995-5743.

When kids get tired out from skiing, the Lone Peak Playhouse provides daycare—the resort even gives special rates that combine a mini camp ski lesson with the rest of the day at the playhouse. Call 406-995-5847.

Families can also take a break from the slopes with a day trip to next-door Yellowstone National Park. The resort’s Basecamp to Yellowstone in Mountain Village Plaza features full- and half-day adventures to the park, including cross-country skiing along Riverside Trail, ranger-guided snowshoe hikes, snowcoach rides to the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and guided snowmobile tours.


Agent Advice

Marrilee Foukal McLean of Alabama World Travel recommends Big Sky for families. “Kids [10 and under] ski free and the luxury Summit Hotel now includes breakfast with your stay. This is great for a family. You can now take the family down to have made-to-order omelets or any of the many other gourmet breakfast spread options for free.”

When asked about where to stay, McLean said, “One of my favorites is the Moonlight Basin Resort. It has condos, luxury chalets, cabins and homes, and provides the true ski-in/ski-out experience. All of Moonlight Basin Resort’s accommodations have hot tubs, kitchens, and are very spacious.”


Getting There


Clients can fly into Gallatin Field Airport (BZN), which has nonstops from Minneapolis, Detroit, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Airport shuttle service is available through private car, motorcoach or taxi. Reservations are required.

For all reservations, call 800-548-4486; for group sales, 800-548-4487.

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About the Author

Adam Leposa
Adam Leposa is the Online Managing Editor of He has worked as an Editorial Associate in the Children's Division of Simon & Schuster. He is a graduate of...

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By Adam Leposa | December 8, 2011
Lack of crowds and a wide array of family-friendly options both on and off the slope make Montana’s Big Sky Resort a perfect fit for families.Travel Agent rounds up new ski and snowboard developments this season, as well as packages designed especially for families.