This fall, Big Sky Resort in Montana completed its merger with Moonlight Basin to enlarge the resort’s offerings ahead of the upcoming season. Travel Agent got a chance to speak with Sheila Chapman, PR & events manager at Big Sky, about the merger and what agents can expect this winter.
The newly combined ski resort offers more than 5,750 acres of skiable terrain with 4,350 vertical feet, 23 chairlifts and 10 surface lifts, making it the largest ski resort in the U.S. Additionally, the merger has increased lodging and meeting space options at the resort.
Photo by Glenniss Indreland
40th Anniversary Season
This year mark’s the 40th anniversary of Big Sky’s founding by NBC newscaster Chet Huntley. The resort will be celebrating its anniversary weekend December 13-15 with $40 lift tickets, live music Saturday December 14 by Milton Menasce, birthday cake and 70s-style ski costumes.
The resort is heading into its anniversary season with a number of terrain improvements. The beginner ski and snowboard area has been completely rebuilt with three surface lifts designed to ease the flow from beginner to more advanced skill levels. The Small Fry Lift, for complete beginner children, is in a nearly flat area and is immediately outside the Snowcrest Lodge Mountain Sports School. This Children’s Bowl has added a second, longer surface lift, called Fremont’s, to ease progression in the Mountain Sports School program.
The new Middle Mountain surface lift links the Children’s Bowl and base area to the slightly more advanced Adrian’s Way Beginner Area. The Adrian’s Way surface lift has been moved to the right for more slope area in which students can practice steeper slopes, wider turns and graduate to the beginner chairlift.
Photo by Lonnie Ball
Big Sky has also improved the sense of progression in the resort’s terrain parks. This season marks the debut of a new beginner terrain park with smaller jumps, rails and boxes to help guests progress to the 16 new intermediate and advanced terrain park features. In all, nine terrain parks will be available for the 2013-2014 season.
The new beginner terrain park, called the Explorer Park, is under the Explorer chairlift and has low-level rails and boxes six inches off the ground. The Moonlight Basin merger has added Cup of Joe and Pony Park as two more beginner terrain park locations.
The 16 new intermediate and advanced terrain features will replace old and out of date features. The new features are in the main advanced terrain park, Swifty, the intermediate park Swifty 2.0 and the advanced Ambush jump line, which has three large jumps off the Ramcharger chairlift. After the merger with Moonlight Basin, resort goers wil now also have access to two more intermediate terrain parks, the advanced Zero Gravity terrain park and the Freestyle Forest, which mimics natural features like bent downed trees and boulder walls.
For more advanced skiers, the resort has opened 15 acres of previously un-skiable terrain to expand Big Sky’s tree skiing experience. The new terrain is concentrated in the Shedhorn area off of Lower Sunlight and Larkspur. The glading process also removes constricting trees, deadfall and standing dead trees to improve the health of the forest.
Photo by Glenniss Indreland
Expanded Meetings and Events Spaces
The merger with Moonlight Basin has brought the resort’s meetings and events offerings to a total of 55,000 square feet.
The Yellowstone Conference Center can host meetings ranging in size from 25 to 750 attendees. Facilities include the new Lone Peak Pavilion outdoor reception venue and lodging accommodations with housing for up to 2,000 guests. For networking and teambuilding activities, the Mountain Village at Big Sky Resort has an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course, high ropes course, ziplines, paintball, skeet shooting and a scenic lift.
Big Sky’s events facilities are also available for destination weddings. Popular reception options include the 160 guest Talus Room, the Peaks Restaurant, which seats up to 80 and the Missouri Ballroom, which can host 750 guests.
Travel Agent Contacts
Group sales: 800-548-4487
More on Weddings: bigskyresort.com/weddings
Resort website: bigskyresort.com