Thanks to Big Sky Resort’s ten-year, $150 million improvement plan, the thought of taking a European-style ski vacation is becoming more tangible by the day. This plan, dubbed “Big Sky 2025,” entails resort-wide upgrades, including everything from the installation of new, top-of-the-line chairlifts, to the partial reconstruction of the base area, to streamlining transportation with more flight options than ever. The end goal is to transform the ski resort to “America’s Alp,” and the project is well under way.
Simply put, this means making Big Sky Resort, whose huge upper-mountain terrain is often compared to the type of terrain found in the Alps, even more European-like by upgrading every element of their guests’ experience, both on and off the slopes.
The Biggest Lift Upgrades
Skiers who have visited Big Sky since the launch of the plan, in 2015, have already noticed the beginning stages of this transformative project. The construction of the new Challenger and Powder Seeker chairlifts kicked off Big Sky 2025, and their completion changed the way skiers at Big Sky access the upper mountain: Faster and more comfortably than ever.
Fast-forward to this season and skiers who love to lap the lower mountain have been thrilled with the all-new Ramcharger 8 lift. Why wouldn’t they be? This is the most technologically-advanced chairlift in North America, boasting heated seats, an automatically-opening bubble shield and an incredibly efficient load rate of 3,200 skiers per hour.
Meanwhile, the older, but still relevant high-speed Ramcharger quad chair has been repurposed to replace the Shedhorn double lift. This upgrade didn’t make the headlines that the Ramcharger 8’s construction did, but if you ask the die-hard locals, this might be the most welcomed improvement to happen on Lone Peak since the installation of the Lone Peak Tram. The terrain served by the Shedhorn lift includes everything from steep chutes to long mellow cruisers, and having this new lift in place allows skiers to log more vert on the south, sunny side of Lone Peak than was possible with the old double lift.
The next phase of Big Sky 2025 to come to fruition will be the addition of night skiing, expanded snowmaking infrastructure and the replacement of the Explorer—a short double chair that serves beginner terrain. The plan for Explorer’s replacement entails a gondola, which will make the beginner’s experience warmer and ultimately more enjoyable. More-over, the new gondola will terminate higher up the mountain, near the Bowl, increasing the efficiency to disperse skiers from the base area exponentially.
Further down the line in Big Sky 2025’s final stage, other lift improvements will include upgrades to the Tram, Southern Comfort, Lone Moose, Swift Current, Iron Horse and Headwaters lifts, and the construction of an all-new lift at Moonlight basin, further bolstering the most technologically advanced high speed lift network in North America.
Reimagining the Mountain Village
Under Big Sky 2025, the Mountain Village experience will also be revamped, creating a more engaging experience for guests during their time off the slopes. Already completed, The North Face and Burton concept stores create brand-centric shopping experiences for every customer who walks in the door, whether they’re looking for a whole new outerwear kit or just need a new set of boot laces.
The next, and perhaps most drastic transformation that’s slated to take place in the Mountain Village, is the renovation and build-out of the Mountain Mall. When complete, this space will mimic the variety and convenience of an urban market, with a plethora of new dining options, modern architecture, fireplaces, an elevator, expanded dining and deck space and improved alpine views. When finished, Big Sky’s Mountain Village will be home to shopping and dining experiences that are unmatched in North America and will rival the best of Europe.
Staying for the Long Haul
Big Sky 2025 also includes the construction of an all-new village on the north end of Big Sky Resort, in the part of the resort called Moonlight Basin. Known as the Montana Club, this development will provide the finest ski-in, ski-out properties in North America, complete with spacious floor plans, stunning alpine views and ideal proximity to all of the aforementioned improvements.
With direct flights from 16 US airports, seasonal public charter service and private charter jets available at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN), it’s never been easier to get to and from Big Sky. Whether you’re looking for a quick weekend away or the perfect place to establish a permanent mountain retreat, Big Sky Resort and Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport have raised the bar when it comes to convenient luxury. And they’ve only just begun.