Big Sky Resort History
"Montana skiing has arrived!" SKI Magazine announced in its September 1973 issue. Now, almost 40 years later, Big Sky Resort is home to the Biggest Skiing in America and known as one of the best ski resorts in the nation.
Big Sky Resort was conceived and built by the late NBC newscaster, Chet Huntley. Big Sky first opened for skiing in December 1973. In 1976, Boyne USA Resorts purchased the resort and has owned and managed it since then. Learn more in this newscast on the founding of Big Sky Resort.
Boyne Resorts is a family-owned Michigan-based corporation that owns numerous mountain and golf resort properties across the United States including Crystal Mountain in Washington, Brighton Ski Resort in Utah, The Inn at Bay Harbor, Boyne Mountain and Boyne Highlands in Michigan, Gatlinburg Skylift in Tennesee, Boyne South, Florida and Cypress Mountain in British Columbia.
Everett Kircher skied for the first time in 1938 and fell in love with the sport. At the time, Mr. Kircher owned a car dealership in Michigan and soon started spending his weekends looking for a spot to build a ski hill. In 1947, he bought 40 acres of land and a used chair lift and Boyne Mountain opened in 1948. Mr. Kircher sold his car dealership, purchased Boyne Highlands by 1963, installed the world's first triple chair lift and became a pioneer in snowmaking. In 1999, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North American Snow Journalists Association. After his passing in January 2002, Kircher's legacy continues as Boyne Resorts is one of the largest ski companies in the country still run by his sons and daughters. Learn more in this newscast about the history of Boyne.
Under the leadership of Boyne Resorts, Big Sky Resort continues to set standards for skiing in Montana and skiing in the Rockies. An aggressive lift expansion plan saw the area add 13 new/improved lifts over a 10 year period beginning in 1988. With 17 lifts transporting skiers and snowboarders over 3,812 skiable acres, the resort has set the standard for uncrowded slopes and non-existent lift lines.
In 1990, the resort invested $18 million in the Shoshone Condominium Hotel and the 43,000-square-foot Yellowstone Conference Center. In 1995, the Lone Peak Tram was built, hoisting skiers to 11,166 feet and giving Big Sky one of the nation's largest total vertical drops.
Big Sky completed the single largest development since the resort's inception in March 2000 with the Summit at Big Sky, a Euro-western luxury Hotel Condominium. This $50 million project is located less than 300 feet from two high-speed quads on what might be the last best place for slopeside lodging in the Rockies.
In April, 2001 Boyne Resorts announced a 10-year plan which will include $400 million in improvements to the Village and ski terrain at Big Sky.
The recent Powder Ridge Cabin project is on the cutting edge of resort accommodations: ski-in, ski-out private cabins. In 2005, Village Center suites added 60 slopeside rooms with a new level of luxury and convenience.
Big Sky launched its first zipline in Winter 2009-10 and was extremely successful with expanded summer activities such as paintball, high ropes course, climbing wall and bungee trampoline, all run through the "Basecamp to Yellowstone Park."