Big Sky Timeline

Big sky, tram, bozeman, lone peak, montana, ski areas, skiing

The progression of Big Sky losing its spirit.

1968 – Chet Huntley, an NBC journalist, conceptualizes Big Sky Resort
1973 – Big Sky opens
1976 – Big Sky purchased by Boyne Resorts for $8.5 million
1978 – Mad Wolf lift installed, dramatically increasing intermediate and expert terrain

1981 – First major snowmaking system installed at Big Sky
1988 – Challenger Lift installed

1990 – Yellowstone Conference Center and Shoshone Condominium Hotel open; Big Sky gains traction as tourist resort
1992 – Moonlight Basin Ranch purchased from Big Sky Lumber Company by local developers
1995 – Lone Peak Tram built, making summit access easier but lessening sense of adventure
1995 – Big Sky Bugle reports on mountain manager John Kircher being cited for trespassing, after landing helicopter in Lee Metcalf Wilderness Area for lobster picnic
1997 – Big Sky day pass costs $47
1997 – Ultra-exclusive Yellowstone Club opens, after privatizing thousands of acres in the Madison Range

2000 – Boyne Resorts announces it will spend $400 million over next ten years toward “improving” Big Sky
2000 – Moonlight Lodge opens, offering additional on-mountain parking and open to public
2000 – Yellowstone Jet Center established; YC members no longer have to fly coach with unwashed masses
2003 – Moonlight Basin ski area opens, providing affordable skiing for locals as Big Sky pass prices rise
2008 – YC files for bankruptcy, turning the caviar bar into a breakfast buffet
2008 – Big Sky Resort removes the groovy gondola, replacing it with a humdrum high-speed quad
2009 – CrossHarbor Capital Partners, a Boston-based private-equity firm, purchases YC, dreams of even more vacant mansions
2009 – Moonlight Basin day-pass costs $39, but resort files for bankruptcy; affordable skiing hears its death knell

2012 – Moonlight Basin day-pass costs $66
2013 – CrossHarbor and Boyne purchase Moonlight Basin and merge terrain with Big Sky; affordable skiing takes last gasp and dies
2014 – Big Sky gets first full-service grocery store, setting area further apart from Bozeman
2015 – Big Sky unveils $150-million, ten-year plan to further increase lift capacity
2015 – YC sells $1 billion in real estate over two years
2016 – Cushy six-seat bubble chair replaces Lone Peak Triple
2017 – Moonlight Lodge closes to public and is renovated to create “soft seating options” and “greater culinary variety”
2018 – Birth of Ikon Pass and death of manageable weekend crowds at Big Sky

2020 – Pandemic hits; wealthy out-of-staters flock to Montana to escape outrageously expensive two-bedroom apartments; Boz Angeles is solidified
2021 – Big Sky announces it will cost extra to ride the Tram, despite hour-long wait
2022 – Median price of single-family home in Big Sky hits $2.5 million
2022 – Weekday, non-holiday day-pass at Big Sky costs $201; season pass costs $2,699

For a closer look at Big Sky's growth, click here.