Butte vs. Big Sky

Comparing Montana's Copper Kings of yesteryear to its Real-Estate Khans of today.

The Richest Hill on Earth—once a proud appellation given to Butte, Montana, this superlative has shifted to Big Sky. Yep, a new empire has risen in the Treasure State, and the reign of the Real-Estate Khans (pun intended) has begun. As with their predecessors, the Copper Kings, these barons of Big Sky extract their bounty of riches by exploiting the land—wrapping their hands around the place, shaping it to serve their interests, then squeezing it like a sponge. Mansions and subdivisions for the rich and famous spring up in every direction, and the landscape suffers. Sure, the lavish luxury-seekers provide the demand, but like drug dealers slinging meth, the Real-Estate Khans give them what they want, knowing full-well the damage it will do to the community, the wildlife, and the environment. So, how do the new guys compare to the old? Let’s size ’em up.

For an in depth look on how Big Sky's runaway development is polluting the Gallatin River, see "History Repeating" by John Meyer.

Big sky, bozeman, copper kings, butte