BIG SKY — Since opening in 1973 with only four chairlifts at the time, Big Sky Resort has come a long way transforming itself into the "Biggest Skiing in America." However, the resort has its sights set on an even bigger vision.
As Big Sky eyes the remaining seasons of Big Sky 2025, a 10-year capital plan that’s been transforming the ski experience on Lone Mountain, the world-class ski resort is gearing up for what they’re calling “The Final Chapter” as ski season comes to a close this Sunday.
“It’s always a little bittersweet to end ski season, but we’ve got some really exciting things to look forward to this summer," public relations manager Stacie Mesuda smiled. "Pretty soon we’re going to be starting to build our brand new Lone Peak tram.”
Big Sky will break ground the first week of May in what will be two summers of construction to replace the original Lone Peak tram, which has been in commission since 1995.
“We’ll have really skilled helicopter operators and some technical climbers that are going to be working to pour concrete for the towers, the top terminal, for the bottom terminal," Mesuda explained.
But if you have a chance to visit Big Sky this summer to watch the construction unfold, you’ll notice the route to Lone Peak will be slightly different than the current tram. That's because the new bottom terminal will be located directly in the bowl.
“In a few years we’ll also have a base area gondola connecting the base area to that new loading point of the tram and all the way to the summit, so this is a total base to summit transformation where access to the peak will be so much easier than it ever has been," Mesuda added.
This two-stage gondola will replace the existing Explorer lift, which is the resort’s last original chairlift from when they opened in 1973.
“It has a mid-station where you can choose to unload or stay on," Mesuda stated. "The mid-station will be the new home of our mid-mountain learning center, so a base for ski school, for some retail, some rentals, a great learning area for beginner skiers up on top of the mountain, and then more advanced skiers can continue up all the way to the bowl and eventually to the tram if they’d like to.”
Transforming on-mountain dining facilities and adding a learning center have been a core component of Big Sky’s 2025 vision with the intent that skiers will have the option to stay on the mountain all day without having to go down to the base area.
Big Sky is slated to open the mountain for all-summer activities on Saturday, June 11.