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Off season in Big Sky has more to offer than you might think

The Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and local businesses say the shoulder season may be the time to come visit Big Sky.
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Posted at 12:53 PM, Nov 13, 2023

Vogue is calling Big Sky the hottest, coldest ski resort to visit this winter, but when the town and resort isn't bustling during the off season, how do shops in town survive?

"I’m excited. New town, fun mountain, and locals are awesome," says Chris Fajardo.

The ski boot store, Surefoot, opened its doors in Big Sky at the start of the off season in September. Surefoot Manager Chris Fajardo says there have been challenges opening a new business, but it's given them the opportunity to connect with locals.

"Lower amount of people in town or visitors, more locals, but I think that's been good because I've had a lot of locals come in and we've been able to explore and explain our product," says Fajardo.

During peak season, Big Sky has close to 15,000 visitors, but during the off seasons, it's less than 3,000. Big Sky Chamber of Commerce CEO Brad Niva believes now is a great time for people to come explore the town.

"This time of year you can get into a restaurant, you don't need to always have a reservation. You have an opportunity to explore the place when there's not a lot of tourists," says Niva. "Hotel rates are a lot better, and you'll also find that you're not competing with other visitors in the area."

Niva says some restaurants and shops close for a few weeks at the end of peak seasons.

"Big Sky has a very mature group of retailers and restaurants and they know how to manage that," says Niva.

Big Sky is slowly trying to become a town that people love to visit any time of year.

"One of the goals in Big Sky is to eventually become a year-round resort where we have people coming in throughout," says Niva.

For Fajardo, he's looking forward to the beginning of another great ski season.

"Hopefully busy. More people coming in for help with their boots, looking to buy new boots and more people skiing and lots of snow," says Fajardo.