Explore Big Sky contacted all of the organizations requesting resort tax funding for the 2014/15 allocations cycle, asking them to explain in 50 words or less why their project or work will benefit the Big Sky community. Below are answers from those that responded by our deadline.

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Warren Miller Performing Arts Center

Amount requested: $75,000
As Big Sky’s premier venue for evening cultural activities, the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center provides a world-class option for full-time residents and visitors through its winter program of events. With resort tax funding, WMPAC can present these performances with affordable ticket prices for the entire community.

Gallatin/Big Sky Weed Committee

Amount requested: $45,000

Noxious weeds negatively impact wildlife, fisheries, water quality and property values. Because many local economic drivers are linked to a healthy and sustainable ecosystem, the committee’s collaborative efforts benefit the entire community. The committee has directly assisted 558 landowners, representing 5,528 acres.

Women In Action

Amount requested: $30,000
Women In Action is requesting funding for its Community Counseling and Substance Abuse Counseling programs, which address the issue of mental health and impact the overall wellbeing of the Big Sky community. These are the only counseling services or programs of this kind provided in our area.

Gallatin Valley Snowmobile Association

Amount requested: $ 20,000
GVSA is requesting funding for a second and possibly third weekly trail grooming of Buck Ridge. This project keeps the trails in good condition, thus providing safe riding and drawing more riders to the area. This project generates tax dollars far beyond the requested amount.

Big Sky Community Corp.

Amount requested: $ 343,220.37

Completion of design work for pedestrian tunnel and safe trail to park: $137,075

Phase two South Fork trails: $15,000

Landscaping in the park: $22,000

Big Sky Natural Resource Council: $15,000

New Signage for parks and trails: $30,000

Operating/Maintenance: $124,145.37

As the number of residents and tourists in Big Sky grows, so has the importance of our multi-use park and trails system. These resources complement our active community, benefiting people of all ages, physical abilities and economic standing. Recreational sports, youth camps, the historic Crail Ranch and the Natural Resource Council also benefit from our application and fill critical niches in the community. BSCC has matched $55,000 of its own fundraising dollars for these projects.

Big Sky Trails, Recreation and Parks District

Amount requested: $5,000

The Big Sky Trails, Recreation and Parks District seeks access to funding sources for trails and park projects that may not be available to other entities in Big Sky, given its status as a governmental organization.

Big Sky Ski Education Foundation

Amount requested: $38,715

BSSEF hosts multiple events each year with the support of Big Sky Resort. Each event brings in hundreds of athletes, their families and others to the community, which increases revenue for local businesses. Resort tax allows us to host these events by providing funds to maintain and improve equipment.

Madison Conservation District

Amount requested: $2,000
The Jack Creek Water Quality Monitoring Project works to balance protection of our natural surroundings with economic growth. It collects and maintains unbiased, scientific data to monitor the watershed flowing west from Big Sky. Sampling sites provide baseline water quality data from the watershed’s high elevations to the confluence with the Madison River. This data helps monitor the effects of human activities on the landscape. Seven of the sites are within the Resort Tax Area boundary.

Big Sky Fire Department

Amount requested: $382,000

This request will support the department’s operations and assist local taxpayers by deflecting some of the financial impact of visitors on the overall budget. Roughly 67 percent of Big Sky Fire’s emergency incidents involve non-residents, and resort tax support, coupled with ambulance services billing, shifts that burden away from property tax collections.

Blue Water Task Force

Amount requested: $97,660

The BWTF is requesting funding for all four of its programs – Community Education, Water Quality Monitoring, Watershed Assessment and Watershed Restoration – with an emphasis on the Watershed Restoration program, as the organization transitions its focus from water monitoring to improving water quality to meet state standards and restoring near-stream habitat.

Big Sky Skating and Hockey Association

Amount requested: $27,931

Until the BSSHA came into existence, Big Sky was one of the few major ski resort communities without an ice rink. BSSHA’s seasonal ice arena and programming adds an important attraction and activity for both residents and visitors. Without resort tax, funding the rink could not continue.

Big Sky Chamber of Commerce

Amount requested: $624,590

The chamber is looking to improve wayfinding in the Big Sky area, by using resort tax funds to complete the lighting project and install seven more signs to point visitors in the right direction. It will also use funds for gateway amenities, operational costs, burying utility lines, and to implement phase two of the Big Sky housing plan.

Visit Big Sky

Amount requested: $584,000

VBS plans to use resort tax funding to increase visitation to Big Sky. This includes the cost of enhancing its website, conducting a year round marketing campaign, and costs associated with reaching out to various media organizations in feeder markets where consumer advertising is cost prohibitive.

Recreation Facility Enhancement

Amount requested: $560,000

A 60,000-sqare-foot recreation center and a 2,500-seat covered outdoor sports arena will act as an anchor for Big Sky residents and guests while also drawing significant tourism for the region, providing job creation, revenue and tax collection for years to come. The requested funding will be utilized to hire a program director, further architecture, land planning and purchase, and marketing for fundraising efforts.