From an economic perspective, Big Sky is negatively impacted by the many commuting workers who can’t find housing here. Who should be responsible for providing workforce housing in Big Sky?
Taylor Middleton, Big Sky, Mont
General Manager, Big Sky Resort
“An affordable housing solution is not going to be resolved at one moment with one silver bullet. The solution is going to be ongoing and it’s going to come from a combination of many things including public and private partners, land- use planning, creative funding, creative construction types and transportation.
Follow up: Are there any promising solutions in the works?
“Big Sky resort has housed seasonal workers since 1973. We currently house over 500 workers. We use a combination of dormitory housing, local condominiums and Gallatin Valley housing to do this. Big Sky Resort has also participated in initiatives in the last 20 years to subsidize year-round affordable housing. Through community partnerships, we’ve built 100 multi-bedroom condominiums, probably about 400 beds. If history is any indication of the future, there will be more housing solutions put on the market by Big Sky Resort and other employers.”
Lynne Anderson, Big Sky, Mont.
Co-owner, Country Market
“I don’t know that anybody should have to provide it. I do believe the community as the whole – if they want to be a community – needs to figure out a way to have it available to the workforce … What we’re doing is exporting all our wealth because [our workers] are coming here, they’re earning their wages, and they’re spending them somewhere else. We can’t build a vibrant community under those economic terms.”
Cheryl Ridgely, Bozeman, Mont.
Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer, Bozeman Health
“I can’t speak for the rest of the community, but as an employer of a hospital providing essential services to the community, making sure that staff find housing in close proximity to the hospital is a very valuable thing. We were able to find almost all of our employees in Big Sky, which is terrific, but we know that likely is not going to be the case moving forward [so} we purchased additional land [near Big Sky Medical Center] … in order to build housing units in the future.”