Sam Byrne delivers keynote address

By Joseph T. O’Connor Explore Big Sky Managing Editor

BIG SKY – The Big Sky Chamber of Commerce held its 17th annual dinner and awards ceremony at a brimming Buck’s T-4 Lodge on June 26. Guest speaker Sam Byrne, CrossHarbor Capital Partners’ Managing Partner, delivered an update on area real estate and development and David O’Connor, chairman for the chamber and co-owner of Buck’s, presented three local businesses with awards in front of more than 200 attendees.

Business of the Year went to the Gallatin Riverhouse Grill, Business Person of the Year was awarded to Lynne Anderson of the Country Market, and Mike Scholz, co-owner of Buck’s, won the Chet Huntley Lifetime Achievement award.

“If we want to achieve [success],” O’Connor said in his opening speech, “We must do it together.”

The “Better Together” theme, first introduced by the Big Sky Resort Tax Board in 2013, resonated throughout the evening. A slide accompanying Byrne’s presentation echoed the theme. “We have a commitment tobyrne Big Sky and its overall success,” said Byrne, referring to CrossHarbor, principal owners of the Yellowstone Club.

The Y.C. currently has $270 million in active construction, Byrne noted.

It was Byrne’s first interaction with the Big Sky community since the Boston-based investment firm purchased the Y.C. in 2009. Last summer, CrossHarbor and Boyne Resorts – owners of Big Sky Resort – closed on the purchase of the Club at Spanish Peaks, now called the Spanish Peaks Mountain Club. Then in October, Crossharbor and Boyne announced the purchase of Moonlight Basin, which the partners rolled into Big Sky Resort.

The closemouthed approach CrossHarbor has taken with the Big Sky community of late spawned from a desire to deliver on its promises, Byrne said, something Y.C. founder and former owner Tim Blixseth was not able to accomplish. “We want to be transparent to the community,” Byrne said.

CrossHarbor plans to consolidate all real estate in the Big Sky area, and recently opened an office in Big Sky called Lone Mountain Land Company, and has been “quietly looking for land for workforce housing,” Byrne said.

Phone calls to Sam Byrne for comment were not immediately returned.