By Doug Hare EBS Staff

BIG SKY – An array of new improvements at Big Sky Resort will make accessing the “Biggest Skiing in America” even easier this year when the lifts start spinning Thanksgiving Day.

This season will see the addition of three new gladed runs: OxBow, PB&J Way and Wild Bill. Oxbow is accessible from the North Summit Snowfield; PB&J is located off Horseshoe on the mountain’s north side, and Wild Bill runs parallel to Swift Current chairlift.

The main arterial from the Madison Base Area back to the Mountain Village, Fast Lane, has been more than doubled in width, which will make traversing back to the Mountain Village from the north side of the mountain both easier and safer.

For the novice crowd, three new magic carpet lifts have been installed at the Mountain Village Base Area and one at the Madison Base Area. One of the conveyor belts is encased in a blue canopy to help protect riders from the elements. Crews have also reconfigured the base area to allow easier transition from one carpet to the next, eventually aiding a trouble-free transition to a chairlift.

Big Sky Resort will operate a new chairlift in the Ulery’s Lake area called Stagecoach. The double chairlift will service skiers staying in the real estate area near and unload along Peaks View Drive with an easy ski-out to Derringer or Six Shooter lifts, bringing the total numbers of lifts at Big Sky to 36.

For those who like to ride the Tram, the transition into the Liberty Bowl area has been smoothed out with the creation of Liberty Traverse, which is located at the top of Lone Peak. “It will allow easier access from the exit of the Tram into the south-facing slopes near Liberty Bowl,” Big Sky Resort Public Relations Manager Chelsi Moy said.

Slopeside amenities on the mountain have increased as well. During the offseason, there was a complete renovation of the Big Sky Sports Demo Center which, following last year’s renovation of the Big Sky Sports rental shop, will further enhance flow and access for customers renting equipment.

Also new this year, Big Sky Resort is adding rental delivery services for select residences. Delivery services will fit guests with equipment on appointment, which should slim down lines in rental shops as well.

Improvements made during the offseason are part of Boyne Resorts’ Big Sky 2025 plan, a $150 million road map for capital investment to make Lone Peak “the American Alp.” Boyne aims to make Big Sky a ski destination known for world-class amenities and the home of the most high-speed, high-tech lift network in North America.

A number of snowstorms have given Lone Peak a 20-inch base at mid-mountain with 24 inches on the upper mountain. Nov. 23 will hopefully see much of Big Sky Resort’s 5,800 skiable acres and 300 named runs open for business.

And, finally, Big Sky will be open for an additional week. In early September the resort announced that it’s moved its 2018 closing date from April 15 to April 22, adding an additional week of skiing at the tail end of the season.