EBS STAFF

Big Sky Resort is gearing up to open Thanksgiving Day—as it has 28 of the last 30 years—even though unseasonably warm temperatures the first two weeks of November worked against considerable precipitation that graced the Northern Rockies in October.

Big Sky Resort’s Public Relations Manager Chelsi Moy told EBS on Nov. 17 that she’s optimistic the mountain would open on schedule and that the ski area’s snow guns are running.

“We have double-digit [snow] cats ready to rock and roll,” Moy said. “There was enough snow that we could start grooming as of [Nov. 16].”

Five inches of snow fell in The Bowl on Nov. 16, and another 4-plus inches accumulated on Nov. 17.

Moy pointed out that the mountain received double the average precipitation during October. “If the precipitation continues the way it has been, then that’s going to turn into snow—and that’s a really encouraging forecast going into the entire season,” Moy said.

The Northern Rockies are expected to benefit from above-average precipitation this winter due to a weak La Nina cycle, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

On opening day, the resort will pass out hot chocolate, coffee and swag at the base of Swiftcurrent chairlift.

Under a new “yielded ticket system” being implemented this winter, people who purchase lift tickets early will snag the best prices. “The earlier you buy, the greater the discount you get [and] anytime you buy your tickets online, you’ll get a discount,” Moy said.

Window rates will also change depending on the time of year and demand. Skiers and riders can purchase an adult full-day ticket for $89 during the early season; that rate will increase to $129 during busy holiday stretches like President’s Day weekend.