By Sarah Gianelli EBS Senior Editor

Big Sky Resort’s VP of business development seeks to build on area’s existing strengths. PHOTO BY CODY WHITMER

BIG SKY – On Jan. 22, Big Sky Resort hired a new vice president of business development, Annie Pinkert, and she’s since learned there’s a delicate balance here between catering to both locals and the visitors the resort is trying to attract.

The Chicago native brought a wealth of ski-town branding and marketing experience with her, most recently from Aspen, Colorado, where one of her projects was a re-branding campaign for the Limelight Hotel.

Her new position with Big Sky Resort entails driving demand for the resort at large, not solely lift ticket sales but also for lodging, food and beverage, activities and programs, as well as meeting the needs of the locals and destination guests.

“It works really well with my background and I feel blessed and fortunate to be working for a company like this,” said Pinkert, whose resume also includes working as a global markets reporter for Bloomberg, and for Klimton Hotels & Restaurants, as a regional director of digital marketing.

“I think what’s so fascinating about coming to Big Sky Resort at this point in its history is that it’s reached a point of no return and is headed into completely uncharted terrain,” she said of the ski area’s recent growth. “Perhaps that’s its legacy. But how do we come together as a community and cater to this new level of demand and satisfy it in a healthy and uniquely Big Sky way?”

Pinkert has some ideas—namely, to not lose sight of the locals who make Big Sky what it is.

“Which we will never do,” she said. “Because they embody the personality and soul of Big Sky.”

At the same time, part of the “Big Sky 2025” plan is to give out of state visitors the food and beverage, and entertainment options they are looking for in a world-class resort.

“I think the Big Sky brand as a community and a resort is most successful when it reflects the characteristics of Lone Peak,” she said. “The hardcore characteristics of the terrain, its rawness and pristine nature. It’s an independence of spirit and character that has made it what it is.”

She said that growth is inevitable and the challenge is to manage it in a sustainable and healthy way.

“This place has something you can’t quantify,” she added. “There’s a certain magic to it that I’ve never experienced anywhere else, and it’s success is 100 percent because of the people who’ve invested their lives in making this place a destination.”