It’s 8 p.m. on the Monday before Christmas and the bags and boxes containing hundreds of presents for the annual Rotary Giving Tree are piled up and being sorted and prepped for their big day. The giving tree, a longstanding tradition for the Rotary Club of Big Sky, is a great example of volunteer community spirit at its best. Santa answers the call every year from letters requesting everything from socks and jackets to watches, games and even a giant teddy bear with a red bow. Big Sky community members double as Santa’s elves helping the big man with everything from wrapping to delivering presents.

One of the many perks of publishing the Explore Big Sky newspaper is having a backstage pass to the community of Big Sky. I have the opportunity to witness the inner workings of the community, hear about the struggles, witness the celebrations and meet the cast of characters who help make up our little mountain village. Covering the news and publishing the community newspaper is a demanding but rewarding business when you see each edition go to print and watch important stories gain traction, stir conversation and effect change. Our hardworking team is proud to be a voice for Big Sky and grateful for the support from our advertisers and readers.

Looking back at 2018, I am pleased with the progress of the Big Sky community. Without a formal government, we as Big Sky residents are left to fend for ourselves on many important issues ranging from traffic, public safety, open space, growth and affordable housing to name a few. This past year our community rallied together on many issues and made progress from obtaining grants for critical highway turn lanes to opening conversations about sustainability to hosting world class events and developing a downtown main street that will host generations to come.

For those that are visiting our community for the holidays, welcome to Big Sky Country! We are grateful to have you visiting Big Sky and proud to share this slice of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with you, your families and friends. Big Sky Resort is one of the finest destination ski locales in the world and with the additions of new chairlifts, runs and off-slope amenities, we are hopeful you enjoy your vacation here.

As with any town experiencing rapid growth we have challenges ahead to make sure we properly balance growth with sustainability, houses with open space, work and screen time with quiet moments spent in the seclusion of nature. My hope for the holidays is that everyone has a moment to take pause and be in awe of what surrounds us. The fact that we have the opportunity to coexist in this slice of heaven with moose, elk, buffalo, soaring snow-covered peaks and crystal-clear streams is truly a miracle. Let’s hope that for the new year we all work together to help make our planet, communities and footprint on the planet kinder and gentler.

The Rotary Giving Tree is a great example and model of how working together and selfless acts can make the world a better place.

Happy Holidays from the Outlaw Partners team!

Eric Ladd
EBS Publisher