Big Sky, big issues
Your voice matters!
The survey out now from EBS is an important instrument to gauge where our community stands on important issues in this rapidly growing area. From responsible development to parks and trails, knowing the community’s hot topics is important for everyone.
We want to report on issues that speak to you, on the important topics the community wants to know about. This survey better enables us to do so.
Here is your chance to tell us how you feel, what concerns you, and what you want to see from community leaders as well as us here at EBS. Here is your voice.
Oh, and survey participants will be entered into a drawing to win a choice of $100 gift cards from either Ozssage Spa or The Corral restaurant.
Visit surveymonkey.com/r/bigskybigissues to complete the survey.
Resort tax applications due May 2
Applications for Big Sky Resort Area District tax appropriations are due Monday, May 2, by 3 p.m. in the BSRAD office located in Town Center at 11 Lone Peak Drive, Suite 204.
Last year, $5.1 million in resort tax funds were approved for area organizations, including rollover requests from the previous year, and $1.3 million approved for the resort tax sinking fund.
The board will announce the total amount of resort tax funds to be appropriated this year at the Q-and-A for applicants on June 6, held at 1 p.m. in the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center.
Through February – the most recent data available as of EBS press time – the district had collected $3,057,308 since fiscal year 2016 began in July. That’s an 8 percent increase over fiscal year 2015 during the same period.
The next BSRAD board meeting is Wednesday, May 4 at 9 a.m., and the appropriations meeting will be held Monday, June 20, at 6 p.m. in the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center.
Yellowstone tourism creates $638.6 million in economic benefits
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
A new National Park Service report shows that 4.1 million visits to Yellowstone National Park in 2015 totaled $493.6 million in spending in communities near the park. That spending supported 7,737 jobs in the area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $638.6 million.
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the Park Service. The report shows $16.9 billion of direct spending by 307.2 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 295,000 jobs nationally; 252,000 of those jobs are found in gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $32 billion.
According to the 2015 report, 31.1 percent of park visitor spending was for lodging, followed by food and beverages at 20.2 percent, then gas and oil at 11.8 percent. Admissions and fees accounted for 10.2 percent of visitor spending, and souvenirs and other expenses made up 9.8 percent.
This year, report authors produced an interactive tool that allows users to explore current year visitor spending, jobs, and labor income, among other data. Users can also view year-by-year trend data.
The interactive tool and report are available on the NPS Social Science Program website at go.nps.gov/vse. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
Shred unwanted documents at chamber’s second annual event
BIG SKY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
BIG SKY – The Big Sky Chamber of Commerce is hosting its second annual End of Season Shred Party on May 7, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members of the community are encouraged to stop by the Big Sky and Greater Yellowstone Welcome Center to safely and securely get rid of their unwanted documents.
Now that we’re at the end of another busy winter season, it’s time for spring cleaning, and this community event is the perfect time to de-clutter your office and home. Take advantage of the Shred Party to destroy tax forms, financial records, confidential documents, unwanted papers, or personal information. All shredded paper will be recycled.
Big Sky Western Bank will bring a grill and the Rotary Club of Big Sky will provide food and refreshments so everyone can enjoy lunch while they get rid of documents and network with community members. Republic Services will provide a $200 credit to the business that shreds the most paper – in 2015, nearly 2.5 tons of paper was shredded at the inaugural event.
For more information about the 2016 End of Season Shred Party, contact Marci Lewandowski at the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce at (406) 995-3000, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big Sky represented at international field hockey tournament
Melissa Emery traveled halfway around the world to compete at the 2016 Hockey Masters World Cup from March 28 to April 6, representing the U.S. on the age 40-plus masters field hockey team in Canberra, Australia.
Emery set up a GoFundMe site to help defray the travel and tournament expenses. The server and front of house manager at Olive B’s restaurant raised over $1,600 thanks in large part to the generosity of the community, she said, and posters her friend Anna Shipley hung up in local businesses. In addition, Big Sky resident Kathryn Martin donated airline mileage to buy Emery’s flight home from Sydney.
“I had people just walk in and leave me money anonymously at Olive B’s. It was pretty incredible,” Emery said. “Everybody was saying, ‘We just want you to go.’”
After playing collegiate field hockey at the University of Southern Maine, Emery played in a summer league for three years with the U.S. national team. This winter she tuned up for Australia with tournaments in California over Thanksgiving and in Phoenix in January.
In Canberra, she was competing against teams from Australia, New Zealand, Wales and England, and her squad had never played together until the tournament. While they ended fifth out of sixth, Emery said that her team started to mesh toward the end of week and closed the tournament with a win.
Big Sky local named to state tourism board
Gov. Steve Bullock on April 6 appointed Big Sky’s Katie Grice to the Tourism Advisory Council for the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development.
Grice will join Big Sky Resort’s brand manager Glenniss Indreland as a representative of the Yellowstone Country Region. Indreland is vice chair of the 14-member board that includes tourism professionals from around the state.
Since September 2014, Grice has been an associate market manager for Expedia Lodging Partner Services. Prior to that she worked for the resort as a national sales manager and has lived in Big Sky for nine years. With TAC’s focus on how state-lodging tax is spent on tourism projects, Grice says her experience with Expedia should be an asset to the board.
She says the purpose of the council is to advise the Department of Commerce on how to bring more tourism dollars into the state, and work with convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs) on their marketing plans. Grice’s first TAC meeting was days after her appointment, on April 10 in Kalispell.
“It’s still fairly new, so I’m just excited to learn and grow from this experience,” she said. “I’m excited to go to work, really.”