BIG SKY RESORT – Skier visits were up 15 percent over the holidays this year at Big Sky Resort, beating out last years’ record-breaking holiday season. Dec. 29, 2013 was the busiest ski day in the resort’s history, with more than 7,500 skiers on the mountain, and five days over the holidays surpassed the 7,000 skier visit mark.

The resort credits Mother Nature, who “did her part in blanketing the resort with 50 inches of new snow over the two week holiday period,” according to a press release.

Additionally, says Big Sky Director of Sales and Marketing Brandon Bang, having the two resorts combined boosted interest. “Skiing all of this terrain under a single lift ticket or season pass has opened the gates for skier choices and convenience.”

Bang noted that the resort’s community partners – restaurants, retail and lodging – also reported significant increases over previous holiday seasons, many up 15 percent or more.

“The new era of The Biggest Skiing in America is off to a tremendous start,” Bang said.

In October, Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin were integrated into one resort linking 5,750 acres of skiing terrain under a single lift ticket. The “Biggest Skiing in America” product offers 4,350 vertical feet, 22 aerial lifts, seven surface lifts and a tram to the summit of 11,166 foot Lone Mountain.

Opening up all 5,750 acres gave many guests the opportunity to discover new acreage they may not have been accessible to them in the past, said Sheila Chapman, Big Sky Resort’s Public Relations Manager. It also disbursed skiers and snowboarders over the mountain, she said, helping Big Sky maintain the uncrowded experience its known for.

These calculations are based on past Moonlight Basin Resort numbers and those of the traditional Big Sky Resort reporting.