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Wilson Hotel will help fulfill Town Center vision

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By Bay Stephens EBS Staff Writer

BIG SKY – The Wilson Hotel, Big Sky Town Center’s first branded hotel, is on schedule for a grand opening June and will dramatically increase lodging options in the meadow. It will also bring an additional restaurant and retailers to further enliven Big Sky’s burgeoning downtown area.

The Wilson will fill a void of lodging in Big Sky’s meadow, according to Bill Simkins of Simkins Holdings, LLC, the master developer of Town Center.

“It’s been a real missing element in the meadow area, not having a full-service hotel,” Simkins said. “We’re really looking forward to its completion.”

Lone Mountain Land Company—a development branch of CrossHarbor Capital Partners—developed the hotel in collaboration with the Simkins Family, along with several other buildings in Town Center, and plays an integral role in realizing a vision for Town Center that’s been nearly 20 years in the making.

As a Marriot Residence Inn, each of the 129 rooms will have a kitchenette, giving vacationers the option to eat in, especially during extended stays of four to seven nights that is common for ski trips. Eight of the dedicated guest parking spots will be equipped with Tesla Superchargers.

A high porte-cochere above the hotel’s main entrance will accommodate large tour busses en route to Yellowstone National Park and a shuttle service will deliver guests to the slopes and back. The building features a ski storage room, a wax and tuning room, fitness center, arcade and bike storage for guests.

Bayard Dominick stands in the lobby of the Wilson Hotel overlooking the pool deck which will have bar service and a clear view of Lone Mountain.

The number of employees hired to run the hotel will be 40 to 50, excluding the restaurant and retail, Dominick said. LMLC is working on workforce housing solutions but they are not ready to announce a plan yet.

The lobby windows will afford a direct view of Lone Mountain over an outdoor pool, which will be open year-round and have a heated pool deck and barbecue area, while a sliding window will grant access to the lobby bar adjacent to the deck. Dominick said the pool will serve both hotel guests and locals.

“We look forward to having a lot of locals-friendly activities and events here to draw people in and make this a real community gathering place,” he said.

Free breakfast is included for guests and will be integrated into the lobby area, overflowing into the 3,000-square-foot event space during peak visitation times of year. The events room, capable of holding 300 people and dividing into two distinct spaces, has already been booked for two weddings. Dominick said they would like to use the space for events such as ski team banquets and community fundraisers.

Bayard Dominick (right) tells writer Bay Stephens about how the hotel and Town Center Plaza will work together for events and the summer Farmers Market.

On the hotel’s south side, a 5,000-square-foot restaurant space will combine with two retail spaces of 1,800 and 4,000 square feet to form the commercial space. Dominick said LMLC is close to finalizing leases with tenants but are not yet ready to announce occupants.

This commercial space integrates into the Town Center Plaza completed this fall, which will be the new home of the summer Farmers Market as well as concerts and myriad other events. The hotel provides ATM access and public restrooms sized for events in the plaza.

“They’ve done an amazing job developing the plaza,” Dominick said of Big Sky Town Center. “We think this is going to become a real critical hub of Big Sky and the amount they’ve invested here is really a testament to that.”

Both Dominick and Simkins agree that overall, the Wilson will breathe life into Town Center and Big Sky as a whole.

“I think it’s going to be real transformative, a gamechanger, because you’re going to have a lot of visitors coming in and that will really spur on a lot more growth for our merchants,” Simkins said.

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