BASE to celebrate one year with free classes and contests
By Jack Reaney STAFF WRITER
On Monday, March 13, BASE will host a free community event to celebrate one year of ‘Big Adventures, Safe Environment.’
From 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., staff instructors are prepared to teach free classes in yoga, spin, pickleball and primal movement. The event also includes a half-court shot challenge in the gym, a climbing wall challenge for kids and adults, and a raffle for an annual BASE pass, awarded to one adult, worth $600.
“We want everybody here,” BASE director Madeleine Feher told EBS. “We really want to showcase the facility and thank the community for making BASE the success that it has been. It’s been an outstanding year… The community buy-in has been amazing.”
According to a press release, BASE saw 51,830 visits in its first year. Operated by the Big Sky Community Organization, CEO Whitney Montgomery called it “a watershed moment” for the community behind BSCO’s goal of providing year-round recreation. The release also stated, “with over half of the community involved in BASE programming, the goal is to showcase all BASE has to offer to those who haven’t been into the facility, while also thanking our loyal passholders.”
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the success of this past year than opening our doors to the community,” Feher stated. “BASE was built by the community for the community. The community is at the center of all we do.”
Feher told EBS that the center’s goal is to provide not just leagues, teams and fitness, but community-building events.
“For example, we did a community building wellness-oriented line dancing class,” she said. “We had record-breaking numbers for that class. It was at the right time, and it brought in an amazing group of community members.”
In its first year, BASE staff learned more about what draws people in, Feher added.
For the upcoming year, BASE will not increase pass prices—with the exception of one offering. The current pricing covers 60% of operating costs, with the remainder met through Resort Tax funding and philanthropic support.
“We learned a lot over this past year in terms of what works and what doesn’t in our facility,” Feher stated. “Our team has listened to the feedback in the community and will be offering a few key changes to our passes for those renewing in March. I’m proud that the prices are not increasing for all but one pass… In a ski town where everything carries a higher cost for local residents, we are proud of being able to offer such a low price point for our annual passes.”
The only increase in pass pricing affects the youth pass, which will increase by $5 per month and tighten the age category from 3- to 22-year-olds, to 12- to 18-year-olds.
Feher explained that despite BASE policy stating that children under 13 must be supervised, many pass-holding children were dropped off at BASE which created safety hazards and in some cases, damaged equipment.
“There were too many loose ends,” Feher said. Kids were—and still are—allowed to be unsupervised while participating in a program, but many ran free.
The senior aged pass decreased by $5 per month, in an effort to attract a wider share of Big Sky elders, and visitor/day passes also increased to help offset the cost of keeping community passes affordable, Feher said.
BASE also discounts meeting spaces by 50% for nonprofits, mostly to cover costs of setup and cleaning, Feher said.
About her team of BASE staff, Feher said, “they are amazing. They make this facility, this community center what it is… They are engaged, caring individuals. They are behind the mission we are trying to achieve. We have a lot of fun doing what we do.”