Even before the hotel rooms are vacant and the ski lifts stop spinning, seasoned Big Sky residents feel the incoming shoulder season like a sixth sense.
First comes celebration. Closing weekend at Big Sky is always a riotous two days of spring skiing, PBR toasts and goggle tans.
Then comes rest, and perhaps retreat. The overtime adrenaline that fuels us during tourist season drops, and the fatigue of four blurry months hits with the force of spring runoff on the Gallatin. Some of us fall into a brief hibernation, while others find reprieve on beaches or in desert canyons.
Running a resort town is no small feat and it truly takes a village. You all make the wheels turn on this machine, and we’re grateful for you.
All winter, the Big Sky community sees countless faces come and go. We bag their groceries, bump their chairs, clean their bathrooms and cook their food. And then they leave. Such is the cycle of tourism. But what remains is our community—our neighbors. Whether it be a pandemic or simply another wild winter in Big Sky, we’re truly all in this together.
Recent events organized and celebrated by locals reminded us of this.
Erik Morrison this year revived the Big Sky Shootout, a film and photo festival featuring locally made content shot at Big Sky Resort in the spring over a two-week period (p. 12). Spectators packed into the Wilson Hotel for three Shootout showings on April 16, hooting and hollering as familiar faces from the tram line slashed powder turns and made light of dirtbag culture on screen.
The following day in the backcountry, Kirby Grubaugh’s Beehive Basin Banked Slalom brought more than 50 snowboarders out to race and celebrate their community (p. 21).
These end-of-season events are so important because they give us time to pause and appreciate one another and give ourselves a pat on the back for another season well worked.
At the end of the day, you all are what make Big Sky so special. Thanks for your work, and here’s to another great season behind us and another ahead.
–The EBS Team