“If you don’t do it this year you’ll be one year older when you do.” – Warren Miller
The “tipping point,” as described in Malcolm Gladwell’s 2000 eponymous book, is a moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point at which things change forever. If you’re reading this letter and are part of southwest Montana this holiday season, welcome to a historic “tipping point.”
I’ve been lucky to be part of the Big Sky community for 20 years and have witnessed the investment and changes that have taken place in this special part of the world. Twenty years ago one of my mentors and friends Warren Miller enticed me to leave my comfortable Colorado setting to “come to Montana and be part of history,” referring to the new construction of ski areas in Big Sky. Warren always had an eye for seeking out incredible stories and opportunities, and he saw in Big Sky a raw, untapped landscaped poised to be discovered.
Fast-forward to today, and Big Sky is immersed in an exciting array of development including new hotels, lifts, base area expansions, Town Center development, hundreds of homes and record growth in Gallatin County. The “Best of Big Sky” section of this newspaper outlines examples of this exciting growth and the quality businesses leading the way. Congratulations to the winners in this incredibly competitive vote.
The billions of dollars in growth in our region provide incredible job opportunities and investment returns. The rapid development makes it critical for us to also unite in order to shape this region and community in a sustainable and responsible manner. And we have an advantage in 2019: We can learn lessons from the successes and mistakes that communities who have forged this path ahead of us have seen.
The time has come to set forth a vision for the open landscapes we must protect, the clean watersheds we must preserve for future generations, the sustainable practices we must embrace, and the community resources we need to help give depth and support to our community storyline.
The holiday season is a time to reflect, be grateful and set forth intentions for the New Year. This edition of Explore Big Sky is meant to help serve as a tool to not only celebrate community but also to lay forth ideas on how to support the people, ideas and causes that need your support.
The Guide to Giving in this newspaper is full of amazing charities working to protect Mother Nature, build responsible community and provide resources for those in need. In an era of such excess, we at Outlaw Partners believe it’s imperative to promote the causes that need your support. Please take time to review the Giving section, share it with family and friends, and give back to areas that inspire you.
I encourage you to help share a vision of Big Sky 20 years from today. Let’s create a community that developed responsibly, shared a landscape with the animals and created a supportive, loving community driven by passion. Let’s imagine a community that created state-of-the-art sustainability practices for energy consumption and worked to not be overrun by traffic. Let’s imagine a community where resources like the Gallatin River and Yellowstone National Park are treated with iconic importance and no worker in Big Sky is left without a warm bed and meal.
In 20 years, let’s be proud that we steered this tipping point in a direction that shaped a community that all of us, including Warren, would be proud of.
For those living here, we enjoy being your neighbor. For those considering a move to this area, we would welcome you to our amazing community. And for those visiting, Welcome to Big Sky country and enjoy your stay.
On behalf of my amazing team at Outlaw Partners (publisher of this newspaper), Happy Holidays and please shine your light in an impactful way.
-Eric Ladd, Publisher