Big Sky’s Dr. Jeff Saad sells Montana Chiropractic after 22 years
By Jack Reaney ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Cracking backs and offering non-invasive care for more than two decades, Dr. Jeff Saad has handed the keys to the replacement he’s been looking for.
On July 28, Saad walked into his chiropractic clinic carrying a thick manilla folder. He placed it down on the counter manned by Dr. David Dalgardno, fresh out of an appointment and a few pen-strokes away from owning the place.
After seven years practicing in Vail, Colo., Saad opened up shop in 2001 behind Milkies in the Westfork Meadow. A few years later, he moved Montana Chiropractic and Sports Medicine to its current location behind Alberto’s Mexican Cuisine—back then, it was a lonely building on the frontier of Town Center and Saad’s window overlooked sagebrush. Now, of course, his practice overlooks Len Hill Park, BASE, condominiums and the parking lot behind Town Center Avenue. Saad said that while some locals don’t like seeing Big Sky grow, it’s been fun for him. The growth helped him build his business, one which saw patients ranging from active community members to ski industry legend Warren Miller.
But with family happenings—including Saad’s only child, Ben, graduating from Lone Peak High School and heading for Division I athletics at Mount St. Mary’s University—Jeff saw it as a natural time to transition out.
“It was time for me to do other things that life has to offer… It’s weird for me. It still hasn’t really set in,” Saad said on retirement.
While on the hunt for a replacement, Saad eventually connected with Dr. David Dalgardno who began onboarding in Big Sky on June 6.
“Dude, this is the guy,” Saad said. “I can’t turn over a 20-year practice to someone who can’t get it done.”
Saad said most patients have understood the transition, and some even expected his retirement.
Dalgardno added, “The patients all have had such a great, such a long-standing relationship with Jeff—that they kind of were in that rhythm of understanding that [retirement] was happening anyway… They’re all so happy for Jeff, and really excited that he finally picked somebody who would carry on the mantle. And I’m really happy to be that guy.”
Catch the master and apprentice together and you might see why the transition makes sense—their interview with EBS was punctuated by hilarious banter. They appear to be on the same wavelength.
Dalgardno said he’s not super uptight with patients, and he takes pride in not wearing a white jacket. He’s been telling patients he’s a lot like Jeff.
“Jeff has been so informal with patients, and that’s my method as well,” Dalgardno said.
Since Dalgardno opened his practice in 2017, Windy Ridge Chiropractic in Four Corners, he’s overlapped with a few of Saad’s clients—this new gig isn’t completely new. He’ll keep working part-time in Four Corners as he transitions into Big Sky, and he said that balance should keep him busy during Big Sky’s slower seasons.
Saad pointed out that Big Sky’s seasonal ebb and flow makes for an interesting work-life balance.
“When it’s on, it’s on… So you just get used to those roller-coaster rides,” Saad said.
Dalgardno, who described himself as a “ski junkie” from Washington, said he always wanted to work in a resort town.
“I used to play video games of this place,” he said of Big Sky. “And now I get to be a chiropractor here.”
Dalgardno said he does additional therapy for soft tissue injuries, including dry needle therapy, cupping and Graston therapy. He focuses on getting athletes and active folks back out to the things they love.
“This is a doers’ town,” he said.
Dalgardno worked as a team doctor for the Bozeman Icedogs semi-professional hockey team, and said he brings a similar intensity and focus on fast solutions to his work as a chiropractor.
“My idea is less like spa and wellness, and more like racecar garage,” he said.
“Dave does a lot more than I do, so it’s great all the way around,” Saad said. “He’s mildly like me and does a lot more than I did, so that’s better for everybody.”