By Doug Hare EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – The Wilson Hotel, Big Sky Town Center’s first branded hotel, will have a soft opening on May 30 allowing the first patrons to stay at the brand new Marriott Residence Inn. The hotel will employ close to 50 employees, excluding retail and future restaurant employees.
Lone Mountain Land Company, a development branch of CrossHarbor Capital Partners, acted as the project developer for both the hotel and the adjacent Plaza Lofts building, buying the land from the Simkins family for projects that align with the Town Center vision, and abiding by architectural guidelines designed to create continuity in the Town Center aesthetic.
The Wilson is also slated to host a grand opening celebration on June 21, in concert with the mixed-use Plaza Lofts building, where residents have already moved in upstairs. The commercial tenants of the Plaza Lofts, the Blue Buddha Sushi Lounge and Sky Boutique, plan to open in the month June as well, with The Barrel Room, a winery by Corx in Bozeman, slated for a midsummer opening.
“The soft opening will allow our team to ease into being fully operational,” said Bayard Dominick, vice president of planning and development for Lone Mountain Land Company. Dominick, who has been involved with the hotel buildout project since 2014, expects for occupancy rates for the 129 units to ramp up and remain high throughout the summer months.
“We feel like this is a really momentous moment for the evolution of Town Center—to have a signature hotel on the plaza in downtown open and operating,” said Dominick. “We think this is going to change the dynamic of visitation to Big Sky. With the Marriott brand, we expect to bring a lot of new visitors to town and create more foot traffic of tourists and pedestrians as well as capturing a bigger slice of Yellowstone Park visitors.”
The Town Center Plaza, which was completed this fall, will be the new home of the summer farmers market as well as concerts and other events. The restaurant spaces in both the Wilson and the Plaza Lofts building will interface with the plaza with patio seating this summer.
Construction might be finishing up with these two projects, but there are no signs of construction slowing down in Town Center. Across the street directly south of The Wilson, another LMLC project is in the beginning phases of buildout. The building will be similar to the 47 Town Center Avenue building that houses Lotus Pad, with apartments—three- and four-bedroom units—on the second and third floors and a ground floor zoned for retail and restaurant space.