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Top stories of 2022

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Looking back on the past 12 months—historic floods, new businesses starting while older ones offered farewells, land purchases, town growth and more—it was hard to narrow down our reporting into just 10 stories that felt representative of 2022. We selected these stories out of the top 50 of the year based on analytic data from our website. 

As our community reflects on the past year and the milestones it’s held, we hope we have reported on most of them and that this collection helps tell the stories that shaped Big Sky this year. We wish you the best in 2023.

The Editors

Wildlands Festival returns with Grammy winning lineup

April 29

In April, Outlaw Partners—the publisher of Explore Big Sky—announced the star-studded lineup for its August 2022 Wildlands Festival, which ultimately raised $150,000 for local and regional conservation efforts. This story previewed the event, which will return in 2023 with another impressive artist lineup. 

Lone Mountain Land Company acquires Town Center 

May 20

Our top story from the month of May came when local developer Lone Mountain Land Company finalized its purchase of the remaining land in Town Center. EBS released this story just three days after the news went public. LMLC has since released a first draft of development plans for Town Center, which can be found here.

Southwest Montana rivers at historic highs

June 13 

Historic flooding hit southwest Montana in mid June following an unusually wet spring and slow snowmelt. The Gallatin River near Big Sky was seen raging over house House Rock—a large boulder that rarely sees water splashing near its top at high water—sparking excitement that soon turned to dread as flooding in other parts of the state had more destructive consequences.

Under financial pressure, Bozeman Health lays off dozens of employees

August 8

Facing an “unprecedented crisis,” then-CEO of Bozeman Health John Hill reduced the nonprofit hospital’s staff by 53 full-time positions, including one staff member at the Big Sky Medical Center. Among several reasons for the move, Hill cited the high cost of filling labor gaps with contract laborers who cost upwards of four times as much as the hospital’s full-time clinicians.

Business in Big Sky sees ‘correction’ after pandemic rush

August 25

Following historic June flooding, Big Sky saw the raw number of visitors slow down in summer 2022 following two years of pandemic-boosted growth that sometimes strained businesses and services.

The melting roads of Yellowstone National Park

Sept. 23

The Caldera Chronicles is a favorite regional column of ours and this particular edition, for whatever reason, seems to have struck a chord with EBS readers.

Community Week: Future of Big Sky Post Office in jeopardy

Oct. 5

When the Big Sky Post Office first opened, the community was small enough that a third-party contractor, rather than the federal government, operated it. But the post office outgrew its space long ago, and the contract operator has taken the drastic measure of canceling its contract in a move to force the federal government to step up and expand the local post office.

Inn on the Gallatin closes café after a nearly 67-year run 

October 18 

Not everyone had the chance to grab a bite with Deanne and Steve Stalnaker, but just about everyone around Big Sky has driven past the iconic inn and café many times. Many loyal locals were disappointed when this classic breakfast spot closed, but the operation was becoming unsustainable for the decade-long owners amid labor shortages. 

Four elk killed in collisions on Highway 191 over the weekend of Nov. 5-6 

November 7 

As usual this fall, drivers and commuters between Big Sky and Bozeman faced the obstacle of avoiding elk and deer crossing U.S. Highway 191, especially in Gallatin Gateway where a major elk herd crosses the busy road. Many collisions occurred, but this early November weekend saw a peak of activity which spurred activists to demand variable message boards encouraging drivers to slow down and remain alert of the wildlife hazards.

The Last Lap: A legend’s early tracks and tram work  

November 17 

Since Big Sky Resort announced its plan to replace the iconic Lone Peak Tram, the prospect of Big Sky’s new era has captured attention. However, another reality looms in the hearts of long-time locals, workers and visitors: The winter of 2022-23 will write the final chapter for an iconic tram. “The Last Lap” is a three-part series commemorating the origins, glory years and final days of the Lone Peak Tram. Parts two and three will be published during the winter of 2022-23.

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