By Gabrielle Gasser ASSOCIATE EDITOR
BIG SKY – As part of its May acquisition of the remaining land in the Town Center from the Simkins Family, local developer Lone Mountain Land Company this year assumed management of the Town Center Owners Association. John Bowersox started as community manager for the TCOA in July with a focus on maintaining the major local hub as well as managing it for the growth to come.
In his new position Bowersox, who previously worked as the assistant general manager of Buck’s T-4, will lead TCOA’s efforts in maintenance including landscaping and snow removal as well as hosting events and marketing TCOA businesses. With the support of media and events contractor Erik Morrison and his company, Love Street Media, TCOA will also continue hosting its Big Sky traditions including the weekly farmers market in the summer, the Christmas Stroll and Haunted Peaks Festival around Halloween.
“One of my biggest goals in the new role is to maintain what Town Center is, what it’s become and what it could be,” Bowersox said. “It’s the social, cultural hub of Big Sky and to be able to maintain…the landscaping, the streets, parking lots, homes, all of that kind of stuff, to the level that it should be to continue to make Big Sky a great place to live, work, etc.”
While LMLC Managing Director Matt Kidd told EBS at the time of the acquisition that nothing specific was planned for the future of Town Center, he said the developer envisions a mix of residential, commercial, hospitality, and parks and trails development. Community-based housing will be a focus, according to Kidd, including apartments, townhouses and single-family homes. The other focus for LMLC, Kidd said, will be continuing to develop Town Center as a community hub that helps to promote local businesses and stabilizes shoulder seasons.
In addition to managing TCOA, Bowersox also manages the Spanish Peaks Owners Association which includes the Inspiration Point sub-association and he will be managing some employee housing developments as well. He brings several years of managerial experience in the hospitality industry to his new role and said that the transition to heading up owners associations is a welcome change.
As Bowersox settles into his new role, he said he’s received guidance from Ben Holst, director of property management at LMLC, who has plenty of association management experience and has helped make the transition smoother.
Andrew Schreiner, co-owner of Grizzly Outfitters, remembers when the Town Center was largely sage brush fields and Greg Iszler, site services contractor with Rocky Mountain Townworks, who was with TCOA since day one, took care of snow removal with his four-wheeler. A member of TCOA, Grizzly has been in its location off Ousel Falls Road since 2005 and Schreiner has watched the Town Center and the owners association grow over the years.
“[TCOA has] been great for us throughout all the years,” Schreiner said. “…They have really supported the community of Big Sky because they’ve built what people want to see when they come to a ski resort. Bringing in more businesses and bringing in more activities and shopping and things for people to do is really important for all the businesses and Big Sky to be successful.”
Now, Schreiner said he has seen visitation and demand for services and activities in Town Center grow to an overwhelming point.
“[Managing TCOA is] a big job compared to what it used to be,” he said.
Schreiner said he looks forward to seeing TCOA maintaining Town Center and putting Big Sky’s best foot forward for visitors. One of the most critical pieces of that, Schreiner said, is continuing to communicate closely with businesses and making sure snow removal is prompt in the morning for places to open in the winter.
“It just is critical to the future success of the entire community to have a really strong retail, restaurant and activity center for people to come and it’s a big project,” Schreiner said.