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We’re ready to open: a letter from Big Sky Resort

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BIG SKY – After several months of careful preparations, we are ready to embark on what will certainly be a different ski season. We are so encouraged to see our community and guests excited to get back on the mountain, and we share that same excitement. However, top of mind for us is the seriousness of the pandemic—we must continue to take precautions, with each of us owning our behavior and making smart choices to keep our season alive through April.

Each of our teams have worked tirelessly to develop new operational practices with the goal of providing the safest experience possible for our guests and our teams. Many things will be different this season–directional traffic in our F&B locations, new lift-line configurations, social distancing guidelines, and most importantly, the requirement for all team members and guests to mask up while at the resort as it is mandatory in all public space. This includes while in the base area, lift lines, riding, and unloading chairlifts, and while indoors. Our efforts to wear masks and facial coverings consistently are a crucial factor in staying open all season. We encourage all guests to watch the “What to Expect” video to learn more about the resort experience this winter, and to address frequently asked questions.

Social distancing considerations have been at the forefront of our planning. In the early weeks of the ski season, we’ll learn from experience and tweak capacity accordingly. Skiers should anticipate that many days will sell out. Pre-purchasing lift tickets helps the resort anticipate visitation and helps skiers lock in their priority to ski, therefore we highly encourage guests to pre-purchase, especially those coming from far away and booking accommodations. Ikon Pass holders are required to make reservations. Other season passholders are not required to make reservations at this time, although this may be implemented later. Limiting peak daily visits and managing social distancing is essential to sustainable operations.

We ask that our loyal guests take a quality versus quantity approach to this season and avoid the highest visitation days whenever possible. Our goal is to avoid a reservations system for our passholders, but we are prepared to do whatever it takes to stay open safely and have the best chance at a full season.

It does not come easy to limit visitation, though we know it is the responsible thing to do. It is in our culture to welcome all to Big Sky Resort. The changes and precautions we are implementing have meaningful impacts to many, and we do not take these decisions lightly. These precautions provide all of us the best opportunity to have a safe and full season through April.

With our goal to spread skiers across our expansive 5,850 acres of terrain and minimize areas of skier density, our teams thought creatively about alternate routes up the mountain. We will be offering a new bootpack route up Lone Peak, starting at the top of Dakota and heading up the skier’s right side of Liberty Bowl to the Yeti Traverse, alleviating pressure on the Tram.

Additionally, we are offering two more new ways to get up the mountain early this season: Early Access, a new lift-served, unguided First Tracks on Ramcharger 8 starting at 8 a.m., and Early Morning Uphill Access, also on Andesite Mountain. Skiers can skin uphill on Hangman’s starting at 6 a.m., turn around at the patrol outpost at the top of Andesite, and ski back down Hangman’s. Though it’s easy to spread out on our vast terrain, there’s nothing like having the mountain to yourself in the morning, and we hope that folks will take advantage of these opportunities when conditions permit.

As we approach Thanksgiving, and our Opening Day, we have many things to be grateful for –including the opportunity to get outside and take some turns again. We’re looking forward to another memorable season ahead.

Troy Nedved, General Manager, Big Sky Resort

Taylor Middleton, COO & President, Big Sky Resort

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