This winter, Montana’s Big Sky ski resort is adding to its destination status with the opening of America’s first One&Only resort near the mountain and the recently announced opening of a new high-capacity tram line on the mountain for skiers and sightseers.
The new One&Only Moonlight Basin Resort
Designed by the noted architecture firm Olson Kundig, the One&Only Moonlight Basin's main lodge houses 73 guest rooms and suites, while 19 luxury villa guest cabins and 62 private homes are spread over the 8,100-acre property. The resort’s five separate lodges will feature six restaurants and bars, with a dedicated ski lodge that connects to the Big Sky ski area via a direct gondola. Both the resort’s common areas and guest lodging boast spectacular views of the mountains and forests of the surrounding Montana landscape.
“I am thrilled that we are introducing our first One&Only resort and community of private homes in the U.S.,” said Philippe Zuber, chief executive officer of developer Kerzner International in a press release. “Big Sky is the perfect site, where guests and residents can enjoy the very best of nature year-round through the life and energy of One&Only. At Moonlight Basin (we have) built a mountain destination that showcases the natural beauty of Montana’s extensive, dramatic landscapes.”
Swiss spa company Chenot is launching its first spa in the U.S. at the One&Only, featuring signature health and beauty treatments. And if the skiing and resort’s expansive fitness center doesn’t provide enough activity, Moonlight Basin can connect active guests with winter experiences including excursions to nearby Yellowstone National Park, fat tire snow biking, and dog sledding.
While the resort will open for next year's ski season, Moonlight Basin is designed to be a four-season resort, featuring a gamut of activities operating from spring through fall including fly fishing, golf, guided and independent hiking, biking, kayaking, and horseback riding both on its property and via local tour companies.
Big Sky Ski Resort’s New Tram
The Big Sky Ski Resort will be adding a dramatic improvement to its operations with the opening of the new Lone Peak Tram this December 19th. "Opening the tram is a transformational moment in Big Sky’s history,” said Troy Nedved, the resort’s general manager in a press statement.
The 75-passenger tram—the first such to be introduced in North America in 15 years-- will take skiers and sightseers on a nearly mile-long journey rising more than 2100 feet to the 11,166-foot elevation summit of the resort’s terrain.
Big Sky’s new Top Terminal will let tram riders disembark to sightsee at Montana’s highest scenic overlook. The glass viewing platform has a vista which in good weather will allow viewers to gaze across the terrain of the three states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming--including Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.
Skiers can use the terminal as a launching point to hit the slopes and access expanded terrain for the season, while foot passengers can linger for photo sessions and ride the tram back down to the base of the mountain.
Big Sky Ski Resort
Once a mountain only known to ski fanatics, Big Sky has evolved in its 50th year of operations to become a full-fledged destination resort. With 5850 skiable acres of terrain, 38 chair lifts, and more than 300 ski trails Big Sky is one of the largest ski areas in North America, with a wide variety of terrain suitable for beginners as well as expert skiers and snowboarders. The resort’s opening day for skiing (weather permitting) is scheduled for November 22.
Getting to and staying at the resort has increased in convenience and luxury over the past few years. The resort is about 50 miles from the well-connected Bozeman airport which has direct flights to 20 cities this winter. Available shuttles and car rentals bring guests to the resort on an hour-long drive. Four hotels in the Mountain Village (including the Summit Hotel and Montage Big Sky) and a wealth of vacation rental properties give visitors choices in lodging options, as well as dining and shopping opportunities. Mountainside Peaks Chophouse will be hosting Winter Wine Dinners this season, with guest chefs and winemakers.
For those seeking a break from the ski action, Big Sky connects visitors to expeditions to Yellowstone National Park, well worth a visit in the winter to see the steaming geysers, herds of bison, and awesome wildlife viewing opportunities in the open snowy landscape. Big Sky also has plenty of local activities including 50 miles of cross-country ski trails, snowshoe tours, dogsled tour operators, and even an “Enchanted Forest” trail of illuminated trees along a flat hiking trail for families.