Big Sky is Born


Crail Ranch Homestead Established


Ophir School (K-8) Established


Chet Huntley Conceptualized Big Sky


Gallatin Canyon Volunteer Fire Department Established

Big Sky Owner’s Association Founded to Manage, Operate and Maintain the Majority of the Developed Lands in Big Sky at the Time


Big Sky Golf Course and Chairlifts Open at Big Sky Resort


Boyne Buys Big Sky Resort


Big Sky Chamber of Commerce Founded


Arts Council of Big Sky Founded


Big Sky Transportation District Formed


Big Sky Resort Area District Formed


Water & Sewer District is Formed


Medical Clinic of Big Sky Opens with Dr. Jeffrey Daniels

Chief Robert Stober is Hired as the First Paid Chief for the Fire Department


Lone Peak Tram Constructed: Big Sky Boasts Highest Vertical Drop in the Country


Big Sky Community Corporation (Later Changed to Big Sky Community Organization) is Founded


Blue Water Task Force (Later Changed to Gallatin River Task Force) is Created


Moonlight Basin Opens for Skiing

$50M Summit Hotel at Big Sky Resort Opens


Town Center Owners’ Association Founded and Construction of Town Center Begins

Yellowstone Club Founded


Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin’s Combine Acreage to Announce Biggest Skiing in America


General Electorate of Big Sky Expands Life of Big Sky Resort Area District to 2032


Morningstar Learning Center Opens as a Full-Time Daycare/Preschool for the Community


Lone Peak High School Established


Big Sky Fire Department Staffs Station #1 with 24/7 Career Firefighters


Warren Miller Performing Arts Center Opens


Big Sky Medical Center Opens

Ophir School (K-8) Moves into its own Building, Separate from Lone Peak High School


Big Sky Community Housing Trust Formed

Big Sky Resort Announces Big Sky 2025, a $150M Improvement Plan for the Resort

Business Verticals Building Vibrancy


The 2019 Big Sky, MT Economic Profile

  • An in-depth report that highlights emerging opportunities, looks at the current state of business-supporting infrastructure and the industries driving growth, along with forecasts of what Big Sky is poised to become.

Big Sky Today


Big Sky, Montana is a unique, mountain resort community just as envisioned back in the late 1960s by its founder, pioneering newscaster and Montana native, Chet Huntley.

Born a seasonal, destination ski resort, today Big Sky is home to Big Sky Resort’s Biggest Skiing in America in winter and acts as a Gateway Community to Yellowstone National Park in summer.  Far-removed from any urban center, Big Sky’s location at the junction of U.S. Hwy 191 and MT Hwy 64 (Lone Mountain Trail) in south-central Montana, is equidistant 45 miles south of Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) through the scenic Gallatin Canyon and north of the west entrance to Yellowstone, America’s First National Park.  Big Sky itself is situated at the base of iconic Lone Peak, elevation 11,166 feet, and encompasses the “Canyon,” “Meadow” and “Mountain” areas, each with its own distinct culture and personality.

Business in Big Sky

Big Sky however, is not a place where it’s business as usual.  Being an unincorporated, census-designated place (CDP) straddling two counties – Gallatin and Madison – with seven special districts, 100s of Home Owners Associations (HOAs), a myriad of non-profits, and engaged citizens all contributing to its local governance, creates a complex local governance operating framework.  In addition, business owners define success differently here (usually in the number of days spent on the mountain) and the mountain time mindset and motivations of their employees more than not, mirror that.

Tourism, rooted in Outdoor Recreation, is the #1 industry driving Big Sky’s growth and contributing substantially to the $3B statewide Tourism economy.  Not only is outdoor recreation the reason why people visit here, but it is why they eventually choose to move here.  Consequently, Construction/Development and Real Estate are additional stronghold industries driving the Big Sky economy.  Home to approximately 3,000 full-time residents, along with a significant part-time resident population and thriving visitation, Big Sky plays host to upwards of 15,000 people during peak periods throughout the year.  This translates to roughly 4,200 jobs, which are held by 3,000 employees, due to the significant seasonality of the job market.*  The lack of affordable housing in Big Sky contributes to 50% of the workforce commuting in on a daily basis.  Both of these impact recruitment efforts.

Expansion of Big Sky’s three private residential clubs owned by Cross Harbor Capital Partners – Yellowstone Club, Spanish Peaks Mountain Club and Moonlight Basin – where mainly part-time residents choose Big Sky, due to the outdoor recreational lifestyle and small community feel it provides them, is driving the largest construction project in the history of the state of Montana and translating to significant spikes in real estate sales.

Big Sky is an economic engine fueling Montana’s economy.  It currently ranks in the top five destinations in Montana Lodging Facility Use Tax revenue collections, with Billings, Bozeman, Missoula, and West Yellowsone.  In addition, monies collected through a locally levied 3% Resort Tax have grown 140% since 2012 providing for tourism marketing and management for the destination, as well as key community services and infrastructure improvements spurred by the community’s growth. 


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