Montana’s 2 main resorts, Big Sky & Big Mountain have a huge amount going for them. Big Sky has one of the biggest and best all round ski areas and highest snowfall records in North America, high quality slope-side accommodation and amazingly uncrowded slopes. Big Mountain also has a fantastic ski area & snow record and lower prices than Big Sky. So if they have so much going for them how come they are so little known on the UK market? Big Sky doesn’t seem interested in marketing itself internationally so most people outside of North America have never heard of it. Big Mountain is a long journey from the UK – 3 flights to its local airport or a non-stop flight to Calgary and a 5 hour drive.
Big Mountain works really well as a 2-centre with Fernie because you have to drive past Fernie en-route from Calgary, or with Utah because if you do the 3-flight option, you fly through Salt Lake City. Big Sky lost what little it had of the UK market when North West Airlines cancelled their Minneapolis to Bozeman flight a few years ago, making it too difficult to get to. But it’s been reinstated this year so you can do London-Minneapolis-Bozeman followed by just a 50 minute transfer to Big Sky. Avid shoppers may want to stopover for a night in Minneapolis to visit America’s largest shopping mall, which is only a mile from the airport.
“I recommend both these resorts very highly but they are difficult to sell to clients. Big Sky because although little known, it is a high class resort - it’s one of the best all round resorts in the business and has prices to match. It’s not cheap and must have the most expensive lift pass in world skiing. The problem is that people in its price range tend to want to go somewhere more well known such as Colorado or Whistler. But if you are a discerning high budget skier, trust me and try it, you won’t be disappointed. Big Mountain is difficult to sell because it’s so awkward to get to but do a 2-centre to offset the journey, and have a car with you so that you can stay in the cute little town of Whitefish, 7 miles from the slopes. Fine selection of restaurants & nice little shops and a brewery bar that gives away free beer! There is a perfunctory slope-side resort but Whitefish is the place to stay.”