By Dillon Tabish, 4-24-12
||Caption: David Dowell rips down Hellroaring Basin during a great powder day at Whitefish Mountain Resort this winter. - Dillon Tabish/Flathead Beacon
These 70-degree days make ski season seem like months ago. I found out last weekend there's still some great turns to be had on Big Mountain, but alas, not for long.
There's a sentimental ache that comes with putting the skis away after a great winter. A recent piece of news reminded me even more how lucky we were these last few months.
Big Sky Resort near Bozeman announced there were over 340,000 skier visits, the most the resort has ever had despite the season being two weeks shorter than before.
While a lot of ski areas around the country were tormented by a lack of snow, Montana was blessed with an abundant ski season. Whitefish Mountain Resort had a record breaking powder day
and Blacktail Mountain had record attendance; both reached about 300 inches of total snowfall.
“The consistently good snow at Big Sky is key,” Big Sky General Manager Taylor Middleton said in a statement.
“Even while other resorts across the country struggled to keep slopes open this winter, Big Sky started off with a great base and continued to get powder throughout the season. Skiers go where there’s snow.”
The record attendance could be partially attributed to low season pass prices, which led to a 25 percent increase in overall pass sales. Big Sky Resort dropped adult season pass prices 40 percent during its early season pass sale, and cut college season pass prices lower than ever.
In addition to an overall record season, Big Sky had record visits during the holiday week between Christmas and New Years and Presidents Day.
“More skier visits means more business - for the Resort and for the entire community,” Middleton said.
Cheers to a great winter, Montana.
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