BIG SKY — There’s a lot of things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving week, but Opening Weekend at Big Sky might be the biggest one of them all for some people in Montana after last ski season got cut short due to COVID-19. The resort spent several months putting a plan in place to keep the slopes safe this winter, and skiers couldn’t be more excited.
"I’m really just excited to be up here," said first-time Big Sky skier Blake Baker. "It’s been a long time, and it was really uncertain if anyone was going to get to ski this season, so I’m honestly just really excited to be up here.”
“It’s been - boy, a long haul getting back to opening since last March 15, so we couldn’t be happier," said General Manager Troy Nedved. "A lot of work went into this, and we’re ready. Yesterday was a fantastic opening day. We couldn’t be happier. It showed us exactly what we were expecting, which was a lot of high demand.”
Because of that high demand, Big Sky has not been selling any same-day lift tickets to make sure there is ample room for skiers to socially distance on the slopes.
As the demand slows down, same-day tickets might become available, but the best thing to do is to plan ahead.
"You need to check our website," added Nedved. "We typically love to welcome everyone into Big Sky, but this year we need to keep our volume at a reasonable level, and so we’re controlling some of those peak times. Everyone needs to plan ahead and be patient with us.”
Throughout the resort, there are dozens of signs to remind skiers that masks and social distancing is required. They’ve also added a friends and family line to keep groups from mixing - all precautions that have made skiers feel very safe this opening weekend.
“The team looks like they’re doing everything they can to make sure they stay open," added Blake Baker. "We want to be up here for the whole season. That’s kind of the goal, so as long as they do everything they need to do - I think as long as people follow what they ask, I think it’s going to be just fine."
The tentative closing date for Big Sky is April 18, but that’s of course susceptible to change due to the ongoing pandemic.