I hate to say I told you so, but I did. I tweeted, on July 26, 2013 - "@FamilySkiTrips26 Jul The Yellowstone Club to buy The Club at Spanish Peaks with Big Sky Resort! Good ski news! What's next? Maybe they buy @MoonlightBasin too #BiggestSkiinginAmerica #Boom http://fb.me/QLf1vITJ "
Prediction come true: on August 15, 2013 Yellowstone Club owner CrossHarbor Capital, in partnership with Boyne Resorts, who owns and operates Big Sky Resort, announced that they are acquiring Moonlight Basin from Lehman Brothers Holdings.
Big Sky will manage Moonlight Basin, they already share a lift - the Iron Horse quad, share flanks of Lone Peak's awesome terrain, and offer an interconnected lift ticket. For the past three seasons, Big Sky & Moonlight Basin have marketed the Biggest Skiing in America.... a combined area of 5,700 ski-able acres, 4,350 vertical feet and 23 chairlifts. These stats eclipse Vail's 5,200 and rivals that of Whistler/Blackcomb.
Well, that big Montana ski experience just got bigger if you consider Moonlight Basin abuts Big Sky which neighbors Yellowstone Club and Spanish Peaks - another private ski community with lifts and lodges including the Pinnacle atop the Ram Charger lift at Big Sky. I don't see Yellowstone Club dropping their secure boundaries and letting the riff raff in anytime soon, but the modest terrain at Spanish Peaks will likely become fair game.
I am a huge fan of Big Sky - one of my favorite ski resorts anywhere. Moonlight Basin also makes my list - it has been a sleeping giant, no big crowds and pretty amazing terrain - comparable to neighboring Big Sky. Moonlight has its own community of stunning slope side homes and a gorgeous mid-mountain Lodge but struggled through foreclosure with Lehman Brothers. I believe the Moonlight giant is about to be awakened. Boyne (who owns Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Loon, Boyne, Boyne Highlands, and Brighton) is big on quality lifts, grooming and snowmaking, Yellowstone is all about posh lodging and exclusivity. An interesting Montana match made for skiers.
Stay tuned.. and be sure to follow family ski trips on twitter - for breaking news in the ski biz!