Late last month, Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty hosted approximately 100 Sotheby's agents from across the country for what has been branded the "Ski NE"; a Sotheby's agent networking event. Agents came from as far away as Maine, clear across to Southern California to experience what Big Sky has to offer, and connect with other agents. We spent several days skiing and dining together, enjoying a day of speakers talking about their business and inspirations, social events hosted by sponsors, and making connections in order to better serve our clients around the world. The idea first came to fruition in 2016 with the first annual event hosted by Sierra Sotheby's in the Lake Tahoe area. It was such a successful event that they held the event a second time in 2017 before passing the torch to Big Sky.
It was the perfect opportunity to introduce agents to the wonder of Montana, and Big Sky in particular. The secret is getting out that Big Sky is an up and coming ski resort town in the midst of incredible growth, and Buyers from around the world are interested in real estate in Big Sky. The allure of Big Sky is that when compared to other well-developed resort towns like Aspen, Park City, Lake Tahoe and Vail, there is so much "value". Although property prices are deemed high when compared to many primary home markets, it's still comparatively inexpensive for a year-round resort town.
During the few days we had together, we heard from a selection of inspiring and top producing agents like Jeff Wilson of TTR Sotheby's International Realty in the greater Washington D.C. area, and former Olympian snowboarder Chris Klug from Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International Realty. We socialized at luncheons and cocktail parties hosted by some of our sponsors all the while making personal connections. And of course, there was plenty of skiing. This has been a banner ski season at Big Sky Resort with some of the deepest snowpack in the country, and we made sure everyone enjoyed it! On the final official day of the event, around 30 agents enjoyed a fun Pro-Am dual ski race, testing their time against 2002 bronze-medalist Chris Klug. Although Chris bravely competed on his freestyle board, he vowed to bring his race board next time to show us all how it's really done!
When Sotheby's agents get together, not only do we have a good time, but we make personal connections that allow us to help our clients with properties anywhere in the world. With 18,000 Sotheby's International Realty agents in 800 offices in 61 countries, you never have to search for an agent on your own again. Look no further than your local Sotheby's agent to help connect you with a Buyer or Seller agent anywhere in the world. Although the number of agents seems astounding, the ability to network and find a direct connection is unparalleled by any company. It's even better than the six degrees of separation - usually more like one or two to make a direct connection.
Whether you are looking to buy or sell, from Arizona to Zanzibar, let us be your Global Real Estate Advisor!
Thank you to all of the sponsors that helped us put on such a successful event!
Built along the Bridger Creek Golf Course, the Bridger Creek Subdivision offers a mix of single family homes, townhomes, and condominiums. Each winter, the 18-hole public golf course is turned into an extensive, groomed cross country ski trail - allowing for Nordic skiing right out your back door! Located only 20 minutes from the Bridger Bowl Ski Area, Bridger Creek is the perfect neighborhood for those who love to ski and golf.
The "M" Trail Popular hiking and mountain biking trail located a little over three miles from the subdivision.
Story Hills Trail Single-track mountain biking, running, and hiking trail located two miles away.
Sypes Canyon Trail Hiking and mountain biking trail located four miles away.
Mountains aren’t the only thing we have to thank Montana’s volcanic past for. Thanks to our region’s lava-filled geologic past, the Big Sky area is graced with a number of relaxing and unique hot springs. So if you find yourself in need of some rejuvenation, dip into one these regional warm-water meccas.
Norris Hot Springs
Tucked into the scenic and arid Madison River Valley, Norris Hot Springs offers visitors a kitschy, new age soaking experience, as well as a full beer and wine menu and a unique artisanal menu made out of locally-sourced and home-grown ingredients. Camping and RV hookups are available for an additional fee. Visit norrishotsprings.com for a full chemical content catalog of the healing minerals found in the one and only Water of the Gods.
Directions from Bozeman: Head west on Huffine through Four Corners, continuing west on highway 84 for 35 miles. Norris Hot Springs will be on your left just before entering the small town of Norris.
Chico Hot Springs
Chico is the classic Montana hot springs resort experience. Located in Paradise Valley, Chico Hot Springs offers a full range of lodging accommodations as well as extremely good dining options. In addition to the luxurious full-size soaking spaces, Chico also offers a full range of services to satiate even the most adventurous vacationer. including lodging and several restaurants. Chico offers guided ski and snowshoe trips in and around Yellowstone National Park, so when you’re ready to go face the elements, you can explore Montana’s winter wonderland. In the spring, take advantage of Chico’s exclusive partnership with Paradise Adventure Company, a full-service rafting outfitter located in Paradise Valley. And don’t forget, Chico has a renowned spa, so after the rapids have settled, work out your sore muscles with a massage or some yoga.
Directions from Bozeman: Follow I90 E towards Livingston, then take 89 S to Mill Creek Road in Pray. Take a right onto Highway 540 towards Chico Road.
Bozeman Hot Springs
Although decidedly less earthy, Bozeman Hot Springs is one of the oldest functioning hot springs in the region. Where Norris is a cultural experience, Bozeman Hot Springs is a workout facility, so if you’re in need of physical exercise and recuperation, this is your hot springs. After a devastating fire in 2008, Bozeman Hot Springs underwent a full renovation, transforming the old space into a beautiful, modern warm-water spa and gym. Bozeman hot springs now features live music, a full workout facility, and both indoor and outdoor pools and hot springs.
Directions from Bozeman: Located just south of Four Corners on highway 191
Triple Tree is an exclusive community located in the Southside of Bozeman. With large one to three acre lots and expansive mountain views, the custom homes in this neighborhood are some of the most desirable in town. There is a focus on open space, evoking the feeling living on a ranch while only being minutes from Downtown. Bordering state land provides easy access to popular nordic, hiking and biking trail systems.
Triple Tree Trail: Hiking and mountain biking trail located within the subdivision.
Sourdough Trail: Hiking, mountain biking and groomed cross country ski trail located less than two miles away.
Main Street to the Mountains: Trail system linking over 80 miles of trails throughout town. Access point located less than two miles from Triple Tree.
Even to a hardened alpinist, Big Sky Resort's Lone Peak is a stunning sight. Nestled in the heart of Montana’s rugged Madison Range, Lone Peak, home to Big Sky Resort, is solitary, hulking and gorgeous to behold throughout Montana’s distinct four seasons. But its unique beauty begs a lot of questions. Like, why is Lone Mountain so, well, lonely? And what makes it such a perfect venue for one the the country’s best ski resorts? The answers to these burning questions lie in the faults.
Our backyard, including Lone Peak and the Madison Range, is made up of 1.7 million year old deposits left over by the Yellowstone Caldera’s last explosion. As you drive north from Big Sky along the Gallatin River towards Bozeman, take note of the towering rock fins. Beloved by climbers and hikers alike, much of the exposed rock throughout Gallatin Canyon is some of the oldest on the face of the earth.
Lone Mountain itself is a volcano that never erupted. While we enjoy skiing, biking, golfing and fishing in Big Sky, our home was a volcanic battle one some 50 million years ago. The stunning scenery we love is the result of this chaotic geologic period in earth’s history. What was once a burning hot hell-scape is now a powder skiing mecca.
Much of Lone Mountain is made up of an igneous rock called Dacite. Dacite is crystalized magma that spread throughout the cone of Lone Mountain all those years ago, giving the peak its solid shape. The hard minerals and rocks in Lone Mountain survived weathering and erosion, unlike the soft sedimentary rock that once surrounded the peak, leaving our beloved ski resort standing tall.
Whether you’re skiing Big Sky as a visitor, or gazing at its flanks from inside a Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty represented home, understanding the geology at work inside Lone Mountain helps enhance our appreciation for our home.
We are so honored to have hosted a VIP reception for acclaimed artist Kevin Red Star in our office on March 22. The reception preceded the Arts Council of Big Sky's 5th Annual Art Auction held at Moonlight Lodge, sponsored by Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty. Kevin mingled with our guests, and spoke to us about his background and inspirations. Together, we viewed Episode One of the Sotheby's HouseGuest video series in which he is featured.
The following evening, our office hosted over 150 people at the Art Auction, a huge fundraiser for the Arts Council of Big Sky's cause. There were over a dozen artists in attendance who were finishing off pieces to be auctioned at the event. Artwork in the live auction included pieces from artists such as Kevin Red Star, Tom Gilleon, Carol Spielman and Harry Koyama. In addition, there were photographs, jewelry and paintings from local artists such as AriO Jewelry and Kira Fercho in the silent auction.
All of the proceeds from the event will go towards supporting the Arts Council's mission of providing residents, visitors and artists with premier events, education and creative opportunities in the arts.
We currently still have a number of his paintings featured in our office, so stop by anytime to enjoy them!
The town of Big Sky, and Big Sky country in general, is a mecca for Nordic skiing. Between Lone Mountain Ranch and the miles of groomed ski trails around the greater Gallatin County region, nordic skiing, and specifically skate skiing, is one of the best activities for getting into the woods and away from the crowds, fast. But unlike downhill skis, skate skis require more frequent waxing and at-home care, especially now as the weather changes from winter to spring-like conditions. This may sounds overwhelming, but don’t worry; waxing is one of the sublime pleasures of being a nordic skier. Here’s a quick primer on the basics of waxing skate skis:
What you’ll need:
1) Ski vice or clamps, homemade or store bought
2) Glide wax
4) Waxing iron
5) Cork block
Before being stowed away every spring, skate skis should receive a coat of “storage wax”, which needs to be removed every fall. After affixing your skis to your chose work surface, set your wax iron to medium heat and begin slowly heating the base of your ski. As the iron and the ski get hotter, the existing wax with turn ghostly white and stand out. Scrap off all the old wax to give yourself a new start.
After the ski is stripped and ready for wax, it’s time to give your skis their first coat of glide wax for the winter. Begin the waxing process by holding your wax block at a steep downward angle to the face of the iron, allowing hot wax to drip onto the ski.
Cover the ski with little blotches of wax from tip to tail. After the ski is fairly covered, begin spreading the wax around the ski’s base by running your iron in circular motions across the ski’s base. You will see the wax melt and spread. Continue this waxing motion until the ghostly white wax covers the ski base entirely. Because nordic skis have relatively soft bases, be careful to not melt the ski’s base.
Now it’s time to scrape. Hold your wax scraper at 45-degree angle to the ski as you pull the scraper towards yourself. You’ll see satisfying curls of excess wax pull from the ski. Once the excess is pulled from the ski, the bases should appear shiny and smooth. If you want to put some additional elbow grease into the work, buff the skis bases with a cork block to work the wax into the base.
Now get your skiing clothes on and get out the door!
The Elevation 6000 condominiums, located in Big Sky’s thriving town center, mark a new second-home trend in the greater Big Sky area. Built by Big Sky Dream, LLC and Managing Partner John Romney, the Elevation 6000 condominiums are efficient, comfortable, customizable and part of the changing face of the Big Sky community.
For John Romney, the Elevation 6000 project is a labor of love in a place that he now calls home. Romney originally developed property in Big Sky in 2005 and became a full-time resident with his wife and three children in 2008. Since then, Romney has been active in the Big Sky building scene, helping to bring to life four separate mixed-use commercial and residential buildings, including the Lone Peak Cinema and Phase 2 of the Cottonwood Crossing residences. Elevation 6000 is his most recent creation. We sat down with John Romney to ask him about his new project, and what sets the Elevation 6000 condos apart from other housing options in Big Sky’s town center.
BSS: How long have you been in the building industry?
JR: Since 2011.
BSS: What is your favorite part about building homes in Montana?
JR: I love seeing and being a part of the overall development of the Big Sky Community, and in particular, the Big Sky Town Center. It’s great to be a part of the development of the entry corridor along Ousel Falls Road. I enjoy the mix of development from commercial buildings, to long-term rentals, to condominiums; all integrated with trail systems and recreational and entertainment options. The Town Center development has been thoughtfully approached to provide a continuity and mixture of architecture while maintaining a pedestrian friendly, community environment. I also love creating a “neighborhood” where different residents of the community interact.
BSS: What elements of Montana living, if any, do you incorporate into your residential projects?
JR: We do our best to incorporate the mountain views and outside space into our projects along with easy access to the trail systems.
BSS: What are some unique challenges that building in Big Sky presents?
JR: The biggest current challenges are finding good subcontractors with the substantial construction demand throughout Big Sky. We have been lucky to have worked with and maintained a great group of subcontractors continuously over the past several years. Weather is obviously a factor so we have traditionally started all of our projects in the spring leaving only interior finish items for the winter. We have learned from the experience of others and put a lot of extra work into our roofing and insulation systems.
BSS: What sets the Elevation 6000 project apart from other projects you’ve built?
JR: Elevation 6000 were built to sell to a primarily “second-home” market, so we are trying to “get into the hearts and heads” of potential buyers and build something they will love. The challenge in not knowing the buyer up front. So we come up with a palette of materials, colors, and styles that can satisfy a majority of buyers, yet still allow the buyer to ultimately put their personal imprint on the condominium with their furnishings.
BSS: Is the Elevation 600 project unique in terms of its efficiency as a building?
JR: The majority of our lighting is LED and we use high efficiency appliances and gas forced heating. One area where we don’t skimp is insulation. We use spray foam throughout the exterior walls was well as board and bat insulation which gives us an R rating much higher than what is required by code. While these items cost extra money up front (and are not always done in Big Sky), in the long run it saves on the operating costs; and I believe the buyers can feel and appreciate the difference.
BSS: What elements of the home do you hope that the future owners appreciate?
JR: To me the condos just “feel good” when you are in them. That is most important to me- that a place feels comfortable and has an overall warmth to it. The stairwells, ceilings and hallways are light, spacious and airy, and I believe this is something that owners and guests will immediately notice. In fact, we liked the units so much that we decided to keep one for ourselves as a place for our parents (or possibly more importantly our kids’ grandparents), and friends and family to stay when they visit Montana.
BSS: What’s your favorite design detail in this project?
JR: I can’t say I have a favorite. I like the exterior palette, colors and roof lines; I like the richness, the warmth, and the space of the interiors; and I like the interface between the units and the open space in the back and the easy access to Town Center.
BSS: How does the Elevation 6000 project embody the work that you do as a builder in general?
JR: We try to build great, high quality units with quality materials at a reasonable price. We are actively involved in all aspects of the project from day one, and are on-site continuously throughout the process. I believe this helps keep costs down and quality up. Frankly, I think to be able to build and offer new units of this quality at a price of under $300 per square foot in this current environment in Big Sky is a minor miracle.
Ben Coleman, the agent listing the Elevation 6000 condos with Big Sky Sotheby’s says “I’ve been fortunate to work with several developers in my 17 years of Big Sky real estate and John has been a pleasure to work with. He’s great to communicate with, very open minded and transparent. John wants to find a way so that everyone wins. I really enjoy that attitude
Though not everyone will be celebrating Christmas this week, it's safe to say that most will be spending time with family and friends. Check out these tips to help the environment, and keep you fire-safe, during the holidays.
Yellowstone National Park is one of the most spectacular wonders of the world, and we are fortunate to have it essentially in our back yard. But, did you know that in addition to millions of visitors passing through there in the summer, it is also open to the public in the winter? Except for a few weeks in the spring and fall when the park is closed to public traffic, you can experience the wonder during all seasons. While you are making your plans to be in Big Sky this winter to enjoy skiing at Big Sky Resort or cross country and sleigh-riding adventures at Lone Mountain Ranch, consider a visit to Yellowstone to round out your trip.
You can explore the park on your own by cross country skiing into the park, and within it from one of their year-round lodging facilities; you can take a guided snowmobile tour; or you can view it from the warmth and comfort of a Snowcoach. The tours are available to various places in the park including the Old Faithful area and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. You can make it a day trip, or enjoy several days staying in the Snow Lodge or other hotel within the park. If you prefer to drive yourself, the section of road between Mammoth Hot Springs (North entrance) and Cooke City (East Entrance) is open on a year round basis. Below is a collection of information to help you make your plans. Don't wait, reservations for the tours and lodging within the park book early! West Yellowstone Snowcoach and Snowmobile Tours:Buffalo Bus Snowcoach TourBackcountry Adventures SeeYellowstone.comYellowstone AdventuresTeton Valley AdventuresYellowstone National Park Lodging This winter, the National Park Service is renovating the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins, so they will be closed. However, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins are open and currently taking reservations for the winter season. If you are looking to stay in the park for a few days, consider booking a Snowcoach to transport you to Old Faithful where you can cross country ski or snowshoe, stay in the Lodge or a Cabin, and travel back out again on a Snowcoach. Cross Country Skiing/Snowshoeing There are a number of companies that offer guided ski and snowshoe tours into the park, including and Yellowstone Expeditions and Yellowstone Ski Tours. If you'd like to explore on your own, check out the National Park Service information found here.
Cold mornings followed by warm sunny afternoons must mean it's fall in Montana. And with occasional white-tipped mountains, it reminds us that winter is on its way. Just like we (try to) prepare ourselves for endless ski runs at high elevation, we need to get our homes ready for whatever winter has in store for us this year. In order to protect your investment and keep it in tip-top shape, consider these five suggestions to get your home ready for winter:
Prepare the home's exterior: Making sure everything is in good shape on the outside will help keep the "weather" on the outside, where it belongs. Check gutters to make sure they are clear. Ensure that roof shingles and siding are secure; high winds can loosen them over time. If you have heat tape or something similar to prevent ice dams on the roof, ensure that it's in working order and secure before it's covered in snow so it will be effective. Drain irrigation systems, and all exterior spigots if they aren't frost proof. Water can freeze and crack the fixture. Weatherproof doors and windows: A simple and inexpensive way to make sure cold air isn't seeping in is by making sure the weather strips on doors and windows are in good shape. That means not cracked, in one piece, and fitting snugly when the door or window closes. In older homes, adding storm doors and windows adds another layer or weather protection and helps keep energy costs down. Check the heating system: Furnaces and other heating sources should be serviced annually. Furnace filters need to be cleaned, and the efficiency should be monitored to make sure it's operating effectively. Gas-burning fireplaces and stoves should be checked and cleaned. Companies like Ambient Air Solutions offer maintenance programs to keep your home on an annual schedule so you don't have to remember.
Maintain Chimneys: There's nothing like relaxing in front of a cozy fireplace or wood stove after a successful day on the mountain, but chimneys that are used regularly need to be kept clean of dangerous creosote buildup to prevent chimney fires. Have your chimney swept and inspected for foreign objects each year before you use it; and if you own a wood stove, make sure and clean it on a very regular basis to keep it energy-efficient. Stock up on winter necessities: Don't wait until the last minute to make sure you have salt or ice melt, shovels and other handy items for winter. Many of us wait until the first big storm to rush out and buy them, but we often find the stores are out of stock. It's never too early once you begin to see those items in the stores. And don't forget things like candles and matches, and batteries for flashlights in the event of a power loss. For those who would like some assistance in completing these important items, property management companies like Two Pines Properties and Big Sky Home Management are great resources to help you. Remember, the sooner you prepare your home for winter, the sooner you can start praying for snow!
Montana is well known as a fly fishing destination, drawing people come from all over the world to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, be it fishing, skiing, hiking, camping, or anything else outdoors. Local teacher and avid fisherman, John Hannahs, tells us what makes fly fishing in the Big Sky area so special. Watch the video.
With gorgeous peaks as the backdrop and a world-famous fly-fishing river babbling through the trees, Gallatin Gateway is the quintessential Montana community. Only twelve miles southeast of thriving Bozeman, Gallatin Gateway is close to the international airport, Big Sky Ski Resort, Yellowstone National Park, and plenty of wilderness to hike, bike, ski, fish, and relax. The local community is friendly and passionate about the beautiful outdoors and the being involved in the culture of nearby Bozeman and Belgrade. Gallatin School, established in 1884, enrolls approximately 150 students per year in grades K-8 and these students have shown higher than average student scores in reading, math, and science. The community is small and intimate, but has plenty to see and do for everyone: Little Bear School House Museum This adorable one room schoolhouse has been restored and turned into a museum to replicate what school looked like in 1912. Take a look at local memorabilia from the local baseball team, old lunch boxes, and an antique merry-go-round. Axtell Bridge A destination place for anglers as well as those looking to ditch the heat, this beautiful bridge through the trees and over the Gallatin River is a great place to spend the day by the river. Pack a picnic, a book, or a few flies for the rod and take a dip in the cool waters. Inn on The Gallatin Just down the beautiful Gallatin Canyon is the famous Inn on The Gallatin, a resort with cabins, campsites, and a wonderful cafe. Established in 1955, the Inn is a tourist and local favorite for its iconic vintage signs and it’s delicious food. Gallatin Gateway is truly the “gateway” to the mountains and your next Montana adventure. Whether you are looking to live in the area year-round or own your mountain escape, let our agents show you the beauty of southwest Montana.
What better way to spend a gorgeous warm day than on a pristine golf course? When one thinks of Montana they may not think of great golfing, but Montana is very lucky to have championship courses with gorgeous views, that are without crowds, and that remain challenging to even those with the lowest handicaps. Grab the clubs and make the rounds to the Montana links!
Big Sky, Montana Golf Courses
Big Sky Resort Golf Course Combine classic links-style golf and the stunning natural beauty of Big Sky country to witness a golf experience like no other: the award winning scenic 18 hole par-72 golf course at Big Sky Resort. The Arnold Palmer course is 6,500 feet above sea level, offering long drives and spectacular views. Winding along the wildlife-rich banks of the West Fork of the scenic Gallatin River, tee up with deer, moose, and other wildlife as your gallery. Yellowstone ClubThe 18-hole "Yellowstone" course at the Yellowstone Golf Club facility features 7,300 yards of golfing from the longest tees for a par of 72. Designed by Tom Weiskopf, the Yellowstone golf course opened in 2005. Yellowstone Golf Club offers terrific views and challenging play for golfers at every skill level. Well-groomed fairways and greens keep Yellowstone Golf Club difficult yet friendly. Enjoy the incredible views of Lone Peak!
Spanish Peaks This course is a masterpiece of mountain design. Situated on 300 acres that utilize a true mountain golf experience. This course will test your ability on the fairway and the greens. Located at 7,000 feet elevation, there is abundant wildlife and views of several mountain ranges. The Spanish Peaks course has excellent playability and keeps every golfer having fun. Reserve at Moonlight Basin The Reserve is a par-72 Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course that blends 8000 yards of nature-inspired golfing into an arresting high-elevation setting. As one of Jack Nicklaus’s finest alpine golf creations, each of the course's 18 holes perfectly frames an array of unique vistas. The course’s PGA Professional, Greg Wagner, is on hand to help members take their game to the next level with specialized clinics, tournaments, and private instruction.
Bozeman, Montana Golf Courses
Black Bull Run Tom Weiskopf, former British Open champion, and award-winning golf course architect, designed an amazing 19-hole, 7200 yard, par-72 championship course for Black Bull Community that is ultimately challenging yet eminently playable. In this signature 'modified links' style course, Tom has woven together native landscaping, an abundance of water features, and breathtaking backdrops to ensure each hole has a strong identity. He considers the bunker layout as being, "reminiscent of the style that was prevalent during the turn of the 20th century." Cottonwood Hills Established in 1984, Cottonwood Hills is the Gallatin Valley’s finest and foremost club open to the public. Admire the endless natural beauty and staggering mountain views while testing your skills on our 7,053 yard Premier Course, or delve into the game on the valley’s only 1,181 yard Executive par-3, perfect for the beginner and short game artist alike.
Anaconda, Montana Golf Course
Old Works A Jack Nicklaus Signature designed course, the Old Works Golf Course has been reborn on the site of Anaconda's historic century old copper smelter. Jack Nicklaus incorporated many historic relics in his signature design. With its affordability, course conditioning and friendly service, Old Works has built a reputation as one of the premiere daily fee golf experiences in the Northwest region.
Interested in gorgeous properties in Montana near a golf course? Or simply want to chat about golfing in Montana? Reach out to realtor and broker associate, Allison Gilley at Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty: 406-672-6115 and Allison@bigskysir.com.