Find your Favorite Fishing Hole in S.W. Montana

Posted on July 8, 2016 by bigskysir

PROPERTY ROUNDUP: Riverside Properties

Home is in-between the brown and white signs. Riverside Properties in S.W. Montana Fishing in Montana is something akin to heaven. From majestic rivers and lakes to crystal clear alpine streams, the vast amount of fishing in southern Montana is almost unfathomable. You can hopscotch one to the other, and never run out of fishing holes. Each area is unique and none less beautiful than the other. Bring your fishing gear along as we take you on a tour of riverside properties available in S.W. Montana.  

Madison River

The Madison River, one of the few rivers in the U.S. with the blue-ribbon designation, begins in Yellowstone National Park at the confluence of the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers. It then meanders 140 miles until it reaches the Missouri River in Three Forks, MT. The river flows into and Hebgen Lake, Quake Lake and Ennis Lake before continuing on through the narrow gorge of Beartrap Canyon and quietly ends at the confluents. Trout fishing is exceptional with large browns and rainbows. The Madison accommodates boating or wading and can be easily accessed by either. The upper Madison is all catch and release to maintain the wild trout populations. You can easily access the river from the towns of West Yellowstone, Big Sky and Ennis.

Sun West Ranch, Portfolio of Home Site Parcels, Cameron, MT  

Gallatin River, Gallatin Range and Spanish Peaks

Beginning at Gallatin Lake, in the high mountains of Yellowstone National Park, the Gallatin River runs 115 miles to the Missouri in Three Forks, MT. The bulk of the river is closed to float fishing, which gives rise to some of the finest wade fishing waters in Montana with less fishing pressure. The scenery along the Gallatin is spectacular. Flowing through Gallatin Canyon, you’re surrounded by towering rock walls and National Forest. The river opens up and skirts the outside of Bozeman, MT where you’ll find a variety of accesses and scenic mountain ranges all around. The Gallatin Range and Spanish Peaks are riddled with mountain lakes and hungry fish. You’ll find good sized Cutthroats, the occasional Golden and even some Arctic Grayling; a beautiful and rare species with a shimmering blue dorsal fin found at Grayling Lake. These lakes are generally accessed by hiking; some a short in and back, while others could be multiple night backpacking trips. Some of the more popular lakes in this area include Hidden Lakes, a series of 8 beautiful waters. Golden Trout Lake, which, true to the name, is full of Golden’s. Lava Lake is home to some good sized cutthroats. Deer Lake and Diamond Lakes are a bit more challenging hikes, but well worth it. You’ll also want to check out Dudley and Albino Lakes which are more family friendly hikes. No matter if you are a spin, fly or bait fisherman, fishing these lakes will not disappoint.

280 Karst Stage Loop, Big Sky, MT

Heeb Road, Ranch, Manhattan, MT  

Hyalite Canyon Recreation Area

Hyalite Canyon hosts alpine lakes, small streams and the beautiful reservoir tucked up at the base of the Gallatin Range. Hyalite, Emerald and Heather Lakes contain Cutthroat and Grayling, while Blackmore Lake maintains a nice supply of introduced Rainbow trout. Streams are full of Brookies and the reservoir is stocked with Rainbow and Brook trout. The reservoir maintains a no wake rule which keeps speeds low for trolling.

TeePee Ridge Ranch, Bozeman, MT  

Yellowstone River

The Yellowstone has big fish and a lot of them; brown, rainbow, cutthroat and whitefish. Couple that with monster hatches and you can see why it’s one of the premier trout waters in the United Staes. Beginning in Yellowstone National Park it flows 692 miles into North Dakota where it meets the Missouri. This river is best experienced by boat, but is very technical, so until you know the river yourself, go with someone who is experienced in navigating these waters. From Yellowstone Park to Livingston, the river flows through Paradise Valley. True to it’s name, you’re surrounded by the Absaroka Mountains, high plains and cottonwood trees that endlessly line the river. Fall is utterly spectacular.

Paradise Valley, Livingston, MT  

Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area

The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness area is 900,000 acres full of alpine lakes, streams and rivers. Lakes are home to Cutthroat, Brook, Rainbow and occasionally a Golden trout. Both the East Fork and West Fork Rosebud Creeks run into the Stillwater, which ends in Columbus, MT and joins the Yellowstone. The Boulder River, also stemming from the Absarokas, ends in Big Timber and joins the Yellowstone as well. Both of these rivers have less fishing pressure, but the locals know they are full of rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout.

175 Lower Luther Road, Red Lodge, MT

Categories: Property Roundup

Horseback Riding in Southwest Montana

Posted on May 10, 2016 by bigskysir

PROPERTY ROUNDUP: Horseback Riding in SW Montana

For over one hundred years Montanans have been exploring the great “Big Sky” state on horseback. While most horseback riding has become a pleasure sport and activity, many people still rely on these majestic creatures for backcountry travel and ranch work. Horses are an integral part of Montana’s history and, as long as there are wide-open spaces, they will continue to be a part of the culture long into the future. Allison Gilley, a Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty agent with over twenty years of real estate experience, has been riding horses her entire life. Gilley says, “Montana is a very friendly horseback riding state with plenty of public land to ride. Also, many private properties are perfect for horseback riding. Montana even has entire subdivisions that are equestrian friendly with private trails and corrals.” Gilley loves the freedom to explore vast amounts of trails and landscapes in a short amount of time while horseback riding. She says learning to ride is a wonderful experience for an individual or an entire family, and Montana has plenty of professional companies who offer lessons for beginners to expert equestrians, such as Jake’s Horses (,) or Lone Mountain Ranch (,) both in Big Sky.

If you are ready to start exploring the possibility of owning your very own slice of Montana, Gilley has exceptional horse properties available across the state, ready for your horses and adventuring spirit:

920 Beaver Creek Rd, Big Sky, MT

• 157 Lower Luther Rd, Red Lodge, MT

• 83 Blachard Butte Rd, Roberts, MT

• Lot 3 Fowler SUBD, Roberts, MT

• 75 Lower Luther Road

Whether you want to ride leisurely in the summer, take a clinic from the Montana-native “Horse Whisperer” Buck Brannaman, or go “loping through fresh powder snow on a blue bird day,” like Gilley, your perfect Montana escape awaits. Call Allison Gilley at Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty to inquire about properties or chat about her love of horseback riding: 406.995.2221.


4 Steps to Help Make Buying a Home or Property Easier

Posted on May 3, 2016 by bigskysir

Buying a home, whether it is your first or fifth, can be a daunting experience. In addition to the financial aspects, buyers must think about insurance, inspections, and the ever-changing market. Creating a great team of professionals early in the process will help immensely in the long run. While there are many checklists involved in buying a home, we have included a few key steps here that you can take to make the process as easy as possible.

Start saving for a down payment - A twenty percent down payment has been the traditional amount required by lenders for some time if the buyer does not want to purchase mortgage insurance, but that may not be necessary in every case. Brett Evertz, a loan officer and Assistant Vice President at Big Sky Western Bank says that sometimes, “You can put as little as 5% down if buying a primary home or just 10% if buying as a second home.” There are also options for rural development loans, which are very common in a state like Montana. “RD Loans” are financed through the USDA and are zero down payment loans. As with all loans, they are subject to credit and qualifications.

Talk to a loan officer - When you have made the decision to buy a home or property, finding a loan officer early in the process can help with the big picture. Brett says, “I encourage everyone to start the process with a lender as early as possible. That way, buyers know what they can afford and, potentially, be qualified for.” A loan officer can also help buyers navigate the complicated process of pre-qualification, such as understanding various loans, credit checks, and how to build credit. Sherri Kitto, an experienced mortgage lender with Rocky Mountain Bank says, “Pre-qualification before shopping for a home is essential and helps to expand negotiating power. It gives you an advantage by providing the power to bid quickly, ahead of competing buyers who may not know if they can afford or qualify to purchase the home, and assures the seller you are a serious and credible buyer.” When applying for a loan with a mortgage lender, be sure to have appropriate documents in hand. Sherri says a few to remember are: “Your residence history for the past two years, employment history for the past two years, any outstanding debt, savings/ investment/checking account statements and balances, information about real estate you own, and personal property information.”

Once approved, seek out a Realtor® - The experienced Realtors® at Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty are here to make the process enjoyable and stress-free. A Realtor® will be able to help you understand real estate jargon, help you find homes that fit your needs and price point, and will be there to answer questions throughout the entire process. The agents at Sotheby’s International Realty come equipped with years of experience, a world-class reputable brand, and the local knowledge necessary to find you the best home or property in Montana.

Make an offer and secure the mortgage - When you are ready to make an offer, this is where your team of dedicated professionals comes in handy. Your Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty agent will help you make an appropriate offer, negotiate the best possible price, and walk you through the steps of inspection and closure. Your loan officer will help you secure the mortgage with the best rates. Before you know it, you will have your dream home or property in Montana. Have more questions? The respected professionals at Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty are ready to help you with the buying process. Give us a call today at (406)995-2211 for experts in Big Sky, or for an agent in Bozeman call (406) 586-6688.


Big Sky School District Building Reserve Levy

Posted on April 28, 2016 by bigskysir

ballotskidsMail Your Ballot Back Today! As the fastest growing school district in Montana, the Big Sky School District has seen enrollment for grades kindergarten through 4th grade grown from 98 students in 2006 to 157 in 2015/16. K-4 enrollment is projected to grow to 218 students by 2020. The purpose of the levy is to complete construction on the Ophir Elementary School. Ballots must be received via mail at the Gallatin County Elections office by May 3, 2016. For more information please check out this link:

Categories: Big Sky Culture

A Successful Evening - 2016 Big Sky Auction for the Arts

Posted on April 5, 2016 by bigskysir

Once again the Auction for the Arts at Lone Mountain Ranch was a huge success! Artists raised over $110,000 for the arts in Big Sky, Montana. Sponsored by Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty, this event is an amazing display of artist's talents. The Auction for the Arts was a “dynamic, multisensory artistic experience,” giving guests and local artists opportunities to interact, especially during the ‘quick-finish’ session during the live auction. The artists literally painted the final brush strokes or drew the last lines minutes before the auction began. The live auction included a sculptor as well as floral artist. Big Sky Local Artists included: Jackie Rainford Corcoran, Ari O., Jill Zeidler, Ryan Turner, Greg Darden, Shelly Bermont, Kira Fercho, Julio Freitas, Lori Elliot, Lorri Lagerbloom, and Heather Rapp. The Arts Council of Big Sky wishes for the community to “remain a beautiful place where the expression, enjoyment, and education of the Arts will inspire and sustain a healthy and vibrant community.” Programming provided by the Arts Council include the well-loved summer outdoor concert series, a local film festival, public art projects, and a new program to bring Lone Peak (Big Sky) high school students to Seattle to expose them to careers in the arts.

Read more about the Fourth Annual Auction for the Arts.

Categories: Big Sky Culture

Student Scholarship Awarded

Posted on April 5, 2016 by bigskysir

Scholarship2016 Cathy Gorman and Tim Cyr, broker/owners of Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty, targeted their scholarship toward a highly motivated student with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Cathy and Tim have lived and worked in Big Sky since the 1980s and have supported the school district for over 35 years. Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty is donating a scholarship for the second year. Soby Rain Haarman, of Lone Peak High School, earned an A- average overall throughout high school. Soby has worn the mantle of leadership in student government and National Honor Society. She has performed with many school groups: the Concert Band, the Jazz Ensemble, as well as school and community drama groups. Soby was inducted into the International Thespian Society, and she organized the student docents for the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center. Recognized as a Rotary Youth Leader, Soby also attended the National Student Leadership Conference on Forensic Sciences at American University and the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists in Boston. Soby will study psychology at Seattle Pacific University and after that wants to continue study in forensics. Congratulations, Soby Rain Haarman.

Categories: Big Sky Culture

Spec Homes: Benefits for Buyers and Builders

Posted on March 29, 2016 by bigskysir

With the booming housing market in Montana, options abound for buyers and building investors. Spec homes – short for “speculative homes” – are homes that are designed and built with the best housing characteristics of the market. Tim Cyr, a realtor with Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty, who is also in the process of building his own spec home outside of Bozeman, says spec homes “usually have all the bells and whistles to entice a buyer to buy.” Whether you are considering buying a spec home, or investing in building one, there are many benefits. 

Benefits of buying a spec home

• Brand new home with the latest and greatest features available • Move-in ready, no time waiting for construction

• Oftentimes, some customization is available such as colors, cabinets, and flooring

Benefits of building a spec home

• An investment, being able to build a cost-effective, high-quality home for profit

• Ability to get creative – design the home that best fits the market, from your point of view

• Quick sales – minimal customization, limited contact with the buyer

Not sure which avenue is best for you? Ask yourself a few questions: are you looking for a home to live in? Are you wanting to flip a property quickly, as an investment? Do you know the market well? Tim admits there is a lot to consider, but diving into the world of spec homes is fun and beneficial to both buyers and builders. Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty has realtors, like Tim, with years of experience selling spec homes in Montana. Visit Tim’s website, or call his office, to learn more about his experience with spec homes – including building his own spec home – and get his expert advice. See if a spec home is right for you!

Contact Tim Cyr at: Website: Phone: +1 406.580.6316­ Phone: +1 406.995.2211­  


Building your Dream Home with Big Sky Build

Posted on March 1, 2016 by bigskysir

Big Sky, Montana is a growing destination for adventure-seeking vacationers, as well as full time residents looking to enjoy the outdoors and all that a resort town can offer. As fast as it’s growing, locating a property that can both meet your budget and satisfy your needs can sometimes be a challenge. The prospect of building a house from the ground up is exciting to some, yet daunting to others. Some want to be very involved, influencing every architectural angle, interior color and light fixture. Others would prefer to have options presented to them from which they can choose, putting more responsibility on the architect, builder and interior designer. Those who haven’t been through the process before often don’t know where to begin. In order to educate Buyers about the building process and dispel some of the myths, I sat down with John Seelye, owner of Big Sky Build, to learn about what it takes to build a dream home with his company.

Callie (CP): John, thanks for taking the time to share with our Buyers that the home building process can be fun and exciting, and doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it may seem. Let’s start with some details about you. Tell me a little about your company, Big Sky Build.

John (JS): I am originally an East Coaster, and I always loved to ski. After college, I moved to Colorado, but in the mid 90s, as soon as I heard they were building the tram at Big Sky, I knew I had to make the move. I moved here for the skiing, and nothing else. In 1997, a year after moving here, I started my company, Big Sky Build.  

CP: Your offices are located in Big Sky Town Center. Do you do all of your building in the Big Sky Area?

JS: Almost all of the building we do is in Big Sky. And we do not only new home construction, but also any size remodel – from a bathroom update or addition to a complete overhaul of an existing home.  

CP: For the Buyer that is looking for a home and hasn’t been able to find what they want, what can you tell them about where to start their custom building process?

JS: In order to make sure they end up being totally satisfied with their finished product, I recommend doing some research first with regards to the size of the home they want, the location, size of the lot, etc. When the client is working with a real estate broker, like you, they will help the Buyer narrow down where they might want to be based on their preferences. With different architectural guidelines and requirements in various subdivisions, that is a good place to start.  

CP: Do you recommend they work with their broker to find a piece of land first, then find a builder, or do you think it’s better when they involve you in the process from the beginning?

JS: Once they have narrowed it down to a few lots they like, I do think it’s in their best interest to have the builder involved from the beginning. There are a lot of factors with the lot itself that can affect their overall budget, not just the price of the land. They need to take into consideration the site work, the slope of the land, whether or not public utilities are provided, landscaping needs, etc. When I’m involved early in the process, I can help with any due diligence – soil and geotech studies, lot line determinations, design guidelines, and make recommendations based on my experience in various locations around the area. There are many pieces of the final puzzle.  

CP: Presumably, before you get too far along in the planning and budgeting process, these are all things that would need to be determined anyway before you can quote a price.

JS: Yes, those are all factors in pricing. And going through the pre-planning process with the client also lets us build a relationship and get to know each other. I can then give recommendations about things like an architect or an interior designer based on their “likes”. And having the architect involved early in the process, even before the lot is purchased, can also help with meeting a budget, no matter the size.  

CP: Are all of the homes you build designed by an architect?

JS: Yes. At a minimum, I require a full set of builder plans, designed by a Montana-licensed architect. I’ve had people purchase plans online and want them to be modified or customized to their liking, but because of differences in structural requirements for this area, often times the end result is nothing like what they started with because so many adjustments have to be made, so the plans can even end up costing more. Some clients will fill in the “blanks” with the interior details, but most will use an interior designer on some level or another.  

CP: Do you offer building packages, like a pre-designed “to be built” home, or are all of your projects custom?

JS: All of our projects are custom.  

CP: You brought up a good point about structural differences. Many Big Sky clients come from other parts of the country, and even the world. Obviously, different regions have varying architectural styles, but you say that this region also requires different structural requirements in a home. Can you tell me some of the components you suggest every client should consider when building in Big Sky?

JS: Most of what we need differently in a well-designed home is related to seismic events, high winds and high snow load. We aren’t known for having large earthquakes, but even with small tremors, when building on the sides of a mountain like many homes are, we don’t want to take any chances. Another component is soil quality. We need to make sure the platform the home will sit upon is stable under any circumstance. Porous or clay-like soil can need reinforcing, which we sometimes need to do when we dig the foundation, and that adds to the cost. We always have a structural engineer inspect and certify the building site. Montana is a cold weather climate, so when a roof is designed, we want to make sure to minimize the risk of areas where an ice dam can occur. They need to be well designed and highly insulated. Lastly, how the house and home site interact with forest fire danger is a big consideration. We live in the west where fires can be prevalent, so many homes have Class A fire-rated roof systems (and some developments require it) to minimize a fire loss.  

CP: What type and size homes do you build? Do you have a specialty?

JS: We have no specialties; it’s all based on what the client wants. We have done timber frames, log homes, contemporary and modern, large and small - you name it. We have a fully staffed office, employee-based job site supervisors and carpenters, plus highly skilled sub-contractors, all with a great depth of experience. My feeling is that a good general contractor will have a quiver of talent from which to choose, therefore being able to please any client.  

CP: Let’s talk about timing. How long does it take you to give a client an estimate on building the home?

JS: Once a lot is identified and the plans are provided, it takes about 4-6 weeks to price out a house. The more info I have about the interior details, the more accurate the budget will be. If there are unknowns, I will include an allowance that the client can work within when making decisions.  

CP: Once you have a signed building contract with a client, how long does the entire construction process take?

JS: The length of time will depend on the size of the home, but it varies from six to twenty months from the time we break ground.  

CP: As we said earlier, many clients do not live in Big Sky. How easy or difficult is it for a client who doesn’t live here to keep tabs on their home construction as its progressing?

JS: It’s very easy with today’s technology. We regularly use e-mail, video conferencing and take regular photos of the home’s progress. Every Monday we send a builder report to the client. It includes a weather report, what work was completed the previous week, what contractors were on site, projected business for the upcoming week, and it includes progress photos. It helps them keep tabs on the progression, but it’s also fun and can be shared with parents, kids and friends. I will tailor the communication needs to the client. Some want to talk every week; some don’t want to be involved at all for months.  

CP: What are some common myths about building a custom home that might make someone shy away from the process if they don’t know the truth?

JS: I’d say the most common myth is that the construction industry is shady and crooked. I’m sure in some areas it can be, but we have a highly sophisticated and experienced industry here in Big Sky. The client is the one who will ultimately be picking their team, so after talking with the real estate broker, and any friends or locals you know, go with your gut. The team is important, you have to trust them, and word of mouth and local reputation is going to tell you everything you need to know. Another myth is that building is stressful. If you let it, it can be stressful, but it should be fun and rewarding. If you take the time to pick the right team of people, including architect and designer, combine that with the right communication, it can be a great process and you’ll end up with the product you want. The last myth is that building is prohibitively expensive. It definitely doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are many places in the country where it is more expensive to build than here - Jackson Hole; Newport Beach; Greenwich, CT. We do have factors that affect the cost, like logistics, Mother Nature, and where many of our workers come from. However, we have been building here for 20 years so we know what to expect and it’s calculated into our costs.  

CP: When a Buyer buys an existing home, there are protections in place to prevent uncovering latent physical defects within the home. What kind of warranty do your clients get when you build them a home?

JS: Montana Law requires a one year Builder’s warranty on any new home. However, we stand behind our work in all of our houses. We take care of our clients long after the house is complete because we treasure our long-term relationships. We recognize that having happy clients is a win-win for everyone. All homes require maintenance, so we want them to come to us to line up a painter, a roofer, etc. to take care of client. And most of the time they want do because they know they can trust our recommendations.  

CP: After almost 20 years building in Big Sky, do you have favorite house that you have built?

JS: That is always a tough question, and I always determine that I don’t really have a favorite. Each new house I build I am always filled with excitement, I love seeing new designs. I truly appreciate all the houses we’ve built because each one is unique and is perfect for the owner. What is most important to us is that our clients are thrilled with the end product.


Western to Contemporary Art in Big Sky, Montana

Posted on February 8, 2016 by bigskysir

Luxury and Art in Big Sky Montana

Big Sky-based art collectors need look no further than the Big Sky Town Center, where Creighton Block Gallery is home to some of the best known artists in Montana and the American West. Co-owner Colin Mathews has carefully curated a selection of artists to represent, covering a wide spectrum of style, color and mediums to align with the varied tastes of his clients, mostly Big Sky homeowners, decorators and art consultants.

“I select artists with an established reputation,” Colin explains. “I look for those who have sold their works at one or more of the great Western art auctions so their pricing is market based and their work has been juried.” The main gallery showcases paintings, sculpture, textiles and jewelry, mostly focusing on traditional Western historical landscape and wildlife. But within that theme, each artist has a different style and use of color and light that can make a world of difference.

The Native American painter Kevin Red Star—whose work is part of a Smithsonian Institution collection—is represented, along with Tom Gilleon whose contemporary Western paintings have sold at auction for the highest price ever by a living Montana artist. He also represents Todd Connor, Frank Hagel, Harry Koyama, up-and-coming Western artists Virginie Baude and Kelly Dangerfield, and a number of well-known bronze sculptors, including Greg Woodard, Ott Jones, Burl Jones and Simon Gudgeon. Artwork at Creighton Block Gallery ranges in price from $1,000 to $100,000 and up, Colin explains.

If Western art just isn’t your thing, Creighton Block also showcases a contemporary collection in a gallery just up the street on Ousel Falls Road. Here you’ll find a selection of modern art with Western inflections to compliment the boom in contemporary architecture that Big Sky has experienced over the last few years.“The demand for contemporary art is exploding in Big Sky, and in the West in general,” Colin explains. “It goes along with the boom in contemporary architecture and interior design in Moonlight Basin, the Yellowstone Club and other private developments here, so the art I have at the other gallery fits well in those environments.”

Located at 33 Lone Peak Drive, Suite #104,

Categories: Big Sky Culture

Big Sky Sotheby's Welcomes Bonnie DeFrancesco to the Team

Posted on February 4, 2016 by bigskysir

FEATURED AGENT: Bonnie DeFrancesco

Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty welcomes Bonnie DeFrancesco to the Bozeman team. Bonnie has over 23 years of experience as a successful realtor specializing in residential, luxury, and second homes, as well as investment properties.

"I'm honored to work with Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty," says Bonnie, "because of their impeccable reputation." As a long time resident of Montana, Bonnie knows first hand what her clients are looking for when buying or selling property in the region. In addition to her passion for Montana real estate, Bonnie loves to ski, golf, fly fish, and camp with her family. Combined with the reputation of Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty, Bonnie says that her "expertise in the real estate business for over twenty years will bring integrity, professional, personal attention and proven results" to all clients. Welcome to the team, Bonnie! Buying or selling property in southwest Montana? Contact Bonnie at 406-581-9881 or email Read more about our NEW Big Sky Sotheby's office located in Bozeman, Montana


New Bozeman Office Opening April 2016

Bringing Bozeman Real Estate “The Essence of Extraordinary”

In April 2016 Bozeman will welcome Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty to the Gallatin Valley. Owners, Cathy Gorman and her husband Tim Cyr will open an office in the heart of Bozeman with ten full-time professional, dedicated agents. The new location will specialize in listing the finest ranches and luxury homes in southwest Montana. “We have requests from buyers and sellers all over the state,” says Gorman, the broker and owner of Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty. Gorman and Cyr established the Big Sky franchise in 2002 after having lived in the area for twenty years, and are excited to open another office in Bozeman. “We have seen both communities grow so much over the years,” says Gorman, “and we feel we can better serve the Bozeman and Southwest Montana residents with local professional agents who specialize in the Bozeman area.” Through 25+ years of experience as an agent and broker, as well as 30+ as a resident, Gorman recognizes the need for agents who specialize in ranches and luxury homes outside of Big Sky.

The Bozeman office staff will have, at their disposal, all of the tools Sotheby’s International Realty provides to take their listings to the most affluent buyers in the world. In ranching communities such as Paradise Valley, the Madison Valley, Big Timber and Red Lodge, Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty will be able to offer the most specialized support to clients. Cathy and Tim are thrilled to have Broker, Michael Morgner, manage the Bozeman office. He is a local resident of Bozeman and brings with him years of successful experience as a broker and agent with Sotheby’s International Realty. He is looking forward to opening the Bozeman branch. Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty has listed some of the most prestigious homes in the region – from ranches to luxury homes – but everyone deserves the finest care when buying and selling home, says Gorman. “Everyone who approaches us will be given the utmost care and attention to detail for which Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty is known, no matter what their property is worth.” Stop by the office in April (location announced shortly!) or reach out to Cathy or Michael with questions. Let Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty represent you and your home and discover the place “Where the essence of extraordinary is defined.”

Cathy Gorman: (406) 580-2318

Michael Morgner: (406) 551-0713


Ski Gear Trends in Big Sky, Montana

Posted on January 25, 2016 by bigskysir

Ski Gear Trends in Big Sky, Montana

Ski gear is constantly evolving. What was once a novelty, such as fat skis, is now mainstream, and according to Ken Lancey co-owner of Grizzly Outfitters in the Big Sky Town Center, the trend now is leaning towards more limited production, high quality gear.

Those interested in more exclusive ski brands may want to look to the smaller companies that have adopted a more hands-on approach to the design and output. Instead of a big factory production, smaller ski companies are creating innovative lines that are laminated and crafted by hand. They happen to be quite a bit more expensive, but as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Ken recommends Kästle skis, a company that lives by the motto “quality over quantity,” and the Salt Lake City-based DPS skis. “Both of these brands have limited production; they’re not pumping out 20,000 pairs like the more well known brands, so there’s more attention to the process of making them,” Ken says. “It’s like small batch bourbon; can you taste the difference between that and Jack Daniels? Yes, you can.”

In addition to the quality of the construction, skiers will enjoy a smoother ride. The skis are stable at high speed with lower vibration. They are also favored by those who want to ride on something more unique than the brands most often seen in the lift lines.

Those looking for high-end, high performing ski gear, may also want to consider clothing, goggles and ski boots. Ken recommends the heated Hester gloves ($400+) and Kjus clothing, which is technical and performance oriented, while also being stylish, with a classic and refined look. For high-end goggles, look for those with a built in GPS and displays that interface with your phone or iPod so you can see what track you’re on. Grizzly OUtfitters also specializes in ski boots, and they completely customize a factory boot in house with custom footbeds, liners and heaters for the ultimate ski boot comfort. Located at 11 Lone Peak Dr #101,


The Perfect Wines to Pair with Big Sky

Posted on January 25, 2016 by bigskysir

Wine: Vino per Tutti, Bozeman Vino per Tutti means “Wine for Everyone,” and owner Colleen Helm takes that to heart. With an extensive wine background—she’s a Certified Sommelier and a Certified Wine Specialist—her passion is to educate interested wine novices and make suggestions to connoisseurs. “We try to educate people in a fun, non threatening way,” she explains. And she and her staff are always furthering their own educations; they taste more than 4,000 wines per year, many from smaller vineyards, and pride themselves on finding a home for the tastiest, hand selected labels. Located in a modern storefront on Main Street in Downtown Bozeman, the walls are lined with unexpected wine finds, not the labels you’d see on the supermarket shelves. The back wall features wines under $14 with 100 bottles under $20 throughout the store, and other wines are organized like a progressive wine list, by style and weight. Downstairs is the real treat, a 1,300-bottle cellar where the high end wines are stored. “Down there we have a lot of famous, hard to come by selections, and even some that only total wine geeks or connoisseurs might know about,” Colleen says. Looking for a special wine to get you through the upcoming Big Sky winter? Colleen suggests the Gaja Barbaresco for a small batch wine that’s truly unique. “It’s one of the most famous, yet most difficult to get wines in the world,” she explains. “It’s allocated, so all of Montana only gets a few bottles, and we will have some it stock.” Another one to have one hand? She recommends going Italian with a Dal Forno or Quintarelli. “These are wines that you may want to have in a collection, they are so revered,” she says. The deep purple floral notes mixed with a little tar give you a warming feeling in the winter time. Colleen and her staff can help customers choose wines to pair with a meal or an event, and offer private consultations for those building or adding to a cellar. Located at 315 E. Main in Bozeman,

Categories: Uncategorized

Nature Inspired Jewelry in Big Sky

Posted on January 18, 2016 by bigskysir

Natured Inspired Designs

Nature inspired, Big Sky influenced modern designs. It’s not easy to describe the eclectic selection of jewelry you will find at Ari O’s in the Big Sky Town Center. In an open studio connected to the store, Big Sky artist Ariane Coleman designs the jewelry and she and her talented staff handcrafts each piece using a variety of metals, gemstones, and beads to create one-of-a-kind works. Most of her materials are sourced from the U.S., and all of the design ideas come from her head, to her sketchbook, and then to life. “I’m designing in my head all the time,” she says. “Because I’m a 3-D artists, I’m constantly taking shapes and spinning them around in my head,” she explains. “Hopefully, I get it to my sketchbook in time, and then refine it from there.” Ari O’s Signature Series is a Big Sky must-have for collectors of fine jewelry. “This is the highest end line that we create with shapes based off positive and negative space,” Ariane says. “These are wearable art pieces that integrate gemstones and semiprecious and precious mixed metals.” These unique and artfully crafted contemporary pieces also blend textures, and have a hint of Western flair while still leaning more towards modern shapes. The Long Turquoise Pod Necklace ($1,400) is a standout piece that features 14 long strands of turquoise beadwork that comes together with a three dimensional handcrafted pod that’s been dipped in rhodium (a cousin of platinum). The Triple Ring Lucky Wishbone Necklace ($300), in rose gold or grey, is a blend of sterling silver and 14 karat gold, with a unique wishbone pendant circled by three rings. Other three dimensional pod carved necklace pendants and earrings are showcased in the store, along with a variety of hand woven wrap bracelets ($205) that are made from Czech beads and fine-grain leather, inspired by Native American beadwork. Ariane’s work has been featured in group exhibitions at the Museum of the Rockies and the Yellowstone Art Museum. With the ideas constantly flowing, the inventory at Ari O is ever changing, and Ariane is often on hand or available by appointment to explain her inspirations for the different designs. Located at 50 Ousel Spur Road, Unit 2,

Categories: Big Sky Culture

8 Reasons Why Your Home Deserves The Sotheby's Trusted Brand

Posted on January 4, 2016 by bigskysir

Your home is your special place, whether you have owned for two years or twenty. So when it comes time to listing your property, your home deserves the utmost respect, appreciation, and attention.

Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty is devoted to highlighting each individual home in the international spotlight, with marketing tactics unique to each homeowner. Rest assured that listing your home with Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty places it, “Where the essence of extraordinary is defined.” When you list your home or property with Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty, you will not only receive the absolutely most professional care possible, but you also receive an internationally trusted brand for luxury real estate. The Sotheby’s brand includes: Heritage Embracing the tradition, character, and equity of the Sotheby’s brand name. Collaboration The collaboration between auction and realty utilizes a combination of unique and exclusive marketing efforts that provide targeted exposure to a coveted and influential audience. Global Reach Sotheby’s has more than 15,000 independent sales associates in approximately 720 offices and 52 countries and territories. Powerful Media partnerships whose innovation, experience, and international impact help drive awareness for the extraordinary properties our networks represent drive over 800 million media impressions for the Sotheby’s International Realty brand, such as: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Financial Times, dwell, and Google. Marketing Clients receive distinctive marketing, custom-tailored for each unique client, including a combination of powerful interactive and direct mail efforts to generate additional customer interest, both locally and globally. SIR.COM In an ever-increasing global marketplace, attracts more consumers to search, view, and inquire than any other luxury real estate website. Properties may also be found on our network of interconnected, locally focused, and globally aware members’ sites. Property Distribution Our online exposure includes the most significant media companies and real estate focused websites in the world, in addition to our global marketing and world-class innovation including our eGallery and Global Distribution Programs. Mobile Sotheby’s International Realty (SIR) Mobile is the only luxury real estate mobile app that works anywhere and searches globally. Get FREE access to luxury homes for sale and rent around the world. Your home is unique. Marketing a listing such as this takes an exclusive set of skills, as well as an integrated marketing plan. Our exclusive global marketing partnerships are designed to create maximum exposure for your property. All the resources that are available to our firm are utilized to present your home in an extraordinary and targeted manner. To view and share our listing publication, please visit: For more questions, call one of our very experienced agents, at Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty, at (406) 995-2211.

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