Capital Improvements, Historic Success, Plans
(October 1, 2013) - CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC, in partnership with Boyne Resorts, completed the purchase with a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. to acquire the assets of Moonlight Basin in Big Sky, Montana. This agreement follows the recent acquisition of the assets of Spanish Peaks by the same partnership and has created of one of the largest and most compelling mountain resort experiences in North America.
CrossHarbor and Boyne have combined the ski operations of Moonlight Basin with that of Big Sky Resort, operating the properties seamlessly and solidifying the Big Sky brand as a premier ski destination and global brand. Big Sky Resort, Spanish Peaks, and Moonlight Basin combine to create a ski resort of more than 5,800 acres of skiable terrain, with 4350 vertical feet, 23 chairlifts and 10 surface lifts, making it truly the "Biggest Skiing in America." Successfully unifying these operations will help promote economic stability and growth across the region and to all of Big Sky and will ensure Moonlight Basin's long-term and sustainable success.
Additional development within Big Sky, Moonlight Basin, and Spanish Peaks will now share a common vision and leadership. The future development of these special and unique properties will continue to follow the path of stewardship and environmental sensitivity.
Statement from Sam Byrne, Managing Partner, CrossHarbor Capital Partners: "This investment is another important step forward for Big Sky and underscores the strength of our new partnership with Boyne Resorts. In the near term, the transaction will provide some much needed stability to Moonlight Basin. But the investment also reflects the broader potential we see for the region and sets the foundation for long-term growth."
Statement from Stephen Kircher, President, Boyne Eastern Operations: "The alliance to acquire Moonlight Basin and Spanish Peaks with CrossHarbor Capital Partners, another long-term strategic player in the Big Sky area, creates the opportunity for a stable and coordinated effort in helping the community and the region fulfill its experiential and economic potential. For over 37 years, Boyne Resorts has been a steady custodian of growth of Big Sky Resort. We are truly excited about the positive impact this alliance will have on Big Sky Resort and surrounding communities in Southwestern Montana and permanently solidifying the "Biggest Skiing in America‟."
On Friday, July 19, 2013, an affiliate of CrossHarbor Capital Partners LLC, in partnership with Boyne Resorts, closed on the purchase of the assets of Spanish Peaks out of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings. CrossHarbor and Boyne acquired Spanish Peaks because we believe it has incredible long-term potential. Together, we recognize that the successful development and completion of Spanish Peaks is essential to the future of Southwest Montana and to ensuring the Big Sky area remains a world-class resort destination.
The winter of 2013-14 marks the 40th anniversary of Big Sky Resort, the concept of the late NBC newscaster and Montana native Chet Huntley. Under the ownership of Boyne Resorts since 1976, Big Sky has seen hundreds of millions of dollars of significant improvements, from building a conference center, expanding terrain, additions and upgrades of lifts, lodging, employee housing and commercial centers, to building the relevant utilities infrastructure.
A barometer of the real estate recovery is exemplified by phase five of the popular Powder Ridge Cabins released in December 2011: as of summer 2013, it had nearly sold out of the 15 units available. Through its responsible growth, Big Sky Resort stays financially viable and a reliable employer and community partner. And a record 374,000 skier days topped off the 2012-13 ski season.
Big Sky's parent company, Boyne Resorts, completed the next step in its planned $400 million capital investment with the opening of Village Center in 2008. The approved Overall Development Plan of the Big Sky Resort Mountain Village is designed to maintain the unique characteristics of Big Sky while incorporating the best design elements of the premier ski villages in Europe and North America.
Many improvements have been made to the core plaza area since summer 2008 to create a sense of community and enhance the village environment. From children's playground equipment to Basecamp activities, visitors and owners based in the Mountain Village can feel the energy.
This effort is on-going with the Big Sky zipline added in February 2009 for a totally unique tree-top experience. Summer 2009 included the addition of a climbing wall, high ropes course and paintball adventures. In 2012, the Lone Peak Expedition: Tram to the Top made its debut, transporting guests via chairlift, safari truck and aerial tram to the top of Lone Peak for a summer panorama. And another 4-line zip experience using Explorer Lift was added in 2013 along with a new twin bungee trampoline.
SKI TERRAIN IMPROVEMENTS
Winter 2008 skiers and riders enjoyed additional terrain on the south face of Lone Mountain accessed by the Dakota Lift. Winter season 2011-12 saw the addition of 5 new gladed ski runs bringing Big Sky's skiable acreage to 4,050. Glading efforts continue into 2013 to improve forest health and provide an expanded ski experience.
Big Sky has seen investment in excess of $100 million in the resort including:
- Upgrades to Huntley Lodge, Whitewater Inn and the Mountain Mall totaling nearly $1 million (2013)
- The Village Center ski suites which includes 10,000 sq. ft. for shops and restaurants creating an active pedestrian village and slopeside ski/entertainment suites on upper floors. (2007)
- Collaboration with Moonlight Basin to form the nation's largest ski complex with 5,512 acres and 4,350 vertical feet. (2005)
- High-speed lift upgrade for Southern Comfort Lift (2004)
- $50 million Summit at Big Sky, 213-room luxury condominium hotel (2000)
- Construction of an extensive hiking and biking trail system and alternative recreation (1998-2005)
- Phases 1-5 of the Powder Ridge Cabins
- White Otter, Cascade and Little Thunder Lifts accessing Cascade ski-in, ski-out homesitesEmployee housing for staff membersMedical facility, roads, utilities, infrastructure for Cascade Highlands recreation homesites and Powder Ridge Cabins (1998)
May 28, 2013 "BIG SKY IS BUSTLING" Robyn Erlenbush looks at real estate sales in Big Sky in Business Journal for Southwest Montana.
June 1, 2012 "BACK IN THE BLACK" Business Journal for Southwest Montana editor Jason Bacaj takes a look at the real estate marketing in Big Sky in this March 27, 2012 cover story...