Winter tourism reaches high mark in Gallatin County

Posted at 1:06 PM, Apr 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-15 15:06:27-04

Record snowfall has led to a record ski season in Big Sky, which had a positive impact on the local economy.

"I know that Bozeman for years has been known as seasonal type flights and a seasonal type area to come," Daryl Schliem, President and CEO of the Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce, said. "I think we’ve narrowed that gap now to not only the 5.2 million visitors in the summer, but our focus has really been on how we populate winter."

The Bozeman Area Chamber of Commerce worked with both Bridger Bowl and Big Sky Resort to promote winter tourism.

This year, Big Sky Resort will pass 500,000 skiers.

"We’ve just had a ton of people and I think we are going to continue that momentum into next year," Public Relations Manager Chelsi Moy said.

Another factor that may have played into the increase of tourism is that other ski resorts did not see a lot of snow this year, which Schliem believes will help the 2019 ski season.

"One of the things that we have noticed all the way through is that once you have had the chance to be exposed to a new direct flight, a new ski hill, a new way to do something, you are likely to go back there again," Schliem said.

But more than just the ski hills have felt the bump in tourism.  

"We’re encouraging you to use all the amenities and try all the different terrains that are here, so this is what has helped build our local economy here," Schliem said.