Big Sky Resort becomes biggest ski area in America

The biggest skiing in the U.S. Photo: Big Ski Resort

The biggest skiing in the U.S.; photo by Big Ski Resort

What's the biggest resort in the United States? Starting this coming winter Montana's Big Ski will take the prize.

They announced Thursday that their owners, Boyne Resorts, in conjunction with CrossHarbor Capital Partners, which owns the neighboring Yellowstone Club, are teaming up to buy Moonlight Basin.

According to the entities behind the sale, "Big Sky Resort, Spanish Peaks, and Moonlight Basin combine to create a ski resort of more than 5,700 acres of skiable terrain, with 4,350 vertical feet, 23 chairlifts, and 10 surface lifts." That's slightly bigger than Vail in Colorado, which previously held the title.

Moonlight, which is just over the ridge from Big Sky, has been financially unstable for several years. According to the local paper The Missoulian, "Lehman Brothers bought Moonlight Basin in 2012, three years after the resort filed for bankruptcy when the New York-based bank foreclosed on an outstanding $170 million loan. The resort had put up its lodge, spa, golf course, and other assets as collateral against the loan."

You could previously ski between the two resorts, and there's not yet a plan in place for how they'll be operated together.

The deal is expected to close in the next few weeks.