Members of one more swanky private ski area adjacent to Big Sky Resort got sobering news on Monday. Spanish Peaks Resort shut its doors, and another ski area bit the dust.
The Bozeman Chronicle reported on Oct. 11 that the resort laid off its staff and sent a letter to its membership notifying them of the closure. A copy of the letter ran on the newspaper's web site.
"It is likely Spanish Peaks will remain closed for the foreseeable future," the letter stated. The letter, which blamed the recession, indicated that Spanish Peaks would check into options, including bankruptcy. An attached FAQ sheet stated that a winter "opening is uncertain."
The letter advised members to "make plans that do not rely on the Club for your visit to Big Sky this winter." It also cited a laundry list of operations that most-likely would not be available this winter to homeowners and members, including lifts and grooming.
The private luxury resort operated three private chairlifts for its members. Skiers could use the lifts to access Big Sky's Southern Comfort lift to ski Andesite Mountain or get to Lone Peak.
OnTheSnow ran a story last week introducing a new four-night lodging and lift ticket package open to the public at Spanish Peaks. The package included drinks with the general manager. Those who made reservations for the package should contact Spanish Peaks.
Spanish Peaks is not the only ski area at Big Sky to find itself in financial straits. The Yellowstone Club, another private club adjacent to Big Sky, filed for bankruptcy in 2008.
Moonlight Basin, which shares a boundary with Big Sky on the north side of Lone Peak, also landed in bankruptcy court. But the resort reached a settlement agreement in July 2011 with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The agreement is expected to help the normal operation of Moonlight continue.
Big Sky Resort plans to open Nov. 24. Moonlight is planning to open for the ski and snowboard season Dec. 10.
To see a copy of the letter from Spanish Peaks to its members, go here.