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Lone Peak Tram ‘One Hell of a Birthday Present’ for Resort’s 50th

Big Sky Resort cuts the ribbon on new tram, soon to abutt new Explorer Gondola and expand base-to-peak scenic tourism

By Jack Reaney

As the new Lone Peak Tram climbs above Lone Mountain’s Alto Ridge, the Madison Range rises into southern sight. The 11,166-foot summit has been served by tram for almost 30 years, but the ride now follows a different path with different views.

On Tuesday, Dec. 19, Big Sky Resort celebrated a successful two-year construction process with the tram’s grand opening. Public riders climbed aboard the new, 75-passenger cabins and oversaw Lone Mountain from a new vantage point, inspecting the bowl and the gullies, while being hauled at a top speed above 22 miles per hour. The peak remains closed for skiing, so riders took a two-way scenic trip.

At 9:45 a.m., resort executives spoke from atop the bottom terminal.

“You know a new tram doesn’t get built in North America but about once a generation,” Taylor Middleton, Big Sky Resort president and COO, told an eager crowd. “And I’m one of the lucky people that’s had two in my generation, and I am stoked about that. I’m stoked about all of you.”

Middleton said the vibe and personality on Dec. 19, 2023 was not too different from the resort’s grand opening on Dec. 15, 1973—he segued to recognize Mark Gary and Tony Martel, who happened to purchase Big Sky Resort’s very first lift tickets on that opening day 50 years ago; both now stood near the front of the tram line for another grand opening. Middleton said the effort to cut the ribbon on a new tram while celebrating 50 years was no accident…

 
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