BIG SKY — On Friday, developers and community leaders in Big Sky hosted a double celebration to announce the opening of several new businesses and the groundbreaking of the area’s first chain hotel.
A small crowd gathered to watch officials plunge shovels into the dirt to mark the start of construction for the Wilson Hotel, a Marriott Residence Inn. Located east of the newly built Town Center space, the 129-room hotel will feature a full-service restaurant, fitness center and pool.
The Wilson, named after President Woodrow Wilson and nearby Wilson Peak, is set to open for the 2018 ski season.
Urgo Hotels, a management company based out of Maryland, will operate the hotel.
“We’re working to grow Big Sky,” said Matt Kidd, managing director with CrossHarbor Capital Partners, the investment firm behind much of Big Sky’s development. “We’ve been working for years figuring out what we want Town Center to be and those conversations have always centered around needing a hotel.”
“We’re really excited to see this project come together after all these years,” added Bill Simkins, whose father purchased the Town Center land in the 1970s. “It’s going to be a game changer for the community.”
Friday night’s block party-style celebration also included the grand opening of several new arrivals in Town Center.
Among them is Compass Café, a restaurant from Sola Café and Red Tractor Pizza owner Tiffany Lach. The restaurant will offer soups, salads, various macaroni and cheeses, hot sandwiches and wraps, as well as a variety of gluten free, dairy free and vegan options, Lach said.
Also in the building is Montana Supply Co., a lifestyle apparel shop that began as Big Sky’s High Country Goods.
The Lone Mountain Land Company, will also have an office inside the building.
Lone Mountain was formed in 2014 by CrossHarbor, which has a hand in the management and ownership of several local developments, including the Yellowstone Club, Black Bull, Moonlight Basin and the Spanish Peaks Mountain Club.