“Maybe where there’s clarity of air, there's clarity of thought."
- Chet Huntley at Big Sky, Montana, 1973.
Big Sky’s meadow today is a dream fulfilled. In 1970, Chet Huntley, famous news broadcaster and Montana native, envisioned the area just west of the Gallatin River as an ideal recreational resort. He convinced the state’s Governor to build a state highway on the logging road along the West Fork Valley to Lone Mountain and… Voilà! In 1972, Highway 64 (Lone Mountain Trail) became the entrance to what is now the second largest ski area in the United States.
Huntley’s original vision included the Meadow as a premiere golf course. Designed by Arnold Palmer, the course was developed to be the hub of the community, surrounded by residential living. Notably, the condominium complexes were named after Montana counties: Broadwater, Stillwater, Teton, Glacier, Yellowstone. The roads around the meadow were named after Native Americans: Two Gun White Calf (the model for the Indian head nickel), Black Otter, Chief Joseph, Crazy Horse, Crow King and Swift Bear, to mention just a few. Little Coyote, former president of the Northern Cheyenne Reservation may also be a namesake. However, another story told is that, when the golf course was new, a mother coyote had her pups under sagebrush by the 3rd hole. Golfers were warned that, if a coyote pup stole their golf balls, not to follow it into the scrub in case a protective mamma was there waiting!
Following Chet Huntley’s death in 1974, the Resort was sold to Boyne USA, owned by the Kircher family. Since then, the dream of making Big Sky a premiere recreational area and beautiful, healthful community continues to grow.
Special thanks to Anne Marie Mistretta for her historical contribution.