Montana Snowbowl Ski Area Approved to Expand - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Montana Snowbowl Ski Area Approved to Expand

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA - Skiers and snowboarders rejoice, as Montana Snowbowl Ski Area is given the green light to expand to nearly double its current size.

On May 1, the Forest Service approved Snowbowl's plan that was originally proposed ten years ago.

The owners of the ski area tell me the goal of their expansion is to provide more beginner and intermediate runs to Snowbowl's primarily expert terrain.

They said it'll be lot of hard work, and they're already starting the process this summer.

Brad Morris and his wife Ronnie have owned Snowbowl since 1984. They submitted the proposal to expand the resort back in 2004.

"It's been slow and a lot of starts and stops along the way," Morris said.

Morris said expanding will allow Snowbowl to accommodate more skiers and snowboarders. He says the demand has continued to grow over the years, especially after Marshall Mountain close back in 2003.

"There was definitely a demand for it and we wanted to balance our terrain with some lower level terrain," he said.

The plan is to expand Snowbowl from 1,138 acres to 2,243 acres to the west of the existing ski area. The number of ski runs will increase from 52 to 80 allowing for total daily skier capacity to rise from 1,500 to 3,066.

"It's a good appropriate spot for beginner and intermediate ski terrain," said Boyd Hartwig of the Lolo National Forest Service.

Hartwig said Snowbowl's expansion was approved after the completion of an Environmental Impact Statement on how expanding would affect the environment. 

"Fish habitat, the amount of water in Butler Creek, and then wildlife habitat," Hartwig said.

Hartwig said completing the EIS involved years of analysis, public comment and review.

"So, it's a lengthy process, but it's a necessary step for all of our land management actions."

Hartwig said they also plan to install four new chair lifts and construct a new snowmaking reservoir and lodge.

"It'll be a real positive addition to the community," Morris said.

Owners said the expansion will be a gradual process over the next ten years.

They said they're also installing zip lines above Snowbowl's terrain this summer.



The Forest Service approves the expansion of Montana Snowbowl Ski Area.

On May 1, the Lolo National Forest Supervisor signed the Record of Decision for the expansion.

The Forest Service's decision sanctions expanding the existing ski area from its current 1,138 acres to 2,243 acres.

It also permits several new facilities, including a new lodge to be constructed on federal lands.

The decision allows the number of ski lifts can be increased from four to eight and a new snowmaking reservoir can be constructed.

The number of ski runs can also be increased from 52 to 80 allowing for total daily skier capacity to rise from 1,500 skiers to 3,066 skiers.

Most of the new developments are planned for a location just west of the existing ski area.

Montana Snowbowl could begin expanding as early as this summer. The expansion is expected to take place in phases and may extend over a ten year period.
  • NationalMore>>

  • Witness in ex-Va. gov trial: Gifts, but no affair

    Witness in ex-Va. gov trial: Gifts, but no affair

    Friday, August 1 2014 5:43 AM EDT2014-08-01 09:43:05 GMT
    The key witness in the corruption trial of Virginia's former governor and his wife said his association with the couple was fraught with bad decisions - but an affair with the first lady was not one of them.
    The key witness in the corruption trial of Virginia's former governor and his wife said his association with the couple was fraught with bad decisions - but an affair with the first lady was not one of them.
  • Florida preserve brings wolves, people together

    Florida preserve brings wolves, people together

    Friday, August 1 2014 4:52 AM EDT2014-08-01 08:52:05 GMT
    At Seacrest Wolf Preserve in northern Florida, billed as the largest such facility in the Southeast, owners Cynthia and Wayne Watkins say they raise their wolves to become accustomed to humans - and for a $25 fee,...
    At Seacrest Wolf Preserve in northern Florida, billed as the largest such facility in the Southeast, owners Cynthia and Wayne Watkins say they raise their wolves to become accustomed to humans - and for a $25 fee, they...
  • USDA overhauls 50 year-old poultry inspections

    USDA overhauls 50 year-old poultry inspections

    Friday, August 1 2014 4:44 AM EDT2014-08-01 08:44:02 GMT
    The Obama administration is attempting to cut down on thousands of foodborne illnesses linked to chicken and turkey each year with an overhaul of poultry plant inspection rules that are more than 50 years old.
    The Obama administration is moving to cut down on the thousands of foodborne illnesses linked to chicken and turkey each year with an overhaul of poultry plant inspection rules that are more than 50 years old.
  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • ABC All-Stars: BSHS Softball Players Redemption

    ABC All-Stars: BSHS Softball Players Redemption

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:16 PM EDT2014-08-01 00:16:08 GMT
    After a heartbreaking loss in the State AA Championship game, a core group of girls from Big Sky High School have stayed positive in their road to redemption.
    After a heartbreaking loss in the State AA Championship game, a core group of girls from Big Sky High School have stayed positive in their road to redemption.
  • LOOK: Faces Of WA State's Missing People

    LOOK: Faces Of WA State's Missing People

    Thursday, February 27 2014 11:49 AM EST2014-02-27 16:49:33 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The missing persons listed in this slideshow resided in the state of Washington at the time of their disappearance or may have traveled to Washington State. These pictures came from Washington State Patrol's website. If you have any information about any of these missing people call 1-800-543-5678.
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The missing persons listed in this slideshow resided in the state of Washington at the time of their disappearance or may have traveled to Washington State. These pictures came from Washington State Patrol's website. If you have any information about any of these missing people call 1-800-543-5678.
  • Big Dipper Plans New Parlor In Billings

    Big Dipper Plans New Parlor In Billings

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:27 AM EDT2014-08-01 04:27:24 GMT
    The Big Dipper plans a new parlor in Billings.
    The Big Dipper plans a new parlor in Billings.
  • Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-07-17 01:30:30 GMT
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
  • Bozeman Mayor Responds to Public Meeting's Abrupt End

    Bozeman Mayor Responds to Public Meeting's Abrupt End

    Friday, August 1 2014 12:31 AM EDT2014-08-01 04:31:42 GMT
    A public meeting in Bozeman Wednesday night, updating residents on efforts to mitigate violate organic compounds near the Story Mill Road landfill, ended abruptly after one man began shouting at the Mayor.
    A public meeting in Bozeman Wednesday night, updating residents on efforts to mitigate violate organic compounds near the Story Mill Road landfill, ended abruptly after one man began shouting at the Mayor.
  • Missoula Business Finds Niche in Treehouses

    Missoula Business Finds Niche in Treehouses

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 4:24 PM EDT2014-07-30 20:24:43 GMT
    For most of us, being able to walk out your back door and take off flying around your backyard, finally coming to a rest high in the trees-- only exists in our imagination.
    For most of us, being able to walk out your back door and take off flying around your backyard, finally coming to a rest high in the trees-- only exists in our imagination.
  • Counterfeit One Dollar Bills in Butte

    Counterfeit One Dollar Bills in Butte

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-07-31 00:09:41 GMT
    Some people in Butte discover the money in their wallet is fake. Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Franklin, those are the faces you usually see on counterfeit money but George Washington? Now, that's rare.
    Some people in Butte discover the money in their wallet is fake. Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Franklin, those are the faces you usually see on counterfeit money but George Washington? Now, that's rare.
  • MHP Increases Patrols For Testicle Festival

    MHP Increases Patrols For Testicle Festival

    Thursday, July 31 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-07-31 22:41:38 GMT
    The 33rd annual Testicle Festival is underway, and officers are bringing in the reinforcements to prevent DUI's.
    The 33rd annual Testicle Festival is underway, and officers are bringing in the reinforcements to prevent DUI's.