Beartooth Basin Ski Area Listed for Sale, Owners Seek Buyer to Maximize Potential

Beartooth Basin Ski Area, located in Red Lodge, Montana, is up for sale, as announced on the ski area’s website. Co-owner and operations manager Austin Hart expressed the desire to find a buyer with the financial means to unlock the ski area’s full potential. The current ownership group, consisting of individuals with separate careers and businesses, aims to see the operation thrive under new ownership.

Since the announcement, there has been significant interest in the sale of the ski area. The facilities available for purchase include two high-speed Doppelmayr surface lifts, three snowcats, a portable diesel generator, seven trailers, and all the necessary tools and equipment for operation. The asking price has not been disclosed.

Beartooth Basin Ski Area operates under a 20-year permit from the Shoshone National Forest, allowing skiing on 90 acres with a vertical descent of 1,000 feet. The sale of the facilities does not automatically transfer the permit, and the Forest Service will ensure that the new owners are capable of running the ski area through a thorough process.

The ski area faced challenges in recent years, including a lack of snow that prevented the lifts from opening this year. Last season was also shorter than usual due to unfavorable weather conditions. Despite these difficulties, the ski area passed all inspections with no deficiencies and had a decent financial performance.

The history of Beartooth Basin Ski Area dates back to the 1980s when Red Lodge ski instructor and Austrian immigrant Pepi Gramshammer installed the two lifts. Initially established as the Alpine Ski Racing summer training ground, the ski area later opened to the public in 2003 under the management of Rob Hart and Kurt Hallock. The name was changed to Beartooth Basin, attracting ski enthusiasts from around the world and hosting slopestyle events.

Located along the Beartooth Highway, a scenic byway connecting Red Lodge to Cooke City at Yellowstone National Park’s Northeast Entrance, the area offers popular skiing and snowboarding opportunities even without lift service. Steep slopes like Reefer Ridge and the Gardner Lake and Rock Creek headwalls attract visitors who are willing to hike to access these areas.

Running the ski area has always been challenging due to its short season and difficult access. The climate’s variability, including increased spring rain and decreased winter snowfall, adds to the operational difficulties. Maintaining the ski area for a potential two-week season requires significant effort, and avalanches pose a constant threat to the lift towers.

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