Montana’s Great Divide Ski Area near Helena looks likely to change hands after the upcoming season. But if you’re one of those who worries we’re witnessing the last days of the local ski area, this probably isn’t the story that will send you over the edge.
Owners Kevin and Nyla Taylor have decided to move on to their next adventure after running the hill since 1985, when it was just a “rotten deck and a t-bar,” according to Mr. Taylor. Maintaining and expanding the ski area, along with raising a family, became the Taylor’s life’s work. However a couple of years ago, Kevin Taylor’s eyesight began to deteriorate so he began gauging the interest of potential buyers.
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The intended new owners of Great Divide are two individuals, Joe Pope and his wife Kyle. Both have ski industry and business experience and it seems they’re both okay with keeping the hill’s local feel, right down to the cheese fries.
Owner Kevin Taylor told Montana Untamed the cheese fries alone brought in $42,000 last year and locals have already made it known they’d like the snack to survive the ownership transition. There’s snow on its way to Montana, so, field trip, anyone?
The Taylors and the Popes have apparently reached an arrangement that will allow them to co-run Great Divide this season and, if all goes well– complete the sale by April of 2019.
“I think I’ve really been missing that part – I’m kind of sappy and romantic in that way – but to know your customers on a first name basis and see those same customers year-in and year-out,” Joe Pope (*Quote courtesy of Montana Untamed.)
Moving forward, the Pope’s seem okay with running a community-focused hill.
Find the entire Montana Untamed article here: Longtime Great Divide owners ready to hand off ski area after 3 decades