Montana's Great Divide Ski Area to Change Hands, Remain Community-Focused

Montana's Great Divide Ski Area to Change Hands, Remain Community-Focused


Montana's Great Divide Ski Area to Change Hands, Remain Community-Focused


The snow may not be trademarked but that doesn’t mean it isn’t some of the best in the USA | Photo: Great Divide Ski Area

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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Cold weather has arrived, we have received new snow twice this week, and much more in the forecast. The snowmaking equipment has been deployed and tested. Winters imminent return draws ever closer. Are you ready to ski? We still have hundreds of new and in-service ski sets to choose from. We typically issue around 900 season leases, and as of now, only 400 have gone out the door. Don't get caught in the rental line on opening day. Come up for one of our five remaining Pre-Season Sunday's and take your pick of our exciting ski selection from Nordica, Volkl, K2 and more. Our technicians will take the time to help determine the ideal ski for you, fit your boots and adjust your bindings. That way on opening day you will be shredding lines rather than standing in them. Another way to avoid the long lines is to send us your photo for your SeasonPass. Just take a selfie of you and each of your family members, and email them over to We will print your pass and it will be ready for you to pick up the next time you visit. We have sold over 1300 passes so far and only 300 have been issued. Don't get stuck behind 1000 people on opening day. We are just six weeks away from our projected opening. Get ahead of the crowds and prepare for ski season today. Thanks to our cool new partnerships with Whitefish Mountain Resort and Red Lodge Mountain, the Great Divide SeasonPass is an even better value than before. 100 days and 16 nights here at home plus 3 days FREE at Red Lodge and 3 Days fFREE at Whitefish with the added bonus of half-day rate at all other Montana ski areas. The Great Divide SeasonPass is the best deal on snow! For those more casual skiers, we have two great discount options. Half-Price PassPort $49- 6 half price lift tickets. Fully transferable, valid throughout the 18/19 ski season. On sale 9/9-12/24 only. Thrifty 3-Pak $99- 3 anytime all day lift tickets. Fully transferable. Valid throughout the entire 18/19 ski season. On sale 9/9-12/24 only. IMPORTANT UPCOMING DATES September 9th – November 11th – Pre-Season Sundays: Ticket Office & Rental Shop open for Season Pass pictures and seasonal equipment leases and

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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?

Skiing pow amongst old growth pines | Photo: Great Divide Ski Area

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

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