How to have a Merry “Green”mas, and safe holiday


hollyThough not everyone will be celebrating Christmas this week, it’s safe to say that most will be spending time with family and friends.

Check out these tips to help the environment, and keep you fire-safe, during the holidays.

  • 3 Ways To Have a Merry Greenmas

    You can make the holidays more eco-friendly by putting a green twist on Christmas traditions. Here are 3 smart ways to green up your holiday. Read

  • Holiday Fire Safety Tips

    The holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year for household fires, so take note of these tips to reduce your risk. Read

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Winter In Yellowstone National Park


Yellowstone National Park is one of the most spectacular wonders of the world, and we are fortunate to have it essentially in our back yard. But, did you know that in addition to millions of visitors passing through there in the summer, it is also open to the public in the winter? Except for a few weeks in the spring and fall when the park is closed to public traffic, you can experience the wonder during all seasons.

While you are making your plans to be in Big Sky this winter to enjoy skiing at Big Sky Resort or cross country and sleigh-riding adventures at Lone Mountain Ranch, consider a visit to Yellowstone to round out your trip.

xmasbook-1845You can explore the park on your own by cross country skiing into the park, and within it from one of their year-round lodging facilities; you can take a guided snowmobile tour; or you can view it from the warmth and comfort of a Snowcoach. The tours are available to various places in the park including the Old Faithful area and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. You can make it a day trip, or enjoy several days staying in the Snow Lodge or other hotel within the park. If you prefer to drive yourself, the section of road between Mammoth Hot Springs (North entrance) and Cooke City (East Entrance) is open on a year round basis.

Below is a collection of information to help you make your plans. Don’t wait, reservations for the tours and lodging within the park book early!

West Yellowstone Snowcoach and Snowmobile Tours:

Buffalo Bus Snowcoach Tour

Backcountry Adventures

Yellowstone Adventures

Teton Valley Adventures

Yellowstone National Park Lodging

This winter, the National Park Service is renovating the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins, so they will be closed. However, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins are open and currently taking reservations for the winter season. If you are looking to stay in the park for a few days, consider booking a Snowcoach to transport you to Old Faithful where you can cross country ski or snowshoe, stay in the Lodge or a Cabin, and travel back out again on a Snowcoach.

Cross Country Skiing/Snowshoeing

There are a number of companies that offer guided ski and snowshoe tours into the park, including and Yellowstone Expeditions and Yellowstone Ski Tours. If you’d like to explore on your own, check out the National Park Service information found here.


Roundup: Slope Side Homes

Slope Side Homes in Big Sky Montana


There’s nothing like skiing right from your front or back door and onto the slopes. Big Sky, Montana is the ideal place for slope side ski homes, with a variety of options, ranging from custom homes and cabins to condo units. Here are some great ski-in-ski-out Big Sky homes that are on the market right now.

90 Diamond Hitch, Moonlight Basin, Montana (click to view YouTube video)
The quintessential Big Sky Cabin. This majestic log home is perched on a wooded promontory with panoramic views to the Spanish Peaks. Locati designed and masterfully created by an engineer/owner, this home exudes Old World warmth and charm while offering the highest standard of finish and impeccable attention to detail. The home is being sold completely furnished including artwork. Ski access is great to both ski resorts.

11 Saddle Ridge Rd., Big Sky, Montana
Saddle Ridge Townhomes are a delightful place to spend your leisure time while enjoying the amenities at Moonlight in Big Sky. This is a beautifully furnished 3BR/2.5BA townhome with incredible mountain views. There is a spacious master suite and the master bath area has been redesigned by McPhie Cabinetry Bath Design out of Bozeman. You have 2 decks on which to relax, a hot tub and you are within close proximity to the Moonlight Basin Lodge, with ski access Big Sky Resort.

39 Renegade Rd., Big Sky, Montana
Sophistication and warmth personify this Cowboy Heaven home. This is where rustic meets luxury. Five bedrooms and seven and half bathrooms makes this home an ideal basecamp for your winter and summer activities. Perfect ski-in, ski-out access on the Natawista ski run, straight to the Six Shooter lift. The 6,300 sq.ft. home is a pleasing combination of reclaimed wood and chiseled stone with custom, craftsman finishes and abundant views of the Spanish Peaks.

For more information about these and other ski-in-ski-out properties, contact Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty today at 406.995.2211.

Big Sky Holiday Calendar

2015 Big Sky Holiday Calenar

When the nights get cooler, the leaves begin to fall, and the mountains start to turn white, it means the holidays are right around the corner. During this time of year, there is no better place to be than the gorgeous community of Big Sky, Montana. Whether it’s hitting the slopes at the ski resort, snowshoeing on the trails, or sipping a hot cocoa in the village, Big Sky has something for everyone during “the most wonderful time of year.”

Free movie night! Every Thursday, 10:30pm – Lone Peak Cinema
Too chilly to be outside? Feeling like a cozy movie date? Meander over to Lone Peak Cinema every Thursday evening for a free late night movie. Must be over 21. Call (406) 995-4478 for more details.

November 25th – Movie screening of Chasing Shadows – Lone Peak Cinema
Head over to Lone Peak Cinema for Warren Miller’s 66th winter sports film, Chasing Shadows. It screens the night before Big Sky’s opening day, so you’ll be ready for that double backflip, (or just some pleasant groomed runs.)

November 26th – Big Sky Resort opening day
Skiing on Thanksgiving Day has been a tradition for many families for generations. Head on up to the hill and be a part of the festivities as everyone skis or snowboards the first lines of the season!

November 28th – Christmas Bazaar – Buck’s T-4
Need some ideas for presents? Or just want to be inspired by local artists? Bring the whole family to Buck’s T-4 for the second annual Christmas Bazaar and browse the talented local vendors. Enjoy a special meal in the restaurant, and treat yourself to discounted lodging as well!

December 3rd – Madgrigal Dinner – Buck’s T-4
The Arts Council of Big Sky is proud to announce the 19th Madrigal Dinner this year, to be held at Bucks T4 Lodge at 5pm. Considered “the traditional opening of the Christmas season,” this three-course meal with festive live music is a local favorite. The event usually sells out to purchase tickets early by calling (406)995-4742.

December 11th – Turkey for a Ticket – Big Sky Resort
Big Sky Resort is hosting its 9th annual Turkey for a Ticket. Help stock the local food bank and have fun skiing at the same time! Bring 20 cans of food, or a frozen turkey, over to the base at Moonlight and get a free lift ticket for that day to Big Sky Resort.

December 11th – Christmas Stroll – Big Sky Town Center
The lights will be strung, the treats will be warm, and Santa will be ready to greet the kiddos at this year’s Christmas Stroll at Big Sky Town Center. Watch the trees light up, stroll through local businesses, and join loved ones and new friends as everyone gets into the holiday spirit. For more info, check out the events at:

A Smart Guide to the Luxury Auction Process

If you are selling a high-end property and want a no-nonsense approach, a luxury auction may be an excellent option.

Once the provenance of distressed properties only, luxury auctions are fast becoming one of the most effective ways to sell properties worth millions of dollars quickly without drastically reducing their value.

Big Sky Sotheby’s broker Laura T. Sacchi has explored the luxury auction process on behalf of local buyers through Platinum Luxury Auctions, and says that for the right client, the luxury auction approach offers a number of unique advantages.

What is a luxury auction?
A luxury auction allows owners to sell high-end properties quickly and efficiently by working with a brokerage firm in partnership with a luxury auction company. After the seller pays an up-front marketing fee, the auction company launches into a rigorous valuation analysis, followed by an intensive marketing campaign and buyer screening to ensure a high probability that the property will go for a fair price that ultimately benefits the seller. According to Sacchi, the entire process can be completed in as little as 12 weeks.

Who should consider a luxury auction?
Sacchi says that the luxury auction process is intended for properties worth one million or more. Assuming a property meets that criteria, she says it can also be a great approach for a highly-desirable property that is already expected to bring in multiple offers because, she says, “you run a better chance of optimizing the seller’s price.”

What are the pros and cons of luxury auctions?
The number one concern of any seller considering a luxury auction is that their property will sell for a price well below its value, putting the seller at a loss. According to Sacchi, however, this scenario is highly unlikely; in fact, luxury auctions can provide a level of security that a traditional sale can’t offer. For example, auction properties are sold as-is, no contingencies, which means that once the auction is final, the seller can rest assured that it’s a done deal, and that the sale won’t fall through before closing. “That takes all the risk off the table for the seller,” Sacchi says.

What is a “reserve price?”
According to Sacchi, high-end sellers should think of a reserve price as a “teaser price” used on marketing materials in order to entice bidders to the table. The reserve price is used to generate interest and excitement and is not intended to be a true reflection of the property’s value.

How do luxury auctions guarantee a successful sale?
All potential buyers are screened and must pre-qualify in order to even participate in a luxury auction. Sacchi says that parties must prove they will be able to purchase the property if they are the winning bidder, and are required to put down a deposit of $100,000 or more in order to compete. She adds that the amount of work that goes into attracting, screening and consulting with potential buyers ensures that by the time the auction takes place, the auction company is confident that the property will be sold for a price acceptable to the seller

What are some of the advantages of working with a luxury auction company?
A major benefit of the auction process is that many of the costs that are usually passed on to the seller are transferred to the buyer. In an auction sale, the buyer pays a 10 percent premium, which covers the auction company fee as well as the broker’s commission, plus all title and closing costs. At the end of a successful sale, the seller has only paid for the up-front marketing fee plus the listing broker commission, often yielding the seller a higher net amount than they would earn from a traditional sale (in a traditional sale, the seller pays a full commission to the listing broker out of which the listing broker pays the buyer’s broker). In addition to their expertise and experience, luxury auction companies also have exclusive access to a large pool of buyers of high-end properties, as well as high-level marketing venues such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

What are the next steps for a seller considering a luxury auction?
“Tell them to call me!” says Sacchi. “With the help of Platinum, we’re happy and able to promote that type of business for the right client.” Laura Sacchi can be reached at 406-570-9651.