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The Ski Guru Blog

Private skiing comes at a price

yellowstoneclub_view.jpgImagine having to pay $41 million back to your ski club. A federal bankruptcy judge ruled that former Yellowstone Club owner, Tim Blixseth, owes that hefty sum that he misspent during his ownership of the private Montana club and ski area, as reported in SAM magazine and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

Perhaps you have heard of The Yellowstone Club, the invitation only private resort with its own 2,200-acre ski area next door to Big Sky Resort and Moonlight Basin in Montana. This is where Warren Miller and Scott Schmidt serve as directors of skiing. Greg Le Mond, Bill Gates, Dan Quayle and Jack Kemp have multimillion $ mansions here, to name a few of the uber wealthy. Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake have brought their ladies on luxury ski dates - enjoying the posh setting and privacy - former secret service oversee the security detail. The Club also made big news during Blixseth's multibillion $ divorce, their 160-acre home at the Club was a sticking point - she won.

The Yellowstone Club opened in 2001, initiation fees were $250,000 and new members were required to purchase property for $5 million to $35 million, plus pay annual dues of $20,000. But the privileges include private powder skiing on 9,860' Pioneer Mountain, can you put a price tag on that?

Yellowstone Club under Tim and Edra Blixseth's ownership grew to 200 members, while the Blixseths bought castles, yachts and jets around the world, spending $209 million of the $375 million borrowed from Credit Suisse. They filed for bankruptcy in 2008, and Yellowstone Club sold to CrossHarbor Capital Partners for $155 million, whose founder Sam Byrne is from Massachusetts. Now, based on this latest court ruling, Mr. Blixseth is still on the hook to pay back some of the play money he spent during his Club time.

I have had the opportunity to ski at this remote resort for the rich, (not for my wealth but for my www ski coverage), and it is amazing. Picture a postcard perfect ski resort, majestic Montana mountains, gorgeous groomed slopes to share with 200 or so other skiers, high speed pulse quads that turn on when you arrive at the lift base, and posh chalets with fur cushions and antler chandeliers. Yes, it's that good.
So if you ever get an invite to ski Yellowstone Club - go. Or ski next door at the more accessible Big Sky Resort, their slopes abut the private ski club and you can sneak a peek at the extravagant homes in this exclusive enclave.yellowstoneclub_lift.jpg

See you on the slopes.

Yellowstone Club photos by Greg Burke

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