Yellowstone Club Stats:
Ski Acres 2,200
Ski Runs 60, 6 lifts – plus access to Big Sky’s 5,750 acres
Private Since 2000
Looking for private powder skiing, a luxury club for like-minded entrepreneurs, a spectacular setting in Montana’s stunning mountains, a gated community for millionaires and billionaires? Yellowstone Club has your valet ski ticket, an alpine concierge and a luxury mountain mansion with your name on it.
Next door to Big Sky Resort is this vast 2,200-acre private playground among Montana’s mountains, with high-speed lifts and well-heeled members, skiing perfectly groomed trails. Justin Timberlake & Jennifer Biel, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Greg LeMonde, Annika Sorrenstam, Jack Kemp and Dan Quayle are members. Tom Brady and Giselle come here after the Patriots’ Super Bowl.
Yellowstone Club is posh but personal, elegant but environmentally friendly, flush with cash but family friendly and causal. The Club is located in the remote mountains of Montana near the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park, bordering Big Sky’s 5,570 acres ski terrain, which members can also access ski (through the guarded gates) from Yellowstone Club. members have rare lift lines – just untouched powder, elegant slopeside lodges and an active community of like-minded millionaires.
What is extremely impressive, besides the mountainous Montana landscape and endless blue sky, is Yellowstone’s Club’s real estate, magnificent log hewn mansions gracing the ski slopes of the immaculate ski resort. Yellowstone Club initial membership dues are $400,000, plus over $40,000 a year, and you will need to buy or build a luxe mountain home at $3 million or more, once you’ve been invited to join the club.
Ski members are dripping with diamond Bogner ski suites and super snooty – you’d think – but no – instead families are out skiing fresh groomed runs, Jack Kemps’ namesake trail “Quarterback Sneak” which is also a Tom Brady favorite with his kids.
Yellowstone Club’s exclusive skiing is off the panoramic 9,860’ Pioneer Mountain, accessible to members only with their private lifts. From Pioneer’s summit, there are serious expert chutes like Hour Glass, Stein’s and Elevator Shaft, a vertical drop of 2,700’ total, and plenty of scenic intermediate ski terrain, trails and a terrain park where TB 12 likes to catch air.
Unlike public resort skiing, Yellowstone Club skiers and snowboarders have un-crowded modern lifts among just 750 member families, at a ski area with more acreage than Aspen. You can still find un-tracked powder and corduroy in the afternoon of a powder day, if you haven’t succumbed to the fireside lounge for après toddies, slippers provided.
Hot cocoa breaks at the Timberline Lodge and Café are heavenly, ski to this splendid mid-mountain lodge where waiters pour fresh water with lemon in crystal, delectable freshly baked cookies are piled high on a china plate (not a cafeteria tray in sight). Member warm by the fireplace on the deep leather couches in slippers, or be served in the beautiful chandelier lunch room with a view.
Apres ski at The Buffalo Lodge is cozy, in a western-themed lodge where you can shed ski boots for soft slippers, and fireside cocktails with a sunset view over Lone Peak, the Grand Tetons and Spanish Peaks.
The Warren Miller Lodge is another cool hang out with gorgeous living rooms, elk skin furnishings, antler chandeliers, casual cocktail bars, a movie theatre, and kids game rooms too, There’s even a“20 Below” hangout for teens with foosball, comfy couches, and big screens
Yellowstone Club history: Tim & Edra Blixseth, self-made billionaires, started Yellowstone in 2000- the world’s only private ski and golf community at the time. The uber-wealthy couple divorced in 2008 (the Yellowstone Club was a sticking point of their $2 billion settlement – the largest $ divorce at the time). A bankruptcy court judge ruled Blixseth must pay back $41 million to the Club for misspent funds borrowed from Credit Suisse, (of the $375 million borrowed from Credit Suisse, the Blixseth’s apparently spent $109 million of Yellowstone money on lavish jets, castles, yachts and islands, the Club went bankrupt and members were infuriated). In 2009, the bankrupt club was purchased by Sam Byrne from Mass., founder of CrossHarbor Capital, and things are back in the black.
In 2013, Byrne also purchased The Club at Spanish Peak with Boyne Resorts of Big Sky – the neighboring private ski community that went bankrupt too is located between Big Sky Ski Resort and Yellowstone Club. Next, Yellowstone and Big Sky bought Moonlight Basin, previously owned by Leehman Brothers. Now that Big Sky and Yellowstone own and manage all the terrain and lifts at neighboring Moonlight Basin, Big Sky has the biggest skiing in America with over 5,750 acres and 34 lifts, and that’s not including the private 2,000 acres of skiing at Yellowstone – which is exclusive to Yellowstone Club members.
How to join Yellowstone Club? Money talks, but it doesn’t guarantee you an invite to Yellowstone Club’s private ski society. Its by invitation only. If you are looking for the most luxurious ski resort in the US, you better network with the best and brightest. Also check out the Summit Group at Powder Mountain in Utah, they are developing and upscale ski community of upwardly mobile downhillers. Hermitage Club is New England’s only private ski club residence in the mountains of Vermont near Mount Snow.