At 158 feet, Big Sky High Resort in New Mexico — where the world’s highest infinity pool is located — is the deepest within the continental United States. During a press event on Monday, it revealed additional renderings of the resort’s upcoming $120 million renovations, which are scheduled to be completed by late summer.
An undated rendering of one of the resort’s villas. (Big Sky Resort)
Previews and exclusive behind-the-scenes video footage of the new projects in Black Mountain and Utah can be viewed here.
Big Sky’s renovation plans are part of the company’s latest development proposal to U.S. federal officials. Its representatives asked the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2010, enacted to preserve more of the U.S. land recreation infrastructure, to recognize the “extending of its 13 years of service” and “another four years of membership” into the National Park Service.
The privately owned ski resort will be returning to ski season traffic to boost its hopes for federal support. According to Steve Bower, the resort’s CEO, revenue from last fall’s ski season did not cover the fixed costs of maintaining the property.
“The land will always stay owned by [the tribe] for its cultural purposes,” Bower said. “But it’s also working in their interests to make it a more tourism-friendly place.”
During the press event, Bower showed renderings of the staff’s new recreation area, which will feature day care and sit-down dining options. A modern lodge will house conference and meeting space and a 22,000-square-foot indoor waterpark will replace Big Sky’s existing pool with an added sense of infinity.
The resort, located 2,500 feet above sea level, experienced considerable improvement over the past 18 months after undergoing an “evangelic” approach to revamping the property. Bower said the resort experienced a direct $5 million positive impact after major project reviews and design changes. On-site lodge staff have undergone training on legal, financial and safety aspects of working on an Indian reservation.
The resort will focus on enhancing a relationship with its employees when funding becomes available for the project. Promoting women, minorities and indigenous people, Bower said, will be part of the resort’s strategy. (Just 4 percent of Big Sky employees were Native American as of 2016.)
“We are lucky to have this opportunity,” Bower said, referring to the support extended by the Isleta Pueblo tribe, the landlord. “Our strategy will be to build a tribal community out here.”
“We’re doing this because we believe that it’s something good for our tribe. We also feel like we can leave a legacy for generations to come.”
Correction: This story has been updated to correct Big Sky’s name to Big Sky Resort.