The Yellowstone Club: The Passing of a Gilded Era

June 14th, 2009 - 9:11 pm ICT by GD  

The Yellowstone Club which had opened in 1997 was recently sold off to a Boston investing firm, CrossHarbor Capital Partners, after the bitter divorce of the owners and co-founders Mr. Tim Blixseth and Ms. Edra Blixseth and the consequent bankruptcy of Ms. Blixseth. Regardless of the bitterness of the feud between the former couple, the members of the club will remember it fondness and mourn its passing.

In the pristine location of Big Sky county, Montana, twenty miles north of the Yellowstone National Park, the 13,600 acre property, housed the world’s only members-only ski resort. It boasted an exclusive list of members which included big names like Bill Gates and Peter Chernin. Yellowstone offered something to these people who could buy anything in the world something beyond the grasp of money. The main selling point of Yellowstone Club was the “Private Powder” - privacy offered to the rich and the famous, a chance to truly get away from their demanding worlds. Bill Gates commented on the lack of private bodyguards, compared to other famous locations like Vail. He said the need for security “made us look like jerks. Here, we don’t need it.” That would be because the place is protected at all times by former secret service agents. “Once you ski there, you never want to go anywhere else,” says Burt Sugarman, the husband of the “Entertainment Tonight” host Mary Hart, and a Beverly Hills businessman was among the club’s first members.

Membership was of course somewhat beyond the average skier - a minimum of $250,000 to join, plus the cost of a $5 million to $35 million mountainside home, plus annual dues of about $20,000, according to members. But all the members regret the fall of a place they had come to regard so fondly.

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