Flying to paradise
By Leslie Kilgore
With an increasing number of families leaving urban areas for a more balanced life in the mountains, Southwest Montana continues to grow exponentially. Both full-time and part-time residents are choosing the area for many reasons, including the ease of access to wilderness, rivers, skiing and open spaces. Bozeman and Big Sky are especially appealing due to the growth at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN).
Currently, nine airlines with 23 non-stop destinations serve close to 20 states around the country, with a major return of international travelers revisiting the national parks, ski areas and several elite mountain clubs in the state.
In the past few years, the airport has undergone major renovations, added a new restaurant and bar area, made a $22 million improvement to the baggage system, and acquired $30 million in new snow removal equipment. The city of Bozeman and the state of Montana have put an exceptional amount of money and efforts into the airport due to the growth in visitors and return travelers.
The top markets serving BZN currently include:
Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Chicago, and Atlanta.