Testing to commence with ski season

$1 million effort makes testing available for everyone

Community COVID testing is coming soon to the Big Sky County Water and Sewer District (BSCWSD) parking area, per a unanimous vote by the BSCWSD board during Tuesday’s meeting. The joint effort between Vacation Big Sky and Big Sky Resort Area District has come to fruition in the form of a mobile testing facility that will likely take-up residence in the parking area until mid-April, the end of the ski season, Resort Tax Chairman Kevin Germain explained during the meeting. After interviewing numerous testing companies and scouting locales in the area, the decisions have been made and the testing will be available to everyone.

This comes as the surge of COVID-19 has complicated resort openings in Europe, including the closure of ski areas in France and Austria in what was deemed a “serious blow to the snowsports industry” by a PlanetSki article.

Germain has long maintained that testing will be instrumental in keeping the community safe and the resort open.

The bulk of the $1 million investment comes from Resort Tax: $250,000 from the reserve, $250,000 from FY21 and $250,000 from FY22. The additional $250,000 comes from Visit Big Sky’s CARES Act grant provided by the state. Resort Tax revenue itself is heavily dependent on winter tourism.

Resort Tax director Ciara Wolfe called the move a “good return on investment” overall.

Bozeman Health will administer the tests.

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