Logan Simpson is working with the community of Big Sky, Montana to develop a cohesive vision and implementation strategy for future development, capital improvement projects, and strategic investments. Big Sky finds itself at an intersection–it is transitioning from a resort to a community. Logan Simpson is tasked to answer the following question: “What will Big Sky look like in 10 years?”
The plan’s foundation identified and articulated the vision and goals that emerged from a robust public outreach process that represented Big Sky as a whole. Stakeholders demonstrated their support and a commitment early in the planning process; therefore, Logan Simpson focused on encouraging engagement from those not already involved–the locals. It was clear a hands-on approach was needed since many were hesitant to participate because they have worked in the community for only a short time, were too busy to participate, or did not want to disrupt their employment status. By offering one-on-one interviews (which broke our records for participation), our goal was to show the local workforce and permanent residents that they represent and reinforce the culture of Big Sky, and that their input truly does matter.
We learned everyone comes from somewhere else in Big Sky—and have pride in choosing this great place. Likewise, everyone cares deeply about its future. Key issues identified during the initial outreach include infrastructure, road improvements, attainable housing, community gathering areas, and protection of the rivers. It was rewarding to learn that the values of all–the locals, landowners, developers, community leaders, and elected officials–are aligned by the desire to grow environmentally, socially, and economically. The plan will impact interagency collaboration and refocus efforts to address current issues and future opportunities.