The closest ski area to Yellowstone National Park will shut down after this season. Ten years after reviving Sleeping Giant and building a new chairlift, the mountain’s nonprofit operator is throwing in the towel. “It is with tremendous sadness and sorrow that the board of directors for Yellowstone Recreations Foundation announces the suspension of winter operations beginning in 2020-2021,” reads a statement. Lifts will spin through the end of the season.
Sleeping Giant operates under a special use permit from the Shoshone National Forest. It first opened in 1937, serving the community of Cody, Wyoming and nearby towns with a 2,100 foot T-Bar. A used Heron-Poma double was added in 1993 to service more terrain. The area closed in 2004 and was revived in 2009 with the T-Bar being replaced by a Yan triple chair from Mammoth.
“The decision is agonizing but necessary,” noted YRF, citing losses of more than $200,000 each winter. Profitable summer zip line operations will continue with the Bighorn double accessing five different spans. The longer Sheepeater lift only runs in winter and will no longer be needed.
“Words cannot express our gratitude to the community,” the foundation’s statement continued. “The board of directors would like to especially thank the staff over the past 10 years who have dedicated themselves to making Sleeping Giant the finest and most friendly ski hill in the country.”