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Montana ski area getting new owners

Posted at 9:26 AM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 11:26:01-04

MARYSVILLE – The Great Divide Ski Area in Marysville is being sold after 33 years, according to owner Kevin Taylor.

Kevin and Nyla Taylor have owned and operated the Mount Belmont ski hill since 1985 and believe it’s finally time to make a transition.

Taylor said that unfortunately, his eyesight has deteriorated the last couple of years, which makes it hard for him to do the job.

“It’s been fun,” said Taylor. “But it needs younger more energetic people at the helm.”

Taylor said if everything works out, the mountain will be transferred April 1 of 2019 to Joe Pope and his wife Kyle.

According to Taylor, he had many interested parties in buying the property but felt the Popes were what was best for Great Divide.

“In the end analysis, Joe and Kyle, a couple working together within the industry and a good feel for what it takes for a community local ski area to be vibrant,” said Taylor, “It was our thought that they were by far the best fit.”

The Popes are already working at the ski area to help with the transition and have experience in the ski industry.

“In the early 2000s, we were both at Showdown,” said Joe Pope. “And I’ve made some chair lifts for some greats folks across the state.”

Pope has spent most of his life in Montana and said one of the biggest draws for him was the friendly staff, great locals, and what the Taylors have grown at Great Divide.

“I look at what Kevin and Nyla have done with their daughters here, and my wife and I would like to do the same with our two boys,” added Pope.

Great Divide staff said they’ll fire up the snow guns in the next week or so and recommend season pass holders come up before the season officially starts to get their passes.

“It’s beautiful up here right now, the leaves are changing,” said Taylor. “Come up on a Sunday and get your season pass picture so you can get out there without having to wait.”

-John Riley reporting for MTN News