BOZEMAN, Mont. (March 3) — Local non-profit Bridger Biathlon Club (BBC), in partnership with another community non- profit, the Crosscut Mountain Sports Center (CMSC), today exercised an option to purchase the 270-acre Bohart Ranch Cross-Country Ski Center property in Bridger Canyon. BBC and CMSC aim to carry on the Nordic ski legacy established by Bohart Ranch owner, Jean MacInnes.
The iconic Bohart Ranch property has been operating as a cross-country ski center since the 1980’s, and along with neighboring Bridger Bowl Ski Area, has helped define Bozeman as a mountain ski town. MacInnes established the Bohart Biathlon Club in 1994, and hosted the U.S. Summer National Biathlon Championships in 1995. This history is rooted in the present-day Bridger Biathlon Club, which MacInnes has generously supported by helping renovate Bohart’s biathlon venue with new state-of-the-art targets, installing a storage building for training equipment, and leasing the facility to BBC for $1 per year.
BBC is working with the Crosscut Mountain Sports Center to raise the funds required for the Bohart Ranch acquisition. CMSC’s board is comprised of four Bozeman locals – Cliff Montagne, Hal Stanley, Stuart Jennings and Eric Love – and led by Lowell Bailey who serves as its Executive Director. Bailey is a member of the U.S. Biathlon Team and has been competing on the World Cup circuit and internationally since 1999. In February 2017, Bailey won a gold medal at the Biathlon World Championships in Hochfilzen, Austria, making him the first American to win a World title in the sport of biathlon. He has competed in the last three Winter Olympic Games and as the defending World Champion, was the first U.S. athlete from any sport named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team in PyeongChang, South Korea.
As an Athlete Representative for the International Biathlon Union, Lowell was appointed to the advisory
committee on anti-doping and has been a leading voice in advocating for clean sport in the fight
“Over the past two decades I’ve had the opportunity to experience some of the best recreation centers in the world, and the Crosscut Mountain Sports Center site has the potential to rival all of them,” said Bailey. “The beauty and wildness of the Bridger Mountains, combined with the proximity to Bozeman’s beloved Bridger Bowl, make for the perfect venue for the Crosscut Mountain Sports Center.”
Former biathlete and life-long Bozeman resident Stuart Jennings said, “Our vision is to work with the community to build a recreational asset that will provide easy access to the trails and mountains for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and athletic abilities. CMSC is committed to providing families with top-notch outdoor education and environmental programs that connect kids with nature, and where children can learn and develop outdoor skills to last a lifetime, as well as provide a world-class Nordic and biathlon venue for everyone from energetic novices to Olympic hopefuls.”
After the Winter Olympics next year, Bailey will be relocating to Bozeman with his wife Erika and daughter Ophelia to lead the Crosscut Mountain Sports Center and continue his service on the Bridger Biathlon Club board, alongside volunteer board members Carol Smith, Kari Swenson, Stuart Jennings, Brian Wadsworth, Jim Sites and Eric Love.
The Crosscut Mountain Sports Center also maintains an exclusive purchase agreement providing for the acquisition of the 259-acre Crosscut Ranch located directly between Bridger Bowl and Bohart Ranch, and envisions unifying the Bohart and Crosscut properties into a single 500+ acre recreational asset on behalf of the Bozeman community. Bailey is working with the BBC and CMSC boards to raise the remaining funds needed to complete this ambitious project, and is committed to working closely with community leaders to create a mountain sports venue that will attract and sustain healthy families for generations to come. To learn more or to make a tax-deductible contribution, please contact CMSC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crosscut Mountain Sports Center is a non-profit community organization committed to conserving the 500+ acres adjacent to Bridger Bowl Ski Area to provide year-round recreational access and athletic opportunities for human-powered mountain sports, with a special focus on empowering youth in skiing and biathlon. To learn more, visit: www.crosscutmt.org