Sleeping Giant Already Working Towards a Zero-Loss Future
Written by Andrew-Rossi on October 13, 2020
Sleeping Giant’s new owners and management team are augmenting the ski area with new infrastructure, new initiatives, and a goal toward zero-loss operations.
Owner Nick Piazza admits everyone is “both excited and a little terrified” to be taking over operations of Cody’s ski hill. Piazza, a Cody native, has already created a strong business plan to ensure that the 2020-2021 winter season is as fun and functional as possible while laying out plans for the resort’s future.
Sleeping Giant has been operated by the non-profit Yellowstone Recreations Foundation since 2009. They were responsible for the reopening of the mountain and building a skier community in the area. The resort faced closure and a $200,000 deficit until Piazza stepped in and purchased the entire operation.
Now, he is determined “to build positive momentum” towards a successful future.
Joining him is new General Manager Mike Gimmeson, a Cody native and 4th generation Sleeping Giant skier. He comes with 21 years in the ski industry and an extensive background in construction, in addition to being the instructor of Sleeping Giant’s Ski School for the past six seasons.
Both the ski hill and the zipline are now under Communuty Mountain LLC. The goal is to have both operations achieve zero-loss operations while acknowledging significant improvements are needed to make this goal a reality.
Piazza and Gimmeson already have several initiatives that are ready to go for the upcoming ski season:
- Night Skiing: Available on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 4-7 p.m., skiers will follow solar-powered LED street lamps that will light up the mountain and guide their way
- Youth and Adult Racing Teams and Clubs: Management is currently gauging the community’s interest in a Friday night racing league for adults. They also hope to have the Cody High School Alpine Ski Team practicing on the mountain on Tuesday nights and hosting races during their upcoming season
- Freestyle Terrain Park: A lighted terrain park will be available for skiers and snowboarders to have some freestyle fun. A tubing lane is also in the plan and “in the works.”
- New Yurt: A 30-foot diameter yurt that will provide additional heated and comfortable space for guests. Construction is currently underway.
- Snowmaking Capabilities: Crews are working to prepare the hill’s snowmaking efforts to ensure the system is ready to make snow as soon as temperatures are low enough.
- Online Ticket Sales, Rentals, and More: The goal is to reduce line wait times and improving the guest service experience; Sleeping Giant is working on website improvements and is developing a mobile application to enable online purchases of lift tickets, rentals, lessons, and even food orders.
Season passes are currently available. Ticket prices have been raised for adults but remain the same for children. Early season discounts will be available until November 1st and will include a half-price unlimited night skiing pass upgrade.
You can explore all the available passes at www.skisg.com.
Piazza is excited about his ambitious plans for the future, which he believes will be a big win for Park County. But he celebrates the past success of the Yellowstone Recreation Foundation and the community that makes that future worthwhile.
“To past and present members of the YRF Board and the countless other donors whose love of Sleeping Giant has been instrumental in keeping it open and in nurturing generations of young skiers, we are extremely grateful for all you’ve done and for your trust in us to carry on this great tradition,” Piazza said.