According to nationaldaycalendar.com, "Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day is observed annually on the third Wednesday in October. The Chamber of Commerce’s primary objective is to strengthen local enterprises of all sizes and the best way to honor this organization is to use the services of local chamber businesses."
Chambers have a long history of supporting business climate and economic development. President William Howard Taft first brought the concept for an organization which would represent the concerns of U.S. businesses in an address before Congress in December of 1911, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was founded a year later in 1912.
In Big Sky, your local Chamber of Commerce was started by three familiar faces you’ll still see working hard around town today: Tim Ryan, Mike Scholz and Tim Cyr. It dates back to a time when you could get a room at Buck’s T-4 for $22.90 a night, which included a lift ticket. I was lucky enough to be a part of a conversation between Mr. Scholz and Mr. Cyr earlier this year, reminiscing on the beginnings of our organization.
Turns out, in the early 1980’s, the three of them each wanted to represent their respective hotels, and Big Sky in general, at annual ski shows held across the country each fall. They figured it’d be best to band together and share the costs, and the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce was born.
“We muddled through somehow,” remembered Scholz of the early days, “it was not easy.” Then Cyr chimed in with a grin, “But we had a lot of fun…”
Today that informal brotherhood lives on in the missions of Visit Big Sky and the Chamber, and many of the goals of the early days haven’t changed in spite of the community’s growth.
“As members of the Chamber we are supporting a business organization that has business interests in mind,” explains Ryan Hamilton of the Big Sky Town Center, which is home to approximately 60 independent businesses, “but also here in Big Sky that means supporting community infrastructure and visitor experience projects as well.”
General Manager of Lone Mountain Ranch Paul Robertson agrees. "As a member of the Chamber I enjoy access to a network of resources that I value both as an asset for my business and to my personal experience in Big Sky," he says, "The Chamber does a fantastic job of bringing together like-minded people and aligning their collective efforts toward achieving common goals for which the entire community stands to benefit."
Becky Pape is a 44 year resident of Big Sky and has been a Chamber member since its founding. “We’re delighted to have [the Chamber] supporting our businesses here in Big Sky,” she said.
And as your Chamber, we’re delighted to be here, serving you, the businesses of Big Sky.