Growing up on the doorstep of Glacier National Park, Moonlight Basin’s Director of Lodging and Residential Services, Rocky Black, has been in the hospitality industry since he was nine years old. His family owned St. Mary Lodge and Resort at Glacier’s east entrance. Young Rocky was required to finish his chores on the property before he could head out fishing for the afternoon.
Since those days, Rocky has moved from Waikiki to Aspen with Ritz-Carlton. He’s tight-lipped about the diplomats and dignitaries he rubbed elbows with as the Director of Residence for Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., but he recalls with fondness D.C.’s rich history and diversity—and amusement about how a skiff of snow would bring the city to its knees. The former Montana State alpine ski racer was destined to return to the Rockies. Big mountains and wildlife are baked into his identity. His father, Roscoe, spent weeks in the hospital after being mauled by a bruin in 1976. A year ago, Rocky moved back to Montana. “Big Sky is going to be the last stop,” says Rocky. “I loved D.C. … but truly my heart was
back in the mountains.” In just over a year, Rocky’s managed to double the number of homes in Moonlight’s nascent in-house property management company. “People respect him,” says Moonlight’s General Manager Mike Wilcynski. “He brought a level of professionalism to our company and the way he manages our team. Our members have seen that and trust him.” Big Sky has changed dramatically since the 1980s, when a teenage Rocky was trying to shave seconds off his time down the Bighorn ski trail. New chairlifts, a couple of stoplights, and all of the luxury homes now under his watch arrived during his absence. Yet Big Sky also retains the wild character reminiscent of his youth. “Watching the sun rising, hitting Lone Peak,” he says, “I want to stop every day and take pictures.”