Those wealthy homebuyers seeking their own private retreat in the mountains, replete with a hot tub for 25 friends and an 18-hole putting course, needn’t look further than the Big EZ Lodge in Big Sky, Montana. Once listed for sale for as much as $24.5 million, the property will now be offered at a live auction to the bidder who meets or best exceeds the auction’s reserve bid price of only $4 million. The auction is scheduled for August 19, and will be held on the property site.
Situated on a sixty-acre parcel of rolling green hills, the Big EZ Lodge consists of three main living structures – the Main Lodge, Guest Inn and Lone Star Suite – in addition to caretaker’s quarters and a barn apartment. In total, the property offers nearly 23,000 square feet of living space, with 16 bedrooms, 17 full and 5 half baths.
Posh amenities include a gourmet kitchen with commercial-grade appliances, private spa, fitness center, and beautifully designed common areas boasting a rustic-meets-luxury ambiance. More than 7,000 square feet of deck space and walkways provide plenty of opportunity to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, while keeping all of one’s creature comforts within arm’s reach. Grounds feature a massive hot tub with cascading waterfall that can seat up to 26 guests, an 18-hole putting course, two trout ponds, and 360-degree views of the breathtaking surroundings.
“We’ve handled many large, private properties that have been positioned as a ‘corporate retreat,’ or ‘large family compound,’ but the Big EZ Lodge truly fits that bill,” noted David Ashcroft, Platinum’s director of business development. “It’s perfect for very large families or businesses looking for a unique, VIP-caliber asset.”
The Big EZ Lodge was originally designed as a corporate retreat in 1997 by Texas entrepreneur R. Steven Hicks, a radio industry mogul whose company, AMFM, Inc., essentially became the predecessor to Clear Channel Communications. The name of the lodge is derived from “the Big Easy,” the nickname for New Orleans, an area of which Hicks and his wife are quite fond.
After operating the estate for several years as a luxury bed and breakfast – earning the ninth spot in Andrew Harpers Hideaway Report’s “World’s Best Hotels, Resorts and Hideaways” in 2004 – the Hicks family remodeled the property and converted it into a private luxury retreat. They then decided to further develop and sell the land surrounding the Big EZ Lodge, creating the Big EZ Estates community, a private residential development consisting of only 53 home sites, each site ranging from 20-40 acres in size. The community is located only 15 minutes from the town center of Big Sky, and within 45 minutes of the Yellowstone National Park.
The Hicks sold the property in 2013 to its current owner, a healthcare entrepreneur, who then retained Platinum for the resale of the property after the demands of his growing business diminished the time he was able to spend in Big Sky.