Congratulations go out today to Charles Hlavac, the new owner of the Teton Pass Ski Area Inc., who — with help from dozens of others — was able to open the ski hill west of Choteau on Saturday for the first time since April of 2017. The ski area is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through Jan. 5, and after that will be open Friday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Having the ski area open is an economic and cultural boon to Choteau and Teton County. The ski area offers local skiers a great place to take their families where they won’t have to wait in long lines and where rates are still affordable. In fact, from now through Jan. 5, daily passes are just $30 and rental packages are just $20. This faimly-friendly venue offers 26 different runs, including black diamond courses for the wicked good skiers and green rectangle courses for those just learning or those who are a bit more cautious.

The ski area opening is also creating part-time jobs as Hlavac is not yet up to full staff. If you can ski, teach skiing, cook, work in the lodge, work in the rental shop or help out with the lift or ski patrol, give Hlavac a call. He probably has a job for you. (You can reach him at 466-2209.)

Thank you to everyone with the U.S. Forest Service for helping to make the process of reopening viable for this ski season, and thank you to Hlavac for having the courage to purchase the hill, and to all the many Teton Pass ski area supporters who have helped in any way to get the hill up and running again. Now, we just need skiers to go out and use this great community resource. Hlavac needs the ski area to start generating revenueP so that he can pay his employees and keep the lifts running. Come on Choteau, get your skis out and head west — what a great way to start the new year.