Letter from the Editor: Farewell

In the summer of 2002, I interned at Skiing magazine in Boulder, Colorado. Majoring in English and working in a ski shop until college was a dream come true.

Between logging ski test data into spreadsheets and writing equipment blurbs, I started reading stories from the ski world. One article I remember specifically was about the winter constellation of Orion first appearing on the late summer horizon, signaling the coming snowfall. This piece stayed with me. It was about the paradox of changing seasons, the sadness of leaving summer behind, and the delightful anticipation of winter to come; this first powder dream of the season.

I write this letter from my desk in the office of Outlaw Partners, where I started as editor in 2012; and where, today, we are preparing my latest edition of the EBS journal.

Over the past decade I have had the honor of running EBS magazine and Mountain Outlaw, and the unique opportunity to report on this resort town during which time I have interviewed and got to know many between you in this amazing community.

And I’m honored to have worked alongside this brave, creative and talented team.

I’ve covered three Montana elections, three Montana governors, and the state senate; Yellowstone National Park; grizzly bear attacks and forest fires; tourist tax, water and sewer, schools, fire, sheriff and sports. I learned about non-incorporation and six-a-side football, nonprofits and HOAs and Big Sky Resort. I learned about this community and its members, your struggles and victories, the importance of our local businesses; how good a ByWOM burger is and how to order clutch lube.

Outlaw Partners and our editorial team have grown and evolved over the years, building on our traditional print media while expanding our digital platforms. We changed shape during COVID and came out the other side, stronger as a newspaper and as a community with arms closed.

My heart is heavy to leave this team and the publications we have built, but I am grateful for the opportunity and the trust you, our readers and sources, have placed in us. I look forward to seeing EBS from the outside and in the trust that I hope this community will continue to place in publications.

With change comes anticipation and I’m excited for a new chapter in my life and career. I’m staying here in Big Sky for now and hope to see you all over town. I salute Outlaw Partners and our publications for documenting the news and history of this special place; to tell these important stories. And I salute you, the Big Sky community, whom I respect and have worked my best to serve for the past 10 years.

As I gaze at the clearing pre-dawn sky, I see Orion, the three matchless bright stars that make up its belt. The constellation greets the change of seasons and it reminds me of the importance the seasons play in all of our lives. As your editor in Big Sky, I say goodbye to you. As a member of your community, thank you, raise my glass and look forward to many more.

My Best,

Joseph T. O’Connor

Chief Editor

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