News

Actions

Big Sky post office set to close in 2023 without USPS help

Big Sky post office has exceeded capacity in current facility, leading to a potential closure
Screen Shot 2022-10-20 at 5.33.09 PM.png
Posted at 5:19 PM, Oct 24, 2022

UPDATE: 10/24/2022, 9:50 AM - Here's the official statement from USPS:
As an convenience to its customers, the Postal Service offers Contract Postal Units (CPUs) around the nation, such as the one located at the Big Sky Resort. The Postal Service conducts regular discussions with contractors regarding service and terms. We recognize that with many of our resort offices, seasonal volumes and populations can be a challenge and we will continue to work with the contractor to efficiently provide service to the local community with all available resources.   

In the case of this leased facility, the lessor has chosen not to renew the lease. In order to minimize disruptions to our valued customers, local postal management will notify customers about the proposed closure and provide options for their mailing needs, which will meet our universal service obligation. The Postal Service is willing to work with local businesses in the area to explore viable options for another CPU. 

Customers with questions or concerns, or who may be interested in information about establishing a CPU within specific boundaries, can find more information about CPUs on our website at: https://about.usps.com/suppliers/becoming/contract-postal-unit.htm [gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com]. We appreciate our customers’ business and their patience as we work to positively resolve this matter.”

PREVIOUS:

The Big Sky Post Office has been managed by Gallatin Partners since 2002. This March would be their twenty-first year in their current facility. Vice President of Gallatin Partners, Al Malinowski, says when the post office moved into its current facility, it was half the square footage of what they originally planned.

“We had a decision right there, we knew that our new post office back in 2002 was going to become outgrown sooner than if it was 4000 square feet,” says Malinowski.

The United States Postal Service leases the post office to Gallatin Partners, who run it. They say they have reached out to USPS multiple times asking to move the post office into a bigger building to accommodate the growing community.

They say they have gotten nowhere and have decided to terminate the lease and close on February 28, 2023. A USPS corporate official says that Big Sky does not need a bigger post office based on its population and released this statement:

"In order to minimize disruptions to our valued customers, local postal management will notify customers about the proposed closure and provide options for their mailing needs, which will meet our universal service obligation."

Malinowski says Gallatin County commissioners and state and federal representatives have been working hard to get someone from USPS to come to Big Sky and assess the post office that they believe has far exceeded its maximum capacity. He says their requests have been unsuccessful.

“We got nowhere with that request, and so it seemed like we were not going to progress unless a decision was made to stop operating the current facility,” says Malinowski.

Gallatin Partners has made its stance very clear on what their expectations are from USPS to be able to keep this facility up and running as the population of Big Sky increases.

Malinowski said, “We Let them know that we are no longer willing to provide the service in this facility without a long-term plan in place to move to a larger facility that can better handle the needs of our community.”

Senator Jon Tester's office has secured a $229,000 increase in yearly funding for the Big Sky Post Office to support its continued service. This amount will bring the annual funding to $547,000 effective on March 1st.

The only way to save the Post Office at this point is for USPS to approve a larger facility to better accommodate the community's postal needs. If this does not happen, in about 4 months, local residents will not have P.O. Boxes at their local Post Office and will have to find an alternative to receiving their mail.