Tag Archives: Flathead Beacon

Commercial & Residential Growth In The Flathead Valley

It has been an incredible year in the Flathead Valley for Commercial and Residential growth with Kalispell spending $104 million on construction.

The Flathead Beacon announced in their “Outlook 2018: Development Forecast” article today that, “There are signs pointing to another solid year of commercial and residential development in the city in 2018. It might be hard to hit $100 million again, however, as the last two years were buoyed by large medical projects, including a $43 million multi-phase expansion at Immanuel Lutheran Communities and $65 million in construction at Kalispell Regional Healthcare, led by the 190,000-square-foot pediatric center, which is slated for completion in spring 2019.”

(190,000-square-foot pediatric center at Kalispell Regional Healthcare. Courtesy Rendering via Flathead Beacon)

Whitefish is also seeing consistent construction in residential developments with lots for single-and multi-family housing.

According to the Beacon article, “the city (Whitefish) hopes to add hundreds of workforce housing units by 2020. The assessment identified the need for 980 total units to accommodate employee households through 2020.”

Read the complete Flathead Beacon article here to see more about the exciting developments in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and around the Flathead Valley.

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(865 Swan Hill Dr, Bigfork, MT) Video credit Birds Eye of Bigsky

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Featured blog image from active listing 215 MT-82, Kalispell, MT


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Montana’s Most Decorated Cross Country Coach (Flathead Beacon)

After 45 years at Flathead High School, Paul Jorgensen retires as the most decorated cross country coach in Montana history, beloved by generations of runners. With two national coach of the year awards, 25 state coach of the year honors, 24 state team titles, 22 individual state champions, a national No. 1 team, and, in Nelson, a national champ.

While Nelson is one of the bigger names to emerge from Jorgensen’s program, she is but one of hundreds to witness firsthand his unrelenting dedication, which neither darkness nor age nor knee injury could diminish. Jorgensen, 72, might be stepping away from the program that he built into a powerhouse, but it will forever be stamped with his unmistakable imprint.

“I just enjoyed working with the kids,” Jorgensen said in explaining his longevity. “They keep you young.”

The more his teams won, the harder Jorgensen worked, motivated by a desire to build a lasting culture of success. He developed an even-keeled coaching style, based on his personality, through which he reached kids with few words and no shouts. Soft-spoken by nature, he wanted to give his athletes enough skills and motivation to succeed, but he was careful not to push too hard, believing that runners should find their potential on their own, guided by the foundational tools he provided.

Read complete Flathead Beacon article by Myers Reece here.

Beau’s Final Bull (Flathead Beacon)

The standing ovation, rippling throughout the packed grandstands at Flathead County Fairgrounds, was loud and proud.

Battling bruised ribs and an injured lung and hobbled by a ruptured wrist tendon that’s undergone multiple surgeries but just won’t fully heal, Beau Hill climbed atop a professional-grade, snot-snorting bull one last time in Kalispell.

He didn’t last eight seconds. He lasted 20 years.




The affable family man from Columbia Falls, who rose to fame as a talented teenager and defied the odds by carving out a spectacular career as one of the best professional bull riders in the world, is finally hanging up the spurs.

Hill, 38, competed on the final night of the PRCA Rodeo at the Northwest Montana Fair on Aug. 19 and received a well-deserved tribute from the crowd, which included family and friends who witnessed his last professional ride in Kalispell.

“I just decided that would be as good a place as any, a hometown rodeo. It was a good spot to do it and it was pretty awesome to do it in front of family and friends,” Hill said.

The following week he traveled to Australia and rode another bull before returning home to his wife, Keri, and their three kids: LaKia, Jace and Jory.

“I’m pretty much going to call it quits,” he said last week after being back with his family.

“I’m not saying I won’t ever get on another bull, but I’m done as a professional. I’m never going to make another run at anything.”

It’s been quite the ride in one of the roughest, most dangerous sports.

Read full Flathead Beacon article by  here.


Golden Knights Celebrate a Homecoming in Whitefish (Flathead Beacon)

The Vegas Golden Knights, the NHL’s new franchise set to debut this season, toured the Rocky Mountains last week, introducing the team and some of its players to a prospective fan base.

The road trip was a homecoming of sorts as Bill Foley and Murray Craven celebrated the team’s creation in this corner of Montana, where the franchise was formed in many ways.

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“It feels great to be here,” Foley said last week at a free youth event featuring two Golden Knights players at Stumptown Ice Den. “My vision was to make us the team of the Rockies and we are … We are Montana’s hockey team.”

See Mr. Foley’s Whitefish Lake Estate, currently for sale:

Over the last few years, Foley, the franchise’s owner, developed the finer points of his new professional sports team from his part-time home of Whitefish, where he spends his summer months managing a business empire that includes Whitefish Mountain Resort, Glacier Restaurant Group and Rock Creek Cattle Company, just a few of his many successful business interests.

Read full story by Dillon Tabish.

Image by Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Property video Birds Eye of Bigsky.


Explore: Jewel Basin Hiking Area (Flathead Beacon)

Jewel Basin Hiking Area is, as its name suggests, a hiker’s paradise. Not only does it clock in at a whopping 15,349 acres, but all forms of motorized traffic, bikes, and horses are prohibited. All you’re left with is your feet, the trails, the wildflowers, and endless jaw-dropping views.

Jewel Basin is also an angler’s and a backpacker’s paradise. With over 20 lakes, the fishing opportunities are abundant, and westslope cutthroat trout fishing is particularly good. Furthermore, camping permits are not required, allowing respectful campers to set up shop wherever they so choose.

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Many of the peaks in Jewel Basin are unnamed and require scrambling and bushwhacking to summit. Mount Aeneas offers beautiful views of the southwest portion of Glacier National Park and the northern part of the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

How to get there: Primary access is via Camp Misery, which can be reached from Forest Service Road 5392 east of Echo Lake. Jewel Basin can also be reached via Westside Hungry Horse Reservoir Road #895, which leads to trailheads in Wounded Buck, Clayton, Graves, or Wheeler Creeks. Questions? Call (406) 387-3800 or visit the highly informative website http://www.summitpost.org/jewel-basin-mt/448116.

Read complete Flathead Beacon article by Emily Hoeven here.

Featured image:HelenaOruste


Explore Bigfork Property For Sale!

New Report Sheds Light on Kalispell Bypass’s $1 Billion Economic Impact – Flathead Beacon

A new economic analysis, conducted by a transportation authority and an economist, of the massive project is further illustrating the extent of its benefits and punctuating the impact of infrastructure investment.

According to the report, the total economic impact of the U.S. Highway 93 Alternate Route exceeded $1 billion over the life of the project’s construction, which spanned 16 years from 2001 to last fall.

The new highway reshaped the landscape in many ways, particularly on the north end of Kalispell, and the report shows that three major job sectors benefited most from its creation: retail trade (1,477 new jobs), dining (489) and services (490).

(Featured image & video courtesy of Birds Eye of Big sky LLC)

From 2001 to 2016, roughly 2 million square feet of new building space surfaced along the bypass route, worth roughly $140 million in project costs, according to city of Kalispell data cited in the report. That new construction investment does not include Glacier High School or expansion projects at Flathead Valley Community College and Kalispell Regional Healthcare.

Ed Toavs, a Columbia Falls native and regional administrator for the Montana Department of Transportation who helped spearhead the bypass construction, conducted the economic analysis with Steve Peterson, an economics professor at the University of Idaho who specializes in economic impact studies.

As part of his Master of Business Administration program at the University of Idaho, Toavs decided to study the ripple effects of the bypass to better understand how it played a role in the Flathead Valley’s economy.

To grasp the breadth of the impact, Toavs gathered data for three factors: the $135 million in state and federal funds that built the bypass; the investment from new business and residential projects along the bypass corridor; and business wages, expenditures and earnings for those new developments.

Toavs said he used a conservative approach when calculating the direct financial benefits. For new construction investments, he included 65 percent of the overall figures in his economic impact report. For the amount of jobs, wages and earnings that likely resulted from new development along the bypass, Toavs included 33 percent of the total figures.

Click here to read the economic impact report.

Read complete Flathead Beacon article by Dillon Tabish.

Bigfork High School Renovation

Excitement builds as initial stages of $14 million project completed on budget and ahead of schedule.

Last fall, voters overwhelmingly passed a bond approving the $14 million project. In addition to the new classrooms, the bond is funding development of a new bus barn with space for both the transportation and maintenance departments, separate locker rooms for physical education classes and athletic teams, a new band room with better acoustics and soundproofed practice rooms, and a community room. There will also be a host of updates to the gymnasium, library, foyer, and heating and cooling system.

“It is kind of refreshing,” Bailey Johnson, a senior, said of the school’s historic makeover. “A new start.”

Read complete Flathead Beacon article by Clare Menzel.

Learn more about Bigfork, MT

Primary photo from exclusive Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty  luxury home over-looking Flathead Lake.

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Most Snowfall In 18 Years

“With more than 12 feet of snow this winter,  Whitefish Mountain Resort breaks single-day visitation record!

With more than 12 feet of snow accumulating on Big Mountain since mid-November, Whitefish Mountain Resort is reporting the most snowfall in 18 years as it ushered record-breaking crowds through its lift lines over the holidays.

Boasting a base depth of more than six feet at the summit, and deep powder pockets dispersed across its 3,000 acres, Big Mountain recorded five feet of snow in a two-week period between Dec. 18 and Dec. 31, creating ideal conditions for skiers and snowboarders.

The resort set a new record for skier visits in a single day on Dec. 30, when 8,601 ticket-holders rode the chairlifts, while on Dec. 28, the third busiest day in the resort’s history, 8,075 skiers and riders converged on Big Mountain, according to Whitefish Mountain Resort’s figures.”

Full Flathead Beacon article here.


Featured image from innerwildchild86

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Photos: Montana Dragon Boat Festival 2016

Quickly becoming a Flathead Lake tradition, Montana Dragon Boat Festival just completed it’s 5th year of competition and excitement.

Check out all the photos captured by the Flathead Beacon.


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