Author Archives: Tia

SEE GLACIER NATIONAL PARK ON A BLACKFEET CULTURAL TOUR WITH SUN TOURS

Many international and group tour visitors arrive in Western Montana’s Glacier Country and are excited to visit the iconic Glacier National Park. While driving the 50-mile-long Going-to-the-Sun Road is permitted in your personal vehicle or rental car, the best way to experience Glacier National Park is with a guided tour. Sun Tours is your unique tour option while visiting Glacier National Park and Blackfeet Country. Sun Tours offers daily departures for interpretive tours from the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, along with all entrances of Glacier National Park, and travels the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road encompassing the highlights of the route.

Warrior sculptures welcome visitors to the Blackfeet Nation.

Warrior sculptures welcome visitors to the Blackfeet Nation.

Featuring a spectacular eastern approach to the Rocky Mountain Front, the tours that originate from the Blackfeet Nation take the most scenic routes across the foothills and valleys of the mountains. Photo opportunities include the Blackfeet Bison Reserve and cultural interpretive sites, including visits to the Blackfeet Heritage Center and the Museum of the Plains Indian in Browning, Montana.

The one-of-a-kind cultural tour is guided by the members of the Blackfeet Tribe and covers the culture and landscape of the “Neets-Tse-Ta-Pi” (Real People). The tour guide’s narrative concentrates on Glacier National Park’s natural features and their relevance to the Blackfeet Indian Nation, past and present. One of the compelling offerings of the tour is a chance for visitors to learn about the history and culture of the Crown of the Continent’s fascinating landscape that natives call the Backbone of the World.

Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park.

All of our guides at Sun Tours are residents of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and have extensive knowledge on the many facets of tribal history, culture and lifestyles, as well as extensive information and experience in Glacier National Park. Blackfeet spiritual and philosophical perspectives are covered, as well as plants and roots commonly used for nutrition and medicine. The tour stops include Triple Divide, Wild Goose Island, Jackson Glacier, Heavy Runner Mountain, Logan Pass and Bird Woman Falls, with a view from Big Bend.

A tipi overlook off Highway 2 near St. Mary.

A tipi overlook off Highway 2 near St. Mary.

Tour guests take in the views along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Tour guests take in the views along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Wild Goose Island on St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park.

Wild Goose Island on St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park.

We would be happy to accommodate your FIT clients and your motorcoach groups. Our tours leave from the east side of Glacier National Park, with pickups that include East Glacier Park, Browning and from the St. Mary valley area. We also depart from the west side of  Glacier National Park from West Glacier and Apgar Visitor Center.

A Sun Tour cruises along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

A Sun Tour cruises along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Tour season runs from mid-May through September 30th on passenger coaches that seat 13 to 25 people with large windows and air conditioning. Coaches can be reserved for tour groups or private parties. Please keep in mind that tour demand increases in the summer months of July and August and we highly recommend reserving space for your clients early. In addition, spring and fall both offer tour attendees a quieter look at Glacier National Park and the Blackfeet Nation.

The glacial-carved terrain of Glacier National Park can be seen along the tour.

The glacial-carved terrain of Glacier National Park can be seen along the tour.

For more information, visit our website at glaciersuntours.com or call our reservation office at 800-732-9220.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Backbone of the World,
Ed DesRosier

The author, Ed Derosier

The author, Ed DesRosier

About the author: Ed is the owner and operator of Sun Tours, an interpretive Native/Blackfeet Bus Tour Concessioner of Montana’s Glacier National Park. Sun Tours is starting its 25th operating season. Now living in St Mary, Montana, Ed is an enrolled Blackfeet Tribal Member and has lived his entire life on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Summers of his youth were spent working for the Museum on the Plains Indian in Browning. The park and reservation land have been a constant study in summer and winter. Most of his youth and adult years included enjoying the mountains and valleys of Glacier National Park where he hikes, snowshoes and skis hundreds of miles of trails, as well as climbing many of the park’s highest peaks.

Top Benefits of Using Social Media for Tour Operators and Travel Agents

It’s no secret that social media has had an impact on today’s marketing landscape, causing all of us to embrace this “new” way of marketing or risk being left in the past. As the Public Relations and Communication Manager for Glacier Country Tourism, I’m happy to tell you that Glacier Country Tourism was an early adopter of social media in Montana. As one of the first DMOs in Montana to utilize social media for marketing outreach, we launched our social channels in the summer of 2009 and have seen steady growth and a strong ROI since then.

With our consumer channels firmly established, we knew it was time to grow our program and utilize social media to reach the business-to-business markets that we work with on a regular basis, including tour operators and travel agents. Knowing that we needed to grow our B2B program and implement social media as part of those efforts, we added social media outreach in fall 2014 and formally launched a well-rounded social media business-to-business plan in March 2015.

A group of international tour operators on a FAM tour in Montana.

A group of international tour operators on a FAM tour in Montana.

While it took work, research and planning as we were embarking on something new, launching our B2B social media program was one of the best things we’ve done in the past 20 months. And while it continues to grow and evolve, it’s helping us be thought leaders in our industry as we push the envelope and embrace social media fully to market Western Montana. After all, as the marketing atmosphere progresses, it’s important that all of us grow with it.

If you’re a tour operator or travel agent who is still deciding on whether to use social media to market your business, here are the top benefits of implementing social media as part of your business and marketing strategy…

1. Social media provides a direct connection between you (and your products) and the consumer. Fact: your target audience is using social media, many of them on a daily basis. One in five minutes spent online is on social media, providing you more opportunities than ever to connect with your customers. Additionally, it allows you to create genuine relationships and a place for conversations between you and your already-existing clients (as well as prospective clientele).

2. You can establish yourself as an expert. People want to work with the best in the business or industry. Social media provides you the opportunity to showcase your expertise on specific tours, regions, seasons and style of group or FIT tours. Basically, it allows you another forum in which to showcase your expertise, whether it be the Real America region (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming) or the sandy beaches of Florida.

3. Social media makes you human. Okay, we already know that you’re human, but utilizing social allows your target market to get to know the people behind your company. There are so many possibilities here, whether it be doing an employee spotlight on a weekly basis, doing an instagram story as one of your product managers explores Montana or showcasing what makes your company special. And remember, humans do business with humans. Be human, always.

4. It can contribute to your bottom line. When done appropriately, social media channels can help increase sales. Think about it like this: social media provides inspiration on where to travel, when to travel and what to do. You can tell the story of the destinations and products you represent, while also showcasing your expertise on that region and inspiring travelers to book a trip to that destination with you. 

5. Social media can (and should) support your offline marketing efforts. I’ve probably said this 1,000 times: social media should not exist in a silo by itself. Instead, it should support your traditional marketing efforts. Put it to work and integrate it with your traditional marketing, including print ads, events, catalogs, tariffs, brochures, maps, newsletters and trade shows.

6. You become a storyteller and news source. With various platforms available to tour operators (I’d recommend considering facebook, twitter and instagram for businesses-to-consumer marketing), you have tremendous opportunities to tell your story and the story of the destinations, tours and offerings you represent. Think of social media channels as a platform for spreading the good word; they’re a place that allows you to highlight tour offerings, announce new tours and showcase your expert knowledge.

7. You don’t have to tell your story alone. After you’ve booked a trip or tour for a client, encourage them to share their on-the-ground experience on their social media channels.  Ask them to tag you or use a destination’s hashtag or handle when sharing content. Or, if it’s a group tour, create a specific hashtag and ask group tour attendees to share their experiences in real time. This turns your clients into phenomenal ambassadors, while creating exposure for the types of products you offer.

A few other helpful tips when adding social media to your marketing strategy:
-You can’t wait any longer to add social media to your marketing plan. You need to start now.
-Start small and be selective. You don’t have to be on every social media channel. Pick the most important channel for reaching your market and begin there.
-Have a plan. Outline your goals and create content that helps you reach your primary and secondary goals.
-Update your channels regularly.
-Utilize hashtags to reach your audience.
-Share good content. Be sure the images you’re sharing are strong and match your brand style and messaging.
-Have questions about how to effectively use social media? Feel free to tweet me at @MontanaTia.

Your turn: what other must-do tips and benefits have you seen with using social media?

See you on social,
TT

Guest Post: Winter in Montana – Board Room to Bucket List

Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of producing hundreds of meetings and events in some of the world’s greatest destinations. While the purpose, scope and locations of these gatherings have varied, all of them were designed to inspire excellence, trust and community while nurturing new thinking about business relationships and value creation. More often than not, I aspired to showcase the event destination in a creative way, as we provided a unique and enriching experience for the attendees. As planners, we didn’t want to duplicate our company’s conference room in a different locale; we wanted to draw from the culture of the destination and inspire them through novel experiences, like skiing after a morning meeting or receiving a handmade box filled with local treats at turn down.

Taking in the view of Montana from the "top of the world" at The Ranch at Rock Creek.

Taking in the view of Montana from the “top of the world” at The Ranch at Rock Creek.

Throughout the last decade, my passion for event planning and marketing has continued to blossom because of that essential, powerful ingredient—experiential travel. After living and working in many US cities, I am grateful to call Montana my home, especially since Montana is a place where travelers are instantly captured by a sense of wonder. Montana, through my lens, is an extraordinary, transformative destination for everyone from homebodies to globetrotters; a place where bucket-list experiences are checked off left and right.

In my role as marketing director at a luxury guest ranch in Western Montana, I see the transformations happen on a daily basis. It’s magical when a guest fulfills a dream to learn how to fly-fish or discovers that unplugging in the wide-open spaces brings their family closer. There are many quiet and exhilarating moments to be relished when guests and staff find themselves bursting with appreciation of the beauty and peace of our American West at The Ranch at Rock Creek. 

Inside the main lodge at The Ranch at Rock Creek.

Inside the ranch’s main lodge.

The profound number of experiences to be discovered throughout every season is very meaningful for planners and hosts who aim to inspire their attendees with exceptional—even magical— company events. As the Montana winter approaches, here are some thoughts on why groups should consider the natural riches of the Treasure State for business retreats and meetings.

Winter at The Ranch at Rock Creek.

Winter at The Ranch at Rock Creek.

Limitless Outdoor Adventure
Not only is Montana stunningly beautiful when the snow falls, but it also offers a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities. Among Montana’s diverse terrain are canopied forests and glistening meadows to explore by boot, snowshoe, ski, sleigh and snowmobile. I encourage planners to think about how wintertime outdoor recreation can bring attendees together to challenge themselves and each other. Our state boasts miles and miles of accessible cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trails. Some travelers are surprised to learn that Montana offers epic downhill skiing at world-class resorts and family-owned hidden gems—both with virtually no lift lines. We are partial to Discovery Ski Area just outside of Philipsburg, one of Montana’s most historic towns.

Skiing at Discovery Ski Area.

Skiing at Discovery Ski Area.

Near Discovery is The Ranch at Rock Creek, where I hang my professional hat. Sitting on 6,600 awe-inspiring acres that become a group’s playground during the length of their stay, The Ranch at Rock Creek is an all-inclusive luxury guest ranch located halfway between Glacier and Yellowstone national parks in the heart of Western Montana. Our guests enjoy twice-daily guided seasonal adventures, while groups from around the world travel to our remote ranching valley to reconnect, team build and conduct business. Their professional pursuits are infused with experiences like horseback riding through a meadow and casting a fishing line for the big one on the banks of our pristine trout stream, Rock Creek (home to 2,000 fish per river mile).

Our robust outdoor activity program includes over 20 year-round activities, while in the winter guests venture out to snowshoe, cross-country ski, ice skate, horseback ride, target shoot, sled, play hockey or bundle up on a sleigh ride or snowcat trek.

Guests enjoy a snoscat tour.

Guests enjoy a snowcat tour.

When working with groups to plan their on-ranch activities, our on-site coordinators customize experiences to suit the needs of your attendees, which means a group could snowshoe to a remote creek-side location for a gourmet picnic lunch, brainstorm around the campfire after dinner or team up in a survivor-skills competition in the forest.

The perfect gathering place after dinner.

The perfect outdoor gathering place after dinner.

Enrichment Through the Land and Lifestyle
For those who enjoy the stories of the legendary West, Montana is the perfect stop. Big Sky Country honors its history through the celebration and preservation of our pioneer spirit and American Indian heritage, while ranches and farms remain strong cornerstones of the Montana landscape and lifestyle.

The chef prepares an outdoor lunch.

The chef prepares an outdoor lunch.

Throughout the state, travelers discover thriving farm-to-table culinary experiences, due to the many hard-working ranchers, farmers and purveyors that make their home here. Visitors to Montana often have the opportunity to embark on a new epicurean journey—tasting foods for the first time such as elk, venison, morel mushrooms and huckleberries. At The Ranch at Rock Creek, our Executive Chef Josh Drage and his team thoughtfully select meats, produce, dairy and delicacies from over 50 Montana purveyors as he serves the best of Montana ranch cuisine paired with regional wines and award-winning local brews, including Philipsburg Brewing Company.

On-site bartenders create Montana-inspired cocktails.

Cocktails feature handcrafted Montana spirits and local ingredients. 

Besides reaping the bounty of the land, Montana guests can immerse themselves in the richness of the region when they explore the national parks, dip into thermal hot springs and trek around ghost towns throughout the year.

Reconnect in Nature
During most winter days, the Montana sky is filled with bright sunshine and puffy white clouds, allowing you to see for miles and miles across the Northern Rocky Mountains. Across the ranges and lower hills and rivers, you may spot elk, deer, moose, bighorn sheep and bald eagles, while in our rivers and lakes you’ll find a diverse selection of fish. Like many corners of Western Montana, The Ranch at Rock Creek is nestled among several mountain ranges and wilderness areas, which means our ranch is free of light pollution and offers incredible opportunities to see Montana’s star-filled and immense sky.
Sidenote: Read more about ways to reconnect in nature in “Cross It Off Your Bucket List,” a blog we published earlier this year.

A serene setting at the ranch.

A serene setting at the ranch.

As many business executives are attached to devices, The Ranch at Rock Creek offers meeting attendees the chance to unplug and immerse themselves in natural surroundings and to become rejuvenated as they watch the moonlight bathing the glistening snow or a never-ending sea of stars after the fire goes out.

The Milky Way in Glacier National Park. Photo: GNP Flickr

The Milky Way in Glacier National Park. Photo: GNP Flickr

Montana Hospitality on a Cold Winter Night
When I moved to Montana, I had no idea how helpful and welcoming my neighbors would be. It’s true that the warmth of Montana hospitality shines as a standout feature of the travel experience. Around here, our team believes that our guests should feel as if they are being invited into the family home as they experience authentic Montana.

The inside of the Buckle Barn, a great meeting space at The Ranch at Rock Creek.

The inside of the Buckle Barn, a beautiful and comfortable meeting space at The Ranch at Rock Creek.

Executive meeting hosts can absolutely feel confident that their attendees will be made to feel welcome and comfortable in Big Sky Country. It may sound simple with no glitz or glitter, but after a day of team building in the outdoors, guests find great enjoyment gathering around a grand stone fireplace sharing stories and toasting with a Moscow mule. Plus, during winter months, many resorts—including ours— invite event planners to consider special offers to encourage corporate groups and help them experience the best winter has to offer in Western Montana.

If you are in search of new exhilarating adventures, warm hospitality and spectacular settings in the American West to complement your business meeting objectives, we hope to welcome you to the Treasure State very soon.

Happy trails and meet me in Montana,
Heather Rue

The author, Heather Rue

The author, Heather Rue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author: Heather is the director of marketing at The Ranch at Rock Creek in Philipsburg, Montana where she leads the cross-channel marketing efforts to build awareness of and tell stories about The Ranch’s exceptional Montana travel experiences. She has produced hundreds of corporate, nonprofit and cause-marketing events and programs. Heather is active in her local community and is raising country kids, chickens and labs while soaking up all life in Montana has to offer. 

 

5 Must-See Places: The Best of Montana’s Highway 2

There are certain places in Western Montana’s Glacier Country that are made for FIT travelers. One such place: U.S. Highway 2. Running through Montana’s northern tier, Highway 2 travels along some of the most scenic places in Glacier Country and introduces its passengers to off-the-beaten-path and well-known attractions.

One of my favorite places along Highway 2: Summit Mountain Lodge (and this view).

One of my favorite places along Highway 2: Summit Mountain Lodge (and this view).

If you’re a tour operator planning an itinerary or trip for your FIT clients, here are 5 must-see places along Western Montana’s U.S. Highway 2…

1. Libby. Located in one of the region’s most scenic and quiet corners, Libby tends to fly under the radar in Montana. But that, my friends, is bound to change. Home to Libby Dam and the Kootenai River, Libby is one of the best communities for experiencing small-town Americana. Recreational highlights include fly-fishing with Kootenai Anglers, setting out on a scenic flight over the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness with Kootenai Aviation or taking a behind-the-scenes tour of Libby Dam, while Kootenai Falls (home to scenes from movies that include “The Revenant ” and “The River Wild”) and its swinging bridge is a short drive west of Libby on Highway 2.

Fall in the Cabinet Mountains.

Fall in the Cabinet Mountains.

2. Kalispell. Situated at the crossroads between U.S. Highway 2 and U.S. Highway 93 is the largest city in the Flathead Valley, Kalispell. A mix of small-town Montana and old-west charm, Kalispell has a lot to offer. In the past, it’s been looked as a drive-through city; a place you pass through on your way to Flathead Lake or Glacier National Park. To which I can honesty say: you need to include Kalispell on your client’s itineraries. During the last few years, Kalispell has rediscovered itself and today, it’s actually pretty cool (you can read more about my 5 unexpected finds in Kalispell here). Not-to-be-missed attractions include Hockaday Museum of ArtMuseum at Central School, main street (home to incredible shops that sell made in Montana goods), Lone Pine State Park, Sweet Peaks Ice Cream and Kalispell Brewing Company.

A bird's eye view of Kalispell Brewing Company.

A bird’s eye view of Kalispell Brewing Company.

3. The Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Forming the southern border of Glacier National Park, the Middle Fork of the Flathead River is ideal for water recreation near the Crown of the Continent. Many outfitters offer guided activities on the river, including fly-fishing, whitewater rafting, scenic floats and kayaking. Most of the outfitters who operate on the Middle Fork are based out of West Glacier and offer guided activities from spring through fall.

Casting a line on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

Casting a line on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

4. Glacier National Park. Highway 2 provides direct access points to Glacier National Park in West Glacier and takes travelers through the southern tip of the park near Essex as it connects the west side with the east side, crossing the Continental Divide at Marias Pass. Highlight between West Glacier and East Glacier Park include Essex and the Izaak Walton Inn, Summit Mountain Lodge and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

The view from Highway 2 near Goat Lick Overlook.

The view from Highway 2 near Goat Lick Overlook.

5. Blackfeet Nation. Bordering the east side of Glacier National Park is the 1.5-million-acre Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Home to the Blackfeet Indian Tribe, the reservation has a rich and incredible culture, especially for clients who are interested in Montana’s touchable history. Highlights include East Glacier Park, Browning, the Museum of the Plains Indian, Lodgepole Gallery & Tipi Village, Blackfeet Heritage Center and the Blackfeet Trail Tour.

Highway 2 just northeast of East Glacier Park.

Highway 2 just northeast of East Glacier Park.

For more information on scenic points, attractions and highlights along Montana’s Highway 2, feel free to drop us a line here.

See you in Montana,
TT

6 Reasons for Tour Operators to Join #RealAmericaChat on Twitter

Truth time: social media has changed today’s marketing landscape. Instead of doing what we’ve always done, we’ve all had to find ways to be more creative, to deliver real-time information that’s helpful and to help spread the word about what it is we do, whether that be a DMO marketer (like Western Montana’s Glacier Country) or a tour operator who sells the United States to international and domestic clients.

A red bus tour on the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.

A red bus tour on the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.

Here in Montana, we’re big proponents of utilizing the power of social media to connect with our visitors, prospective travelers and partners. We’re also using social media to connect with our business-to-business partners, specifically tour operators. In fact, we know there’s so much merit for using social media in this way that we regularly participate in a twitter chat that’s specifically designed to connect domestic and international tour operators with suppliers in the Real America region of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming: #RealAmericaChat.

And if you haven’t heard about the chat, or if you’re not sure why you should participate, here are 6 reasons for you to join #RealAmericaChat

1. It connects you directly with suppliers in the Real America region. There are numerous on-the-ground reps in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming who want to work with you, and many of them are joining the chat. While you may see a handful of them in person once a year, the chat gives you direct access to multiple businesses across the region.

2. Participants are delivering real-time information on relevant topics. Chat topics vary each month, with topics that have been chosen specifically to arm you with the latest information on the region. Upcoming topics include winter, hidden gems, annual events and festivals, First Nations of the Real America, cowboy experiences and more.

3. It only takes one hour per month. We’re all busy, but we all have one hour each month to help grow our business. We host #RealAmericaChat on the first Wednesday of every month at 8 a.m. MST (3 p.m. BST) and we strive to stay on time and on track to deliver the most relevant information to you—our tour operators who are doing business in the region.

4. Four states, one chat. If you work with folks in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, chances are you’ve seen that the four states like each other and enjoy working together. We know that many of our international visitors want to see more than one place when they’re here and what better way to give them the best experience possible than by working with each other to create multi-state itineraries and experiences. Plus, suppliers from all four states participate in the chat and share information on their area. Instead of having to send individual emails to multiple people (sidenote: we still love and welcome email correspondence!), the chat puts you in direct contact with suppliers from the four-state region all at once.

5. Participation in the chat will make you an expert. After each month’s chat, you’ll be armed with the latest information on the Real America region, making it easier for you to build itineraries, create custom trips for your clients and be known as the contact for planning a trip to Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota or Wyoming.

6. You get to ask questions + get real-time answers. At the end of each chat, we ask what you want to learn more about or receive additional information on, with state or regional reps following up with you on your specific area of interest.

For the latest information on the chat, be sure to follow @RealAmericaChat on twitter or sign up for our tour operators newsletter here

A few other helpful tips:
-To join the chat, log into twitter on the first Wednesday of every month at 3 p.m. BST (8 a.m. MST) and search hashtag #RealAmericaChat.
-Use tweetchat or tweetdeck to follow along during the chat, as there is sometimes a delay in the twitter browser. Sidenote: you don’t need to set up a new account to use tweetchat or tweetdeck; just login to your twitter account and then go to www.tweetchat.com or www.tweetdeck.com. Bonus: all three platforms are free.
-Use #RealAmericaChat in your tweets during the chat, so everyone can see them.
-If you’re using tweetdeck to join the chat, create a column for #RealAmericaChat. All of the tweets that are tagged with that hashtag will automatically populate into that column, making it even easier for you to follow along.
Say hello! Let’s say you don’t feel comfortable tweeting into the chat (especially if it’s your first time joining). Well, not a worry! Feel free to pop in and say hello and let us know who you are and where you’re from. We’re sure that before long, we’ll be twitter buddies.
-Representatives from state and regional offices in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming regularly join the chat. For Montana, be sure to follow Marlee Iverson, Kim Birrell and Debbie Picard. For North Dakota, follow everyone’s favorite cowboy Fred Walker and Travel North Dakota. In South Dakota, say hi to Cole Irwin and South Dakota Tourism. And in Wyoming, follow the J team: James Scoon, Jenn Adu and Jenny McCullough.

Hope to see you all at the next #RealAmericaChat! Until then, feel free to tweet me at @MontanaTia.

See you on twitter,
TT

Guest Post: A New Dining Experience for Groups in West Glacier, Montana

For large tours groups who are looking for dining destinations when visiting Montana’s Glacier National Park, it can sometimes be difficult to find a location that can seat a large group. That’s where one of West Glacier’s newest group dining and meeting venues comes in. Meet the Park View Pavilion. Conveniently located on the doorstep of Glacier National Park, this beautifully crafted 2,900-square-foot covered log pavilion delivers incredible views of the Livingston Range in Glacier Park while creating a private, intimate setting and warm ambiance for guests to enjoy.

The Park View Pavilion has ample parking for vehicles and buses.

The Park View Pavilion has ample parking for vehicles and buses.

The welcoming entrance to the pavilion.

The welcoming entrance to the pavilion.

The Park View Pavilion was built in spring 2014 and has quickly become a desired location for tour groups and other large gatherings looking for a unique dining experience away from the crowds. With its easy accessibility off Highway 2 and amenities that include bathrooms, tabled seating for up to 200 guests and a large parking area (perfect for tour buses), the pavilion is a great dining option for your tour group. In the event of inclement weather, the pavilion is set up with weather-proof side walls and propane heaters to warm the space. An added bonus: the weather-proof walls provide tour groups the opportunity and flexibility to host dining events here in spring and fall.

The inside of the pavilion.

The inside of the pavilion.

Whether your group is interested in a casual lunch of sandwiches or hamburgers or a fine-dining experience with grilled steak, salmon and chicken accompanied by delicious appetizers, sides, salads and desserts, the chefs at Glacier Outdoor Center are able to cater menu offerings to the needs of your group.

A BBQ with a view.

A BBQ with a view.

A buffet-style setup inside the pavilion.

A buffet-style setup inside the pavilion.

If your group is looking for an activity to accompany their meal or just an activity alone, Glacier Raft Company also offers group rafting and fishing trips. As the longest running river outfitter in the state, Glacier Raft can customize trips based on your group’s desires and abilities. All trips run on the rivers that border Glacier National Park and have unparalleled scenery to go along with fun on the water and entertaining guides. Trips can be customizes and range from a few hours to an entire day. Plus, no experience is necessary and all gear is provided.

A group rafts the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

A group rafts the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

For more information on group rates, group dining and reservations on the edge of Glacier National Park, visit our website or call us at 406.888.5454.

Meet you in Montana,
Cassie Baldelli

The author, Cassie Baldelli

The author, Cassie Baldelli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author: Cassie Baldelli is co-owner of Glacier Raft Company. Her father Darwon Stoneman started the company in 1976 and in 2012, Cassie and her husband Jeff officially became partners with her parents Darwon and Terri. When not at the office, they love being out on the rivers and enjoying the beautiful place they call home.

Guest Post: Top Unexpected Offerings at Montana State Parks

Montana is home to 55 state parks that offer visitors to the region plentiful options for swimming, boating, hiking, camping and fishing. And here in Big Sky Country, 21 state parks are found in Western Montana’s Glacier Country and offer travelers, especially FIT visitors, distinct experiences in Montana’s wide-open spaces.

A late summer sunset at Placid Lake State Park.

A late summer sunset at Placid Lake State Park.

To help ensure your clients have a memorable stay in Montana, here are the top 5 unexpected offerings and experiences at Montana State Parks in Glacier Country.

1) Stay in a yurt on the shores of majestic Flathead Lake at Big Arm State Park
Big Arm State Park offers yurts for a unique camping experience on the shores of Flathead Lake—the largest freshwater lake in the West. The yurts sleep four or six people and are equipped with Montana-made custom log furniture. Easy lake access and hiking trails deepen this incredible Montana experience.

The yurt at Big Arm State Park.

A yurt at Big Arm State Park.

2) See a herd of bighorn sheep, wild horses and mule deer at Wild Horse Island State Park
Wild Horse Island State Park is located on Flathead Lake and offers world-class wildlife viewing opportunities for bighorn sheep, mule deer and a herd of wild horses. A hike along the self-guided interpretive trail takes you back in time to the early 1900s when homesteaders tried to settle the island. Several companies in the area offer guided boat tours to Wild Horse Island State Park from Bigfork, Lakeside and Polson, making it easy for your clients to visit the largest island on the lake.

Bighorn sheep graze on Wild Horse Island.

Bighorn sheep graze on Wild Horse Island.

3) Take a relaxing hike (minutes from downtown Kalispell) at Lone Pine State Park
With 7.5 miles of trails and within 2 miles of the heart of Kalispell, Lone Pine State Park offers an easy way to experience the outdoors without going “off the grid.” From the park, your clients will be able to see an incredible panoramic view of the entire Flathead Valley, including Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake and the Whitefish and Swan Mountains. Lone Pine State Park welcomes hikers, bikers, horseback riders and dog walkers to explore its trails. Plus, they host a number of educational programs at the visitor center. The park offers a wide array of seasonal interpretive programs that include birding, wildflower hikes and Junior Ranger programs.

Taking in the view of Kalispell from Lone Pine State Park.

Taking in the view of Kalispell from Lone Pine State Park.

4) Trace the footsteps of the Lewis and Clark Expedition at Travelers’ Rest State Park
Each summer from mid-June through Labor Day, travelers to Montana can join one of our local experts at Travelers Rest State Park in Lolo for a guided tour of the only archaeologically-verified campsite of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Guides will give a behind-the-scenes look at the scientific research that validated the site, all while weaving the story of the Lewis and Clark Expeditions travels to and from Travelers’ Rest in 1805 and 1806. While hiking along the short loop trail to the campsite, visitors will pass through the rich cottonwood forest that lines Lolo Creek, look for and learn about local birds and wildlife and have the opportunity to learn more about the Salish people, who called this valley home for thousands of years before the arrival of Lewis and Clark.

A historical reenactment in Lolo.

A historical reenactment in Lolo.

5) Paddleboard at Whitefish Lake State Park
Recreating on picturesque Whitefish Lake couldn’t be easier that it is at Whitefish Lake State Park.  Relax on the park’s white sandy beach or take advantage of a myriad or water toy rentals, including stand-up paddleboards, canoes and kayaks.This incredible park is located next to the resort town of Whitefish, Montana and is know for its easy access to outdoor recreation and Whitefish Mountain Resort, as well as its unique shops, restaurants and nightlife.

Enjoying the water on Whitefish Lake.

Enjoying the water on Whitefish Lake.

For more ideas on unique opportunities at Montana State Parks, visit our website or check out our instagram account here.

See you at a Montana State Park,
Pat Doyle

The author, Pat Doyle

The author, Pat Doyle

 

 

 

 

 

About the author: Pat Doyle is the Marketing and Communications Manager with Montana State Parks. In his free time, Pat’s always busy planning his next Montana adventure.

Guest Post: Best of the West; Insider Tips for Visiting Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming

Seeing the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming by motorcycle, rental car, or motorhome is the most popular and practical way to go. I’m often envious of the people I’ve talked to over the years, who are able to take two – three weeks for a holiday to the Rocky Mountain West. Having grown up in Wyoming, I’ve traveled the region extensively and can still say with certainty that I have not seen or experienced it all.

Hitting the open road in Montana.

Hitting the open road in Montana.

These four states make up the Real America Region and are intrinsically connected to America’s western history and include many of the country’s greatest national treasures, including the world’s first national parkYellowstone; the crown jewel of the continent—Glacier; the only national park named after an American President—Theodore Roosevelt; and the symbol of American democracy—Mount Rushmore; all in one trip.

A red bus tour is a popular way to explore Glacier National Park.

Taking in the view of Glacier National Park.

Many experienced and well-respected tour operators and travel agents specialize in this region and work to provide their clients the best possible experiences the West has to offer. With a region as vast as Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming (Montana alone is the size of Germany), it’s easy to miss lesser-known attractions and experiences. 

Follow this LINK to download our Best of the West itinerary through the Real America. This 21-day journey is a top route offered by tour operators and travel agents across the globe. And if that’s not enough to get you started, I’ve rounded up a few additional tips to get you off the beaten path.

Getting Here: It’s Easier Than You Think
Direct flights and easy driving conditions make it ideal to fly directly into and out of major international hubs like Denver, Colorado, or Minneapolis/St. Paul/Bloomington, Minnesota, and rent a car or RV to take your family through the Real America. Denver is one of my favorite U.S. cities and provides an incredible Rocky Mountain welcome with sunshine, blue skies and a scenic mountain backdrop as you step off the plane. After 10 hours on a flight, that can make all of the difference! Take a stroll down the 16th Street pedestrian mall or get geared up with a your cowboy hat and boots at Rockmount Ranchwear; a Denver mainstay where western shirts with snap buttons were first introduced.

Wyoming: Hidden treasure at Bighorn Canyon; Prairie Dog Town at Devils Tower
As you head north from Denver, you’ll be headed to my home state of Wyoming. One hidden attraction on the route between Yellowstone and the South Dakota’s Black Hills is Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Opportunities for bicycling, boat tours, camping, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and wildlife watching are all abundant. I remember taking a boat cruise with Hidden Treasure Charters in what turned out to be awful weather on a spring day. I left, though, with lasting memories of Captain Mark navigating us through a magnificent canyon that I never knew existed.
Sidenote: Bighorn Canyon is the 3rd largest canyon in the United States and is largely unknown.

Touring Bighorn Canyon with Hidden Treasure Charters.

Touring Bighorn Canyon with Hidden Treasure Charters.

As you you continue to traverse your way through Wyoming, you may see more wildlife than people. As is the case in the northeast corner bordering South Dakota at Devils Tower National Monument. Here you’ll find America’s first national monument, an astounding geologic feature that protrudes out of the rolling prairie. But you’ll also find a colony of prairie dogs that are worth visiting if you truly want to be entertained. These little guys are cute, put a smile on your face and will even pose for your photos, but please do not feed them.

Getting the perfect shot of prairie dogs at Devils Tower.

Getting the perfect shot of prairie dogs at Devils Tower.

Montana: Mine for Sapphires in Philipsburg; Hike the M in Missoula
North of Wyoming is the big sky state of Montana. It certainly lives up to its name with the expanses of prairie valleys that extend into mountain peaks that seem to reach to the sky. One of my best memories of Montana is visiting Philipsburg, a charming small town on a scenic mountain route on your way from Yellowstone to Glacier National Park. Take scenic route Highway 1 from Butte to Missoula and plan to stop in Philipsburg at The Sapphire Gallery—the only all sapphire and ruby store in the U.S.

My best memory of Philipsburg: this pinky ring (that I mined myself) and gifted to my wife for her first Mother’s Day. It’s one of our most cherished family heirlooms.

My best memory of Philipsburg: this pinky ring (that I mined myself) and gifted to my wife for her first Mother’s Day. It’s one of our most cherished family heirlooms.

Continuing on your voyage to Glacier National Park, make sure to overnight in Missoula and hike the ‘M’ on Mount Sentinel, preferably in the early morning. I’ve done this twice now and if I lived there, would probably do it every day. It’s a short hike, with the help of 11 switchbacks, and offers an incredible view of the entire valley and surrounding mountains. Nice way to burn off a few of those vacation calories that are likely starting to add up from the varied culinary offerings en route.

The view of Missoula from the 'M' on Mount Sentinel.

The view of Missoula from the ‘M’ on Mount Sentinel.

South Dakota: Swim Evans Plunge in Hot Springs; See Mountain Goats at Mount Rushmore
Western South Dakota is home to Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park, among many other attractions. A family favorite of ours is Evans Plunge in the southern Black Hills town of Hot Springs. Swim, splash and soak in the warm mineral waters that both Lakota and Cheyenne American Indians utilized for their healing properties centuries ago. The best part: the hot springs are all natural and have no additional chemicals added to them.

Evan's Plunge indoor pool, a favorite of my 10-year-old daughter.

Evans Plunge indoor pool, a favorite of my 10-year-old daughter.

In the central Black Hills—and at one of the most iconic spots along the Best of the West tour—is Mount Rushmore National Memorial. My best advice: after getting a picture of American presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, take a hike on the Presidential Trail for a chance to see local wildlife and a different perspective of this iconic American attraction.

Great faces + mountain goats = a match made in South Dakota.

Great faces + mountain goats = a match made in South Dakota.

North Dakota: Pitchfork Fondue in Medora; Geographic Center of North America in Rugby
Hands down, North Dakota’s main attraction is Theodore Roosevelt National Park. A tract of land set aside in honor of the “Conservation President” and someone who exemplified preservation and the safeguarding of natural wonders, this pristine park has no accommodations or shopping but instead offers untouched nature and wildlife. After taking a scenic drive through the park, where you’ll likely see bison and horses, plan to spend an evening sampling a uniquely western meal at the Pitchfork Steak Fondue and Broadway-style entertainment at the Medora Musical. Every evening in the summer, chefs load steaks onto pitchforks and fondue them western style. Savor your meal outside in front of the picturesque badlands of North Dakota before being treated to a live musical performed by members of The Coal Diggers from the Medora Musical.

Medora Musical with Theodore Roosevelt National Park as its backdrop.

Medora Musical with Theodore Roosevelt National Park as its backdrop.

As you wrap your trip up and head east through legendary North Dakota, make sure you stop for a quick photo in Rugby. This is the Geographic Center of North America and makes for a fun conversation piece. The center is marked with a monument and lies at 48 degrees 21’19” N; 99 degrees 59’ 57” W.

Standing at the center of North America.

Standing at the center of North America.

Happy Trails: No Goodbyes; See You Next Time! 
At the end of your voyage, take time to visit St. Paul, Minnesota, a city steeped in American history. Explore the city’s Prohibition-era gangster past. Be sure to visit the James J. Hill House, an American Gilded Age mansion on Summit Avenue. The mansion is unreal and it was incredible to see what a railroad tycoon lived like in the late 1880s. On your last stop, make sure to visit the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, before flying out on one of several direct flights to Europe and other major hubs.

See you in #RealAmericaUSA,
Mathias Jung

The author, Mathias Jung

The author, Mathias Jung

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author: Mathias was raised, educated and well established in Wyoming, where he is owner and CEO of Rocky Mountain International in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He spends most of his free time with friends and family and you’ll regularly find him backpacking throughout the Rockies or at a baseball game in the summer. A beginner collector of 19th century American artwork and prints, Mathias loves the history and culture of the place he calls home and is lucky enough to promote this region as a profession. Mathias resides in Cheyenne, WY with his wife Catherine, daughter Sienna and son Ivan.

About Rocky Mountain International: A small business that specializes in international travel and tourism promotion for #RealAmericaUSA. Founded in 1990, RMI employs offices in Cheyenne, London, Munich, Sydney, Paris, Milan and Amsterdam.

Montana’s Glacier National Park in Spring: The Perfect Group Tour or FIT Destination

There are areas in Montana’s Glacier Country that are best explored during certain times of the year. One such place: Glacier National Park. While Glacier National Park is open year-round, most of the park’s visitors come during July and August. But we’ve got a big Montana secret…spring is one of the best times to visit Glacier National Park. If you’re a group tour operator, travel agent or receptive tour operator, spring is an ideal time for your clients to visit the Crown of the Continent.

Many Glacier in Glacier National Park.

Many Glacier in Glacier National Park.

To help make it easier for you to plan and package trips for domestic and international visitors, we recommend the following for things to do, places to stay and where to dine in and around Montana’s Glacier National Park.

Things to do in Glacier National Park: First things first, it’s important to note that Glacier National Park is open year-round. And while the Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of the most iconic and popular attractions in the park, it typically doesn’t open in its entirety until mid-June (although portions of the road are open year-round), weather dependent. But rest assured that there are so many other places to explore and things to do in Glacier National Park in spring. Snow pack at lower elevations inside the park starts to melt in late April and early May, which means many outlying trails are accessible during the spring.

In addition to hiking trails, Glacier Park Boat Company starts offering guided tours on the DeSmet, one of their historic wooden boats, on Lake McDonald in mid-May.

Lake McDonald in early June.

Lake McDonald in early June.

If your clients want to experience the park in a whole new way, have them bike or hike the Going-to-the-Sun Road in late April, May or early June before it opens to vehicular traffic. Bike rentals are available in nearby Whitefish.

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

For a taste of the Old West (and a look at how early visitors to Glacier Park got around), consider adding a horseback trail ride to the itinerary. Swan Mountain Outfitters starts offering trail rides on the west side of the park in mid- to late May. Spring locations include West Glacier (right outside the park’s west entrance), Apgar and Lake McDonald.

A group trail ride crosses the road in the park.

A group trail ride crosses the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

And if they want to see an other-worldly view of Glacier National Park? Book them on a guided helicopter tour with Glacier Jet Center or Glacier Heli Tours. Most helicopter tours are 30 or 60 minutes, with the option to customize what your clients want to see.

The view from a helicopter tour with Glacier Jet Center.

The view from a helicopter tour with Glacier Jet Center.

Capturing memories.

Capturing memories.

One of the most popular activities during spring in Montana is taking a drive to see the stunning scenery in and around the park. Suggested routes include the Camas entrance up the North Fork, cruising the gravel North Fork Road to Polebridge—complete with stunning views—Many Glacier (the road is open into Many Glacier as weather allows) on the northeast side of the park, Highway 2 between West Glacier and East Glacier Park (read more about that route here) and the road into Two Medicine (exact opening date depends on snowfall). Remind your clients to keep their eyes peeled for wildlife as they cruise the roads and hike the trails in the park. Chances are, especially in spring, that they’ll encounter the wildlife that make their home here.

Last spring, we saw this grizzly crossing the road in Many Glacier.

Last spring, we saw this grizzly crossing the road in Many Glacier.

The Camas Entrance from North Fork Road.

The Camas entrance from North Fork Road.

Outside of the park, many outfitters offer scenic and whitewater rafting trips in the spring, as well as fly-fishing instruction and trips on the Middle Fork and North Fork of the Flathead River.

Where to stay near Glacier Park: While lodging inside the boundaries of Glacier National Park doesn’t open until late May and June, there are plenty of accommodations outside of the park that are perfect for spring travelers. On the west side of the park, have clients stay in historic rooms, cozy cottages or a rental house at The Belton Chalet or consider a modern cabin at Glacier Outdoor Center, both in West Glacier. A bit further west of the park, consider Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins in Hungry Horse or Meadow Lake Resort in Columbia Falls. Both properties are located within 15 minutes of the park’s West Glacier entrance.

The cottages at The Belton Chalet are open year-round.

The cottages at The Belton Chalet are open year-round.

The view into Glacier National Park from a cabin at Glacier Outdoor Center.

The view into Glacier National Park from Glacier Outdoor Center.

An cabin room at Glacier Outdoor Center.

An cabin room at Glacier Outdoor Center.

Halfway between West Glacier and East Glacier Park, the Izaak Walton Inn is open year-round and offers railroad-inspired accommodations in their lodge rooms (built in 1939), cabins, cabooses and a luxury locomotive. A few other tidbits: the inn was named for English fly-fisherman Izaak Walton and is a stop on Amtrak’s Empire Builder line.

The Izaak Walton Inn.

The Izaak Walton Inn.

This renovated caboose offers overnight accommodations.

This renovated caboose offers overnight accommodations.

Watching trails roll past from the covered patio of the Izaak Walton Inn.

Watching trails roll past from the covered patio of the Izaak Walton Inn.

On the east side of the park, you’ll find spring lodging (and year-round accommodations) at Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Browning. For clients who are looking for a more off-the-grid location, along with stunning views, consider The Stonehouse at Duck Lake in Babb.

The interior of The Stonehouse. Photo courtesy of The Stonehouse.

The interior of The Stonehouse. Photo courtesy of The Stonehouse.

Where to dine in spring near Glacier National Park: If there’s one thing that we can guarantee about a visit to Western Montana, it’s that your clients will be well-fed (read more about our culinary scene here and here). For visitors that are coming to visit Glacier National Park, there are a few places that should definitely be on their dining itinerary. Located just outside the park, try Glacier Grille in Coram, the Healthy Haven Cafe near Essex and Belton Chalet and West Glacier Restaurant, both in West Glazcier and  Additional recommendations include the Dining Car at the Izaak Walton Inn in Essex (their dinner is one of the best in Montana) and Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant in East Glacier Park. Nearby Columbia Falls (a 15-minute drive from Glacier Park) also has a variety of great dining offerings, including Three Forks Grille, Base Camp Cafe and The Palette Cafe.

For more information about creating itineraries for your FIT clients or group tours, drop us a note.

See you in the spring,
TT

PS: For more insights on Montana, be sure to follow me at @MontanaTia or @GlacierMT.

Guest Post: Top 5 Off-Site Activities for Meetings in Whitefish, Montana

As a meeting planner, you know that the most memorable and productive part of any meeting can take place outside of the meeting room. Here in Whitefish, Montana, our specialty is distinctive meeting locations for small groups and corporate retreats, as well as plentiful off-site  opportunities for team bonding and team building that are guaranteed to help your attendees make the most of their meeting in Montana, while solidifying relationships as they enjoy their time in the Rocky Mountains.

Central Avenue in downtown Whitefish.

Central Avenue in downtown Whitefish.

To help make your meeting or retreat memorable, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 group activities in Whitefish, Montana.  

1) Made in Montana tours
Whitefish is a tight-knit community that embodies locally grown values and offerings, including farm-to-table restaurants and made in Montana beer. Introduce meeting attendees to the flavors of Whitefish through tours that include a local brewery, coffee shop and farm. Taste Montana at Great Northern Brewery Company on a brewery tour, followed by a reception on the brewery floor. Public tours take place at 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, in the summer months. However, groups can schedule tours and special tastings directly with the brewery at any time. Or consider a look behind-the-scenes on a coffee roasting and cupping tour at Montana Coffee Traders. Roasting tours are offered daily at 10 a.m., but groups are encouraged to call ahead to schedule a private tour. Incorporate Montana agriculture with a farm tour at Purple Frog Gardens. Spring planting season and fall harvest are good times to experience life on the farm, or if you’re looking to add a volunteer element to your meeting, Purple Frog Gardens welcome visitors every Wednesday morning during during the summer months.

Coffee roasting at Montana Coffee Traders.

Coffee roasting at Montana Coffee Traders.

2) A boat cruise on Whitefish Lake 
Ideal for a pre-dinner cocktail reception, have your meeting attendees hop on board the historic Lady of the Lake wooden boat at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake for an evening tour of the pristine glacier-carved Whitefish Lake. End the night with dinner on the deck of the Boat Club, the lodge’s on-site restaurant.

The view from the lake.

The view from the lake.

3) Scenic lift at Whitefish Mountain Resort
For some of the most stunning views in the state, plan to ride the Big Mountain Express open chair or gondola to the summit of Whitefish Mountain Resort, complete with sweeping views of Glacier National Park, the Canadian Rockies and the Flathead Valley. Have lunch at the Summit House, Montana’s only mountain-top restaurant, or have a catered dinner as the lights of the valley twinkle below you. If the group is a little more adventuresome, build teamwork and have fun in the Aerial Adventure Park, an “obstacle course in the sky.” If your meeting is here in the winter months, consider hitting Whitefish Mountain Resort’s  3,000 acres of terrain for world-class skiing and snowboarding that’s great for groups with varied abilities. The scenic lift and Aerial Adventure Park are open from late June through September, while ski season runs from December through early April.

The Aerial Adventure Park at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

The Aerial Adventure Park at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

4) Art gallery tour
Experience the thriving art community of Whitefish anytime of year with a self-guided walking tour through specialty art galleries and shops that showcase local, regional and national fine art. Browse handcrafted jewelry (made with Montana Yogo Sapphires) at Stephen Isley Jewelry and fine pottery at Whitefish Pottery & Stillwater Gallery. Have a painting party at the Stumptown Art Studio where participants can paint their own pottery, create mosaics or do glass fusing. The Whitefish Gallery Guide is available for free (contact Explore Whitefish for copies) and contains a map and brief description of each art gallery location.

Locally made mugs at Whitefish Pottery.

Locally made mugs at Whitefish Pottery.

5) Horseback, wagon and sleigh rides at  Bar W Guest Ranch
Enjoy western hospitality at Bar W Guest Ranch with guided horseback trail rides (starting in late spring) or take a wagon ride and finish with a campfire cookout. In the winter, take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the pristine ranch followed by a home-cooked chili dinner in the ranch’s cozy lodge. Groups can also experience barrel racing, archery or even host a hoedown with live music and square dancing.

A group enjoys a horse-drawn wagon ride at Bar W Guest Ranch.

Enjoying a horse-drawn wagon ride at Bar W Guest Ranch.

For meeting and event planners who are hosting meetings in Whitefish, our community is home to nearly 800 guest rooms and more than 46,000 square feet of meeting space. From smaller inns like Kandahar Lodge on Big Mountain (perfect for an intimate board retreat) to the full-service capabilities of Grouse Mountain Lodge, your meeting attendees are sure to enjoy Whitefish’s friendly hospitality, complemented by comfortable accommodations. Plus, with so many lodging options, groups can utilize multiple properties for larger meetings.

Another bonus: getting here is easy. Whitefish is one of the closest mountain towns to a major airport. Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) is only 15 minutes from downtown Whitefish, with daily direct flights on major airlines from Denver, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Minneapolis, while seasonal flights arrive from Chicago, Oakland, Las Vegas and Portland, OR. Whitefish is also located on Amtrak’s Empire Builder line between Chicago and Seattle, with trains arriving twice daily.

For more information on meeting in Whitefish, visit www.explorewhitefish.com.

Meet me in Montana,
Jessica Downing

The author, Jessica Downing

The author, Jessica Downing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the author: Jessica is the marketing coordinator for Explore Whitefish—the Whitefish Convention and Visitors Bureau—focusing on content marketing and group travel. She can also be found extolling the virtues of riding a bike any given day of the year.