economic development

Visitor center attendant Hugh Austin stands behind the information desk at the old Belton Train Station in West Glacier. The visitor center is staffed 1-5pm, 7 days a week, and will provide Glacier visitors information on activities around the Flathead.
Corin Cates-Carney

A new visitor information center in West Glacier opened Tuesday to show Glacier National Park visitors what else Montana has to offer.

The Whitefish, Bigfork and Columbia Falls Chambers of Commerce will join forces to share expenses and staff the center this summer.

Whitefish Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kevin Gartland says the Chambers' goal is to turn additional information about the Flathead Valley into a boost in the local economy.

Anthony J. Preite retires as the USDA's state director of rural development.
Courtesy photo

A man who’s had a big role in growing Montana’s economy for nearly 50 years is stepping down. Anthony Preite has been involved in rural economic development here since 1968, and last week he retired as state director of rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Glacier Park International Airport

Competition is fierce to get airlines flying in and out of smaller communities. It’s especially tough to get direct flights from places like Kalispell to big cities like Chicago or Los Angeles. In the Flathead a non-profit group called Airline Enhancement and Retention Outreach, or AERO, is following in the footsteps of several other small communities to raise funds to bring in new routes. Chairman of AERO says it’s called a Minimum Revenue Guarantee or MRG.

Katrin Frye

“This is a really good place to recruit to,” Dr. A. Craig Eddy works as the Chief Medical Officer at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, and is in charge of recruiting.

Eddy said the Flathead is a great place, but not because of the salary.