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Whitefish~ From the Lake to the Greens….

Whether camping in the wilderness is your passion; Or boating on one of the many lakes in the area-  Montana has what you are looking for. There are so many recreation opportunities in this sportsman’s paradise we call the Flathead Valley. We would like to start by spotlighting the amenities and attractions right here in our little mountain town of Whitefish.

THE LAKE

As for the Summer season, you can find visitors and locals alike enjoying kayaking, swimming, paddle boarding or yoga all on one of the public beaches at Whitefish Lake. The most visited beach on Whitefish Lake is City Beach, a quick walk from downtown. This beach host the town’s spectacular fireworks display on the 4th of July, but arrive early if you want to find a spot for the whole family!

City Beach in Whitefish, MT

The next popular lake side spot is Whitefish Lake State Park on the SouthWestern shore.  You can launch boats, camp overnight and rent kayaking or paddle board equipment from a local concessionaire.
http://stateparks.mt.gov/whitefish-lake/default.html  Guided fishing trips may be booked through the local fly shop right in town, Lakestream Fly Shop.   http://www.lakestream.com  Or take the opportunity to explore the lake on your own and rent a motorboat and enjoy waterskiing, or just relaxing on a pontoon boat.   http://www.whitefishmarine.com The Whitefish Lake Lodge has everything you need to make your day on the lake or your stay complete! After a day on the lake, enjoy cocktails on the dock,  entertainment, dining, a spa and a marina.  http://lodgeatwhitefishlake.com

AROUND TOWN

Whitefish has more to offer than just water sports!  Downtown shops include antiques, clothing, locally made gift items, souvenirs, locally roasted coffee and locally made ice cream. Stock up on organic produce at the Farmer’s Market every Tuesday night from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m., running May 30 through September 26. https://whitefishfarmersmarket.org

If nightlife is what you are looking for, you may want to stay right in town at the Firebrand Hotel.  It is just a block from Central Avenue, where you will find restaurants and bars with live entertainment throughout the Summer. http://firebrandhotel.com

GOLFING

Enjoy a day on the greens at the public Whitefish Lake Golf Club, offering a North and South course~ Both with beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. https://golfwhitefish.com  Find lodging near the course at Grouse Mountain Lodge just minutes from downtown. https://www.glacierparkinc.com/lodging/grouse-mountain-lodge/

THE ARTS

Our office supports the local arts!   Stay tuned for shows by the Alpine Theater Project and the Whitefish Theater Company. Stop in the O’Shaughnessy Center on Central Avenue for a schedule and ticket info. https://www.whitefishtheatreco.org Check out the local artwork at the First Thursdays Gallery Night Art Walk hosted by local merchants in the downtown area, or make your own art at the Stumptown Art Studio.  This non-profit studio offers classes for all ages and abilities. http://www.stumptownartstudio.org

WHITEFISH MOUNTAIN RESORT

And last but not least, take a chair lift or hike up Big Mountain, pick huckleberries and take in the amazing views that Whitefish Mountain Resort has to offer. Mountain biking, zipline tours and an alpine slide are some of the Summertime activities the resort has to offer.  https://skiwhitefish.com

With all this small town has to offer for all ages, why not let one of our Northwest Montana real estate agents help make your dream of Montana living come true!  Follow us on Facebook to learn about upcoming events in the area as well.

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Live on the 14th fairway of Whitefish Lake Golf Course

Spectacular mountain and golf course views from this home built for entertaining situated on the 14th fairway of Whitefish Lake Golf Course. Great Room with cathedral ceiling provides expansive views of the Swan Mountain Range. Fireplace and wet bar in great room create warm entertaining atmosphere. Enjoy tranquil mornings drinking coffee on the deck while overlooking the south course. East facing deck provides welcome shade from the afternoon sun. Cross country ski on the golf course in the winter from your back door. Enjoy the master suite on main level while family and guests have their own living spaces and bedrooms on the lower level. For more information call Kerrie Cardon at 406.270.2614, or your real estate professional.

Flathead Valley golf courses are open!

Visit this website to find information on Flathead Valley golf courses.

Golfnorthwestmontana.com will help you choose from nine championship courses in the valley. Check out the facilities and book a tee time, all on-line.

The site also includes prices and contact phone numbers, if you’d like to call for a tee time or get more information on each course.

You can also find and book a hotel room close to your golf course. This all-inclusive website also gives you travel information on airlines, Amtrak, and driving routes.

If you’re interested in Whitefish real estate, and would like to get an overview of available property, give Brian Murphy a call at 406.890.1681 and he will arrange a tour for you.

Be prepared for travel this summer

1. Columbia Falls – Highway 2

Estimated Start: Late Summer

MDT will rebuild the curb and sidewalks along U.S. Highway 2 through Columbia Falls to ensure they comply with the American With Disabilities Act. The project will also upgrade the road surface from the west side of Columbia Falls to the Flathead River bridge. The project is expected to cost nearly $4 million.

2. Hungry Horse Bridge – Highway 2

Estimated Start: Spring

One of the biggest road projects in the state will be the construction of a new bridge over the South Fork Flathead River. The original bridge will remain open until 2018 while a new one is constructed alongside it. Because of that, Toavs said the impacts to drivers would be limited, at least this year. In 2018, during the second phase of the project, MDT will realign the highway on either side of the bridge. The project is expected to cost $20 million.

3. West Glacier – Highway 2

Estimated Start: Late Summer

MDT crews will be fixing the embankment along a 200-foot section of U.S. Highway 2 between West Glacier and Essex.

Find up to date scheduling here: http://www.mdt.mt.gov/travinfo/construction.shtml

Alpenglow – The Perfect Line, episode six in the Open Road

ALPENGLOW – The Perfect Line

EPISODE SIX: OPEN ROAD
Watch skier Rachel Pohl turn a day on the slopes into a work of art. The Sky’s the Limit. Rachel believes the world is her canvas. With Montana’s unspoiled beauty and pristine powder as her muse, it’s easy to see why.

Real Estate sales see large uptick, new projects double

BY HEIDI DESCH, WHITEFISH PILOT 2-15-2017

Home sales in Whitefish last year saw a large uptick, while new residential home development more than doubled in the city.

There were 194 homes sold within the city limits last year, according to a report by Kelley Appraisal of Kalispell. That’s an almost 40 percent increase from the previous year, following two years of decreases in the number of sales in 2013 and 2014, according to Jim Kelley who compiles the annual home sales report.
According to the city of Whitefish Planning and Building Department’s annual report, there were 156 new dwelling units permitted in 2016 compared to 67 in 2015.

City Planning Director Dave Taylor said the increase in the number of permits seems to fall in line with a recently completed workforce housing study showing the city will need 980 residential units by 2020 to keep up with current demand.

“There is currently a shortage of service workers and housing,” Taylor said in his report. “The deficit of available residential units has translated into 10 year highs in duplex and multi-family residential development, which counted for more than two-thirds of our residential new construction.”

Taylor estimates the economic investment of the residential development at over $32 million.

According to the Kelley report, this January there were 126 homes on the market within the city limits compared to 142 in January 2016.

“With 126 current listings, this represents 7.8 months of inventory compared to 6.1 months of inventory in Flathead County,” Kelly says in his report. “Last year at this time there was 12.3 months inventory in Whitefish.”
Kelley says that last year was mostly stable for sales with numbers similar to the last three years.

“Subdivision activity continues near its all-time low, but the inventory of bank-owned has mostly gone away,” he said. “There is development, but mostly within city limits. There continues to be little interest in rural subdivision development.”

According to the city report, seven new subdivisions were approved in Whitefish last year with 51 new lots receiving preliminary plat, which is more than twice the number for 2015.

The median home price in Whitefish in 2016 increased to $325,000, up slightly from $320,000 in 2015.

Twelve homes sold on Whitefish Lake last year, up slightly from nine in 2015. The median price for those homes is $1.87 million, up 2.4 percent over 2015.

City moves ahead with highway 93 south corridor plan

BY HEIDI DESCH, WHITEFISH PILOT JAN 25, 2017

The city of Whitefish is finally moving forward on a long discussed corridor plan for Highway 93 South.

In December City Council requested city planning staff create a scope of work and a timeline for initiating a corridor plan for the area. Last week Council gave its OK to a proposal that sets the kick-off this spring for work on the corridor plan.

The city’s 2007 growth policy identified the area as in need of a corridor plan, but plans for Highway 93 West and Wisconsin Avenue were considered greater priorities by the City Council, mostly due to issues with the doughnut dispute.

A Montana Supreme Court ruling in 2014 ceded planning control of the doughnut from the city to the Flathead County following a long-running legal battle over its control.

Mayor John Muhlfeld addressed appearances that the city is rushing into the corridor plan.
READ MORE….

Forest project set to begin this summer in Haskill Basin

By HEIDI DESCH, WHITEFISH PILOT JAN 24, 2017
PHOTO BY STEVEN GNAM

Widespread prescribed burns and some timber harvesting are planned for the mountains above Haskill Basin.

The project known as the Whitefish Municipal Watershed Fuel Reduction project is an effort to prevent a devastating wildfire that could be destructive to the city’s water supply from Second and Third creeks. The project is also aimed at addressing disease concerns in the forest, including root disease, bark beetles, and mortality in white bark pine.

Flathead Forest Supervisor Chip Weber last week issued a decision notice and Finding of No Significant Impact for the project following an environmental assessment. The project, which includes 1,114 acres of forestland, is expected to be implemented in the summer of 2017.

Project leader Deb Bond said the goal is to implement a variety of fuel reduction treatments on the area.

“The purpose is that by treating the forest we hope we can reduce the chance of wildfire in the future,” Bond said.

Several types of silvicultural treatments are planned on 254 acres. Commercial thinning is planned on 58 acres and seed tree harvests is proposed on 196 acres. About 859 acres within the project area are set to have fuel treatments by either prescribed burning of 756 acres or understory removal on 103 acres.

The prescribed burns are set along the south face of the Whitefish Range above Haskill Basin. Most of the terrain is high-elevation and steep with limited access.

Timber harvest is planned mostly on the lower flanks of the range that are accessible by established roads and temporary road extensions.
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