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Community Workshop: Finding the Balance for Visitation to Whitefish

Whitefish Sustainable Tourism Management Plan Steering Committee Invites Community for Conversations to Steer Direction  

WHITEFISH, MONT. -- The Whitefish Sustainable Tourism Management Plan steering committee invites the Whitefish community to participate in a workshop on October 22 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00p.m. at Whitefish City Hall.  Tourism is one important part of a diverse Whitefish economy. While it provides many benefits to Whitefish, there are also real stresses on the community from peak season visitation that creates year-round effects on residents. 

The Committee is developing a plan to find a balance in which tourism can continue to boost the economy, while creating a priority for community efforts to sustain and enhance the well-being of residents. “The committee seeks ideas from a broad spectrum of residents and would like input from the Whitefish community to help us with actionable items to help drive policy for the sustainable path forward,” said committee chair Lauren Oscilowski.

The purpose of the workshop is to solicit input from community members on potential strategies for the plan. The workshop will include hands-on activities for participants to share their thoughts on what’s working, as well as challenges and action items to address issues related to sustainable tourism. Strategies are being considered to address overcrowding, affordability, transportation, small town character and environmental concerns. The committee members invite residents, business owners, students, and any interested party to attend the workshop. Refreshments will be provided and a drawing will be held at the end of the workshop for those who participate in the activities.  

The Whitefish Sustainable Tourism Management Plan steering committee was selected by the City Council after applicants applied and interviewed for the volunteer board. Committee members include Nick Polumbus, Meagan Powell, Lauren Oscilowski, Brian Schott, Craig Workman, Michelle Howke, Mariah Joos, Alan Myers Davis and Andy Feury. The workshop is being facilitated by Kate McMahon of Applied Communications and Lorraine Roach of the Hingston-Roach Group who have been contracted by the city to create the plan. Committee advisors include Dylan Boyle (Whitefish CVB) and Rhonda Fitzgerald (small lodging).

 What happened to the Railroad Statue in Depot Park?

The Railway Memorial Project statue has been temporarily removed from Depot Park and has been placed into storage while the park remains under construction.  While in storage, the owner of the statue will do necessary maintenance and repairs on the statue. The Depot Park Master Plan relocates the statue to the northwest side of Central Avenue, near the entrance to BNSF.  This phase of the Master Plan will be completed in the spring of 2020.  The City is proud of the history of our community and is working to incorporate all of our historic art throughout our public spaces.  For more information, please contact Whitefish Parks and Recreation at 406-863-2470.