Two years have passed since the opening of the Firebrand Hotel, and in that time it has established its place in the community. You may recall that an upscale boutique hotel had been contemplated for downtown Whitefish for the past 25 years. Multiple large, out-of-state developers evaluated the project to no avail. We are proud that we were able to create this desired addition, enhance our town’s economy, and add jobs to the community. The Firebrand has been well received by our guests and community leaders. On June 1 the Firebrand Hotel and the Averill family applied for a permit to create additional parking on the land adjoining the Firebrand’s current parking lot, the reactions to which have spurred my writing of this letter.
My family and I are part of this community and call it home. Our family has always worked to contribute to the Whitefish community in a positive way, and we were surprised by the statements and personal attacks leveled against us in response to this application. The proposal for 16 additional spaces was anticipated to be a benefit for all involved. It should be known that utilizing this vacant lot for parking was endorsed by city planners. We are all acutely aware of the traffic and parking issues in our town. From our standpoint, we were doing our part as contributing members of the community by creating additional parking and foregoing the development potential of this lot. Naturally, the Firebrand Hotel could benefit from additional parking, although what is widely unknown is the frequency of non-hotel guests using our parking lot which creates an impact on the adjoining residential neighborhood.
We feel keeping the character of our town is critical to allow the next generation to enjoy all that we currently appreciate. With that being said, we understand your concerns and we are withdrawing our application to create additional parking. We will continue to work to be a good steward of the community.
Brian Averill, Whitefish