Saturday, April 13, 2024

Workshop to discuss Whitefish's tourism management plan

| March 20, 2024 12:00 AM

The Whitefish Sustainable Tourism Management Plan committee will hold a planning workshop April 3 from 6-8 p.m. at Whitefish City Hall. 

Since the plan was adopted in early 2020, there have been significant changes in visitation trends, market forces and demographics Population growth in Flathead County has accelerated, housing prices have skyrocketed, and workforce shortages are commonplace. While tourism peaked during the pandemic, recent data indicates fluctuations in visitation. 

The Sustainable Tourism Management Plan needs to be updated to reflect these trends and to account for new initiatives to address growth pressures.

The committee conducted a survey in the fall with nearly 1,000 respondents that identified the most important community concerns related to tourism. The next step is to evaluate recommendations to respond to those concerns.    

“The committee seeks ideas from a broad spectrum of residents and would like input from the Whitefish community to help us identify actionable items to drive policy for the sustainable path forward,” said committee chair Brian Schott. 

The purpose of the workshop is to review current programs and solicit input from community members on potential strategies for the next five-years. The workshop will include presentations, panel discussions, and hands-on activities for participants to share their thoughts. The committee members invite residents, business owners, students, and any interested party to attend the workshop.

Following the workshop, the committee will release a draft plan in May with final adoption in June. The plan will be the basis for establishing new programs, seeking funding to support community initiatives, and coordinating with state agencies and local groups.   

For more information on the Sustainable Tourism Management Plan and the community workshop, visit online.