Hotels on the Rise

Kalispell, Whitefish and Columbia Falls have added six new hotels since 2016, with another in the works

Since the beginning of 2016, in a two-and-a-half year span, Kalispell, Whitefish and Columbia Falls have added six new hotels with 500-plus rooms and more than 300,000 total square feet, counting four completed hotels and two scheduled for completion this summer.

Now another new hotel is coming to Kalispell with the recent application of My Place, an 85-room extended-stay motel proposed along Old Reserve Drive and Treeline Road on the north side of town. It’s currently in the building permit process and expected to break ground this summer.

My Place Hotels is an Aberdeen, South Dakota-based hotel chain with locations across the country, including three in Montana in Bozeman, Billings and Missoula.

“That’s a fair number of rooms,” Kalispell Planning and Building Director Tom Jentz said of the valley’s flurry of hotel activity in recent years. “It’s a reflection of the growing tourism and recreational activity in the area.”

In 2016, four hotels opened in the Flathead: the Marriott SpringHill Suites in Kalispell, the Cedar Creek Lodge in Columbia Falls, and the Hampton Inn and Firebrand in Whitefish.

The two hotels currently under construction are the Marriott TownPlace Suites along U.S. Highway 93 South in Whitefish and Country Inn & Suites next to Glacier Park International Airport along U.S. Highway 2.

Greg Bain & Company of Kalispell is building the 100-room, 62,000-square-foot Country Inn & Suites, slated to open on June 12, according to General Manager Jyl Sincavage. It will be the first hotel constructed in the immediate vicinity of the airport, which has been regularly breaking passenger records in recent years as tourism continues establishing itself as a primary economic driver in Northwest Montana.

Sincavage said the location will benefit both out-of-state travelers and locals, especially those from places such as Libby and Eureka who will now have the option of arriving the night before an early-morning flight and staying at the hotel.

“Why not come in the night before?” Sincavage said. “You don’t have to worry about getting up super early to travel, about road conditions. You just get up and you’re already there.”

The four-story hotel is completely custom designed and built, with wood accents and a rusticity that the builders say will make it an authentic fit for Montana. Sincavage said the hope in the future is to add a restaurant and perhaps a gas station and convenience store. The hotel is currently taking reservations for July.

Whitefish TP LLC is developing the three-story Marriott TownPlace Suites along U.S. Highway 93 north of the Les Schwab tire center along the city’s southern corridor. Hotel plans call for 81 rooms, 50,306 finished square feet and 90 parking spaces, a pared-down proposal from an earlier, larger version that called for 111 rooms.

Jordan Scott, a principal owner with Scottsdale, Arizona-based Glacier House Hotels, the parent company of Whitefish TP LLC, is aiming for an early July opening. TownPlace Suites is one of Marriott’s 30 brands and offers extended-stay amenities such as kitchenettes.

Glacier House Hotels develops lodging accommodations across the Western U.S. The Whitefish Marriott is the company’s first hotel in Montana. Scott spent a lot of time in Glacier National Park in his college years, inspiring the name for his development firm, and said he’s excited to have a project in Northwest Montana.

“It was only fitting to go back to the Glacier area and build a hotel there,” he said. “That’s why I decided to go with Whitefish.”

Hotels Added Since 2016

Marriott SpringHill Suites: Kalispell, completed 2016, 101 rooms, 60,000 square feet

The Firebrand Hotel: Whitefish, completed 2016, 86 rooms, 64,000 square feet

Hampton Inn: Whitefish, completed 2016, 76 rooms, 53,000 square feet

Cedar Creek Lodge: Columbia Falls, completed 2016, 64 rooms, 48,500 square feet

Marriott TownPlace Suites: Whitefish, expected completion July, 81 rooms, 50,000 square feet

Country Inn and Suites: U.S. Highway 2 near airport, expected completion June 12, 100 rooms, 62,000 square feet

My Place: Kalispell, in permitting process, 85 rooms, 37,000 square feet