|Whitefish Mountain Resort|
Aerial view in February 2008
|Location||The Big Mountain|
Flathead National Forest
|Nearest major city||Whitefish - 4 miles (6 km)|
Columbia Falls - 16 miles (26 km)
Kalispell - 21 miles (34 km)
Missoula - 140 miles (230 km)
Spokane - 260 miles (420 km)
|Vertical||2,353 ft (717 m)|
|Top elevation||6,817 ft (2,078 m)|
|Base elevation||4,464 ft (1,361 m)|
|Skiable area||3,020 acres (12.2 km2)|
- 15% beginner
- 35% intermediate
- 40% advanced
- 10% expert
|Longest run||3.3 miles (5.3 km) - Hellfire|
|Lift system||11 chairs|
- 3 high-speed quad
- 8 fixed-grip (2 quad, 6 triple)
3 surface tows
|Snowfall||300 inches (760 cm)|
|Night skiing||Fri & Sat - lower lifts|
Whitefish Mountain Resort is a ski resort in the western United States, located at Big Mountain in northwestern Montana. It is west of Glacier National Park in the Flathead National Forest, 4 miles (6 km) from the town of Whitefish, 16 miles (26 km) west of Columbia Falls and 21 miles (34 km) north of Kalispell.
The area currently has eleven chairlifts: three high-speed detachable quads and six fixed grip (two quads and four triples). There are also three surface lifts: two T-bars and a magic carpet. Of these, nine lifts operate regularly, including one T-bar which is normally only open on weekends.
The mountain is separated into three faces. The front side is primarily serviced by the Big Mountain Express high-speed quad and has the most skiable terrain. A second high-speed quad, the Swift Creek Express (formerly the Glacier Chaser), services beginner and intermediate terrain. The front side has seven of the mountain's eleven chairlifts. The backside of the mountain is serviced by the Big Creek Express, also a high-speed quad. The backside has more tree skiing terrain, and additional terrain can be accessed by T-Bar 2 on weekends and during select holiday periods, as well as Flower Point (a used triple chairlift acquired from Kimberley Resort in British Columbia), and East Rim (a triple chairlift relocated from the Glacier View alignment), which services the eastern front side and East Rim. The western aspect of the mountain contains the Hell Roaring basin. Serviced by Hellroaring (a triple chairlift), Hell Roaring basin is the most advanced skiing on the mountain with cliffs, vertical chutes, and tight tree skiing. The intermediate Hellfire trail is the longest on the mountain; it runs 3.3 miles (5.3 km) from the summit to the base of Chair 8. On some days the clouds at Whitefish Mountain Resort are low enough that skiers can literally ski above the clouds.
Winter Sports, Inc. (WSI) formed 74 years ago in 1947 as a public company of community shareholders, opened Big Mountain that It hosted the U.S. Alpine Championships in early March 1949, where future Olympic champion Andrea Mead of Vermont won all three women's titles at age sixteen. The mountain originally had a single T-bar, which was replaced by chairlifts installed in 1960, and 1968.
After sixty years, it was renamed "Whitefish Mountain Resort" by then the ski area had expanded to include ten chairlifts.
Olympic champion Tommy Moe learned to ski and race at the mountain, where his father was on the ski patrol. Moe won the gold medal in the and silver in the at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.
In May 2004, WSI conducted a 150-for-one reverse stock split. Its stated purpose was to lower expense by reducing the number of shareholders to below the threshold that imposed public reporting requirements. At the time the transaction was proposed, 664 shareholders, or 72% of investors in the company, each separately held less than 150 shares. In total, these investors held a 2.5% equity (and voting) stake. The board expressed concern that the transaction might be viewed as coercive, but after review and outside consultation, decided the transaction was fair to the affected shareholders.
In December 2006, WSI conducted a 15-for-one reverse stock split, further reducing to about 50 remaining shareholders in order to provide a tax advantage as a Subchapter S corporation. Again, all shareholders without enough shares to exchange for a post-split share were required to cash-out their stock. WSI's handling of the reverse split was criticized and resulted in animosity within the local community, where there were objections to the timing of the related announcements and the loss of a community connection to the resort by the
In early 2008, an avalanche occurred in the Flathead National Forest, within hiking distance of the back side of Big Mountain and killed two skiers on Later that year, the resort discontinued summer lift access for winter season pass holders, granting several free lift tickets In September of that same year, the resort reversed the decision and announced that 2008-09 winter season passes would again convey unlimited foot-passenger lift access for
He bought Big Mountain, the Whitefish ski hill, and is busy turning it into a more elaborate entity called Whitefish Mountain Resort. He's transforming the 90,000-acre Rock Creek Cattle Company into a gated, luxury vacation community with 240 home sites.
Winter Sports CEO Fred Jones said the board was trying to avoid what happened with the last reverse split when an unknown investor divided his shares into numerous holdings with 149 shares apiece -- one share less than the minimum.