It’s already been a busy 2012 here at the Lodge! Check out the links below to see what the experts have to say about the Lodge & Whitefish, MT!
We’ve received the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award for the second year:
National Geographic World’s 25 Best Ski Towns:
Check out #7 – Whitefish, MT! The Lodge even gets a mention!
Vogue Magazine’s Top 6 Ski Destinations:
Whitefish Chamber of Commerce Tourism Business of the Year Award:
Spring comes slowly to Northwest Montana. Sometimes after a long winter, even if it is an amazing ski season, we here at the Lodge are looking for a way to entertain ourselves as we await mother nature to bring spring to us. One way we like to pass the time is to sponsor an event we call Bartending for Charity. We invite six of our favorite local celebrities to compete for their favorite charity and bartend a Friday “shifter” in our busy Boat Club Lounge.
Inevitably this turns into a competition as the Boat Club agrees to match donations with our own $500 donation to the bartender that brings in the most money for their charity. Therefore, our local celebrities like to use their celebrity status to bring in friends, colleagues and anyone they can coerce so that they can win the bragging rights of winning this epic achievement. We have seen costumes, questionable glowing drinks in shot glasses, and emcees for this event. Any and everything goes, and it’s for charity right?
So if you are looking for a good way to end your work week and support a local cause, join us for the next six weeks in the Boat Club Lounge on Friday night from 5-7 pm for Bartending for Charity. The celebrity line up and their supporting charity is on the Lodge events page and the Boat Club Facebook page. See you there!
We at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake are pleased to announce we have earned our 4 diamond award from AAA! In the hotel industry, this is a huge achievement because it gives consumers a way to compare our property to others they have stayed at before. Being a small boutique hotel in Northwest Montana without a flagship such as Marriott, Starwood, or another makes creating a brand and attracting customers a challenge. We have to sell ourselves and enlist your trust that we will deliver on what we promise when you make your reservation. We respect that some of our customers only have one vacation opportunity a year, and we here at the Lodge are committed to making that one trip a memorable one.
The requirements for reaching this status are stringent. The requirements are high and the inspections tough. We have been trying for five years for this achievement, and patience makes receiving this award that much sweeter. We are thrilled to represent AAA and welcome the challenge to maintain and improve our operation to uphold this prestigious award. Thank you to our family, staff, and guests for your support.
Whitefish was named in Frommer’s top 10 coolest towns in America. Here at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake, we have to agree. What makes Whitefish so cool you ask? There are so many cool things about Whitefish, we decided to divide it into a winter and a summer list. Since we are in the middle of a spectacular ski season, here is our winter list:
1.) Snow Ghosts…..I know, we just blogged about them, but the snow ghost is a phenomenon that makes skiing Whitefish Mountain Resort truly unique. The view from the chairlift as you ride up to the top of the resort looking across a blanket of complete white is amazing. On a sunny clear day, you can see the peaks of Glacier and into Canada. Turn behind you and Whitefish Lake spreads out on the valley floor, small lakes spring up to the north, and Flathead Lake can be seen glistening in the distance. Snow Ghosts frame it all with their white fluffy softness, begging you to hug them. One warning, don’t hug them, they are very cold.
2.) Amtrak….Whitefish is one of the original stops on the Amtrak route from East to West. The Amtrak is an easy and inexpensive way to visit Whitefish. A fun day trip is taking the Amtrak from Whitefish to Glacier Park at Essex and cross-country ski the day, or spend the night in an original train car. Enjoy the views of Glacier Park from the windows of the train as you travel. The Amtrak museum located downtown is also a great way to see the history of Whitefish as “stumptown.”
3.) Ski Joring….this sport combines two of our favorite activities, fast horseback riding and out of control skiing. Whitefish is host to the National Ski Joring Championships where cowboy and skier come together to create a speed filled rodeo on snow. An unlikely couple, the cowboy and the extreme skier, the two put their differences aside with the need for speed and competing for cash and prizes. The competition occurs during our Whitefish Winter Carnival which is an action packed weekend of parties, events, and a downtown parade. A great weekend to visit Whitefish.
4.) Whitefish Lake…..okay, so this may make the top 10 summer list as well, but the view across a frozen mountain lake is breathtaking. Watching deer, coyotes, and the occasional elk or moose cross the frozen lake at all times of the day is special. The lake freezes solid around the end of January, and the locals and tourists alike enjoy snow-shoeing, cross country skiing, or viewing the frozen lake. Here at the Lodge, we hang lights and clean a section of the lake for ice skating which is open daily. Telling friends you walked and / or ice skated on a frozen mountain lake in Northwest Montana…….priceless.
5.) Cafe Kandahar…….we love our restaurant here at the Lodge, the Boat Club, but we have to toot our friend Andy’s horn as well. Andy Blanton, executive chef of Cafe Kandahar, is a culinary genius. Nominated for the prestigious James Beard award for “Best Chef” in the Northwest, a dining experience with Andy is not one to be missed. Located on the Whitefish Mountain Resort, Cafe Kandahar is an intimate evening of dining on gourmet foods with local flavor. Andy ages his own prosciutto for at least a year, and touches every dinner that comes out of his kitchen. On top of that, he visits each table and asks how you enjoyed your meal. His soft spoken, humbleness is almost as spectacular as his food. The culinary delights of Cafe Kandahar is a must do when you come to Whitefish.
6.) Great Northern Bar.…..another highlight to your trip to Whitefish. The Northern as the locals call it, has been the local watering hole since 1919. With sawdust on the floor, retired signs from local businesses, live music in the back and an attitude that anything goes, the Northern is a true Montana bar. Order fries and burgers in the back, play a game of pool or shuffleboard, or stay late and dance until close, the Northern is a the anchor of Whitefish nightlife.
7.) Cross Country Skiing / Skate Skiing…..okay, we get it, its winter and you could do this anywhere. But, in Whitefish you have many choices. Choose from a leisurely round across frozen Whitefish Lake, enjoy the groomed trails of Whitefish Golf Course or Stillwater Mountain Lodge, experience trails at Whitefish Mountain Resort, drive into Glacier National Park to enjoy the many trails, or ride the Amtrak to Essex and you could make a week just cross-country skiing.
8.) Fata Morgana…..wondering what this is? Fata Morgana occurs when the light bends across the top of a thermal inversion, and stacks objects upside down and on top of each other. This occurs above the clouds of the valley and makes the distant mountain peaks look like high desert plateaus. This occurs on a rare occasion when we have a heavy inversion in Whitefish and it is an amazing site to see. As you look out across the cloud covered valley, it looks like large plateau’s coming out of the clouds where normally mountain peaks were. The plateaus are so obvious you wonder if you are looking at the desert instead of clouds above the valley. You truly cannot believe your eyes.
9.) Whitefish Mountain Resort…..I suppose this is pretty obviously in the top 10 winter reasons to visit Whitefish, but the thing I appreciate so about the Whitefish Mountain Resort is the absence of lift lines. There are only a few days a year at the resort where you have to wait longer than a couple of minutes to get on your favorite chair. This leads to a lot of vertical in one day. In addition, Whitefish Mountain Resort has many of the original bars and resteraunts that make the flavor so great. It has not been developed so the old bars have been torn down to be replaced by new, more modern versions. Instead you are in an old, rustic building that is cramped with low ceilings and great atmosphere. The Whitefish Mountain Resort has the chair amenities of any good ski resort with the atmosphere and flavor Whitefish is famous for.
10.) Still of the Morning……..The still quiet of a snowy Montana morning is our #10 top reason to visit Whitefish. Take a stroll out onto Whitefish Lake or off the path on Whitefish Mountain Resort and you will be amazed how quiet the snow is. The quiet has a life and quality all of its own and it is impossible to not feel it lift your spirit and quiet your thoughts. The restorative nature of this place makes it fill its tag line of “the Last Best Place.” Smell the air when you step off the plane, feel the winter sun on your face at the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort, or just take a moment to hear nothing at all, and you will feel that pull in your heart asking you to return to Montana.
Thanks for reading.
It is said that a snow flake is made up of over 18,000 water molecules. That is alot of molecules when you think about the amount of snow in Montana. We have a special type of snow here in Northwestern Montana called Cold Smoke. Cold Smoke is a very light dry snow that is special to Montana and parts of Colorado because of the low humidity in the air at the time the snow is formed. This type of snow is almost dust like when you toss it into the air and does not make for good snow man building. For those of you that have skied in lake effect areas, consider Cold Smoke the opposite of the type of snow you ski when lake effect hits, the ‘leg breaker’ snow.
Cold Smoke also makes for a phenomenon in the higher elevations which we call Snow Ghosts. Snow Ghosts are when the pine trees are completely covered in snow so there isn’t a hint of green showing.
These Snow Ghosts are every where you turn on Whitefish Mountain Resort and are a local favorite. It is just one more unique item to a mountain that enjoys over 3,000 skiable acres and over 300 inches of snowfall. Are we partial to our local mountain? Why, yes we are. On the very busiest day of the year, the lift lines are only minutes long, and with enough groomed and off pack to serve everyone’s needs, Whitefish Mountain Resort holds a special place in every local’s heart. We welcome you to enjoy it with us.
So we often hear guests ask us, which park is better Glacier or Yellowstone? An interesting topic this is, especially to those of us that live so close to Glacier National Park. I guess I will start with telling you my opinion of what makes Glacier so spectacular and then let you decide.
Glacier Park is one of the last places in the continental United States to see a real glacier. I know, that doesn’t sound that exciting, but what is exciting is the formations that glaciers leave behind. Beautiful soaring peaks sculpted into sharp angles and steep rock faces. Glaciers shave the rocks like nothing else can, leaving us with natural formations such as the weeping wall, a 300 foot wall that weeps water.
In addition, Glacier is the home to the huckleberry. If you haven’t tried a huckleberry, it can be described as a cross between a blueberry and blackberry, somewhat sweeter and slightly more tart. I have heard it said that a huckleberry has 20 times the antioxidants of a glass of apple juice. What else loves the huckleberry? Grizzly Bears. The big brown bear sets Glacier apart, because you have a very strong chance of seeing a Grizzly in Glacier, just hopefully from your car.
So which park is better you ask? I will leave that up to you to decide, and once you do, weigh in on your opinion at www.better-than.com a website dedicated to deciding, once and for all, which park holds muster in the hearts of America.
Cheers for now, see you on the trails in Glacier.
Summer has finally arrived to the beautiful Flathead Valley. The flowers are blooming, boats are whizzing by on the lake, and kids are catching fish from the dock. Summer in Northwest Montana has to be one of the most spectacular places on earth. Those of us that live here spend 9 months of the year dreaming about the 3 months of summer. With days ranging from the upper 70′s to low 80′s, bright sunny days and no humidity, some say this weather is perfect. I have to agree.
The lake temperature is rising, but currently it registers just shy of 60 degrees. It will warm rapidly to peak out around 78 degrees which is perfectly refreshing on a hot summer day. Nights cool off to around 65, sometimes requiring a sweater, but perfect for an evening walk.
We here at the Lodge appreciate this piece of heaven we call home and can’t wait to share it with all of you. All the employees at the Lodge are avid hikers, bikers, rafters, fisherman, and boaters. We are glad to provide recommendations of our favorite places where you can truly get off the beaten path, just ask. We look forward to sharing our home with you this summer. Cheers from the Averill family.
So we do kind of an interesting fund raiser here at the Lodge. We set a large rock out on the middle of the ice, put a light on it, and wait for it to plunge to its icy death. Guests and Boat Club customers purchase a date on the calendar for $5 and if the rock drops on your day, you get half the pot.
It is a fun fundraiser for the Whitefish Lake Institute www.whitefishlake.org. The Whitefish Lake Institute manages the Viking Creek Preserve which is the sight of our Viking Lodge Expansion project. This project was the brain child of Dan Averill and the members of the Whitefish Lake Institute, and is touted as the largest hospitality conservation project in the Northwest in 2009. Essentially, the Averill family made a 32 acre donation to the city of Whitefish to protect a sensitive watershed called the Viking Creek Preserve. In exchange, we were able to use 8 acres (non wetland) for an expansion of the existing Lodge. The Averill’s also donated $100,000 to the building of walking trails, reforestation of natural plants, and informational plaques to be completed in the summer of 2010 on the Viking Creek Preserve.
We are excited about the ability to expand the Lodge and protect the water quality of Whitefish Lake which is so important to our success. Not to mention we get to stare out the window at a suspended rock and wonder when the ice will melt and it will complete the plunge. By the way, it fell yesterday and there is open water showing. Spring is on its way!
Welcome to the newly hatched Lodge at Whitefish Lake blog! My name is Stacey Averill I will be your primary blogging author. I will cover topics ranging from stuff happening here at the Lodge, area attractions, Glacier Park, recipes and wine recommendations from our chef and really any other interesting stuff I come across.
If you were not aware, the Lodge at Whitefish Lake is a family owned / family operated business. It was started and developed by Dan & Laurie Averill of Flathead Lake Lodge fame, www.flatheadlakelodge.com. It is currently run by myself and Brian Averill, my brother-in-law. Brian’s new wife, Fabienne Averill is in sales here at the Lodge, and my husband, Sean Averill owns Trails West Realty, a Christie’s Great Estates affliate located in the lobby.
What does that mean to you? Basically it means that it will be tough to get through the front doors without running into at least one Averill here at the Lodge! We care very much about your feedback and input to make the Lodge the best it can possibly be, so if you have any, please send it my way!
Looking forward to speaking with again soon. Warmest Regards,