On July 1, 1984, Grouse Mountain Lodge opened its doors to the public and it carries a wonderful Whitefish history.
Our Recent Activity
On January 6, 2011, Grouse Mountain Lodge was purchased by Glacier Park, Inc. “The addition of Grouse Mountain Lodge extends GPI’s current operations in and around Waterton and Glacier National Parks from a seasonal operation to a year-round presence,” said Cindy Ognjanov, president and general manager. “We are very excited about this addition to our company. It gives us the opportunity to offer our guests a wider range of accommodation options and to extend our position as an employer of choice in the Flathead Valley. Grouse Mountain Lodge is a superb facility with a remarkable history in Whitefish and we look forward to enhancing guest and employee experiences in this charming mountain town.”
“We are looking forward to growing our roots deeper in the communities of Northwest Montana and becoming a solid partner with the Whitefish community and its businesses,” adds Alicia Thompson, director of marketing and business relations. “Having the Lodge join the Whitefish Convention and Visitor’s Bureau will be one of many steps demonstrating GPI’s commitment to enhancing and growing the vibrant Whitefish economy.”
In addition to Grouse Mountain Lodge, Glacier Park, Inc. operates five historic lodges, three motor inns, and the fleet of 33 historic Red Buses in and around Glacier National Park, Montana and Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada. These two parks are together known as the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and welcome over 2 million visitors each year.
We are excited about our new face-lift unveiled May 12, 2011 with a remodel of the front desk, lobby, gift shop, concierge desk, and Logan’s Bar and Grill. Refreshment will continue through 2012 with updating of the guest rooms and other common areas. We are proud to use local businesses, artisans, and craftsman for our updating.
Prior to Glacier Park, Inc. Ownership
In the 1970’s, Tim Grattan owned acreage just outside the city limits of Whitefish known as the Chicken Ridge area. The property included the seven acres which is now home to Grouse Mountain Lodge, land south of the Lodge, along Green Place and 50 acres including Chicken Ridge—now known as Grouse Mountain Estates.
Tim struck a deal with the City by which the city would incorporate the Chicken Range / Grouse Mountain acreage and give multiple use zoning classifications to various parcels in Tim’s acreage. This meant that Tim could build a 9 hole golf course and lease it to the City for $1.00 year for a period of 75 years.
Tim long had dreamt of building a resort on the golf course. His problem was that there was little investment capital in Montana at the time, and the financial institutions in Montana were small and conservative. Tim realized he could not find the financing locally that would be necessary for a speculative resort property. That was when Buck Love, founder of Kandahar Lodge on Big Mountain and a friend of Tim’s, introduced him to Buzz Crutcher, a Dallas attorney and investor.
Tim convinced Buzz that his dream of a resort along the golf course had real merit. They formed an investment partnership with mostly Texas individuals and a good friend of Tim’s from Montana, Denny Foster. Tim’s dream of a resort lodge would finally become a reality.
WZMH, a Toronto based firm, was the architect for the Lodge. The great lodges in Glacier Park and the railroad station in Whitefish influenced the Lodge design. Tim and his long time construction partner, Gary Saindon, were the primary contractors on the project. Ann Musgrave from Dallas was the interior designer and decorator. A company called Village Green from Cottage Grove, Oregon, was the hotel management consultant during development and pre-opening. It operated the Lodge for three years after it opened.
Construction of the Lodge began on July 1, 1983. On June 30, 1984, Ted Schwinden, then Governor of Montana, appeared at Grouse Mountain Lodge’s opening celebration. He helped bury the Lodge’s front door keys on the golf course, 50 yards away from the Lodge desk. Burying the keys of a new hotel is a tradition in the hospitality industry, symbolizing that the property will be open 24 hours a day to its guests. On July 1, 1984, paying guests came to the Lodge and the history of Grouse Mountain began.