Whitefish, Montana

Whitefish, Montana
A view in downtown Whitefish, Whitefish Mountain Resort in the distance

Shortly after the Great Northern Railroad built through the area in 1904, the community of Whitefish popped up. Even though this is at the southeast end of Whitefish Lake, the biggest businesses in the area for many years were the railroad and the logging/timber companies. Big Mountain Ski and Summer Resort was opened for skiing in the late 1940's and that kinda jump-started tourism in the area.

These days, Whitefish has become a major four-season tourist destination. Amtrak's Empire Builder runs through Whitefish and the Whitefish Depot is the busiest station stop between St. Paul, Minnesota and Seattle, Washington. Designed in the Tudor Revival style by architect Thomas D'Arcy McMahon and opened for business in 1927, the Whitefish Depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. The Stumptown Historical Society owns the building and parking lot. The platform and the tracks are owned by the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad, who also rent office space on the second floor of the building.

Big Mountain Ski and Summer Resort had its name changed to Whitefish Mountain Resort in 2007 after the chairman of Fidelity National Financial, Inc. joined the board of directors of Winter Sports, Inc. (the private company which operates the ski area). Fideity National had begun buying into the local commercial property market in 2006, picking up several of the town's most popular restaurants, the private jet facility at the Whitefish Airport and enough shares in Winter Sports Inc. to gain a voting majority.

Whitefish Depot, Whitefish, Montana
Whitefish Depot
Whitefish Mountain
The view near the summit of Whitefish Mountain
Fast Facts about Whitefish, Montana
Whitefish, Flathead County, MT 59937
Founded: 1904
Elevation: 3,028'
Latitude: 48.4118°N
Longitude: 114.3399°W
Resident Racial Breakdown:
White Non-Hispanic: 97.2%
Hispanic: 0.9%
Native American: 0.7%
Asian: 0.3%
African-American: 0.2%
Other: 0.2%
Two or More Races: 0.4%
High School or Higher: 90.7%
Bachelor's Degree or Higher: 39.0%
Graduate or Professional Degree: 12.1%
2009 Estimates:
Population: 5,873
Males: 2,820
Females: 3,053
Median Resident Age: 37.3 Years
Estimated Median Household Income: $45,400
Estimated Median Home Value: $328,500
Population Density: 1,329 People per Square Mile
2011 Cost of Living Index for Whitefish: 92.2
Major Industries:
Lodging & Food Services, Health Care, Construction, Entertainment & Recreation, Educational Services, Real Estate Services, Rail Transportation, Professional Services, Social Services, Finance & Insurance Services, Retail Services
Unemployed (March 2011): 13.1%
Photo of the Whitefish Depot courtesy of Elkman, CCA ShareAlike 3.0 License.
Photo from the summit of Whitefish Mountain is courtesy of Rajesh Dhawan.
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