What’s New at Whitefish Mountain Resort 2017/18
During the summer of 1947, Ed Schenck and George Prentice along with a skeleton crew cut runs, installed a T-Bar and built a lodge in preparation for the ski area’s first season. As we prepare for our 70th Anniversary Season the resort has completed several projects (with a much larger crew) including relocating Chair 5 to the East Rim–a move that will improve the guest experience around the mountain. Additionally, the mountain’s village will look different this winter with two renovation projects completed this summer.
“We are pleased to continue what has been more than a decade of steady improvements at Whitefish Mountain Resort with the projects we’ve been working on this summer,” said Dan Graves, chief executive officer at Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Relocation of Chair 5 to the East Rim
Last April crews from Skytrac teamed up with Whitefish Mountain Resort to begin moving Chair 5 from Ptarmigan Bowl to the East Rim. Originally installed in 1981, the CTEC fixed-grip triple allowed skiers to remain at the top of the mountain instead of returning to Chair 1– which at the time was a double chair and a 15 minute ride. After decades of chairlift upgrades, additional lifts and terrain expansions, Chair 5 became less used by guests and has not opened for several seasons. The move gives the resort its first lift on the east side of the mountain.
Chair 5–now named “East Rim”–will offer guests an opportunity to avoid a long traverse from the east side of the mountain back to Chair 1 and the summit. It will offer skiers an alternative way to access north side terrain, improve skier access to intermediate and advanced terrain, and take pressure off of Chair 1 reducing traffic on the upper section of Russ’s Street (known as the “Ant Hill”). The East Rim Chair will create a stand-alone pod of skiing in the North Bowl and East Rim areas where guests can take advantage of early and late season ski conditions found on the upper mountain. The chair will operate daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Several upgrades to Chair 5 have been made including but not limited to: a new electric motor, new drive, new braking system, new hydraulic tension system, a rebuild of the gear box and the addition of restraining bars for chairs. Cost for the project was estimated at $1.2 million and will be complete in time for Opening Day on December 7, 2017.
East Rim Chair Facts & Stats
- Lift type: fixed-grip triple
- Horizontal length: 2,388 feet
- Vertical rise: 805 feet
- Number of chairs: 110
- Number of towers: 13
- Capacity: 1,750 people per hour
- Ride time: 6 minutes
Ed & Mully’s Bar & Grill Remodel
This slopeside restaurant and bar will have a fresh look this winter. The new exterior features a combination of wood and
corrugated metal siding–an entirely new facade for the building that was originally constructed in the early 1960s. Guests
will enter through redesigned entrances, from both the slope side and the village side, that improve access to the building
and create a more welcoming sense of arrival. Additionally, the atrium on the slope side of the building was removed and
replaced with a new roof and windows looking up at the slopes. Other windows throughout the building have also been
replaced. The exterior design was created by local Whitefish firm Montana Creative architecture + design and the project was
completed by Davidson Construction, also based in Whitefish.
The infamous Bierstube also received an exterior remodel this summer including a new roof, windows, doors and siding. Additionally, the Bierstube has a new deck partially covered by a gable roof. While the exterior and new deck are the major improvements, some interior improvements will make customers more comfortable while maintaining the bar’s charm. The building was originally constructed in 1967 and in its five decades the Bierstube has acquired significant character. Its walls, ceiling and rafters are covered with old photographs, retired ski area signs, and ski memorabilia and tables and benches are carved with the signatures of patrons of past eras. The building maintains an aura that conjures the mountain’s colorful history and the unique atmosphere of a classic Montana bar.
“The ‘Stube has long been part of our skiing heritage and culture for everyone from the part-time employee to the homeowners
across the street. It’s both a connection to the past and the heartbeat of the mountain today,” Bierstube Owner Scott
The Bierstube’s exterior design was created by Montana Creative architecture + design, and Dow’s Construction completed
New Bus Shelter
Now riders of the free S.N.O.W. (Shuttle Network of Whitefish) Bus can wait in the comfort of a new bus shelter. The new bus
shelter is located next to the Bierstube.