Page 1 of 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 136
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    508

    Question Thoughts on Kalispell & Whitefish MT?

    My wife and I are done with Denver and want to get out. I now have a job opportunity in Kalispell, MT and I'm giving it serious consideration, however, I've never been to the town. Been through a couple of video interviews and they've seen my work examples and now want to fly me and the wife up there. She'll keep her job and work remotely like the rest of her team. Have been to Bozeman and Missoula and loved both of them but from what I read Kalispell is very different from those two.
    Just trying to get a better feel for positives and negatives:

    Positives
    + Whitefish for skiing and mountain biking, also Blacktail Ski Area
    + Glacier National Park
    + Flathead (and many other lakes) - Would probably buy a canoe or kayak to take advantage of it
    + Cat skiing nearby with Great Northern Powder Guides
    + Seems like a great place to raise kids (we have a toddler and newborn)
    + Not much traffic compared to Denver
    + Housing prices, though they have climbed since the recession, are still low compared to Denver and you get much more/higher quality for the same price

    Negatives
    - Kalispell's downtown? Iv'e read both positive and negative...nowhere near as good as Bozeman (?), however, it sounds as if they are about to launch a revitalization project by relocating the railroad tracks?
    - Winter...you may not see the sun from December through February? Is it really that bad?
    - Establishing new friendships in a place that seems ultra conservative? We are not religious, nor republican.
    - Risk of losing/not liking the job and having to find another in the area with limited employers

    Last threads I saw on the topic were fairly dated. Any thoughts/input would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    none
    Posts
    6,428
    Itís a really nice area. More of a summer destination than winter, for many.

    Iíd try to live on a lake near Whitefish.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    cb, co
    Posts
    3,688
    Pretty sure you want to live in Whitefish, not Kalispell in terms of being with likeminded folks, that's what I gathered in my limited time there. Don't know if they check PM's anymore but you should pm asheanmt.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    15,227
    Iíd suggest that Montana is more true libertarian than Republican. At least that was the impression on my visit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Tejas
    Posts
    5,872
    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado_Freeskier View Post
    Positives
    + Whitefish for skiing and mountain biking, also Blacktail Ski Area
    + Glacier National Park
    + Flathead (and many other lakes) - Would probably buy a canoe or kayak to take advantage of it
    + Cat skiing nearby with Great Northern Powder Guides
    + Seems like a great place to raise kids (we have a toddler and newborn)
    + Not much traffic compared to Denver
    + Housing prices, though they have climbed since the recession, are still low compared to Denver and you get much more/higher quality for the same price
    All good positives!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado_Freeskier View Post
    Negatives
    - Kalispell's downtown? Iv'e read both positive and negative...nowhere near as good as Bozeman (?), however, it sounds as if they are about to launch a revitalization project by relocating the railroad tracks?
    Meh. Bozeman's downtown ain't all that great either. That town is SERIOUSLY overrated too. Personally I can't stand Bozeman. Love its surroundings (mountains aplenty), but the town itself is not that great in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado_Freeskier View Post
    - Winter...you may not see the sun from December through February? Is it really that bad?
    So I've heard. On the flipside, I've also heard that it's typically warmer in the winter than the rest of the state, so that's a plus!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado_Freeskier View Post
    - Establishing new friendships in a place that seems ultra conservative? We are not religious, nor republican.
    So what? I'm conservative and Harry's like my best bud! It's ok to branch out culturally. Haha. Don't know what the social climate's like in Kalispell, but as a lone "religious" conservative in many liberal enclave's I've lived in, it's ok. It really is. I like having peers with a variety of beliefs and ideals. If we're not ever challenged, then we're just living in a little echo chamber bubble, and where's the fun in that? Don't be afraid. We're not all as evil and bigoted as many would have you believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado_Freeskier View Post
    - Risk of losing/not liking the job and having to find another in the area with limited employers.
    Thus is the risk of adventure. I say take a trip out there and see what you think. If you like it, then go for it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Tejas
    Posts
    5,872
    Quote Originally Posted by 4matic View Post
    I’d suggest that Montana is more true libertarian than Republican. At least that was the impression on my visit.
    This may very well be true. In which case, us libertarian minded conservatives see eye-to-eye with liberals on far more things than not. I've met more libertarians in MT than anywhere else. Personally I get upset when people assume I'm a Repube.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    1,045
    Itís a maritime snowpack, many are surprised to learn that - I know I was. I spent 5 days in Whitefish 2wks ago and the not seeing the sun thing was real. We got vis on 2/5 days and my pal never stopped telling us how lucky we were. Itíd been legitimately 1.5months since the last sunny day.

    Skiing-wise I thought it was incredible, but we timed it well and had a local to guide us. Ever wonder what itíd be like to set your own skintrack every day? If you move to Whitefish you will do so more often then not. Anecdotal view is that b/c is underutilized - finding partners could be an issue unless youíre a weekend warrior.

    Coming from CO the sun thing could be an adjustment. Apparently fall is pretty rainy too. Nice summers, seems like PNW weather honestly.

    You will be judged based on having lived in CO. Mostly harmless/funny, but Montanans have a weird sense of pride about their state with a small population that doesnít recycle glass (just throw it in the river I guess!) Donít mention sprinter vans, ever. Montanans view sprinter vans as Coloradans view Texans, and when they see one, they wonít shut up about it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    PRB
    Posts
    22,076
    Quote Originally Posted by AustinFromSA View Post
    So what? I'm conservative and Harry's like my best bud! It's ok to branch out culturally. Haha. Don't know what the social climate's like in Kalispell, but as a lone "religious" conservative in many liberal enclave's I've lived in, it's ok. It really is. I like having peers with a variety of beliefs and ideals. If we're not ever challenged, then we're just living in a little echo chamber bubble, and where's the fun in that? Don't be afraid. We're not all as evil and bigoted as many would have you believe.
    I think the concern for many folks is that there are some views that are easy to accept and others that are harder. For ex, I'm reasonably liberal, but I can easily accept and be close friends with someone who has differing views on gun rights, taxes, corporate regulation, etc. OTOH, it would be much harder for me to close friends with them if they deny climate change (disagreeing on the best way to address it is one thing, but denying it is happening is a different story), if they are against gay rights, that sort of thing.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,885
    bonus is you are only a couple hours from Fernie etc so as an USAian everything is on sale all the time
    what's orange and looks good on hippies?

    fire

    rails are for trains
    If I had a dollar for every time capitalism was blamed for problems caused by the government I'd be a rich fat film maker in a baseball hat.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    The 8th best place in the LBP
    Posts
    2,995
    If you're looking to be surrounded by hipster liberals, don't move there. But other than that, you could do a lot worse than the Flathead Valley, that's for sure. Many people I know from college days in Missoula moved up there and pretty much all of them stayed, going on 25 years now.

    As for Kalispell vs. Whitefish, just depends on what you can afford. Rent for a year or two and you'll figure it out.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    30,086
    Quote Originally Posted by North View Post
    ...Coming from CO the sun thing could be an adjustment. Apparently fall is pretty rainy too. Nice summers, seems like PNW weather honestly.

    You will be judged based on having lived in CO. Mostly harmless/funny, but Montanans have a weird sense of pride about their state with a small population that doesn’t recycle glass (just throw it in the river I guess!) Don’t mention sprinter vans, ever. Montanans view sprinter vans as Coloradans view Texans, and when they see one, they won’t shut up about it.
    It's PNW weather all the way. I really can't be out of the sun for extended periods without feeling like I'm getting drained by that vampiristic cloud layer overcast shit. But you got a fucking ski resort on the edge of town in Whitefish. Glacier has hands-down bragging rights for the longest and most beautiful summer days in the US, as well as a night sky to die for.

    Don't worry about the loudmouth rednecks. Sometimes expat Californicators are the loudest mouths in the putdown gallery, which is why I always say I'm from LA whenever I'm in any of those bumfuck little towns in Idaho and Montana. It's great to watch them seeth then, after chatting, getting them to admit that they're fuckin Calihoochies.

    Get a contract that covers you getting fired after moving there. With a legal review of it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    383
    I lived in Whitefish for a while back in '03-04 when I was 25-26. Coming from the East Coast, I thought it sucked - I was just a cook, but I'd been cooking since I was 14 years old and the restaurant that hired me paid less than I'd earned since I was 16 - I thought they were just taking advantage of the new guy and that I'd find a better paying job once I was in town. Not so much - turns out everyone was getting paid shit compared to NE wages. And the cost of living, though everyone said it was cheaper than out east, just wasn't - rent was pricey, food was pricey, entertainment was just typical. Whitefish tries to act like it's fancy, but it's just Kalispell with better paint - there's lots of poverty, petty crime, and general malaise in both towns.

    Though I'd never skiied out west, the skiing didn't blow my mind. If you're used to CO skiing, you'll likely be disappointed. The fog was insane - good snow conditions often also meant heavy fog that made it impossible to ski fast or hard. And the in-bounds skiing was just OK - not better than typical east coast skiing. They also shut down the best parts of the mountain really early in the spring because of bears.

    The good stuff: Backcountry skiing was awesome and diverse - plenty of good protected options when the snowpack is sketch, plenty of trees and low-altitude stuff when the weather is nasty, and plenty of big steep stuff when conditions are right. Glacier is gorgeous and worth spending time in. Even though Whitefish is touristy as fuck, there are good locals restaurants and bars and Kalispell has good food and drink as well. The lakes are fantastic in the summer. Mushrooming is fantastic, if you're into that sort of thing - I ate morels for dinner every day during that season; I eventually got bored with morels. Close to Fernie which is cool.

    If I was you, I'd look at it as a lateral from Denver - better in some ways (less urban, you can live right on top of the skiing, biking, paddling, etc.) but worse in others (serious ceiling on your career (unless you cook meth), smaller in every way, harder to get from where you are to anything else).

    Edit to add: I've wondered how it would be if I moved back now - older and with money. You can get nice houses for cheap and there's places to go if you have some cash. When I was there I was young and poor and it was a lousy place for that. YMMV.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,575
    I live in Kalispell and would be happy to answer any questions you might have. After reading Austin's description I think we eBay be cut from similar cloth.

    I would also be happy to offer any insight into your job opportunity (company reputation) and others that might exist in the valley. Shoot me a PM and we can go from there.

    Also, Kevino is a more recent transplant that you may want to reach out to for his input.

    Seth

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using TGR Forums mobile app

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    The land of Genesee Cream Ale and homemade pierogies!
    Posts
    1,686
    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado_Freeskier View Post
    - Risk of losing/not liking the job and having to find another in the area with limited employers
    This negative is going to be present in almost any move from an urban area to a mountain town. And there's no good answer to it, one way to address is maintain your contracts in your field or industry in case it doesn't work out.

    Keep things in perspective though, your new employer is paying to relo you to a desirable mountain town, and you'll have what sounds like a professional job. And your wife will still have her job. The majority of people do it with a lot less.
    ďThe best argument in favour of a 90% tax rate on the rich is a five-minute chat with the average rich person.Ē

    - Winston Churchill, paraphrased.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    724
    Having lived in multiple areas, everywhere has its positives/ negatives.

    We moved from Denver to Seattle a while back and while I missed the sun initially, you get used to it and make the most of it.

    Havenít visited Whitefish/ Kalispell often by Iíd be more concerned about living in a true winter for a good portion of winter months vs Denverís more mild climate (this may be a total myth vs true)


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    5,323
    If you like Huckleberries, make the move!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,575
    One other note about employment. Depending on your skillset... Unemployment in the valley is about 3-4% if memory serves. We are trying to hire right now and really struggling to find good people. There are a lot of good, open positions out there and not a lot of people to fill them.

    Seth

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using TGR Forums mobile app

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    'Merica
    Posts
    2,157
    Quote Originally Posted by sethschmautz View Post
    I live in Kalispell and would be happy to answer any questions you might have. After reading Austin's description I think we eBay be cut from similar cloth.

    I would also be happy to offer any insight into your job opportunity (company reputation) and others that might exist in the valley. Shoot me a PM and we can go from there.

    Also, Kevino is a more recent transplant that you may want to reach out to for his input.

    Seth

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using TGR Forums mobile app
    Random question: Are you Sam's twin?
    Quote Originally Posted by Smoke
    Cell phones are great in the backcountry. If you're injured, you can use them to play Tetris, which helps pass the time while waiting for cold embrace of Death to envelop you.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    37ft above the hood
    Posts
    16,272
    Move to New York City, New York
    Zone Controller

    "He wants to be a pro, bro, not some schmuck." - Hugh Conway

    "DigitalDeath would kick my ass. He has the reach of a polar bear." - Crass3000

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    Posts
    20,431
    Kallispel and the Flathead can be really weird. Whitefish is alright. This has been done to death.
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    Posts
    20,431
    Quote Originally Posted by back bowl View Post
    I lived in Whitefish for a while back in '03-04 when I was 25-26. Coming from the East Coast, I thought it sucked - I was just a cook, but I'd been cooking since I was 14 years old and the restaurant that hired me paid less than I'd earned since I was 16 - I thought they were just taking advantage of the new guy and that I'd find a better paying job once I was in town. Not so much - turns out everyone was getting paid shit compared to NE wages. And the cost of living, though everyone said it was cheaper than out east, just wasn't - rent was pricey, food was pricey, entertainment was just typical. Whitefish tries to act like it's fancy, but it's just Kalispell with better paint - there's lots of poverty, petty crime, and general malaise in both towns.

    Though I'd never skiied out west, the skiing didn't blow my mind. If you're used to CO skiing, you'll likely be disappointed. The fog was insane - good snow conditions often also meant heavy fog that made it impossible to ski fast or hard. And the in-bounds skiing was just OK - not better than typical east coast skiing. They also shut down the best parts of the mountain really early in the spring because of bears.

    The good stuff: Backcountry skiing was awesome and diverse - plenty of good protected options when the snowpack is sketch, plenty of trees and low-altitude stuff when the weather is nasty, and plenty of big steep stuff when conditions are right. Glacier is gorgeous and worth spending time in. Even though Whitefish is touristy as fuck, there are good locals restaurants and bars and Kalispell has good food and drink as well. The lakes are fantastic in the summer. Mushrooming is fantastic, if you're into that sort of thing - I ate morels for dinner every day during that season; I eventually got bored with morels. Close to Fernie which is cool.

    If I was you, I'd look at it as a lateral from Denver - better in some ways (less urban, you can live right on top of the skiing, biking, paddling, etc.) but worse in others (serious ceiling on your career (unless you cook meth), smaller in every way, harder to get from where you are to anything else).

    Edit to add: I've wondered how it would be if I moved back now - older and with money. You can get nice houses for cheap and there's places to go if you have some cash. When I was there I was young and poor and it was a lousy place for that. YMMV.
    Malaise, that's a good word. Not better than typical East Coast though? Were you on a lot of meth back then?
    No longer stuck.

    Quote Originally Posted by stuckathuntermtn View Post
    Just an uneducated guess.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    On a genuine ol' fashioned authentic steam powered aereoplane
    Posts
    12,470
    Speaking tangentially about the low unemployment rates in growing Montana towns/cities: While I'm sure the stats are true my experience over the last 6 months in Bozeman has been: Lots of east/west coast corporate/6 figure types move to Montana and while technically "employed" are making 1/3 of what they used to make basically doing stuff they are grossly over qualified for. There just aren't mid level jobs really. You either own a small business or work at or below $20/hour helping someone else build their business. The only exceptions are true tradesman. They are cleaning up for sure.

    Is whitefish/kalispell having similar growing pains?

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,159
    Whitefish is too fancy/uppity/yuppie for my friends who grew up in Montana. But, now they live in Marin County. Nice people, but no clarity of thought.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Vinyl Valley
    Posts
    1,109
    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    Get a contract that covers you getting fired after moving there. With a legal review of it.
    This, this, and... this.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    6,135
    The best part about the Flathead...you live in NW Montana

    The worst part about the Flathead...you live in NW Montana

    Denver>Kalispell, Whitefish or C Falls would be an extremely large change. I don't know you so this may or may not apply. Some questions to ask your self:

    Do your kids where Patagonia puffies?

    Do you drive a European Car?

    Have you ever lived in a community with meth, native americans and white trash?

    I've spend a lot of time around the area is the last 20yrs. I have good friends that live there. Point blank...it is a redneck, country music, diesel truck, blue collar town. Whitefish has a bit of a mountain town think going on up not much.

    I really like it there but I'm a small town kid who works as a contractor. I couldn't live there because it is a bit too far from a major airport (family), a lot too gray, and too far aware from other changes in climate.

    That said, I think you'd be insane to move without spending a week up there with the family. Towns have a vibe that can only be experienced, not but down on paper.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •