Resort Guide 2018: West #10
Two key milestones have hit this modest, but growing Montana resort. It’s celebrating its 70th anniversary this season, and the resort set a record last winter with upwards of 346,000 skier visits. Locals celebrate the first and lament the second. But they were buoyed by a third milestone: The resort was buried in more than 400 inches last season, the second-highest snowpack in nearly 20 years.
It’s clear that Whitefish is in a resort’s sweet spot: still small enough to offer the intimacy that nurtures skiing’s most enduring traits, yet also growing at a pace that brings in enough cash and creative energy to upgrade the place just about every season. Yes, unassuming Whitefish does land at No. 10, bumping ski poles with the big brands, sandwiched between Beaver Creek and Steamboat. But Top 10 finishes in Service, Character, and Kid Friendliness resonate with skiers, and are testament to the resort’s small-town attitude—both on the mountain and in a down-to-earth, authentic ski town that remains as real as anywhere. And there is lots of skiing. Hellroaring Basin and North Side would feel right at home in Jackson. No need to quote locals, they know why they moved here. Here’s a visitor, who gives the ultimate visitor compliment. “This is NOT a mega-resort. No foo-foo frills, with real people. Refreshing,” says one reader. “Will definitely return.”
Start your ski day at the downtown Buffalo Café. Order “The Original” buffalo pie: Thick-cut ham, two poached eggs, cheese, served over a bed of hash browns. Strong cup of joe. Heaven.
Contemplate moving to Whitefish at the Tupelo Grill. Reservations suggested, or hit the non-rez high-tops in the lounge. A Moscow Mule and Elk Meatloaf Sliders will help ease the relo discussion with your spouse.
Remember what a real skiers’ bar looks like? Get reacquainted at the Bierstube.
Take the day off... then go night skiing with the kids. Locals Tip: None of that famous fog at night.