Posted: Jul 3, 2012 5:40 PM by Katy Harris - KAJ News
Updated: Jul 4, 2012 9:29 AM
KALISPELL- It's a busy week in the Flathead Valley, with Canada Day on July 1 and Independence Day on July 4 bringing vacationing visitors to see Glacier National Park.
Kalispell Chamber of Commerce President Joe Unterreiner said so far, hotels are reporting plenty of advance bookings. "So that's really an encouraging sign for our tourism economy," he said.
Since word went out that Going-to-the-Sun Road is open, more out-of-state plates are parking in western Montana.
"The benefit of [tourists] being here in the valley spills over into a number of other industry categories. Retail and restaurants are strong recipients of tourism dollars," Unterreiner said.
Erica Robinson works the Fawn Boutique in Kalispell and has noticed an increase in tourism traffic coming into the store since summer began.
"I feel that there are just so many things here to do in the valley like Glacier Park, Flathead Lake and it just brings a lot of tourists, especially Canadians, here to see us and we love it," Robinson said.
One customer traveled all the way from Arkansas to see Glacier National Park for the third time. Hannah Burroff said she and her family always shop in Flathead Valley stores during their trips to Montana.
"As far as shops go they're a lot trendier and different than in Arkansas, it's pretty much the same thing," Burroff said. "Where I'm from we don't have that great of array of restaurants so it's nice to have different choices and varieties."
Unterreiner said the chamber has been packed with visitors seeking information on the Flathead Valley all day.