WHITEFISH, Mont. – There is talk in Whitefish about creating a trade center in Calgary, to help encourage Canadians to spend their money in Montana.
Plenty already do. Albertans, flush with bulging wallets from the oil- and gas-fuelled boom, routinely trek south to Whitefish and other communities. Some have built homes. Everybody routinely stocks up, some even towing trailers for their loot.
Hauling the goods back north across the international border has its own cost, but rules are loosening. Canadians staying 48 hours in the United States would be allowed to take $800 worth of goods home, compared to $400 previously, without special taxes.
The Whitefish Pilot reports that candidates for the Montana legislature were among those at a recent meeting called to explore the idea of a trade center in Calgary.
"Canadians have a lot of extra money, and we want them to spend money here," said Dee Brown, a businesswoman from nearby Hungry Horse, at the south end of Glacier National Park.
Resort owner stays the course
REVELSTOKE, B.C. – Tom Gaglardi, the president of Northland Properties, the family-based business that rescued Revelstoke Mountain Resort when its original developers floundered in 2008, admits to a "long, arduous process."
In an interview with the Revelstoke Times Review, he reported that 63 per cent of the real estate inventory remains unsold. But he says prices have not been discounted, retaining value for existing buyers, and his family remains committed to the long-term vision of former owner Donald Simpson, a real estate developer from Denver.
"When Don Simpson came to Revelstoke and pitched this development, it was grandiose and you could make those statements in that day. The world was quite a bit different place. He made some wild statements and some wild promises and some wild things, and I suppose had the world not changed, he may have been able to deliver on those things. I think it's notable that we haven't done anything different than that vision."
Gaglardi told the Times Review that his company has invested $300 million in the resort, half of that in real estate. "We have no debt on it, and all we do is hang around there and (wait for the) market to return. And we haven't slashed prices; we haven't done anything to hurt the market value of people who have bought."
He reported growth in the ski business, and called Revelstoke Mountain the "best ski resort in North America and top-five in the world. That's what our owners believe." As for resort real estate, it is, he said, "the big elephant in the room."
Molybdenum mining resumes at Climax
LEADVILLE, Colo. — Mining has resumed at Climax, the molybdenum mine atop the Continental Divide between Leadville and Copper Mountain.