Kalispell is the trade center of Northwest Montana, a dynamic, prosperous economy, where people travel to shop, receive medical care and conduct business. It is a market of 150,000 people.
Education, government, health services, forest products, manufacturing, engineering, tourism and retail thrive and balance the local economy.
Flathead County is Montana’s third most populous and second-fastest growing with an estimated population in 2008 of over 90,000. From 1990 to 2000 the county’s population surged by 26 percent.
The county is a montage of three distinctive incorporated cities, Kalispell, Whitefish and Columbia Falls, as well as several small towns. Kalispell, the county seat, is the state’s seventh largest city with a population of 22,000 and a growth rate of 22 percent since the U.S. 2000 census – its population is estimated to hit 25,000 by 2015. Greater Kalispell is home to over 34,000.
Commercial development has reached epic proportions in the past few years. On Kalispell’s north side three-quarter million square feet of major retailers and restaurants have been built to keep pace with the area’s booming real estate growth.
The Spring Prairie Center is in the second of three phases. A new entertainment and retail complex, Hutton Ranch Plaza, opened in 2008. The 46-acre development features a $9 million 14-screen movie theater with stadium seating.
The Kalispell Fire Department has also expanded, adding the $3.1 million Fire Station 62 in 2006. A third station is in the planning phase. The gateway to Glacier National Park with an international airport, Kalispell has a vigorous tourism draw. With two major ski areas and Flathead Lake, the area retains a well-trained, productive work force.
Flathead County supports the most diverse economy in the Rocky Mountain West. Major private employers include Kalispell Regional Medical Center, Plum Creek Timber Company, Applied Materials- Semitool , TeleTech and Winter Sports, Inc.
Through its affiliated agencies and economic development programs the Flathead Regional Business Center vigorously promotes small business and entrepreneurship under the guidance of the Kalispel Chamber of Commerce.
In Kalispell, reasonable taxes and regulations, accessible transportation, advanced telecommunications, available commercial sites and competitive utilities make it easy for businesses of all types to be successful.