The night sky lit up with lightening over Bull Lake on Saturday, May 30. Photo by Tracy McNew, The Montanian.


Venture Inn continues renovations with end in sight

As a part of the Venture Inn’s continuing efforts to enhance Libby’s tourism image and upgrade our economy, the Venture Inn is in the final planning stage for a new; enlarged lobby/gallery entrance, and a new elevator serving the restaurant and lower level meeting rooms. The elevator has been ordered and will be arriving early in September. It will be installed as soon as possible thereafter.

This Fall, we will also be enhancing the front desk lobby area by combining it with the existing pool entrance lobby. We will also be changing three of our existing rooms 101, 102, and 103. Room 101 will be added to the lobby and front desk area. Room 102 will become the headquarters for Kootenai Country Montana Foundation (KCM) and will house the KCM manager. Room 103 will become the new entryway for the pool. It will also house the laundry facilities and coin machines.

The remodeled lobby will have a gallery modeled around the theme of our International Chain Saw Carving Championship. The structural bearing poles will be logs that will be carved by some of the world’s finest chainsaw artists. The front desk will be two large 5-foot diameter logs featuring chain saw carvings carved into the front of the desk. Our planned starting date for the front lobby project is the 1st week of June with the planned completion date to be early October.

At that time, the entire lobby area will become a display area for chainsaw carvings by our chainsaw carvers and local artist’s creations. The arts, crafts, and chainsaw carvings on display will be available for purchase by the public. The entire lobby area will be completed similarly to Cabela’s display areas.

The project manager is David Jones of Troy (Bull Lake). Architectural and Engineering work has been done by Jackola Engineering & Architecture, P.C. of Kalispell. Rustic Rails Log Works, Inc., owned by John Emerson of Columbia Falls will be the contractor for the project. Mr. Emerson’s experience includes the construction of over 50 Cabela interiors throughout the U.S. He will be constructing the entryway and the interior of the lobby and registration area.

Submitted by Cheri Meyer



Support for small Montana based business available now

On May 28 Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced additional support for destination counties in Montana to help offset the costs of additional COVID-19 testing, educational programs for visitors and small business grants to help with the development and purchase of safety measures. Lincoln County was not included on the list of 20 counties targeted for the funds, but businesses and organizations within Lincoln County can apply for funds if they demonstrate a need.

The destination counties were chosen using Montana Department of Commerce data. While Lincoln County was not considered a top 20 destination county in the state, visitors travel through the county to visit Glacier National Park which is set to reopen in early June.

Small Montana based businesses in Lincoln County that have incurred expenses keeping employees and customers safe that are related to dealing with visitors during the COVID-19 outbreak can apply for reimbursement through the Montana business Adaption Program. There is 20 million dollars available state-wide and businesses can request up to 5,000 each dollars. More information about how to apply for funding can be found at Funding applications started being accepted on June 1.

By Mati Bishop, The Montanian



Saturday storm caused significant

Flathead Electric  outages

Flathead Electric Co-op (FEC) experienced one of the worst storms our area has seen in years, on Saturday, May 30, and sustained significant damage to the system.

At the peak, there were nearly 37,000 members out of power. That’s over half of the members (more than 53,000) FEC serves. As of their Sunday press release, there were approximately 250 outages and 32,000 members out of power across the entire 5,000 miles of line on the FEC system.

All crews responded, but that’s a lot of ground to cover. The main goal was to restore power safely to the greatest number of members in the shortest time possible. The bulk of those members’ power was restored on Sunday, but the restoration process in some areas was more extensive.

FEC thanks members for their patience as they worked through the damage caused by this storm to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

If you are experiencing a power outage, please report it by calling the outage line at (406) 751-4449. You’ll be transferred into an automated system so FEC can assess outages most quickly.

During large outage situations dispatch does not answer calls on this line because they are communicating with crews and emergency responders. You can also visit FEC’s Outage Center at https://www.flathead or check for outage updates on the website.
Always assume a downed line is hot, even if it doesn’t appear to be. Never touch or drive over downed power lines. Never try to remove trees from power lines. Wait until professionals can arrive onsite. Please report all emergency situations to 911.

Adapted from a press FEC pres