ECONOMY AND EMPLOYMENT
A common story we hear is that someone comes to visit Kalispell and months later is permanently moving here to start a business or relocate an existing one. The stories are endless and it’s not hard to understand why. Our valley has hit its stride with a more sustained economic recovery in recent years through a broad base of successful industries. If you’ve ever considering relocating to a pristine mountain town with a competitive business climate and thriving economy, consider Kalispell. What’s best about Montana, Kalispell has it.
Since 1990 health care employment in Kalispell has grown over 180 percent and is now our county’s largest industry, employing nearly 6,300 people. The recent and sustained boom in this industry has led to the Flathead Valley being more attractive to firms and individuals for relocation and subsequently, means area residents are no longer required to travel to receive care. Additionally, health care is expected to grow here with the next 10 years and economists are predicting another 21 percent increase in health care employment opportunities.
Technology and Manufacturing
Even though Northwest Montana may seem off the grid to some, the Flathead Valley is plugged into the modern landscape with a thriving entrepreneurial spirit. With the global connection powers of the Internet, entrepreneurs and start-up companies are discovering that close proximity to a metropolitan center is no longer vital to run their business. Our area plays host to hundreds of manufacturing and technology companies centered around computer equipment, energy, communications, food and beverage, machined products, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals.
The Flathead Valley is a bustling hub for visitors looking to enjoy a slice of the big sky during the summer months and turns to a quaint, unforgettable ski destination for powder seekers in the winter. Tourism in the Flathead Valley touches all industries, drives major economic impacts, and is now bolstered by our many shoulder season activities including the Montana Dragon Boat Festival in September, Montana Pond Hockey Classic in January, and the Montana Spartan Race in May.
Glacier Park International Airport sits in the center of the Flathead Valley and is a growing provider of regional air service that continues to set records for passengers on a regular basis. Increasing air service in the valley has been a top goal for many local organizations and businesses in recent years. The heightened attention and efforts has led to current direct flights to 11 national hubs including Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago, and Atlanta.