There are two Bigforks: The tourists and the rest of us


Essentially, there are two Bigforks: One is the part focused mainly on tourism and includes the downtown shops and a few lodges and such.The other Bigfork consists of the folks who live and/or work here every day, all year round.

The challenge as I see it, is that a handful of these tourism-based businesses operate under the notion that the long-established tourism trade and the Amenities Bigfork already has (the lake, marinas, mountains and downtown) are here for them to use for their exclusive benefit.

A few members of this group, who locals call "The Bigfork Clique" or "The Chamber Clique," uses the advantages of nonprofits to gain, centralize and use tourism money to advance their pursuit of tourism business.

This group is behind the Town Hall meetings and eventual Community Council or some such organization that will use its leverage to win some combination of grants, matching funds and taxes to create a pseudo-city that will even further centralize and spend even more money to enhance their tourism-based businesses.

I have seen this before and little organizations like this can build budgets in the millions annually then use that money for tourism-based amenities instead of providing the things people really want: Affordable housing, year-round amenities, year-round jobs/economy, and others listed in the survey.

The Beagle supports a healthy tourism economy. We also support bringing local money and control as close as possible. We simply want to make sure that community members, year-round businesses and regular folks benefit from our tourism economy.

#AffordableHousing #BigforkChamberofCommerce #BigforkMT #Tourism

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