Whitefish Chamber Wednesday Update: Nov. 11, 2020
In this issue
  • No Christmas Stroll this year; but Christmas Tree Shopping Spree & Window Decorating Contest keep the spirit alive!
  • Glacier Park officials to host online meeting with business community, next Tuesday at 2 p.m.
  • Rotary Club's "Magic of Christmas' program needs shoppers!
  • Got angry customers (or staff?)  FVCC offers free 'de-escalation' training
  • Whitefish Pilot hard at work on 'Community Cookbook' ... and they need your recipes!
  • Looking for a few great photos ... for the 2021 Whitefish Community Guide!
Christmas Stroll - Gravity Shots
Christmas Stroll 2019
Shopping spree, decor contest go on!
Christmas Stroll cancelled
over COVID concerns

     This is no way to start the Holiday Season, but some things just can't be avoided ... this year's Christmas Stroll in downtown Whitefish has been cancelled due to concerns about public health and safety as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Whitefish and beyond.

     After consulting with officials from the City of Whitefish and the Flathead City/County Health Department -- and with local business owners -- it quickly became clear that bringing thousands of people to Whitefish for an evening of eating, shopping and celebrating the holidays simply can't be done safely with the Coronavirus still in our midst.

     "It's been a difficult year for many of our most popular community events and traditions," said Chamber Director Kevin Gartland, "and it's been painful to watch.  But until we can get the upper hand on the virus, bringing the community together en masse -- and possibly exposing hundreds to COVID-19 in a single night -- simply isn't a risk we can take."

Annual 'Shopping Spree' expanded to two weeks
       Chamber staff are working to salvage what they can of our Christmas Stroll traditions ... especially those that help drive business to our local merchants, retailers, restaurants and bars.  One such program is what we're calling the "Christmas Tree Shopping Spree."  It's an expansion of the popular Raffle Drawings we hold at the Stroll each year, with folks earning one raffle ticket for every $20 they spend at Whitefish businesses on the day of the Stroll.  

      This year, we'll award raffle tickets for purchases made in Whitefish from Thanksgiving Day through Dec. 11, qualifying for a chance to win one of a dozen Christmas Trees decorated with  gifts, prizes, gift cards and certificates ... all of which will be "raffled off" the week of Dec. 7-11.

Tree-trimming 'sponsors' needed now!
     To make the program work, we need a dozen local businesses to sponsor (and host) one of our Shopping Spree Christmas Trees ... and to decorate it with gift cards, prizes and certificates from your business and others that you recruit to help "trim the tree."  We'll promote your tree (and your business) on our posters, social media posts and newspaper advertising, and will come to your business to do a Facebook Live event and pull the name of your tree's winner live online!

     If you're interested in sponsoring a tree, email Chamber Office Manager Debbie Webb at visit@whitefishchamber.org, and she'll fill you in on all the details!

Annual Window Decorating Contest is also a 'go'
     Plans are also under way to host the annual Christmas Stroll Window Decorating Contest, which recognizes local business owners who literally go "all out" dressing-up their storefronts for the Holiday Season.  

     Judging will take place the week of Dec. 7, with the winners announced on Friday, Dec. 11 ... once again on Facebook Live!  So if you're getting into the spirit and want to be part of the fun, email visit@whitefishchamber.org and we'll point the judges in your direction!
Business owners invited to Nov. 17 web meeting
Glacier Park superintendent to host
virtual meeting for tourism community

     Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow will host an online meeting for business owners involved in our area's tourism industry next Tuesday -- Nov. 17 -- from 2-3 p.m.

     Mow will update attendees on the operational changes made and "lessons learned" in dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis -- and summer crowds -- this season, and will take a look ahead to what he expects in 2021.

     Among the items up for discussion:
  • COVID-related staffing levels, services and closures,
  • Congestion management,
  • Visitation patterns,
  • Changes to the "visitor experience," and
  • Discussion of ticketed park entry
     If you're interested in attending, please email teagan_tomlin@nps.gov, and include your name, the name of your business, whether you're planning to attend by computer or by phone.  Teagan will reply with meeting information and instructions on how to join the session.
Rotary program helps local kids have a Merry Christmas
'Magic of Christmas' program needs shoppers!

     The Rotary Club of Whitefish is once again sponsoring their "Magic of Christmas" program, which provides less fortunate children of our local school district with new clothing, toys and other gifts ... delivered to their door on Christmas Eve morning!

     While monetary, tax-exempt contributions are always welcome, what the Club needs more than anything are "shoppers" -- volunteers who'll take the Wish Lists provided by local families and do the shopping needed to fill Santa's bag on Christmas Eve.

     If you'd like to make a donation, help out with the shopping or nominate a family for inclusion in the program, call Magic of Christmas Co-Chair Bambi Goodman at (406) 250-8421 or email her at bagreporting@gmail.com.
Free online seminar Nov. 20
Got angry customers? 
Learn to de-escalate!

     It was a long, hot summer, filled with "angry" tourists (and locals) who were more than happy to take out their personal frustrations on your hard-working employees.  The big question ... how do we prepare our staffers to turn a confrontational encounter into a positive one?

     The folks at Flathead Valley Community College have just the answer ... a one-hour online session they're offering Nov. 20 entitled "De-escalation Training -- Effective Conflict Intervention."

     The free Zoom videoconference is designed to help you (and your employees) take a pro-active approach to de-escalating another person's anger, and turning heated discussions into productive conversations.  Among the topics to be discussed by instructors Tracy Sullivan and Cory Clarke:
  • Conflict resolution guidelines
  • How the body responds to fear
  • The 4 'key' skills
  • Crisis stages and strategies
     CLICK HERE for more information, or to register for the Nov. 20 session.
Bring your best dinner, appetizer, cocktail or ??
Pilot needs recipes for Community Cookbook

     The Whitefish Pilot is collecting recipes for a Whitefish Community Cookbook ... set to be published just in time for the Holidays!

     Ad Director Jessica Tullos is looking for your best breakfast, appetizer, crockpot fave, dessert, cocktail ... and everything in between!  The cookbook will be a "perfect holiday gift or keepsake," Tullos said, and will be available Dec. 1; but you can pre-order today.  And best of all, a portion of the proceeds will benefit our own North Valley Food Bank!

     CLICK HERE to email Jess for more information, to submit a recipe or place an order!
Hey photographers ... whatcha got?
We're looking for
a few great photos!

     As 2020 begins to wind down, we're hard at work putting together the 2021 Whitefish Community Guide -- the "ultimate guide to all things Whitefish" -- and we need your help!

     We need a ton of fresh photography to fill the pages of this year's Guide ... pictures that show-off the amazing area that we call home!  

     The 64-page, four-color magazine serves as the Chamber's official Visitor and Relocation Guide, so we're looking for a little bit of everything.  Lake and mountain vistas are beautiful, but what we also need are "action shots" ... pix of folks enjoying the great outdoors in every imaginable way -- hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowmobiling, rafting, fishing, floating, road cycling, wildlife-watching ... you get the idea!

     We also need a few great special event shots, photos of local businesses -- and construction crews -- in action, and anything else you might have "up your sleeve" that puts our wonderful community -- and spectacular region -- in the best possible light!

     If you've got a few prized pics that you'd like to share with the Chamber -- and the world! -- email them to kevin@whitefishchamber.org today!  If we use them, we'll give you a photo credit ... and our eternal thanks!