The 10th Anniversary Issue

The Flathead Beacon is celebrating 10 years as a community newspaper

On May 23, 2007, the Flathead Valley woke up to a new resident: a 24-page journal called the Flathead Beacon.

Five-hundred-and-twenty issues later, the newspaper has grown to 64 pages most weeks, some editions even larger. Initially, the newspaper printed 7,000 copies but now distributes 20,000 and 25,000 weekly copies. The newspaper website has thousands of views every day. The company has added a whole new division called Flathead Beacon Productions, which services our clients and other customers with their digital, social, and video needs. And the highly popular Flathead Living magazine has been added to the Beacon family.

More than any other aspect of the Beacon’s success, you the reader is uppermost in our minds. We think of you every issue. Have we reported the news accurately? Have our investigations created a response? Has the Beacon made a difference in the valley? We believe we have, and we’re so proud that you let us be part of your family.

— The Beacon Staff

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The original Flathead Beacon office at 217 Main St. in downtown Kalispell.

‘They Thought We Were Nuts’

A decade ago, with the newspaper industry in decline, a daytime television host and a few fresh-faced kids decided to start a weekly in Kalispell

In 2007, the American newspaper was in decline.

From 2005 to 2008, the market value of publicly traded newspapers nationwide plummeted 42 percent. Between 1990 and 2008, a quarter of all newspaper jobs were eliminated. Circulation was on the decline. Ad revenues were slipping. In 2007, newspapers in Washington, Ohio, Kentucky and Arkansas all closed their doors for good. »»» READ MORE

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A Decade of Stories

A sampling of stories from the last 10 years that the Beacon counts among its favorite and most important

Over the last decade, the Flathead Valley has had no shortage of news and the Beacon was there to cover it. Here is a selection of top stories that stood out and made headlines. »»» READ MORE

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Development on Kalispell’s north end. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The Last 10 Years

The decade proved to be a difficult yet transitory time for Flathead County. Here’s how we got here:

In 2007, Flathead County was still enjoying the fruits of booming growth and riding a robust housing market.

Little did the valley know that it was headed into a difficult, transformative period during and after the Great Recession, or that the economic landscape would begin to shift away from the industries on which it used to survive. »»» READ MORE

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Miles Passmore, pictured in Creston on May 12, 2017. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

Harvesting Success in a Changing Landscape

Ten years ago, Miles Passmore was the youngest full-time farmer in the valley and profiled in the Beacon. As more agricultural land turns into subdivisions, he’s keeping a family and local farming tradition alive.

CRESTON — From his family’s ranch and farmland on the rural outskirts of the valley, Miles Passmore has a clear perspective on the surrounding agricultural landscape. »»» READ MORE

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A crowd of hikers waits to cross a snow field along the trail to the Hidden Lake Overlook near Logan Pass. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The Next 10 Years

A look forward to the changes that will define our community

The calendar is rapidly turning toward the Flathead Beacon’s second decade of existence — a milestone we will mark just days after publishing this 10th anniversary issue — and with it comes a groundswell of reflection and the certain promise of dramatic change in the future. »»» READ MORE

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