Last Sunday night, a family of four from Darren, Ill., got a wallop of an unpleasant welcome to Whitefish. After landing late night at Glacier Park International Airport, they picked up their rental car and headed for their reservations at the Hibernation House at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Looking for the sign to point them up Big Mountain, they drove East Lakeshore Drive, snaking through its dark turns to the end. Lost, they retraced their steps, finally arriving to check in with two tuckered out small children at 3 a.m.
In a streak of vandalism, Big Mountain and Whitefish Mountain Resort signs are disappearing. Ironically, it’s not the locals who know how to get to the resort that are suffering, but visitors first tasting Whitefish hospitality.
“Vandalism is not a very constructive way to express one’s thoughts,” said Brian Schott, spokesperson for Whitefish Mountain Resort. “The bumper stickers and T-shirts around town show ownership for comments, but vandalism is cowardly. It’s bad for the whole community.”
The rash of vandalism started about a month ago when the Big Mountain sign was torn off of the skier bridge at the entry to the village. Soon afterwards, the large Big Mountain sign at the bottom of Big Mountain Road was broken off and stolen. Twice this past week – on Sunday night and again Tuesday night – someone vandalized the new Whitefish Mountain Resort sign, breaking it off at the base and knocking it over.
Unaware the signs were lost to vandalism, the Illinois family at check out volunteered to purchase a sign for the turn off to the resort. “There’s a lot of buzz about the name change,” said Schott. “It’s ironic that it trickles down to hurt people like visitors.”
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