Northwest Montana Cashes In On ‘The Bachelor’

By Beacon Staff

The season finale of “The Bachelor” aired last night with Sean Lowe deciding between two prospective brides-to-be and riding off into the sunset atop an elephant.

This was quite the season for ABC’s popular reality television show. Among the typical ballyhoo and exotic adventures, this latest series edition was unique for local fans because it featured our very own valley in Northwest Montana.

“The Bachelor” filmed for two weeks throughout Whitefish, Columbia Falls and beyond. Besides receiving some nice exposure on television, the communities also cashed in on the shoot. According to the Montana Film Office, production of the “Bachelor” episode generated $199,425 for the local economy.

Filming occurred Oct. 2-14 at nearly a dozen local locations, including Grouse Mountain Lodge, Glacier National Park, Casey’s Bar, Hidden Moose Lodge and the Bar W Guest Ranch. Country singer Sarah Darling also performed on Central Avenue in downtown Whitefish.

The two-hour episode aired Feb. 4 and drew roughly 7.5 million viewers.

NZK Productions, the show’s main production company, temporarily hired 25 crew members from Montana and numerous local extras were involved in the filming, according to the Montana Film Office.

“From the very moment we arrived in Whitefish we felt welcome and we truly appreciate you all going the extra mile to ensure that we were not only comfortable during our stay, but that we were able to accomplish our vision of featuring your beautiful town as a romantic, exciting and absolutely stunning destination,” Producer Josh Figgs said in a statement.

The star of season 17 also had some kind words for Northwest Montana.

On his blog for People magazine, Lowe wrote, “Whitefish, Mont., is one of the coolest towns I have ever visited. The mountains, trees and rivers made this the perfect destination for romance.”

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