Opinion

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Letter

Transplants Are Here to Stay

Our generation is carving out our own lives in many different new ways

I just wanted to let everyone one know, to those who hate these new transplants in the area, we are here to stay. We came here just like everyone else in the last 200 years looking for new opportunities for ourselves and families. While we might not all be lumberjacks, miners and the much-needed tradesman, we are committed to this place. Our generation is carving out our own lives in many different new ways. We are buying homes, starting countless small businesses like our beloved breweries that keep sprouting up all over the valley. We are investing in our community. That’s right, it’s ours and that includes you. Enjoy sipping the craft brews or dining in the local restaurants? Chances are they were started by a transplant. The hate toward city developments like walkways, community centers, and other places that one would spend their time in the community is just plain sad. People constantly complaining about tax dollars being ineffectively spent, out-of-towners overcrowding things like a ski lift, and just a general dislike of change to the area is sad. I have late breaking news for you folks, change is coming, and the area is growing. The new places you like to shop and eat like in Hutton Ranch Plaza do years of researching to make sure there is enough people to even put an establishment in. The only reason they are here is because we are here and more people will continue to move into the valley. In turn, more great business will continue to sprout up, both national chains, and our beloved local small businesses. We are also so excited with downtown Kalispell becoming vibrant again with the new greenway project.

Local established businesses having nothing to fear either. Work hard, provide great customer service and you should expect your business to grow according. The small local business I currently work for has had record-breaking sales over the last five years with this year to be one of the best yet. Sure we carry top brands, but it’s the customer’s experience that we strive to be best at. Outside of Montana most of America has fierce competition and the customer experience reigns supreme because there is always a dozen other guys providing the same product and service. The most successful companies find their success by delivering consistent and quality customer experiences.

I’ll say it, I’m a millennial, a transplant, but I am also a homeowner, local, and employee in Kalispell. At the age of 30, my wife and and I finally can say we are homeowners despite how many obstacles we had to jump through to get here. We came to Montana for new opportunities for both of us, and most importantly the outdoors. I was born and raised in Maine, both in the mountains and by the sea, and Montana’s Flathead Valley was perfect. So many mountains to climb, hike, ski and snowshoe. So many lakes to boat on, swim and kayak on, and just amazing all around outdoor playground. It’s the main reason so many people move here. Those of us who live in the Kalispell eastside and westside communities are beyond excited to have a walkable downtown like those in Whitefish and mountain valleys all across the West. The opposite of economic growth is a shrinking economy where people lose jobs, businesses leave, and everyone loses from business owners to property owners. All I’m saying is get off your Facebook social media soap box and go grab a pint at the local brewery, or catch some live music in the community park this summer. We are all friendly, and we want to have a healthy, and welcoming community that includes the several generational residents, transplants like us, and visitors from all over the world to little Flathead Valley and Kalispell.

Tony Gowell
Kalispell