News & Features

Custom Builders Provide Pandemic Relief

Bear Mountain Builders and Malmquist Construction team up to fundraise in support of frontline workers and local restaurants

With competing portfolios showcasing hundreds of high-ticket custom homes spanning the Flathead Valley, the teams at Malmquist Construction and Bear Mountain Builders are used to making dreams come true for their clients.

The two companies are also accustomed to bidding on those same big dreams within the confines of a relatively narrow market, fueling a healthy degree of competition.

With the coronavirus pandemic upending the economy and threatening the livelihoods of healthcare workers and first responders across the globe, not to mention disrupting the Flathead Valley’s service industry, the local construction firms decided to team up and see if they could use their friendly rivalry — and their client list — to drum up some positive support.

“We’ve always had a lot of respect for one another and an open line of communication,” Kelcey Bingham, who owns Bear Mountain along with his wife, Tawnya, said of Malmquist Construction. “We reached out to see if they wanted to partner on this and it really took off.”

Both companies pledged $8,000 each to purchase gift cards to local restaurants, which they plan to distribute to 135 employees in the health care system and who serve on the frontlines of the pandemic.

“The first thing we did was contact some of our past clients about what we were doing, and we had a windfall of responses,” Bear Barinowski, a project manager at Malmquist Construction, said. “It’s been a really positive thing. We’ve built homes for people in the medical community, and we asked them how we might be able to help people in the system. The nice thing about this is it also helps out the restaurants.”

Together, the companies raised nearly $50,000, which will be dispersed to people identified by hospital administrators as needing it the most.

“Tawnya and I both worked as first responders before starting Bear Mountain, and we have an idea what those families are going through,” Kelcey Bingham said. “When we were thinking about how to help during this, they were the first people we thought of.”