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Business

Everything Christmas in Kalispell 

Former Glacier Raft Company owner Cassie Baldelli is switching gears after a decade on the river to open a pop-up Christmas store on Highway 93

By Maggie Dresser
Elf dolls on display at the Everything Christmas store in Kalispell on Nov. 11, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Last spring, longtime river outfitters Cassie Baldelli and Jeff Baldelli sold Glacier Raft Company, turning it over to hospitality company Pursuit, ending their involvement in the business after four-and-a-half decades in the family name in West Glacier. 

Cassie Baldelli helped run the raft company for 10 years along with Glacier Outdoor Center, managing fresh raft guide crews every summer, who took hundreds of tourists down the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. 

In her first year since selling the company, Baldelli has gone on to new ventures that leave her family with more flexibility to raise their three young children, which includes opening a pop-up store in Kalispell called Everything Christmas this holiday season. She’s employing some of those same river guides who she’s managed at the raft company for years. 

“Since we sold our business in April, we have been looking for something else and this opportunity came up,” Baldelli said. “We don’t have anything like this in the valley that’s open for a couple of months dedicated to Christmas.”

The Baldelli family at their Everything Christmas store in Kalispell on Nov. 11, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The 9,600 square-foot building, which hosts Spirit Halloween in the fall, is the temporary home to Santa’s workshop where festive lights, gingerbread houses and Christmas trees now fill the space. No longer selling trips down the river in inflatable rafts, Baldelli now sells giant inflatable decorations in the form of Santa, reindeer, Christmas trees, Frosty the Snowman and more.

Everything Christmas will have a grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 19 with a special visit from Santa Claus and a mixture of nationwide and local vendors, including Moonlight Bakes Bakery, which will be hosting a Christmas cookie class on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. All decorating supplies will be provided, and free wine will be available for attendees who are over 21.  

On Saturday, Dec. 10, the store will host a “make and take” wreath class and Santa will visit every weekend. There will be a gingerbread house making class on Nov. 26 and Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Baldelli says she wants to focus on customer service at the store to cut down on holiday shopping chaos, which often includes long lines and a short staff at many stores. 

Ornaments on display at the Everything Christmas store in Kalispell on Nov. 11, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

After 10 years of running the raft company, Baldelli she’s excited to interact with customers again after their first summer off from guiding folks down the river. 

“It’s similar in a lot of ways – the retail components at the raft company carried over but it’s also totally new,” Baldelli said. “I’m fortunate to have several employees who wanted some work in the wintertime and I have the privilege of working with them again.”

The Baldellis still run Glacier Homestead cabin rentals in Bad Rock Canyon and they say the sale of the raft company has given them more time to spend with their kids. 

“It was very bittersweet,” Baldelli said. “It was nice to be spending the summer with my kids. It’s definitely a transition and an adjustment from being so busy all of the time, but it’s been a good adjustment.”

Everything Christmas is located at 2375 U.S. Highway 93 in Kalispell and will be open through Dec. 31. 

For more information, visit Everything Christmas on Facebook. 

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