Glacier Park, Inc. (GPI), a subsidiary of Arizona-based Viad Corporation, has announced it will make a substantial investment in the Glacier Park region by purchasing land and several businesses in the West Glacier and Apgar areas.
In particular, the company is acquiring Apgar Village Lodge, part of a 3.8-acre inholding within Glacier National Park. The lodge includes two small motel units, 28 cabins, and a registration building. The inholding also includes the Cedar Tree Gift Shop. In addition to the park inholding, GPI acquired West Glacier Motel & Cabins, West Glacier Restaurant & Bar, West Glacier Mercantile, West Glacier Gift Shop, and other associated properties including hundreds of undeveloped acres in and around West Glacier. The properties were purchased from the Lundgren family that has owned West Glacier Mercantile Company since 1946.
The company, in announcing the purchase, did not reveal the purchase price.
GPI, which last year lost its Glacier Park concession business to Xanterra Parks & Resorts, owns Motel Lake McDonald as part of a separate park inholding, Glacier Park Lodge, and St. Mary Lodge on the park's east side, Prince of Wales Hotel in neighboring Canada's Waterton Lakes National Park, and Grouse Mountain Lodge in nearby Whitefish, Montana.
Paul B. Dykstra, chairman and CEO of Viad Corporation, said the transaction makes GPI the largest provider of overnight accommodations, food and beverage services, and retail operations in the Glacier National Park area.
According to a story in the Billings Gazette, some residents of West Glacier are concerned about what might happen to some or all of the undeveloped land acquired by GPI. For example, is there a possibility for new housing developments, a large hotel, or dormitories for seasonal employees? The story indicated local individuals concerned about additional development had made inquiries following the 2012 death of the last of the original Lundgren investors regarding whether the family might be interested in selling. The intention was to purchase the properties in order to keep the land undeveloped, thus allowing the town to retain its original integrity. According to the Gazette article, the family denied at the time that they were interested in selling.