Whitefish Mountain Announces Long-Term Lease Agreement With Bierstube Owner
Whitefish Mountain Resort is pleased to announce that it has recently reached a long-term lease agreement with Bierstube business owner, Scott McIntosh. The 10-year lease with five-year option to renew was signed last week. As part of the agreement, the 50-year-old building will undergo an exterior “face-lift” including all new siding, doors, windows, roof and deck. The renovation project will begin this spring and be completed in time for the 2017/18 ski season.
“I am very excited about the future of the Bierstube. Having a long-term lease allows me to re-invest in the facility and I am looking forward to working closely with the mountain planning continued improvements,” Bierstube Owner Scott McIntosh said. “While the biggest changes in this renovation will be made to the exterior, some interior improvements will make our customers more comfortable while maintaining the bar’s charm.”
The new exterior design was completed by local Whitefish design firm Montana Creative architecture + design and will feature board and batten siding and tie in to the look of other current buildings in the Village. The deck will extend off the west end of the building and be partially covered by a gable roof. The Bierstube renovation project will be managed by McIntosh and completed by Dow’s Custom Construction of Whitefish, Montana.
While the resort celebrates its 70th anniversary next season, the Bierstube will lift beer glasses in honor of its 50th year in its current home. Although there has been a Bierstube in one form or another on the Big Mountain since 1947, the current building was approved by then President and General Manager Ed Schenck in 1967. It was built by Gary Tallman of Tallman Construction for Jim and Joyce Black, Big Mountain employees who took over management of the bar. Tallman and Black were long time ski instructors together.
In the early 1970s, the Blacks transferred ownership back to the ski area, who later leased the business to Whitefish business owner Gary Elliott who over the years oversaw several additions to the building and continued to support and enrich the legacy of the iconic bar. McIntosh took over the business 14 years ago. The building, owned by Whitefish Mountain Resort, has undergone several recent maintenance projects including restoring the foundation in 2011 and razing the deck in 2014 due to unstable footings.
In its five decades the Bierstube embodies more than the title of being the mountain’s first après ski bar, it signifies a link to the past. The walls and ceiling are covered with old photographs, retired ski area signs, ski memorabilia and a well-worn stuffed monkey of historic significance—a ski patrol mascot that represents a tradition that pre-dates the building. From its rugged rafters to its tables carved with the signatures of patrons of past eras, the building maintains an aura that conjures the mountain’s colorful history and the unique character of a classic Montana bar.
“The ‘Stube has long been part of our skiing heritage and culture for everyone from the part-time employee to the homeowners across the street. It’s both a fixture of the past and the heartbeat of the mountain today,” added McIntosh. “It is very exciting to preserve this piece of history for decades to come.”