KALISPELL – The Event at Rebecca Farm outside of Kalispell draws visitors from over 24 states and 3 Canadian Provinces.
Flathead valley anchor Don Fisher and reporter Nicole Miller join us from The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell.
This weekend is the peak weekend of the season in the Flathead Valley. The Event brings upwards of 8,000 to 10,000 spectators to the valley
We know from a study by the University of Montana that in 2016 the Event had a $5.5 million economic impact on the Flathead.
I visited a local hotel who say they bring in more this weekend than any other.
Scott Rieke bought the Best Western Plus Flathead Lake Inn and Suites six years ago. The family-owned and operated business has 60 rooms, seven suites and is located off Highway 93 near Flathead Lake, boasting views of the Swan Mountain Range.
But without a reservation, there is no guarantee you’ll get a room.
"We’ve been selling out our rooms every night. We will sell out all summer. Basically from July 4th all the way through September, usually the hotels are sold out here and so the demand The Event has just pushes on top of that."
This weekend will be the business weekend of the season for the hotel. The event drives up supply and demand of the rooms.
Rieke says during an already busy week, the Event will push rates up to $300 or more per night. That’s nearly three times higher than off-season rates.
"This Event, coupled with the demand for Glacier National Park and Flathead Lake, and the Flathead Valley produces a demand that the hotels can’t keep up with, and so if people don’t have their reservations it can be hard to find one and we have had to turn people away for as far as four hours from here to find rooms."
Visitors to The Event this year came from over 24 states and 3 Canadian Provinces many for the first time.
Rieke says that gives the Valley exposure and those guests return.
"These events like the Event at Rebecca Farm help bring people to the community that have never been here before."
And it’s not just hotels. For gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores, this weekend is the peak weekend of the season in the Flathead Valley.
Halt Cancer X
Over the years, Halt Cancer at X has contributed more than $500,000 to various cancer-fighting causes, and this year, it continues that tradition.
Organizers say this year nearly $29,000 as of Thursday evening) has already been raised
Funds are raised through $10 parking donations and competitor pledges. The money goes to support national and local cancer research and resources.
Here in the valley, such organizations such as Save a Sister Montana, Flathead Cancer Aid Services and the Cancer Support Community Kalispell have received community grants.
Halt Cancer at X was created in 2012 in memory of Rebecca Broussard, founder of the Event at Rebecca Farm. Her daughter, Sarah Broussard, now organizes The Event.
She says Halt Cancer at X is one vessel but the life-changing work of the cancer-support organizations and the community is the bigger ship.
"This project has gone farther and broader than I had ever expected. And to be supported by the local community, as well as the Event community, is heart-warming to me and basically leaves me in awe every year," she said. "To see the numbers Halt Cancer at X raised each year, it boggles my mind."
Of the $500,000 donated, nearly $182,000 has gone to benefit local programs. The other went towards national research.
Broussard says the goal is to someday find a cure.