About this Report

GATEWAY TO GLACIER: About this Report | Introduction | Download the Report

About this Report
   Gateway to Glacier: The Emerging Economy of Flathead County is a synthesis of three technical studies on Flathead County's economy conducted by researchers at the University of Montana. Unless otherwise cited, the data and other information supporting this report's findings are found in those three studies. 

   The detailed technical studies are available in PDF format.  Click on the report titles below to download. For more information (or if you cannot download these reports and want a printed copy) contact: Northern Rockies Regional Office, NPCA, P.O. Box 824, Helena, MT 59624; 406-495-1560; e-mail: northernrockies@npca.org.

   The three studies synthesized in this report are:

  • The Flathead's Changing Economy: Assessing the Role of National Parks in the Economies of High Amenity, Non-metropolitan Regions of the West
    LARRY D. SWANSON, Ph.D., Associate Director and head of the Regional Economy Program, O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West, The University of Montana, Missoula (2002). Swanson undertook an extensive economic analysis of Flathead County to 1) identify and assess key trends and patterns of change, 2) evaluate the influence of Glacier National Park on the area economy, and 3) evaluate economic trends in other national park gateway communities around the western United States. This analysis is based on an evaluation of Flathead's economic characteristics and performance relative to "peer" counties throughout the West with similar economic and demographic profiles.

  • What the People Think—Glacier National Park and Vicinity
    NORMA NICKERSON, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research, The University of Montana, Missoula (2002). Nickerson surveyed opinion research focusing on Flathead Valley residents, and visitors to Glacier Park and the Flathead. Her report details specific characteristics that draw residents and visitors to the area, perceptions of change in the valley's natural environment, and concerns about the future.

  • Business Perspectives on the Flathead Economy, Conservation and Glacier National Park
    JASON LATHROP, Graduate student, The University of Montana, Missoula. (2002) Lathrop interviewed 80 Flathead Valley business owners and managers from a broad spectrum of business sectors. His report explores business leaders' attitudes about the Flathead's changing economy, local communities, business environment, community leadership, Glacier National Park, and conservation.


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