This has only a tenuous North Fork preservation angle, but it’s momentous news for the area . . .
Most of the business district of this iconic entrance to Glacier National Park – and undeveloped acreage in and around the little village of about 225 people – has been sold to Glacier Park Inc., a subsidiary of Viad Corp. of Arizona.
Bill Lundgren, whose family has owned the West Glacier Mercantile Company since 1946, and Paul Dyststra, chairman, president and CEO of Viad, weren’t returning phone messages Monday or Tuesday, as rumors of a possible sale mounted.
But GPI president Cindy Ognjanov confirmed Wednesday morning in a news release that a deal had been struck to purchase almost 200 acres of land from the Lundgrens at the park’s west entrance. Included in the sale are the West Glacier Mercantile (which sells everything from food to fishing tackle), the West Glacier Gift Shop, the West Glacier Shirt Company, the West Glacier Motel and Cabins, the West Glacier Bar (known locally as Freda’s) and the West Glacier Restaurant.
Another 3.8 acres inside the park, at Apgar, are also part of the sale, and include the Apgar Village Lodge and Cedar Tree gift shop.