Holland Lake Lodge permit questioned

Joshua Murdock

As the Flathead National Forest determines whether to move forward with a proposal to expand Holland Lake Lodge, the creation of the joint venture that proposed the expansion may have violated the lodge’s permit to operate on public land.

In a five-page memo released Nov. 15, attorneys George Corn and Daniel Browder allege that Utah-based ski corporation POWDR and Holland Lake Lodge owner Christian Wohlfeil violated the business’ special-use permit when two POWDR executives joined Wohlfeil as owners of the lodge, making the business a joint venture with Wohlfeil as majority owner. The permit, a common arrangement allowing a private business to operate on public land, specifically states that a change in the ownership or control of the business holding the permit is cause for the U.S. Forest Service to terminate the permit.

That has not occurred, which Corn and Browder wrote is a failure on the part of Flathead National Forest Supervisor Kurt Steele.

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The joint venture between POWDR and Wohlfeil has proposed 32 new buildings — including a 28-room lodge, a restaurant and 26 cabins — and the removal of 10 structures

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