Lakeside alpine coaster to open in May without permit (copy)
BRET ANNE SERBIN
The Flathead Lake Alpine Coaster in Lakeside is scheduled to open May 25, according to its website, even though the developers don’t have the permit to operate yet.
Jessica and Torsten Wedel of Stevensville have been steadily building the alpine slide since securing a temporary approach permit from the Montana Department of Transportation in July 2022. They’re waiting on MDT to approve a permanent approach permit, which would allow them to engage in commercial activity on their property along U.S. 93. In the meantime, they appear to be going ahead with plans to launch the controversial coaster.
“If they operate in violation of their permit, MDT would take appropriate action,” Valerie Wilson with MDT warned.
The state agency plans to review parts of the project during the Montana Transportation Commission’s regular meeting on April 20 in Helena, but Wilson said some components of their application remain uncompleted. She pointed out the commission meeting is not an evaluation of the permit itself, but rather the commission will look at highway system modifications that might be included with the coaster project. Therefore, she explained, the meeting does not need to take place in Lakeside, where the project is based.