Holland Lake Lodge Proposal Causes Backlash

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Iris Lowe, Reporter

     Holland Lake Lodge has been located on the shores of Holland Lake in the Swan Valley of northwestern Montana since 1925, and provides a great view of the Swan mountain range. It contains a 41-site campground. On Thursday Sept. 1st The owner of the lodge partnered with POWDR, a Utah based ski resort  and proposed an expansion of the development, adding new lodges, cabins, a restaurant and parking lots. The proposal has drawn in more than 5,000 comments and concerns from the public.

     Many of these concerns surround the potential impacts on the environment surrounding Holland Lake, between the Mission and Swan mountain ranges. The proposed expansion would nearly triple the existing footprint. 

     The other concerns are what other changes might occur if the US Forest Service gives the go ahead to the project. The lodge expansion is assumed to bring in crowds of tourists, as well as opening the gates for more development in the valley. 

According to NPR, Grace Siloti, co-owner of the Mission Mountain Mercantile, said, “ It’s not going to stop with the Holland Lake Lodge.” Siloti believes that expansion will only be the start of a string of developments. 

Another concern that was proposed was Montanans not being able to afford to stay in the lodge anymore. When the lodge expands, prices will rise and it will become an area for only the wealthy visitors.

     POWDR, the partner company, is working to convince the public that the expansion will not change the character of Holland Lake. The owner of the company made it clear that they care about the environment and promised to be a good steward of the land, as well as adding that the expansion will not go beyond the proposed idea. But the public is not convinced, and according to Montana Public Radio, over 100 people gathered near Holland Lake Lodge last Thursday for an informal public meeting discussing the expansion. 

     Many people reposted the expansion on their Instagram stories, unhappy with the proposed idea. 16-year-old Sophia Miller, said that she and her family used to do day trips to Holland Lake when she was a kid. Miller said that hearing about the proposal was
“disappointing.” She said, “It’s not going to be the same as it was when I used to go there.”

Montanans who spent summer days at Holland lake fishing and recreating are not happy about this new expansion, changing the place that has been the same for years.