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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Grouse Mountain Lodge: A migratory pattern

Courtesy Grouse Mountain Lodge

“It has been a great place to work with and has run like clockwork, even under the prior ownership. My attendees love the food, the atmosphere and the beautiful location,” she said. “But it is an older place, and though it was always clean and well kept, it was definitely time for some renovations.”

This year, Grouse Mountain’s 143 guest rooms will get complete makeovers — from furnishings and flat-screen televisions to granite bath counters and high-thread-count sheets — as the lodge pushes toward a goal of achieving AAA Four Diamond status by 2013. A full-time concierge and a full-service spa — fashioned from a former board room and two guest rooms — are improvements soon to come.

“The guest rooms are quite spacious; however, they were dated,” said Marc Ducharme, director of sales. “The day spa was inadequate in size and in service. We see this as an opportunity to enhance the guest’s stay.”

To add warmth to guests’ arrivals, the lodge will add an outdoor fireplace beneath its new porte cochere, “a welcoming symbol,” said Ducharme.

With the exception of adding a boardroom to replace the one used for the new spa, GPI will make no changes to the lodge’s meeting space. “We feel it is updated and adequate as it stands,” said Ducharme.

Half of the lodge’s meeting space is in its midsection, where the lobby, restaurant, lounge and indoor pool are also located. Guest room wings are attached to each end.

The other half of Grouse Mountain’s meeting space is in the 3,520-square-foot Continental Divide conference center, which sits to the left of the lodge’s entrance and is connected to it by a covered walkway.

A 3,200-square-foot covered pavilion is a seasonal space used for dinners and banquets from April through October and is especially popular for reunions.

The remainder of the lodge’s meeting space is small breakout rooms. Among the most memorable is the 1,372-square-foot Glacier Room, with its windows and attached deck that overlook Whitefish Lake Golf Club. A fire pit on the deck can be an after-dinner gathering spot.

GPI’s ownership will open new options for lodge guests and groups. The company owns eight other area hotels, most notably the historic lodges in nearby Glacier National Park. Grouse Mountain is its only year-round property and has much more meeting space than any of GPI’s other properties.

GPI also operates Glacier National Park’s beloved Red Buses.

The lodge shuttle will transport groups to the park, where they can ride the Red Buses and hear the stories told by “Jammer” drivers, so named because the buses used to have standard transmissions, and drivers had to jam their way through the gears as the buses climbed the “Going to the Sun” Road. Groups will also be able to opt for an off-site dinner at Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier, a scenic 90-minute drive from the lodge.

“Our ownership will enable meeting planners and attendees to experience the park with seamless planning,” said Ducharme.