The Future of Holland Lake Lodge
Renewing Holland Lake Lodge for the next 100 years of solitude and recreation.
An Update on Holland Lake Lodge.
Holland Lake Lodge, nestled in the heart of Montana's breathtaking wilderness, has been a cherished part of the POWDR portfolio for several years. Over its 100-year existence, the lodge has garnered recognition for its commitment to providing guests with an unforgettable outdoor experience, featuring rustic accommodations in a pristine natural setting. It’s long-time steward, Christian Wohlfeil, made preserving this special place his life’s work.
Our intentions were to enhance the guest experience and upgrade the infrastructure so it could remain viable for another 100 years, with sustainable materials, processes, and systems to reduce impacts of visitation. Our development plan was driven by a desire that all Americans enjoy the lodge, the lake, and the surrounding areas. This is an oft-forgotten part of the U.S. Forest Service’s mission that POWDR works hard to realize across our portfolio.
Our decision to withdraw the permit application, and entertain new offers for investment, is a strategic one. We remain deeply committed to our mission of inspiring every human being with cool experiences in awesome places.
We will continue to work closely with Christian during the next phase of this process. It is our sincere hope that a buyer will emerge with a desire to continue the history of the Lodge in a sustainable way that meets the challenges of Montana’s continued growth, while still offering affordable accommodations to guests. We firmly believe that success will come from intentional growth and are supportive of the State’s plans for thoughtful, sustained economic development.
We’re appreciative of everyone who stood in support of our plans, as well as those who joined us in constructive conversations. While vitriol made the headlines, there were so many people – both from Montana and afar—who shared in our vision and understood the need to grow with intention and to preserve America’s public lands by making them accessible.
October 16, 2023
A message from Holland Lake Lodge, Inc.
We recently received a request from the U.S. Forest Service to provide more detail on our Master Development Plan. We very much look forward to doing that and continuing to work with the USFS, as well as the public, during the process.
Our intention from the beginning of this process was to upgrade the infrastructure of Holland Lake Lodge in a sustainable way that would preserve the integrity of the lodge and environment without sacrificing affordability for residents and others seeking to marvel at the grandeur of our natural spaces.
Our company was founded on the premise of providing broad access to the outdoors in a safe, sustainable manner that would create generations of nature lovers who, in turn, would join us in becoming advocates of ecological stewardship.
We plan to resubmit our plan for future investment and infrastructure improvements at Holland Lake Lodge that is very much in line with our previously submitted Master Development Plan. It will prioritize renewable energy and precautions to prevent negative water, air, or soil impacts. In our resubmittal, we will support the Forest Service’s recommendation to conduct an Environmental Assessment. While we believe there will not be adverse impact to the environment, the mechanism for how to evaluate the impacts against NEPA guidelines has always been less important to us than the conclusion. We are confident that any analysis, driven by data, science, and the experts at the Flathead Forest, will support our Master Development Plan going forward. We will share more information on the NEPA process when it’s available.
Our plan will also incorporate several modifications that came from the previous public comment period - constructive ideas from those who want the best for the Lodge and the land. We will share more of those details in the coming weeks.
Our plan will not, however, compromise on scale as a smaller lodge with fewer, more expensive lodging options would not align with our mission of making the outdoors more accessible to a broader spectrum of customer.
We remain steadfast and optimistic to fulfill the vision for Holland Lake Lodge that many Montana residents, and other Americans support. Like so many others, we marveled at the beauty and realized immediately the uniqueness of Holland Lake, the Lodge, and the surrounding community. We see an opportunity to make needed improvements to the Lodge to ensure it’s a place where the public is able to experience the area and be touched in the same way we are. The environment and ecosystems where we work and operate is our top priority and we have no desire to conduct business in a way that undermines that.
As always, we are grateful to the community and all those who have made comments and welcome their feedback regarding our plans at www.hollandlakefuture.com.
November 23, 2022
Holland Lake Lodge, Inc. and its joint venture partner, POWDR, announced that they have submitted a Master Development Plan (MDP) to the U.S. Forest Service to improve accommodations at Holland Lake Lodge, a rustic lakeside resort located in the Swan Valley, which was originally built in 1924 and last updated in 1947. The MDP proposes to restore the old lodge, add buildings, and upgrade infrastructure.
Learn more about proposed improvement plans and how you can weigh in below.
Why We're Planning for Improvements
The current Lodge and surrounding structures were built in 1947. They’re beautiful and well-loved for their rustic charm and serene landscape. It’s a place where many Montanans have spent their family weekends and vacations. The area brings a sense of community values and is true to Montana roots. To maintain this sense of community pride for generations to come, many buildings and facilities are outdated and in serious need of repair. It’s well-loved and now must be well-cared for by a team with the knowledge and resources to renovate these spaces while retaining the character that makes them special.
This is why the current owner, Christian Wohlfeil, has been looking to sell the property. His goal has been to ensure that the necessary updates will be made, thus allowing Holland Lake Lodge to prosper into the future. After years of searching and considering new owners, Christian selected and partnered with POWDR to continue his vision of inclusivity in a newer and more sustainable Holland Lake Lodge.
The Master Development Plan (MDP) is intended to preserve the spirit and integrity of what is here while upgrading facilities so we can share this place with guests for years to come. Christian chose to work with POWDR to make updates that preserve the character of the lodge because of the company’s dedication to protecting the environment and being inclusive of all guests and local residents. His input and local knowledge and experience was critical to development of the initial plan.
As proposed, the Master Development Plan will restore the proper foundation and infrastructure to the property. Planned upgrades for the wastewater and sewage systems, non-motorized boat docks and employee housing will improve guest experience and ensure that those working at the lodge have clean, safe accommodations. The current proposed updates to the infrastructure would be more sustainable for the lake as they are made to help with conservation and environmental protection.
Plans include increasing occupancy by adding a new lodge, new cabins and smaller studio cabins, with the goal of keeping nightly rates accessible. The current plan also would winterize the buildings, making Holland Lake Lodge a year-round destination. The additional months of tourism would positively impact the surrounding communities and businesses, as visitors come and help power the local economies.
The US Forest Service and POWDR are doing environmental assessments and welcome public feedback about their improvement project.
Partnering for Much-Needed Updates
Preserving the Fabric of Holland Lake Lodge
Proposed Improvement Plan... Would/Would Not
Preserve the lodge, owner’s cabin, and barn
Maintain open access to local residents
Provide overnight stays to the public
Add wildfire and life safety fire suppression system
Update wastewater and sewage systems to 2022 standards
Construct buildings to 2022 safety and accessibility standards
Winterize buildings for year-round access
Conserve water by upgrading to EPA approved WaterSense fixtures
Conserve energy by upgrading to EPA EnergyStar certified appliances, lighting and heating
Improve waste management by installing bear proof trash and recycling receptacles
Improve water quality in the lake by moving car parking away from the lake towards the barn
Add renewable energy with rooftop solar where feasible
Protect the night sky by following the International Dark Sky Park Program
Protect nesting loons
Reduce human-bear conflict
Educate the public on local ecosystems
Partner with local guides and outfitters to offer guests more activities
Add a 28-room lodge, welcome center, restaurant, and cabins
Add a maintenance building and employee housing
Install a dock for non-motorized boats and two swimming docks
Maintain an Adirondack inspired aesthetic for new building design
Provide year-round lodging, food and beverages, and accommodations
Build private housing developments
Develop major condo buildings
Construct ski lifts and ski hills
Build large hotels
Eliminate or reduce local access to Holland Lake
Change the Adirondack-inspired design
Feedback from the Community
"The improvements sound amazing and are very timely. Thank you!"
"I love the Power proposal. It is wonderful to know the future of Holland Lake Lodge is being planned for in such a positive way. Thank you!"