Hostel Hoping For A Fortunate Fall - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Hostel Hoping For A Fortunate Fall

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WHITEFISH -

Four new Flathead Valley businesses, which opened in the heat of summer, might be cooling off come fall.

After nearly a decade of going without, the Flathead Valley now has four new hostels--opened just in time for tourist season, but as the leaves begin to change, so might their business.

"The only drop-offs that make us a little nervous are the fall and the spring," said Kirtlye Lohof, co-founder of the Whitefish Hostel.

Sisters Kirtlye and Lynon Lohof, co-owners of the Whitefish Hostel, are worried about the middle ground between summer vacationers and winter skiers. They are not so much worried about any lasting effects of the recession.

"We knew that there was a need, especially coming off the tail end of an economic downtime, of somewhere more affordable for people to stay so that they can go on vacation," said Kirtlye Lohof.

At thirty bucks per night, the guest can expect something a little different from a chain hotel.

"You kind of have a home away from home," explained Kirtlye Lohof, "versus just a hotel room."

The Whitefish Hostel opened its doors on July 1 and until a recent hire to cover nights, the Lohof sisters were the only employees. This Monday will be Kirtlye Lohof's first day off in months--thanks to her mom picking up a shift.

Going into business together has been anything but a Cain and Abel story.

"The difference," Kirtlye Lohof pointed out, "is we know each other better than any other business partner we would have and we probably have a little bit more liberty to...like if somebody's not in a good mood to kind of call them out on it."

Despite the long hours, the sisters say they hope to expand their hostel over the course of the next decade while they continue to supplement their revenue with the only fully vegetarian menu in town.

In addition to the Whitefish Hostel, the River Rock opened in Columbia Falls this summer as well as the Whitefish Bike Retreat and the Montana Bike Hostel.

If you're thinking about taking a break on a budget, you can check out their web sites below.

 

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