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County Approves New Assisted-Living Home In Bigfork
Rising Mountain Assisted Living is expected to open in the spring
Courtesy rendering | Alan J. Petersen Architect
BIGFORK – Flathead County commissioners have given the green light to the construction of a new assisted-living facility in Bigfork, which could open as soon as next spring.

Once completed, Rising Mountain Assisted Living will be a $4 million, 30-room facility, just north of Bigfork. The project is headed up by Bill and Charlene Dale, who helped start Prestige Assisted Living in Kalispell and Riverside Senior Living, now known as The Springs, in Whitefish.

“It’s just a wonderful opportunity for someone because they can remain independent and still have a supportive environment,” Charlene said. “It’s all about dignity.”

Bill and Charlene began working on the project more than a year ago. They purchased five acres behind Pope John Paul II Catholic Church just north of Bigfork. Working with the Bigfork Land Use Advisory Committee, Flathead County and the Catholic Dioceses, the Dales were able to rezone the land from agricultural to residential.

The location’s proximity to Bigfork and medical facilities in Kalispell made it a perfect fit for an assisted-living center, Charlene said.

The building will have 30 apartments, with the option of adding eight more the following year. The facility will also include fine dining, an activities room and spa. Bill said he expects to employ 10 to 12 people once it is up and running.

According to the Montana Census and Economic Information Center, Montana is one of the oldest states in the nation and will see its 65-and-older population increase by 104.8 percent between 2000 and 2030. Flathead County will see its senior population increase by 200 percent.

“Our vision is to complete the community of Bigfork, to make it easier for seniors to stay here,” Charlene said.

Bruce Solberg, executive director for the Bigfork Area Chamber of Commerce said the new facility was a much-needed addition to the community.

“I think it’s just fabulous for the Bigfork community because it gives us Baby Boomers an option to keep our parents here,” he said.

Bill and Charlene said they are currently getting their investors ready and construction should begin sometime around Nov. 1. Bill, whose background is in construction, said he plans to build through the winter and finish in April or May. Charlene said they are currently accepting applications for residents and those interested can call (406) 270-4147.
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