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FairBridge Inn up for council decision

by BRET ANNE SERBIN
Daily Inter Lake | February 7, 2022 12:00 AM

The future use of the FairBridge Inn, Suites & Outlaw Convention Center will be determined Monday by the Kalispell City Council.

Fortify Holdings, a Portland hotel company, is in the process of purchasing the property — formerly the Outlaw Inn — with a closing date scheduled for Feb. 12. Fortify hopes to turn the hotel into 250 studio apartments, and the company is seeking a conditional use permit for the conversion.

As part of the renovation, however, approximately 100 current guests of the extended-stay portion of the hotel will be displaced. Current residents and concerned citizens spoke to the City Council on Jan. 18 imploring it to help the hotel guests, but the Council felt “helpless” to intervene, in the words of Council member Sandra Carlson.

According to the current plans for the property, the rooms would all be upgraded, a new interior design scheme would be introduced, and site improvements would be put into place to address the parking area and recreational facilities.

“Existing convention facilities and other commercial areas will be renovated for general commercial uses to be determined,” states the meeting agenda.

The Kalispell Planning Board held a public hearing on the proposal Jan. 11 and forwarded the plans on to the city council for approval.

ALSO ON the agenda for Monday’s meeting is a conditional use permit request for an accessory casino inside the Kalispell Mercantile Building in downtown Kalispell.

Bergen, LLC, which represents a proposed new bar known as KM Speakeasy, is requesting approval of an accessory casino in the basement of the KM Building.

According to the agenda, “An accessory casino is one that is tied to a primary use such as the proposed new bar, is limited to 20% or less of the floor area for that use and is shielded from view, both outside and inside the building.”

The casino was discussed at the Jan. 11 Planning Board meeting and forwarded to the city council for approval.

Finally, at the Monday meeting, Flathead City-County Health Officer Joe Russell will give the council an update on Covid-19 in the county.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 201 First Avenue East.

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at 406-758-4459 or bserbin@dailyinterlake.com.