• Whitefish is home to a growing number of tech-based businesses. Photo by Jessica Lowry

    Whitefish becoming a high-tech home base

    Story and photos by JESSICA LOWRY

    It’s 8:30 a.m. on a sunny Wednesday Montana summer morning as Henry Roberts, 40, grabs his 1971 Raleigh Competition bike for his morning commute. Clad in a green plaid shirt and blue Patagonia hat, Roberts glides by rows of quaint homes that line the streets of Whitefish.

    The resort town, once known mostly for ski bums and a close proximity to Glacier National Park, is starting to turn heads for a new reason: a growing tech industry.

    Roberts, who works as vice president of creative for The ZaneRay Group, answers to clients like Filson and Patagonia.

    “Our foundation was about having a great real world job but living in Whitefish, Montana,” Roberts said.

    He cites a short commute both to work and recreation, winter hockey league and fresh powder at Whitefish Mountain Resort among the amenities that made him fall in love with the tiny mountain town.

    His creative work at the web development company keeps him challenged with brands known around the world, while his location lets him relax without the traffic or expense of a more urban environment.

    Co-worker Dean Hamilton, a lead engineer, finds the same satisfaction in the work-life balance he’s found at The ZaneRay Group. He counters his time at work with skiing in the winter and camping and backpacking in the summer.

    “Quite honestly I don’t know how urban people do it,” Hamilton said.  “At least I can work crazy hours here and then be home in 10 minutes.”


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