Whitefish provides free downtown parking (map) which includes 2-hour on-street parking and three 3-hour parking lots. To allow for snow removal or street sweeping there is no parking from 2:30 am to 6 am.
Parking Management Plan
The City of Whitefish recognized the need to improve and add parking to downtown Whitefish. In 2019, Dixon Resources Unlimited was contracted as a consultant to develop a management plan with participation with staff and intensive community engagement with downtown businesses and institutions to engage the public, interview stakeholders, and observe parking operations. The Management Plan (PDF) will serve as a foundation for the establishment of a sustainable parking program and better manage the existing parking facilities. City Council held a work session on September 16, 2019, and held a Public Hearing and adopted Resolution Number 19-33 October 21, 2019.
Parking Permit Implementation Committee
The City Council established the Parking Permit Implementation Committee (Res No. 20-05) to provide suggestions and feedback with respect to a pilot employee parking permit program proposed by City staff, to consider modifications and expansions to future versions of the program, and to evaluate a potential residential parking permit program in light of the effects of the employee pilot permit. The Committee consists of employees of retail establishments, bar, restaurant, professional office, or hotel/lodging establishments located in the Pilot Parking Permit Area. The meeting agendas are posted to the Agenda/Minutes page.
Downtown Whitefish Parking Permit Pilot Program
At their regularly scheduled meeting, April 19th, the City Council held a Public Hearing and adopted Resolution No. 21-12, a Resolution establishing a parking permit pilot program and setting the fee for parking permits. The demand for better "all-day" employee parking options is called out in the Management Plan. Employees and business owners in the downtown corridor repark and shuffle their vehicles to avoid over-time parking citations.
The Parking Permit Implementation Committee, consisting of Chris Schustrom - Chair, Josh Branstetter, Michelle Howke, Hilary Lindh, Mike Rossi, Tyler Furry, Leslie Hunt and Jeremy Grossman, has met several times to discuss a pilot program. On March 15, 2021, the Committee and the City Council held a works session. Based on their experience with downtown parking, the Committee recommended an affordable and flexible parking permit pilot program. The pilot program will run for two months during the peak season, July 1, 2021 through August 31, 2021. The cost of a permit will be $20 per month, equivalent to the fine for a parking ticket. Only one license plate will be valid per permit. Permitted parking will be allowed in any of three designated surface lots: south of the Whitefish Community Library (west side of lot), at Third Street and Central Avenue, and at First Street and Spokane Avenue, or the uncovered third level of the City Hall Parking Structure.
Parking permits will go on sale soon through the online portal of the City of Whitefish website. For more information, please contact Michelle Howke, email@example.com, or call 406-863-2400.
Where You Can Park if You Work Downtown
There are plenty of unrestricted parking options within walking distance of downtown. The Downtown Parking Q&A Brochure is a good guide to parking downtown.
The Parking Facility (PDF) on the corner of E 1st Street and Baker Avenue is a three floor parking structure that has 77 free, three-hour parking spaces on 1st Level, 62 covered lease parking spaces on 2nd Level, 75 uncovered lease parking spaces on 3rd Level, with 3 handicapped lease parking spaces.
The Parking Facility is enforced from 6 am to 6 pm. Monday through Friday (excluding City Holidays), including lease parking. During other times, the entire Parking Facility is open to the public, free of charge. The City Council has approved the following rates and discounts for the parking structure.
|Additional bulk discount deducted from the monthly lease rate for bulk purchase of 6 or more parking space leases in one transaction||3% (total bulk discount of 5%)|
|Discount deducted from the monthly lease rate for bulk purchase of 3 to 5 parking space leases in on the transaction||2%|
|Discount deducted from the monthly lease rate if a purchaser buys 12 months of parking space leases in one transaction||5%|
|Initial monthly lease rate for a covered parking space in the parking structure||$40 per month|
|Initial monthly lease rate for an uncovered parking space in the parking structure||$30 per month|
|Opening period for free, unlimited use of the parking structure||From opening day through Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - free, unlimited use|
Payments are not refundable but may be transferred by changing the license plates that are assigned to a parking space.
License Plate Recognition Software
License plate recognition software is used instead of permits, tags, or hangers. A Permit Holder has the option to assign up to 10 vehicles per permit, but only one of those vehicles is valid to park at one time. The Permit Holder is responsible to manage the multiple vehicles.
Please read the City of Whitefish Lease Parking Permit Terms and Conditions (PDF) for more information regarding lease parking. To lease a parking space(s) the City of Whitefish has partnered with ParkMobile to pay online with a credit/debit card. The Finance Department, Customer Service Clerk can also assist with those paying cash or check.