Before heading to Flathead Lake Resort, Brittain Kovac and her husband, Josh Shuckman, had been RVing full-time and traveling much of the world. Kovac first visited the valley in July 2020 and immediately fell in love with the community and the scenic views.
“My jaw dropped when I got to the top of the hill in Polson and he didn’t come for the 24 hours I was here. Everything was perfect,” Kovac said. “The cherry stands were open, which made me feel like I was in Jamaica. As I continued up the eastern shore I saw the mountains reflecting in the lake and this stretch of highway looked like Costa Rica. Later I was sitting on the north shore in Somers and felt like I was on the Adriatic coast. The canola fields were in bloom and everything was yellow. These moments here brought together all my travels around the world in one place.
The couple quickly decided to settle in the Flathead Valley.
After moving to Bigfork, Kovac and Schukman met Flathead Lake Resort owners Jenny and Chris Evans. The Evans wanted to provide a glamping experience at the resort and Kovac and Schukman had the drafts to make it happen. After a month of conversations and vision sharing, Kovac and Schukman agreed to manage Flathead Lake Resort located in Woods Bay.
“We just realized what they wanted to do, which was also what we wanted to do,” Shuckman said. “Our visions aligned perfectly and we have a great business relationship with them.”
HAVING COLLECTED five Airstreams, Kovac and Schukman have come to know the brand intimately over the years.
“Airstreams are iconic and last forever,” Schukman said. “They have a timeless design and are solidly built.”
Airstreams can be rented at Flathead Lake Resort along with a hostel, boutique-style rooms, and dog-friendly cabins. The couple said they work hard to offer a wide range of prices to meet their guests’ travel needs or experience.
“Housing is expensive in the valley, so we’ve added a hostel to provide safe, clean and affordable accommodation,” Kovac said. They also added a clubhouse for guests to mingle and play games.
Kovac likes to bring a vintage, nostalgic look to the resort and said each room has its own personality.
“Jenny and Chris had everything in place before we got here,” Schukman said. “Brit just brought a special vintage vibe to every room.”
Some unique features of the rooms include a Kovac sink constructed from a 1930s sewing machine, mountain trimmings, a bunk bed, and second-hand furniture. Kovac and Schukman want each room to have a different feel and bring guests back year after year so they can experience the other types of accommodations.
THE COUPLE is proud to offer environmentally and socially responsible products such as “Who Gives a Crap” toilet paper that builds toilets in third world countries, boxed water, soap and shampoo Ecopod, Buffy pillows and Envision bin bags which are biodegradable. Kovac and Schukman are passionate about reducing waste and keeping the community clean and beautiful.
Flathead Lake Resort offers a private beach for guests where they have occasional bonfires and s’more parties. The resort checks itself in and has added smart keypads to streamline the process. Schukman said they provide fast and reliable Wi-Fi to accommodate working nomads. Guests can also rent kayaks, paddle boards, or canoes for $25 per day. Kovac’s insider tip is that guests can paddle the lake to the Raven for lunch and live music.
The couple are partnering with local businesses to encourage tourism in Wood’s Bay and Bigfork. Max’s Market, for example, is a sister company that hosts live events at Bigfork and offers discounts to customers. Schukman said the community has been instrumental in helping them grow and be successful in their year and they want to give back.
While Kovac and Schukman planned to be full-time roadies, they said the community of Bigfork and Wood’s Bay showed them everything they didn’t know they were missing.
“We were on the road for many years and visited many places around the world, but this is where we stayed, which says a lot about the area,” Schukman said.
To learn more about Flathead Lake Resort, visit www.flatheadlakeresort.com or find them on Instagram @FlatheadLakeResort