Former Many Glacier Hotel Manager, Ian B. Tippet Dies at 88

Ian B. Tippet, former Many Glacier Hotel manager and a 63-year employee of Glacier Park, Inc. (now named Pursuit) died of natural causes March 9 at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. He was 88. In addition to serving as the innovative and popular manager of Many Glacier Hotel, Tippet was also the concessioner’s head of personnel. His funeral home obituary can be found here.

I apologize for the delay in posting this information. I have been waiting for a news story about Tippet’s passing to appear in a Montana newspaper such as the Hungry Horse News, The Daily Interlake, or the Flathead Beacon. Apparently, none of them seems to know that he died. I presume his former employer doesn’t know it either for they probably would have issued a news release and caught the media’s attention.

My frustration comes from the fact that people in Northwestern Montana who knew Mr. Tippet and/or who knew of his work on behalf of Many Glacier Hotel’s long-time music programs for guests, should be told that a major participant and leader in the Glacier National Park community has died. Yet, I have no official status as a spokesperson so cannot officially contact the press.

Ian B. Tippet hired me as a Many Glacier Hotel bellman in 1963 and 1964. His expertise got Many Glacier Hotel open on schedule in spite of the devastating Montana flood of 1964. I was part of a skeleton staff that arrived early that summer and got swept up in the clean-up effort while the hotel was cut off from the rest of the world due to a washed-out road. I last saw him in Glacier Park in 2013, the 50th anniversary of my arrival as a seasonal employee. We talked for quite a while in spite of his busy schedule at Glacier Park Lodge that year.

We didn’t agree on everything, but I believe he was Many Glacier Hotel’s best manager, both old school service and new-ideas innovative; I doubt we will ever see anyone with his vision and competence again at any of the park’s concessioners–perhaps forever.


Finally, some news coverage:






Glacier Park, Inc. Terminates 63-year Employee

Tippet worked in an office in the lower level of Glacier Park Lodge at East Glacier, MT.
Tippet worked in an office in the lower level of Glacier Park Lodge at East Glacier, MT.

Ian B. Tippet, an employee with Glacier Park, Inc. (GPI)–the Viad subsidiary that manages hotels at Glacier Park–was terminated by the company February 24th in spite of an understanding that would have allowed the former Many Glacier Hotel manager and GPI personnel director to work as a consultant with the company as long as he’s ready, willing and able.

After Tippet posted an update on his Facebook profile two days ago that his promised position for the upcoming summer season at Glacier Park Lodge would not be continued, hundreds of current and former GPI employees as well as National Park Service personnel began offering their support on his page, via phone and e-mail. At the same time, stunned comments of concern and outrage are being posted on GPI’s Facebook page in the “recent posts by others” listing.

KAJ18 in Kalispell, Montana covered the story in Six-decade Glacier NP employee let go, noting that the last time Tippet didn’t work for the company, Truman was the President of the United States.

“I’m very disappointed,” he told MTN in a lengthy phone conversation from Phoenix Tuesday. “As of today I don’t have a job at Glacier. All I have is the ability to go up to my cottage and twiddle my thumbs. What the hell am I going to do?”

When I spoke to him outside his office at Glacier Park Lodge in September, he was looking forward to coming back this coming summer. I hope GPI will reconsider its decision. If you are a long-time friend of Mr. Tippet or a friend and fan of the park and wish to express your concern about this matter, contact Dan Hansen GPI Marketing and Public Relations Manager in Whitefish, MT at 406-863-4703 or via e-mail at

Or, you can protest directly to GPI’s top management at Viad Corporation:

Mr. J. K. Fassler, President
Glacier Park, Inc.
Viad Coorporation
1850 North Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 86004

Update March 1, 2014

Ian B. Tippet updated his Facebook profile a day ago, saying that while he will not be working or volunteering at Glacier Park Lodge this coming summer, he had a personal meeting with the GPI chairman. GPI will continue to provide a cottage as well as meals in the employee dining room, while Mr. Tippet works on his book about life and work in Glacier Park over the years. I’m pleased that GPI had the courtesy to meet with him and attempt to make things right after mishandling the situation at the outset.


Malcolm R. Campbell was hired by Tippet as a season employee at the park’s Many Glacier Hotel for two seasons many years ago.