Tourism Advisory Council

The Governor-appointed Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) oversees the distribution of the Lodging Facility Use Tax ("bed tax") to Montana's tourism regions and convention and visitor bureaus, advises the Department of Commerce relative to tourism promotion, and fulfills other functions as defined by MCA 2-15-1816

General Information

Upcoming Meetings:

  • June 5-6, 2023 Location TBD
        TAC Full Council Meeting  

Future Meetings:

  • October 2-3, 2023

Archived TAC Meeting Minutes:

February 6, 2023 | Audio Minutes | Action ItemsAgenda

December 12 2022 | Audio Minutes| Agenda
October 3-4 2022 | Audio Minutes (10/3) | Audio Minutes (10/4)| Agenda
July 7 2022 | Audio Minutes | Action Items | Agenda
June 13-14 2022 | Audio Minutes (6/13) | Audio Minutes (6/14) | Action Items | Agenda
February 7 2022 | 
Audio Minutes (A.M.) | Audio Minutes (P.M.) |Action Items | Agenda
January 6, 2022 | Audio Minutes | Action Items | Agenda
October 4 2021 | Audio Minutes (A.M.) | Audio Minutes (P.M.) | Action Items | Agenda
June 14-15 2021 | Audio Minutes (6/14) | Audio Minutes (6/15) | Action Items | Agenda
February 8  2021 | Audio Minutes (A.M.) | Audio Minutes (P.M.) | Action Items | Agenda
October 6 2020 | Minutes
June 8 2020 | Minutes
February 10 2020 | Minutes
October 7-8 2019| Minutes
June 10-11 2019 | Minutes
February 4 2019 | Minutes
April 3 2019 | Minutes
April 11 2019 | Minutes
September 24-25 2018 | Minutes
June 11-12 2018 | Minutes
April 15 2018 | Minutes
October 2-3 2017 | Minutes
June 12-13 2017 | Minutes
February 13 2017 | Minutes
October 4 2016 | Minutes
June 6-7 2016 | Minutes
April 10 2016 | Minutes
October 6 2015 | Minutes
June 1-2 2015 | Minutes
February 2-3 2015 | Minutes
October 6-7 2014 | Minutes
June 2-3 2014 | Minutes
April 13 2014 | Minutes
February 3-4 2014 | Minutes

 Alicia HarveyAlicia Harvey, Chair (Bozeman)


Background of life and work in Montana: I was born in Cut Bank and spent most weekends and summers at our family cabin near Essex. I earned a business degree in hotel & restaurant administration and a minor in business management from Washington State University. From there, I had the pleasure of working at resorts and luxury guest ranches in Scottsdale, Page, and Greer, Arizona. In 2003, I moved back to Montana to be the Director of Sales, Marketing, and Business Relations for Glacier Park, Inc. In 2012, I became Delaware North's Director of Sales & Marketing for West Yellowstone, Whitefish, and the following national parks: Yellowstone, Olympic, and Grand Canyon. In June 2016, I became the Director of Marketing at Museum of the Rockies. Outside of work, I love to downhill ski, X-country ski, mountain bike, golf, play tennis, hike, swim with sharks, and rocking out on my Pearl drum set. I am a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters, a volunteer for Huffing for Stuffing, and a member of Montana State University's Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts Industry Advisory Board.

Favorite Montana place or activity you would recommend to someone visiting Montana: When you take the time to visit the 14 museums along the Montana Dinosaur Trail, you will experience authentic Montana hospitality and breathtaking scenery. You will view hundreds of fossil specimens, and discover what life was like in our state 65+ million years ago. The vast array of dinosaurs on display, the wide-open spaces, scenic high plains, unique waterways, and the breathtaking night skies of Central Montana, Missouri River Country, & Southeast Montana will have you falling in love with the unique geography and people who live and work there. Remember to purchase your Montana Dinosaur Trail Passport to earn a reward after getting it stamped in each museum and enjoy your travels around Montana!

Consider a few days in Yellowstone Country, along the Bear Tooth Highway, around Yellowstone National Park, and alongside the area's magnificent rivers while visiting Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman. A Smithsonian Affiliate and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the museum is world-renowned for displaying an extensive collection of dinosaur fossils, including Montana's T. rex! A trip up to the Glacier Country's Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park is a must, so dip back into the NW corner of Central Montana along your way for two truly unique dinosaur museums located on the stunningly rugged Rocky Mountain front. 

Which of the three Montana tourism brand pillars do you most closely associate with: I have spent most of my career in the hotel and restaurant industry in and around our western US national parks, so I most associate with "Breathtaking experiences by day, and relaxing hospitality at night." However, I have also worked closely with the businesses, chambers, and CVB's in these park's gateway communities, so I also closely associate with "Vibrant and charming small towns that serve as gateways to our natural wonders." 

Mike-Johnson.jpgMike Johnson, Vice-Chair (Butte)


Background of life and work in Montana: Montana has been my life-long home. My professional experiences include time in the utility industry, higher education, and hospitality management. I am the President of a hotel management company responsible for the operations of 11 Montana hotel properties. The geographic dispersion of these hotels includes Anaconda, Butte, Kalispell, Missoula, Polson, Shelby, and Sidney. Butte is my home where my wife Kami, a hotel General Manager, and I have raised our two young-adult sons and proudly watch them pursue their dreams through an education at Montana Tech. 

Favorite Montana place or activity you would recommend to someone visiting Montana: Although Montana has multiple places and venues that are spectacular, I believe the finest place in Montana is Flathead Lake. Whether you are exploring the quaint community of Bigfork, tourism the touring the routes around the lake by car, eating in Lakeside, hiking the nearby trails, exploring the wonders of Polson, or just parked by the side of the road admiring the wildlife—it does not get much better than Flathead Lake!

What direction would you like to see our tourism products/strategies expand in the future: Our tourism products and strategies need to be expanded to include a broader look as the Hi-Line and eastern Montana opportunities for recreation, hunting, fishing, and exploring. These regions of our state have so much to offer and are seldom celebrated. It is time to start the celebration. 

 Chris DanticChris Dantic (Glendive)


Background of life and work in Montana: I was raised in Laurel, MT. I graduated from Eastern Oregon University. I have been involved with recreation management for 20 years. I have managed a National Historic Landmark, worked at both a National Monument and National Historic Trail Visitor Center. I lived in Great Falls for 10 years, Billings and currently Glendive. 

Favorite Montana place or activity you would recommend to someone visiting Montana: Floating, flying and farming. Float the Yellowstone River, which is the longest undammed river in the lower 48 states. Take in the permitted Smith River and all its beauty. Read the Lewis and Clark Journals while floating along the scenic White Cliffs of the Missouri River. Take a flight over Big Sky Country as visitors are always awe-struck by the many different landscapes. Farm to table and agri-tourism is a must for any visitor.

What direction would you like to see our tourism products/strategies expand in the future: The last best place deserves a first-place medal. Montana is a tourism destination for every demographic. I am honored to work with this amazing and talented team. I look forward to working with my council members helping expand astrotourism and agritourism opportunities and strengthening our relationships with our tribal leaders. Recreation is already a big part of Montana’s tourism and economy and I hope increasing unique recreational experiences will help this piece of Montana’s tourism.

Glenniss IndrelandGlenniss Indreland, TAC Chair (Bozeman)


Background of life and work in Montana:  Being raised on a cattle ranch near Livingston provided a tremendous work ethic and appreciation for the land. I attended Montana State University where I studied graphic design. After getting my degree, I ventured out, working in advertising, design and multi-media in the Chicago area and later with a large advertising agency in Albuquerque handling the Albuquerque CVB. Upon returning to Montana, I settled in Bozeman and worked with the Big Sky Resort marketing department for nearly 30 years. I recently revived my freelance graphic design and marketing business with an emphasis on historic and non-profit support materials. My extra-curricular involvement includes cycling, camping, volunteering at various arts organizations around Bozeman, and participating in a bucket-drum corps.

Favorite Montana place or activity you would recommend to someone visiting Montana: Many visitors have checked Yellowstone National Park off their bucket list, so I recommend visiting one of our 55 State Parks. I have visited a dozen of them myself, and am continually amazed at the natural and cultural resources we have in Montana. An adventure day is complete with a Montana micro-brew, found all across the state.

What direction would you like to see our tourism products/strategies expand in the future: When combined with the impact of outdoor recreation, tourism is the leading economic driver for the State of Montana. I hope our residents understand the value of inviting visitors to our beautiful state – respectful visitors who will appreciate all we have to offer: from the mountains to the prairies, from the vibrant towns to the Indian lands. As agri-tourism experiences grow, I hope that this renewable resource partnership will positively affect all areas of the state.

HaylieHeadshot-1.jpgHaylie Schipp (Glasgow)

Born and raised on a cow/calf operation north of Glasgow, Haylie did a tour of eastern Montana for college and started her professional career in agricultural radio upon graduation from MSU Billings in 2008. With roots deep in rural Montana, she found her way back home in 2014. 

She now manages communications and outreach for the Ranchers Stewardship Alliance, a rancher-founded nonprofit dedicated to ranching, conservation, and communities. Actively trying to get back into a more hands-on role on the family ranch, she currently handles the books. In 2016, she opened a small, boutique-style store in Glasgow. Seven years later, Shippwrecked is still going strong under her guidance. In her spare time, she does contract radio work for two agricultural communications networks and can be heard in eleven different states.

She was recently named to the Montana Agritourism Fellows Program and, through that role, looks forward to helping farms and ranches across the state explore the opportunities of adding an agritourism enterprise to their current practices.

What direction would you like to see our tourism products/strategies expand in the future?

As a state, Montana has a lot of “gimmes” when it comes to tourism. Gorgeous peaks. Crystal clear waters. Huge open skies. Tourism needs to run deeper. As you start peeling the layers, there is a culture often missed. 

I want Montana tourism to start connecting to the people alongside the landscape. How many volunteers does it take to run a small-town rodeo for 100+ years? What are our ranchers doing to maintain a healthy, open landscape? Why are people still here fighting for their communities and their neighbors? 

Rather than observe, I want tourists to start diving in. Pull the gate at a mutton busting. Give the funny-smelling ranch dog a good scratch behind the ears. Grab a chair next to someone at a small town café. The coffee is cheap, but the conversations are rich.

Jeff EweltJeff Ewelt (Billings)


Please provide a brief background of your life and work in Montana: I have been involved with animals for twenty years. Upon my graduation from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Communication, Education and Interpretation, I was working at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio as a presenter and animal trainer.  In 2000, I accepted a position at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo as the Animal Ambassador Manager.  After 10 years in Florida, along with my wife and newborn son, I decided to slow things down a bit by moving to Montana.  In 2011, I accepted the position of Executive Director at ZooMontana in Billings.

What is your favorite Montana place or activity you would recommend to someone visiting Montana: ZooMontana!  My team and I have worked incredibly hard since 2011 to bring back the zoo from near closure.  It is an incredible day trip that can inspire, educate and excite multiple generations.  As the only true zoological park in Montana, ZooMontana is dedicated to education and the conservation of wildlife around the globe.  In terms of outdoor recreation, a true hidden gem is the Bighorn Canyon. You MUST boat it. 

 Which of the three Montana tourism brand pillars do you most closely associate with: "More unspoiled nature than anywhere else in the lower 48".  There is never a time that I head outdoors with my family and come home disappointed. Every corner of this remarkable state offers something unique. Whether it is the badlands of Terry or the glaciers of Glacier National Park, the range of beauty is unmatched. For me personally, the most striking aspect of this unspoiled nature is the silence within these areas.

Joan Kronebusch (Conrad)


Please provide a brief background of your life and work in Montana: My autobiography could be entitled “From Carhop to the Corporate Office”.  Since my short-lived career at the Conrad, MT Tastee Freeze in 1977, every job I have had has been in the tourism industry – one aspect or another.  At 15 I enjoyed telling people where to go and how to get there, and still do.  I have held tourism sales and marketing positions in Great Falls, West Yellowstone, Butte, Billings and back home to Conrad, where I reside today.  I am currently in Sales and Marketing for Town Pump Hotel Group.Being named Sales and Marketing Person of the Year by the Montana Lodging and Hospitality Association in 2016 is just slightly above being selected Miss Congeniality at the Pondera County Junior Miss Pageant in 1979 – both awards are on display in the office. I love the Montana State Bobcats, the NY Met’s and traveling the red roads!

Favorite Montana place or activity you would recommend to someone visiting Montana:  Open the map and take a "red road" to any small town in Montana. Have lunch on main street where the muddy pickups are parked and save room for pie.  Stay for the parade where the horses outnumber the politicians, where everyone salutes the flag and knows to the Grand Marshall.  Catch the rodeo, whether it be stick horse or rough stock and be sure to cheer for the mutton busters.   Peruse the shops, donate to the local fundraiser, admire the tractors,  visit the museum and make plans to return next year.

What was your most incredible Montana experience and why:  Other than growing up on a Farm and learning how to work hard and play hard, I’d say the 3rd of July Fireworks display in Butte!  Spectacular!

Which of the three Montana tourism brand pillars do you most closely associate with: "Vibrant and charming small towns that serve as gateways to our natural wonders."  Having grown up in a small/rural town near Glacier Park. I saw early on impact the Park had on our community.  Visitors stopped to or from the Park. 

 Nathan-St-GoddardNathan St. Goddard (Browning)


Background of life and work in Montana: I was born and raised in Montana, and I am an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation. I graduated from Browning High School and earned my undergraduate and law degree from the University of Montana. I am a practicing attorney licensed in WA and MT. In 1950, my grandparents established the oldest family owned business on the Reservation, Johnson's of St. Mary, right outside of Glacier National Park. After my mother passed away from cancer in 2016, I resigned from my position as the Attorney General of the Blackfeet Nation and took over the family business. 

Favorite Montana place or activity you would recommend to someone visiting Montana: Recreating in and around Glacier National Park is a must, especially the Eastside. Glacier, including the Blackfeet Reservation has so much to offer that visitors will not be disappointed. The Eastside of Glacier is not overly commercialized, which affords visitors with and authentic Montana experience. I recommend visitors eat and stay at Johnson's of St. Mary, where everything is homemade and the views from the campground are spectacular.

What direction would you like to see our tourism products/strategies expand in the future: Efforts should be made to focus on, promote and stabilize small businesses. These businesses are the lifeblood of Montana's economy. Over the past several years, businesses have experienced closures and staff shortages. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our small businesses have been dealt a knock-out blow, closing their doors forever. Help is needed for businesses to survive. Stimulating tourism in Montana begins with supporting its small businesses.

Lindzy RothNicolle Fugere (Fort Benton)


Background of life and work in Montana: I am a 4th generation Montanan who has experienced Montana’s outdoor recreation my entire life. I Graduated from MSU Billings with a Special Education and Elementary Education degree. During college and as an educator, I guided multi-day canoe trips in the Wild and Scenic Upper Missouri River National Monument. I appreciate the varied history, biology and geology of this River. Helping guests experience this part of Montana and seeing them relax and truly enjoy themselves makes my heart happy.  In 2017, I purchased Missouri River Outfitters and became a young female business owner in the Montana Outdoor Tourism Industry.

Favorite Montana place or activity you would recommend to someone visiting Montana: My favorite place in Montana is the 149 Mile section of the Wild and Scenic Missouri River Breaks National Monument. The history is extensive and encompasses the core of discovery, westward expansion, steamboat navigation, plains Indians, homesteading, fur trapping, fur trading, and agriculture development. The geological formations on the river form “scenes of visionary enchantment” during the day while the stars are breathtaking at night.  When on the river you have nothing to do but go with the flow.

Which of the three Montana tourism brand pillars do you most closely associate with: The brand pillar I most closely associate with is "Vibrant and charming small towns that serve as gateways to our natural wonders". I am proud of Fort Benton and how hard our community, local businesses, and museums work toward improving and promoting our small town of Fort Benton.  Our locals make Fort Benton a warm and welcoming place for visitors.  Small towns illustrate our Montana way of life with a more relaxed “stop and smell the roses” experience, genuine friendliness of local residents and quick willingness to help because they care.

PaulMakarechian.jpgPaul Makarechian (Bozeman)

Paul Makarechian is the Founder/CEO of Auric Road Management, LLC. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara and began his career on Wall Street before returning to California to support his family’s business. In 2001, he formed Makar Properties, LLC combining his expertise in finance and commercial real estate with his passion for unique properties. He has acquired, entitled and redeveloped over $2 billion in real estate projects, including the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, CA, Pacific City in Huntington Beach, CA and the renovation of the Hilton Anaheim, California’s largest convention center hotel. In 2015, Paul formed a new experiential hospitality brand called Auric Road. It currently has new 5 resorts underway including: Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, MT, Hotel Joaquin in Laguna Beach, CA, Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs, CA, Sonoma Coast Villa in Sonoma County, CA and Rex Ranch near Tuscan, AZ. Paul has served by Presidential Appointment on the Small Business Administration, has served as a Board Member of MiOcean Foundation, the Board of Governors of Chapman University and is a longstanding member of the Young Presidents Organization. Paul currently serves as the Founder and National Chairman of Alder (previously known as Gen Next). In 2021 he was appointed by Governor Gianforte to serve on Montana’s Tourism Advisory Council. He was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Museum of the Rockies, as well as to the National Advisory Board of Warriors and Quiet Waters. He has a passion for travel, ancient history, wine, snowboarding, horseback riding, fly fishing, scuba diving, and back country adventures (and of course bourbon and whiskey). He, his wife Anna and their three young children reside in Bozeman, Montana.


Sabre Moore (Ekalaka)


Background of life and work in Montana: I am the Executive Director for the Carter County Museum in Ekalaka, MT, home of the Annual Dino Shindig. My work focuses on developing collaborative partnerships for educational projects with Carter County Public Schools, Museum of the Rockies and Montana State Parks. I received a Bachelor's in History at Montana State University and a Master’s in Museum Studies and Nonprofit Management from Johns Hopkins University. Born and raised on a ranch in Wyoming, I am intimately familiar with small communities and her work with groups across Montana gives her a special insight into the ways museums can impact Montanans. 

Favorite Montana place or activity you would recommend to someone visiting Montana: I would recommend that travelers include Southeast Montana and Medicine Rocks State Park on the "must-see" list. Calls "as fantastically beautiful a place as I have ever seen" by Theodore Roosevelt, the park is a place where history and wonder meet. The sandstone monoliths date back millions of years and are carved with inscriptions. Much of Montana's wildlife can be seen within the park and the night skies are full of start.

Which of the three Montana tourism brand pillars do you most closely associate with: The brand pillar I most closely associate with is "Vibrant and charming small towns that serve as gateways to our natural wonders". LIving in Ekalaka, I have learned that small communities are purveyors of Montana's iconic hospitality, deep history and stories that stick. Locals know the shortcuts and memorable sites, serving as excellent guides to adventure and the best places to have a snack along the rest of your way. 


Steve WahrlichSteve Wahrlich (Billings)


Background of life and work in Montana:  I put butts into beds.  I have owned and operated hotels throughout the west since 1974.  In 2005 I purchased and continue to operate the Best Western Plus ClockTower Inn in Billings, Montana.  I believe and practice trying to make the state of Montana better. My belief is, if the state of MT does better, the city of Billings will do better, downtown Billings will do better and in the end my business will do better; which will give me more time and opportunity to make the state better.

Favorite Montana place or activity you would recommend to someone visiting Montana: My favorite place in Montana isn’t one place; it is enjoying the outdoors of Big Sky Country.  Whether it is skiing in the winter, hiking in the spring or summer, fishing, bike riding, camping, golfing or just relaxing under the Montana sky with friends, Montana cannot be equaled for its quality of outdoor activities.

What was your most incredible Montana experience and why: On my first trip through Yellowstone National Park in late September, the sun was setting as I was coming around a blind corner, (yes probably driving faster than I should) I literally ran in to (didn't hit) a large herd of Buffalo. I was awestruck by the sheer size and tenderness of this animal.  I had never seen such a majestic creature that appeared to have no care in the world just walking down the road.  Amazing!