Date posted: 12/31/2010
Many many thanks to Jon Axline who nominated us for the National Register of Historic Places, and we welcomed the Montana Historic Preservation Board as they met in Billings to hear the nominations. We were notified in August that we were accepted - such an honor - we recently received our plaque, which will go up just outside the Lobby entrance (as soon as we can determine how to do it without compromising our weeping mortar!).
We provided our warm western hospitality to many groups this year, including DPHHS, FSA, Crowder College, YMCA Strong Kids Tournament, MT Arabian Horse Association, Nations Summit, GWCA Reunion, Talking Circle, School of Christian Mission, GWTA, Docktor Memorial, Mt Synod, MISO, ABS Travel, Civil War Education Association, Northern Cheyenne Board of Health and Utilities Commission, MT Cowboy Hall of Fame and a Dude tradition, the YMCA Writers Voice & Bookfest.
The Soda Butte Lodge sent us many foreign students and we were honored to welcome them to our Country and the "Wild West"!
Our long relationship with the TX Ranch continued as their foreign customers delighted in the western theme of our hotel and we made sure they got all their "western" duds!
And let's not forget the great community of Arlee, who converged on Billings for the Class C State Basketball Tournament! You were part of our family by the time you checked out!
Entertainers love the ambiance of the Dude Rancher and we hosted the touring company for "Annie" (she loved her gift basket!), Windwood Productions' "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Montana Repertory Theater, Copper Street Brass Quintet, the San Diego Ballet performing the Nut Cracker Suite, Roseneath Theater and Shakespeare In The Parks. Our heartfelt thanks to Sean Lynch for using the Dude for lodging for his many entertainers and production people - and for the great music he brings to Billings!
We hosted/sponsored the Great Rockies Sports Show, MATE, Home Improvement Show, Big Sky Polkafest, NILE and the NRA Finals. Local sponsorships included Billings Family Services, Rocky Mountain College, Rimrock Opera, Billings Symphony, Big Sky State Games, Yellowstone Downs, Billings Outlaws and the Farmers Market.
Our Fireside Room saw lots of activity this year in many forms! Wedding showers, board meetings, a fundraiser for the MT Healthcare Assoc. Scholarship Foundation and was converted to a classroom for the students touring with "Annie"! The activity will culminate on New Year's Eve with a WEDDING! What better way to end the year?
And what a fabulous year of exposure! The Montana Paranormal Research Society conducted two investigations resulting in some very interesting evidence! Karen Stevens' newest book, Another Haunted Montana, was published in the Fall and features a chapter on the Dude Rancher Lodge. Renee Christianson of Montana Fun Adventure Tours continued her Annual Ghost Tours, originating at the Dude Rancher, and KULR-8 and KTVQ both broadcast stories on the tours, featuring the Dude! Magic City Magazine's March edition featured the Paranormal Society on the Dude Rancher Investigation with lots of photographs and history of our historic property. The Billings Gazette published a wonderful article announcing our placement on the National Register of Historic Places. Montana Magazine ran an article by Jon Axline entitled "Old West Overnight" and Distinctly Montana Magazine features us as the only Billings property in their Western Getaway Roundup of their Winter edition. Most recently, award winning author, Craig Johnson, talks about the Dude in his newest short story, "Unbalanced".
Words cannot express our gratitude and appreciation to all of our loyal customers. It has been our pleasure to provide food and lodging, a shelter from the storm, a hot cup of coffee and warm place to hang your hat! Here's to 2011!