Posted: Apr 1, 2013 12:07 PM by Shannon Davis
Updated: Apr 1, 2013 12:07 PM
DEER LODGE - A non-profit group in Deer Lodge recently accepted a loan from an anonymous benefactor to buy the Hotel Deer Lodge.
"I've never been inside the building while it has been viable. I've been in this building recently, and it needs help," said Deer Lodge Development Group President Kathy Bair.
The Hotel Deer Lodge was once the gem of Main Street, but today it's rundown, water damaged and needs a new roof.
"There is a lot of history in the building and I think that it is worth preserving," Bair said.
The Deer Lodge Development Group was recently loaned $30,000 to complete their purchase on the building.
The first step will be to stabilize and clean up the building. All the windows are boarded up, and as more grants become available to them, they hope to take the boards off so people can see into the building.
The group also hopes to do a feasibility test to see what the people of Deer Lodge would like the hotel to become.
"Everybody has their vision for the hotel. My vision for the downstairs would be a community area," Bair explained.
They've also discussed making room for office space, according to Bair. "I really don't know how long it will take us. It just depends n how fast we can get the funding."
The group says they understands they must repay their loan, but also say this opens a world of possibilities. They have not yet decided if they will historical preserve or renovate the hotel entirely.