Posted: Feb 17, 2013 4:55 PM by Shannon Davis
Updated: Feb 17, 2013 5:05 PM
Community members in Anaconda are working together to restore the historic Montana Hotel. This project will cost nearly $5 million and several years to complete. They believe the final product could bring more commerce to Anaconda.
"Nobody thinks that by restoring a building we are going to bring back Anaconda," said Jason Posivio, board advisor to the Montana Hotel Restoration Organization. "It's about connecting everybody in the network. It's about getting the promotion out there, and utilizing the heritage in Montana and Anaconda."
The Montana Hotel was constructed in 1888. Today it is a shadow of its former self. The once four story building has been reduced to two floors. The third and fourth floors were removed in the 1970s, a solution to high property tax.
In August a group called the Montana Hotel Restoration Organization was formed to bring this building back to life.
"It's a big undertaking but it can be done," said Jo Strelnik, chairman of the Montana Hotel Restoration Organization.
The third and fourth floors will be reconstructed, according to Posivio. The third floor will be hotel rooms.
"If we can get the fourth floor back up then we are talking condos," Posivio said.
The bar and restaurant will be restored. There are plans for an Anaconda Museum and a children's interactive museum on the second floor.
"There's a possibility of having actually a spa down there," Posivio said of the large basement. "And it would be great to have like a cigar room, a wine room."
This business venture could potentially create nearly 90 jobs.
The Montana Hotel Restoration Organization is working as a non-profit sponsored by the Anaconda Community Foundation. They are pursuing ownership of the building, according to Strelnik.
The current owner has given the organization permission to enter the building. They are in the process of cleaning and going through all the items stored throughout the building.
"We got to start somewhere and this is a start." Strelnik said.
"You can't come through Anaconda without driving by the Montana Hotel," Posivio said. "If it was gorgeous, beautiful and if there's people and businesses and tourists walking in and out of the front doors that's going to affect every business in the city, and everybody is going to see it."
If you are interested in helping in this effort, the organization will be looking for volunteers to help clean. Keep an eye out for signs in the hotel windows, Posivio said.