Montana July 2017

Montana Skyscape

Why here?
With barely 1 million people scattered on its 147,040 square miles, Montana beckons outsiders with open spaces, glamorous resorts and outdoor activities galore. Start off in the "big" city, Billings, where Hilton opened a DoubleTree last August and the MetraPark Expo Center features a 10,000-seat arena.

 The 320 Guest Ranch on the northwestern edge of Yellowstone National Park offers a wide range of log cabins, from rustic to deluxe (with some fronting the Gallatin River), along with horseback-riding, fly-fishing and more.

 The Lone Mountain Ranch includes one- to six-bedroom cabins and the Horn & Cantle Restaurant. In winter, dinner at the North Fork cabin, lit by oil lamps, is a sleigh ride away.

The 37,000-acre Resort at Paws Up now features six luxury camping sites, including Pinnacle Camp. The property hosts up to 200 guests in a variety of room styles, and has 97,000 square feet of event space.

At Big Sky Resort, the fun extends beyond winter skiing and snow-shoeing.  Corporate groups can enjoy a two-hour zipline tour over the scenic Moosetracks gully, engage in a team-building session on the challenging High Ropes Course and bike more than 40 miles of mountain trails.  Find more group activities at here.


Local Update

 Last August, Hilton opened the 289-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Billings. Three miles from Billings Logan International Airport, the property has the Montana Sky Restaurant on the 20th floor, serving Western American fare, as well as 18,000 square feet of meeting space.

 American Airlines began once-daily service between Billings and Dallas on June 2.

Meeting Hotels: Properties in downtown Billings include the 316-room Radisson Hotel Billings, 289-room Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Billings, 230-room Red Lion Hotel, 160-room Northern Hotel, 127-room Best Western Plus Clocktower Inn and 108-room Big Horn Resort.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit

Convention Center: MetraPark Exposition Center; exhibit space, approximately 77,400 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 10; (406) 256-2400

Airport Transit: Billings Logan International Airport, about four miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, about $10. Many local hotels provide free shuttle service.

Taxes: Room tax, 4%; sales tax, 3%; total tax on hotel rooms, 7%

Group Venues:
 More than 7,000 contemporary works from the northern Rocky Mountain and northern Plains regions are housed at the Yellowstone Art Museum. The Visible Vault, which protects the artwork not currently on display, is available for events of up to 125 people for a reception and 60 for dinner. The main museum's first floor welcomes up to 200, and the entire facility can accommodate 300. (406) 256-6804

Henry's Garage is an event space with some quirky extras, such as a restored 1950s-era diner. The property is on three acres and features a log pavilion with a 24-foot-tall fireplace and grill. Entertain a group of up to 132 inside or  as many as 250 outside. (406) 855-7999

Words like local, sustainable and responsible apply to the menu at chef Jeremy Engebretson's Lilac Restaurant. Under the heading of modern American, dishes here include steamed mussels with braised kale, pickled peppers and onions, and red chimichurri broth; and bucatini pasta with ratatouille, chickpeas, basil and parmesan. The restaurant offers buyouts for groups of up to 50. (406) 969-4959

Chef Engebretson (see above) also lends his talents to the fine-dining at the Billings Petroleum Club, which recently completed a $500,000 renovation and hosts up to 300 people. (406) 252-6702

Contact: Visit Billings, (406) 245-4111