Between it’s sheer size, rural landscape and epic mountain ranges, it’s no wonder that Montana is called “Big Sky Country.” But while the 41st state may be known for it’s natural beauty, but also has a long and rich history.
Whether you’re a history buff or simply a curious tourist, Montana has plenty of museums and sites to quench your thirst for knowledge.
If you’re interested in Native American history, be sure to include these sites on your list:
• Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
Here you can learn about Custer’s famous last stand against Sitting Bull in one of the few well-recounted tales of Native American battlefield prowess. On the Crow Indian Reservation, there is a visitor center and museum, and rangers give free lectures in the summer.
• Museum of the Plains Indians
This museum in Browning honors the diverse culture, talents and skills of the multiple tribes of the area including Crow, Cree, Sioux, Cheyenne and Blackfeet. A permanent exhibit presents a variety of creative achievements by Native American artists and craftspeople.
Learn the true stories of the early American Wild West at these historical destinations:
• Bannack State Park Ghost Town
Explore one of the iconic American histories – that of the Wild West where gold seekers and cattle ranchers frequented saloons and brothels. Bannack is one of the country’s best-preserved ghost towns, formed at the start of the Gold Rush in the 1860’s and slowly emptying out of the 50 wooden buildings as the gold ran out.
• Miracle of America Museum
Located in Polson, this well-reviewed museum features a collection of Americana artifacts dating from early pioneers to the present. Their hodge-podge collection includes everything from a stuffed buffalo to a logging towboat. You never know what you’ll see at this quirky and fun museum!
If natural history is more your style, Montana has it in abundant supply at these locales:
• Madison Canyon Earthquake Area Visitor Center
Earthquake Lake in Yellowstone formed when a quake caused a slide, which then dammed the Madison River Canyon. Instead of going inside a museum, you can walk along the interpretative trail that explains the largest earthquake to ever hit the Rockies.
• Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center Great Falls
There are 20 listed attractions on the Montana section of explorers Lewis and Clark’s Montana segment of their travels. These range from the Great Plains Dinosaur Museum in Malta to the old mining town of Zortman where you can still mine for gold to the White Cliffs of Missouri, only accessible by water.
Explore all of these amazing historical Montana destinations on your next trip and stay at great local lodgings like Town Pump Hotel Group .
Named one of the 10 highest rated TripAdvisor GreenLeaders in the U.S., Town Pump Hotel Group is home to six hotel brands in 13 cities and an RV Park and Resort equipped with full hook-ups, Wi-Fi, laundry facilities and more.
To plan your next vacation, visit TownPumpHotels.com or call 1-800-442-4667.
There are a ton of reasons people travel – for work, for vacation, for family – so it makes sense that hotel choices also vary greatly. To help pare down the wealth of options, here is a list of characteristics to look for when choosing the right hotel for you.
Price – The budget is the most obvious and important deciding factor for a hotel. Being able to spend $50 or $500 a night is the difference between a modest motel and a four-star penthouse. Once you’ve determined the amount of money you’re able to comfortably spend, you can then start to filter your choices on a wide range of preferences.
Location – If you want to walk to the beach, be near a public transportation hub, stay next to the airport or convention center, or be in the center of downtown, you can find a hotel that is exactly where you want it to be.
Don’t forget, you can also forgo the location aspect if you have a car and simply drive to popular attractions. Choosing your hotel in relation to particular point of interest or neighborhood is easy to do as well, thanks to online map views. This super handy tool that allows you to see all the hotels in the area you want to stay.
Ambiance – The vibe and local flavor of a hotel is another key consideration. Perhaps you’re looking for quaint inn or maybe a soaring modern skyscraper is more your style. If your trip is for business, you might prefer a convenient and safe spot. But if this is a romantic weekend getaway, then a hotel with a cozier and more intimate atmosphere is more appropriate. Every hotel has a personality and you want one that meshes with your own.
Rewards – If you use a certain credit card or frequent a particular company often enough, then you can be rewarded with upgrades, reduced rates or even free hotel nights. Check to see if your credit card offers such rewards or sign up for a hotel’s loyalty program if you enjoyed your stay and will be traveling frequently.
Perks - Wi-Fi, movie channels, free breakfast, parking – these are all amenities that could be charged individually or be included in the hotel cost. If you’re looking to save on costs, try looking for a hotel without all the extras. Don’t forget specialties as well, such as being dog friendly, eco-friendly or family friendly. Each of these options might offer specific enticements or deals.
Time – The amount of time you plan on spending in your hotel should be a factor in the decision-making process. If you’re looking to relax, order room service and swim in the hotel pool, then you want a room that is comfortable and spacious enough for your party. However, if this is a trip for exploring the city or working a lot of hours, then a nice clean bed might be the only true necessity.
Traveling to Montana this summer? Find the perfect lodging for your needs at a Town Pump Hotel Group property.
Named one of the 10 highest rated TripAdvisor GreenLeaders in the U.S., Town Pump Hotel Group is home to six hotel brands in 14 cities and an RV Park and Resort equipped with full hook-ups, Wi-Fi, laundry facilities and more. Whether you’re looking to stay in the center of the city or near Montana’s or Idaho’s outdoor attractions, you’ll find your home away from home at a Town Pump hotel.
To plan your next vacation, visit TownPumpHotels.com or call 1-800-442-4667.
Butte , MT; April 29, 2014 –
For the second year in a row, the Comfort Suites in Helena has received the Platinum Award from Choice Hotels. The Comfort Suites Helena ranks 13th out of 573 Comfort Suites hotels in the United States and Canada. To achieve the Platinum Award, the hotel must place in the top 3% of all hotels in the brand. “We are excited to receive this award for the second time” said Melissa Buckley, hotel general manager. “Our team understands that the success of our hotel is dependent on pleasing our guests” she continued. The Comfort Suites Helena has consistently ranked number 1 out of 22 hotels on Trip Advisor.
After receiving the Gold Award for the past two years, the Sleep Inn & Suites Idaho Falls has been designated as a Platinum Award Winner for 2013. This hotel is ranked 6th out of 370 Sleep Inns in the United States placing it in the top 3% of all Sleep Inn hotels for guest satisfaction and brand standard compliance.
“We strive to deliver the best possible service to our guests that we can” said hotel general manager LaDean Egan. “We try to do all of the little extras that will want to make our guests return or recommend us to their friends.
The Sleep Inn and Suites is currently ranked number 1 on Trip Advisor in the Idaho Falls area.
In its first year of eligibility, the Sleep Inn and Suites Miles City has received the Gold Award. Ranked 13th out of 370 Sleep Inn hotels, the Miles City hotel narrowly missed receiving the Platinum Award. “While we are happy to have received the Gold Reward, which is awarded to the top 10% of all Sleep Inns,” said hotel general manager Chad Ridenour, “we know that we have the potential to improve in 2014” he continued.
The Miles City Sleep Inn is currently ranked number 1 out of 7 hotels in the Miles City area on TripAdvisor.
Also receiving the Gold Award from Choice Hotels this year is the Comfort Inn & Suites in Shelby. With a guest service and brand standard ranking of 114 out of 1,255 Comfort Inns, the Comfort Inn & Suites Shelby currently ranks number 1 on Trip Advisor in the Shelby area.
“Last January our team decided we wanted to be as good as the best Comfort Inn so we decided to go for the gold,” said Steve Blazer, hotel general manager. “Our goal for 2014 is to achieve the Platinum Award” he continued.
“We are pleased that our hotels have received these awards” said hotel operations director Bill McGladdery. “Great guest service has to happen every day in our hotels’, we are pleased to see that these four hotels have received this recognition from both our guests and Choice Hotels.”
Miles City, MT; April 21, 2014 –
The list is based on the hotels that have achieved the peak “Platinum” status in the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders™ program, and are the most popular with travelers according to the TripAdvisor Popularity Index™. The hotel ranked 4th out of the 10 hotels on the highest-rated GreenLeaders™ list. The Sleep Inn & Suites Miles City consistently ranks number 1 out of 10 hotels on TripAdvisor in the Miles City market for guest satisfaction.
“We take our impact on the environment very seriously,” said General Manager Chad Ridenour. “We utilize an energy management system that shuts off electronic appliances and heating/air-conditioning when the rooms are vacant. Since we opened, we have partnered with Clean the World to recycle the used soap and shampoo, use compostable plates, cups, and utensils in our breakfast area, capture the heat from our dryers to pre-heat the water for our washing machines, and use LED lighting in our signs and exterior lighting,” he continued.
“Given that Earth Day is April 22 we are very excited to have the Sleep Inn be the only hotel in Montana to receive this recognition,” said Town Pump Hotel Operations Director Bill McGladdery. “Many of the systems we use at the Sleep Inn were incorporated in the design phase of this hotel and are utilized at other Town Pump facilities across Montana,” he continued.
The Sleep Inn & Suites Miles City features 90 smoke free rooms with their signature Design to Dream™ décor, indoor pool, exercise room, business center, breakfast room, elevator and over 2,500 square feet of flexible meeting space.
The hotel is one of 13 hotels operated by Town Pump in Montana and Idaho.
Idaho Falls, Idaho. (June 11, 2014) – Sleep Inn Idaho Falls, franchised by Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, today is celebrating its recent 2014 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award distinction after guests shined a spotlight on the hotel as one of the top ten properties for service in the United States.
“The greatest honor in this recognition as one of the top ten hotels for service in the United States is that it came from our guests,” said Bill McGladdery, director of operations for Town Pump Hotel Group, Inc. "It is a true testament to the effort put forth by our team to ensure that every guest’s experience is memorable and of the highest quality. From investing in new bedding and lobby furniture to treating every traveler like a VIP, our team consistently goes above and beyond to offer guests a truly memorable travel experience.”
In its twelfth year, the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Exceptional Service Award winners are determined based on the quality of reviews and ratings for service, and are selected by the people who know them best – travelers. Every year, millions of TripAdvisor travelers from across the world provide the reviews and opinions that determine the winners of the prestigious award.
“We are extremely proud of the Sleep Inn Idaho Falls team for earning this well-deserved recognition,” said Anne Smith, vice president of brand strategy for Choice Hotels International. “With their outstanding service, the Sleep Inn Idaho Falls location is an excellent representation of the Sleep Inn brand. And, the guest experience at this hotel is only getting better as it continues its transformation through the Sleep Inn Designed to Dream program, a simply stylish look and feel coming to Sleep Inn hotels across the country.”
As part of the Designed to Dream program, Sleep Inn Idaho Falls has already rolled out new bedding and pillows, new guest room lighting, lobby furniture and window treatments toward the design concept’s upgrades to guest rooms and public spaces throughout hotel.
Travelers can experience the Sleep Inn brand’s overall Designed to Dream concept at nearly 200 U.S. Sleep Inn hotels. The Designed to Dream program offers a fresh and contemporary experience that welcomes guests into a restful environment with warm colors, fresh graphics and soothing nature-oriented art.
Launched in May 2010, Designed to Dream is driving increased customer satisfaction scores, new construction for Sleep Inn hotels and higher than average performance. In-room satisfaction surveys in 2013 showed that nine out of 10 guests would recommend a Designed to Dream hotel to friends and family.
In addition to the Travelers’ Choice Exceptional Service Award, the Sleep Inn Idaho Falls owner, Town Pump Group recently received Choice Hotels International Premier Hotelier award at the 60th annual Choice Hotels International Convention in Las Vegas this past month. The award recognizes Town Pump’s commitment to the Choice Hotels family of eleven brands and portfolio of more than 6,300 hotels around the globe.
This award-winning hotel is located right off Interstate 15, just minutes from the Bonneville Museum of Idaho and numerous outdoor recreational areas, including Tautphaus Park Zoo, Yellowstone Bear World, Heise Hot Springs and Rexburg Rapids.
Constructed in 2010, the Sleep Inn Idaho Falls hotel features numerous amenities, including a business center, exercise room, laundry facilities and an indoor heated pool and hot tub. In addition, guests can enjoy a free deluxe hot breakfast, free wireless high-speed internet, complimentary weekday newspaper and, free parking. Guestrooms also feature additional amenities, including microwaves, refrigerators, coffee makers, curved shower rods, hair dryers, desks, irons and ironing boards, and cable television.
Butte, MT – (September 19, 2014) – Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's leading hotel companies, named Town Pump Hotel Group, Inc. the winner of its 2014 Premier Hotelier Award, recognizing the firm's commitment to the Choice Hotels family. The award was presented to Kevin Kenneally at Choice Hotels’ 60th annual convention in Las Vegas.
"We are honored to receive this elite distinction, and are proud to be a partner of almost 20 years with Choice Hotels,” said Maureen Kenneally, corporate spokesperson for Town Pump Hotel Group. “Receiving the 2014 Premier Hotelier Award is a result of the vision we set for our hotels and the effort the team puts into accomplishing our goal of providing extraordinary guest service. This company was built by its employees and we will continue to strive to operate as a family owned business where all of our associates are considered part of the family.”
The Premier Hotelier Award recognizes exceptional franchisees that develop properties with Choice Hotels, live up to the brand promise through excellent property performance, and are active in the franchise community. The award recognizes owners who are truly committed to the brand and who work closely with Choice Hotels to enhance the brand's success.
Headquartered in Butte, Montana, Town Pump Hotel Group owns and operates 12 hotels in the state and one hotel in neighboring Idaho which include a total of six Choice Hotel franchised properties -- three Comfort Inn locations, a Comfort Suites property, and two Sleep Inn locations.
The Sleep Inn & Suites Idaho Falls recently received national recognition for a TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Exceptional Service Award. Winners are determined based on the excellence of reviews and ratings for service, and are selected by the people who know them best – travelers. Every year, millions of TripAdvisor travelers from across the world provide the reviews and opinions that determine the winners of the prestigious award.
This is the first Hotelier of the Year Award for Town Pump Hotel Group but several of their Choice Hotels properties have received various awards in years past. The Helena Comfort Suites received two Choice Hotels Platinum Awards, the Sleep Inn & Suites Idaho Falls received the Choice Hotels Gold Award twice and the Platinum Award once, the Miles City Sleep Inn & Suites was ranked fourth in the United States on TripAdvisor’s Green Leaders program and was ranked eighth in the United States by TripAdvisor for exceptional guest service as well.
“Town Pump Hotel Group has been an outstanding partner for Choice Hotels for nearly two decades,” said Stephen P. Joyce, president and chief executive officer for Choice Hotels International. “Town Pump started as a family business 60 years ago and we couldn’t be more proud to honor their team for all they have achieved with us through the years. Their hotels consistently deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction, with an emphasis on meeting the needs of the guests and delivering a memorable experience.’”
Started by Tom and Mary Ann Kenneally as a full service gas station 60 years ago, Town Pump Hotel Group has grown into 97 convenience stores and travel plazas, 95 mini-casinos, 20 self-service car washes, and 13 hotels. Today, their six children run the company’s day to day operations, and oversee its 3,000 employees across the state.
The company is named after founder Tom Kenneally’s memory of the town water pump in the small Montana community where he grew up. The water pump was necessary, reliable and a gathering place for residents – all qualities Town Pump Hotel Group, Inc. emulates today. Through the Town Pump Foundation, the company gives back to the communities it operates in, contributing $500,000 to area food banks in 2013, and generating approximately $120,000 in raffle ticket sales for the Special Olympics.