We knew this property was special when we purchased it 26 years ago – remotely located yet easy access, and neighboring on Glacier National Park. It was a dream come true for us, and because there are so many people in the world who never get to experience such an environment, we wanted to share it.
Almost immediately, we started converting the 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom single-family home into a Bed & Breakfast. By June 1995, we added a bathroom onto one of the bedrooms to signify the first B&B room – Beryl’s Room – named after my sister who would spend time with us each summer and became disabled at an early age.
Over the next couple years, we added three more rooms. We remodeled the upstairs Master Suite into the now large Apgar Suite – named for its views of the Apgar Range in Glacier Park. Downstairs, we built the Cedar Room and Pine Room. This required more extensive remodeling because we felt every room should have a self-contained bathroom unlike a traditional B&B.
We operated with four B&B rooms as the “Smoky Bear Lodge” until 2002 when we decided it was time to expand. After some research, it became evident many people wanted to rent cabins next to Glacier National Park. Nancy, being a computer drafter, designed the cabins with some help from Scott, my husband, and our contractor (we had purchased an adjacent lot anticipating this growth).
By July 2002, the Grizzly Cabin was complete and ready for guests. Designed to accommodate larger groups and family reunions, the Grizzly Cabin boasts 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and plenty of common area, making sleeping for 12 quite comfortable.
Following in 2006 and 2007, we built 2 smaller cabins – the Little Bear Cabin and the Little Griz Cabin. These cabins were designed for smaller groups or single families. They both have a loft bedroom with living quarters downstairs.
Living in an area where the average snowfall is 12 to 15 feet, all our buildings have metal roofs to shed the snow but when it slides off the roof, it lands with force and packs onto itself until it’s near impossible to remove. This meant the lodge would need, what has become a popular gathering area, a covered porch extending the front entrance.
In 2010, Nancy purchased her long arm quilting machine, and needed a permanent home for it. This sophisticated machine requires a minimum 8’ x 16’ area. After careful consideration, we converted Beryl’s Room into the Quilting Studio and ever since, have been happily operating with three B&B rooms and three Cabins.
Now 2018, fast approaching our 25th year in business, we look back and wouldn’t change a thing. It’s been a wonderful business and way of life that Scott and I wouldn’t trade.
Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to meet and get to know people from all over the world, and from all walks of life. We’ve created some lasting friendships and met some very interesting people. It’s truly been a remarkable journey and one we continue to stay on and treasure.
Like any business, there have been hills and valleys, but we have always felt that exceptional customer service will be the corner stone of our success. If we are committed to helping people get the absolute most from their vacation, we will become and remain a desirable lodging facility for national park travelers.
The average time someone operates a B&B is 7 years. It’s intense hard work and, for us, getting a break from this intensity during the off season has made it possible to continue doing what we love. That and wanting to make a difference in people’s lives, even if it’s for a few short days, has been reward enough.
We’re excited to reach this milestone – in celebration of our 25th year in business, we are offering a 25% discount on ALL accommodations, throughout 2019.