Hotel Deer Lodge was once a grand railroad hotel during the height of the town’s prosperity from mining, timber, ranching, and the railroad. It is purported to be the first steel structure in Montana. The flat roof and in-wall drain system were well-designed and have protected the building from great deterioration. However, with 25 years of neglect, the roof was failing at an accelerated pace, putting the building at risk of being lost. The Deer Lodge Development Group used MHF funds to repair holes in the roof to prevent water from leaking into the main lobby of the hotel.
With the holes fixed, the hotel was able to start the process of reopening its doors. The hotel was originally a mixed-use facility and will be returned to use in a similar fashion. Hotels, such as Deer Lodge, played an important role in developing the communities that they served.