I’ve Stayed in Shady Montana Hotels Before. This One is the Worst
Ok, so I'm not a hotel snob by any means.
I totally understand that different people can afford different levels of luxury (or lack thereof) while traveling. Occasionally we will splurge on a really nice hotel. Usually, we choose somewhat affordable chain motels and sometimes we book whatever is cheap if we're just looking for a clean, quiet place to crash for a few hours before hitting the road again. After being burned a few times, I'm now very skeptical of anything that books for less than $100 per night. However, sometimes you have no choice.
Due to my poor planning, we waited too long to book a room.
Last weekend my wife and I needed a room for one quick night in Forsyth. There are only 3 or 4 hotels in this small, eastern Montana community and typically you'll have no trouble finding a room at one of the "nicer" places in town any day of the week. But it was the weekend of the Treasure/Rosebud County Fair and everything else was booked. The old-school Montana Inn was the only place in town with a couple of rooms left. Tripadvisor gives it 3.5 out of 5 reviews. How bad could it be? We were about to find out.
We came to town for the show.
It was my wife's birthday weekend and she really wanted to see country singer Jo Dee Messina, the headlining act at the fair. The concert was great and it was just $2 for a beer at the beer garden! Sometimes I love small towns.
Red flags went up when I got a phone call at noon that day.
I received a call from the motel at around noon the day we were going to check in. The person on the phone told me that they would just leave our key on the check-in desk, as their entire staff was leaving the property that afternoon to attend the fair. "That's a little weird", I thought. But whatever... it's a small town and apparently, they trust everyone?
The entire motel was eerily dark when we arrived.
No joke, all the lights were off in the decrepit hallway leading to our room. I had to turn on my phone flashlight to read the room numbers on the doors. The door to our room (214) was wide open when we arrived. Weird.
Speaking of doors.
The doors to the rooms are those flimsy, laminated, interior-type doors, like the doors you might have in your bedroom or bathroom at home. The kind you can open from the outside by sticking a nail in the hole on the end of the doorknob. There were no security locks. My 6-year-old child could have kicked down this door. Thankfully, our kids weren't with us to see this atrocity of a motel. They probably would have started crying. But wait... it gets worse. Much, much worse.
The place is beyond disrepair.
Above, you can see a portion of the bathroom floor that is broken and dirty. The inset pic is a used cotton swab that we discovered near the bed. Yuck. All of the floors were soft and sloping in various directions in the room. I thought my foot might just fall through the rotten subflooring in a few spots.
It's got to be a fire hazard.
Electrical cords ran from wall sockets to just about everything that required electricity in the room, including the light fixture on the ceiling, which had a cord running up the wall near the bed. It felt like our room was on the verge of catching fire at any moment, which would probably be the best thing that could happen to this dump.
Super weird windows to nowhere in each room.
Friends of mine from Billings also had the misfortune of spending the night at this awful motel and their rooms were in no better shape than ours. Arguably, they were worse. If that's even possible. The rooms had windows that were covered with drywall on the hallway side of the window. What... the... heck.
I assure you, my camera was completely level when I snapped this picture of the Leaning Toilet of Forsyth. Who needs a carnival ride, when you can plop down on this thing? Try it drunk, for even more fun.
You'll need medicine if you touch this cabinet.
At one time (50 years ago?) this was a medicine cabinet on the bathroom wall. Now, it's just a rusty, disgusting shelf.
The mattress made me gag.
Did someone die on our nasty, double mattress? It sure looks like it. So much yuck. We debated on: a) staying sober and driving home after the concert, b) heading down the road 45 minutes for something better in Miles City, c) sleeping in my car in the parking lot, or d) braving the night in this hell hole. We ended up sleeping (fully dressed) on top of the bed. I slammed every beer in my cooler, praying for sleep, just to get it over with.
Even the pop machine was broken.
This retro vending machine would actually be kind of cool in your man cave or shop. Unsurprisingly, it was out-of-order at the Montana Inn. I suspect it hasn't worked in years.
The motel needs a can of gas and a match.
Everything about this motel was in total disrepair. When morning came on Saturday and there was finally some light streaming into the place, the lack of maintenance became even more apparent. The threadbare carpeting in the hallway is just one example.
The only thing positive was leaving the next morning.
Here's the picture I snapped as we pulled out of the driveway Saturday morning, relieved that we weren't murdered in our sleep, robbed, or infested with bed bug bites. Never again, Montana Inn... Never again.
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