The Outlaw Inn in Kalispell will partially shut down for the winter as part of a three-year renovation plan complete with convention center restorations, parking lot improvements and guest room upgrades.
Bryan Scott, president and CEO of Kalispell Hospitality Company, said the 218-room Outlaw will shut down in cycles, with different parts of the building closing at various times. The main hotel closed on Dec. 27 to begin the work, he said.
“It will reopen for the summer,” Scott said. “We’ll close it back down next fall for more work. (The closure schedule) will depend on business.”
Various improvements include replacing carpet in some areas, remodeling guest rooms, bringing in a new computer system for the property, a new swimming pool, hot tub upgrades and a refurbished parking lot.
The hotel’s convention center, with 12,000 square feet of meeting space, will also get a facelift, Scott said.
“The convention center is going to be taken back to the way it used to be,” he said.
This includes removing superficial particleboard to reveal the wooden beams underneath. The room used to have a wood-lodge feel, Scott said, and the goal is to get back to that original setting.
Scott said he expects to maintain most of the staff working at the Outlaw, which also houses a restaurant, bar and casino. Events that have already been scheduled at the hotel will go ahead, and the staff will work to accommodate other business requests, he said.
“We expect this entire improvement initiative to take more than three years,” Scott wrote in a statement. “However; the people of Kalispell should be prepared to see a dramatic and immediate change in the Outlaw Inn.”
The Kalispell Hospitality Company purchased the hotel and property three years ago. Scott said like most hotels during the recession, they have had to get creative to stay afloat.
“I think, like most hotels out there in this economy, business plans are definitely adjusting,” Scott said. “It’s preparing ourselves for the economy coming back.”
This renovation is part of that plan, he said, but the intent when his company bought the property was to bring the Outlaw back closer to its original condition as a major establishment in the Kalispell community.
Scott also has another project planned to further this goal. He is asking for anyone with photos of events that have been held at the Outlaw in the past to bring a copy and a memory to the hotel.
The project will incorporate these photos and stories into a rotating showcase at the hotel, Scott said. The memories will also be used in future marketing campaigns.
When he bought the hotel, Scott said the former management was adamant about maintaining the facility’s history. Already, people visiting the hotel tell stories about weddings, wakes and parties they have attended there, Scott said.
“I think it’s always been our plan to have those memories and to have those events in the past be part of our future,” Scott said.
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