News & Features

Montana Resort to Pay $370,000 for Liquor License Violations

Yellowstone Club bars and restaurants sold and stored alcohol at unlicensed locations

BOZEMAN — A Montana resort has agreed to pay $370,000 to the state after revenue officials threatened to pull its liquor licenses, a report said.

Yellowstone Club bars and restaurants agreed to the fine to keep four liquor licenses and receive an additional license, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Monday.

Yellowstone Club’s Base Lodge Lounge, Timberline, H&K Spirits, and Rainbow Lodge Lounge told the Montana Department of Revenue they sold and stored alcohol at unlicensed locations.

The Boot Room and Buffalo Bar and Grill at the 24 square-mile (62 square-kilometer) resort in southwest Montana also said it acquired and sold alcohol without a liquor license and attempted to deceive inspectors.

Officials seized 2,979 bottles of liquor, 3,108 bottles of wine, 2,954 bottles and cans of beer, and 31 beer kegs at the resort and in warehouses in January and February.

A whistleblower alerted officials to alcohol hidden in a Bozeman warehouse and in U-Haul trucks in a parking garage, records said.

The fines to be paid under the agreement include $184,000 for Base Lodge Lounge, $45,000 for Timberline, $96,000 for H&K Spirits, and $45,000 for Rainbow Lodge Lounge.

The state will suspend each bar and restaurant from serving alcohol for seven to 20 days, depending on their specific offenses. The businesses will remain open to serve food.

The state agreed not to deny a liquor license application for The Boot Room and Buffalo Bar and Grill, which was required to fire Hans Williamson, a liquor license manager.

Shane Reely, an attorney for the businesses, thanked the state for working to “finalize a settlement agreement acceptable to all parties.”