Retro: Sip-n-Dip

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This is awesome: there’s a thread in the Tiki Central Forums about our world-famous Sip-n-Dip, and there’s some great pictures. The thread was started in February 2003 with this question:

Has anyone every actually been to the Sip n’ Dip, in Great Falls, Montana? I was tipped off to this Tiki Bar about 5 years ago, and listed it on the Tiki Bar Review pages. I have done some research in the past few years, and cannot even find and address or phone number for it, let alone any further indiciation as to the level of Tiki present. Has anyone out there actually seen it with their own eyes???

And then came testimonies – and lots of pictures, many of them supplied by Sweet Tiki Daddy of Swankola. Many of the pictures are things that we Great Falls folks have seen (or could see anytime we visit), but this picture of the exterior of the O’Haire Motor Inn – from the cover of tourism magazine years ago – is a view that I have never seen, and it’s awesome:

Sip & Dip at the O'Haire Motor Inn in Great Falls, Montana!

Hooray for the Sip-n-Dip! And kudos to the crew at Tiki Central Forums for keeping the legend alive!

More Sip-n-Dip articles here!



  1. The Sip has an International reputation and has been profiled in several magazines. The Triple Crown has a reputation too….mostly among local law enforcement agencies.

  2. Hey Brian: Why did the Triple Crown get dragged into your comment about the “international reputation” of that gaudy lounge across the street from the Triple Crown (or, are you employed by the O’Haire Motor Inn)?

    Would be delighted to meet you at the Great Falls Police Department to review the police logs the last three years since the new GM took control of the Triple Crown and turned it around. Confident our review will disclose the police have responded far more frequently to the O’Haire during that time than the Triple Crown. Of course, I’m equally confident you’re not man enough to meet me. You’ll meekly stand behind your “faceless” comment and continue slinging mud at the Triple Crown … typical treatment the staff of the Triple Crown has been subjected to by the community of Great Falls the last three years. Shame on you, Great Falls!

    BTW, your comment was especially “touching” coming on the eve of the General Manager’s beloved mascot, Joshua passing away four months ago, nice going, dude!

  3. Shane, I’m with you! I’ve been scratching my head all afternoon wondering why the Triple Crown was mentioned in a comment regarding an article entitled “Retro: Sip ‘N Dip”.

    I’ve stayed at the Triple Crown the last two years while in Great Falls on business, checked-in this afternoon. Not once have I ever seen a member of any law enforcement agency on this property during my stays … that’s a fact. Apparently a little know fact amongst the Great Falls community … a darn shame.

    Negative comments like Brent’s, and the general lack of support from the Great Falls community have finally broken the spirit of the Triple Crown’s staff – you can see it in their eyes … nice going, Great Falls!

    I wouldn’t come to Great Falls if I didn’t have to on business. You ask what’s wrong with Great Falls? It’s the people, and Brent (and Chris the first commenter on the RIP Joshua section) are prime examples of what I’m talking about – very mean-spirited.

  4. I don’t get it. What does the Triple Crown have to do with the “Tiki-Tacky Sip ‘n Dip”?

    Brent’s unsubstantiated comment is shameful, and I’m left to wonder what motivated him to post it. He’s probably the type of guy that enjoys kicking a dog when its down. Well, Brent, the staff of the Triple Crown are not down, and have done nothing to hang their heads in shame. In fact, they should hold their heads high with pride over what they’ve accomplished the last few years, no thanks to the community of Great Falls.

    Yes, I’m writing this from my room at the Triple Crown with hardwood floors, fireplace, original artwork on the wall, free WiFi, 32″ flat screen tv, memory foam mattress … all for $64.20 (including tax).

    Yup, I’ll continue coming to the Triple Crown and tell all my friends to do so … you can keep the Sip ‘n Dip and the community of Great Falls that seems content to “trip” about things that occurred on this property five-to-seven years ago. What a bunch of ingrates!

  5. Somehow, it just doesn’t seem right that, once again, the Triple Crown is being dragged through the mud. Especially tonight, the four-month anniversary of their much loved mascot, Joshua passing away.

    What’s wrong with you people in Great Falls? Haven’t you an ounce of compassion, or decency, or forgiveness in your hearts?

    And, you have the unmitigated gall to ask “What’s wrong with Great Falls”? Have you tried looking in the mirror lately … each and everyone one of you who have bad-mouthed the Triple Crown since the current General Manager assumed control of the property almost three years ago. You all belong in a “Hall of Shame”!

  6. Am I missing something here? Other than being located across the street from the O’Haire Motor Inn what does the Triple Crown have to do with the Sip ‘n Dip?

    Oh yeah, I forgot. The Sip ‘n Dip’s retro Tiki theme is stuck in the sixties, and the Triple Crown’s bad rap reputation is stuck in 2001-2002. Get over it Great Falls, move on – get a life.

    What happened the beginning of the decade, yes the beginning of the decade, is soooo not happening at the Triple Crown now. Of course, the Great Falls community wouldn’t know that because they are too busy living in the past (probably hanging out at the Sip ‘n Dip).

  7. In your efforts of defending the Triple Crown from one negative comment, you have managed to insult an ENTIRE COMMUNITY. Did you ever think in doing so you are no better than the people who you say have insulted you in the first place? Prior to all your comments to retaliate I had only heard positive things about the Triple Crown. But, if you think for a minute I am going to send any business your way after slinging mud at a community that I love, forget it! As a business you should learn when and how to defend your hotel in a proper and mature manner. Then maybe you would get the support you desire. If you really don’t like it here, and you don’t respect the people…you should all get on your Triple Crown bus and go back to California.

  8. Hey, Citizen GF – Prior to this controversy how many guests have you referred to the Triple Crown? Zero? Thought so.

    For me? I briefly worked at the Triple Crown two years ago, that’s when I met the current GM and their mascot that recently passed away. I’m not from California, the Triple Crown isn’t my business, and I don’t know any of the other commenters on the Retro: Sip ‘n Dip article.

    However, I am (just as you are) entitled to an opinion regarding this matter and how the staff of the Triple Crown have been mistreated by some members of the community of Great Falls. And, more importantly, I will defend my right to express my opinion. I will not be intimidated into silence by the likes of you!

    I find this portion of your message most telling: “Then maybe you would get the support you desire.” How many more years are they expected to pay for the sins of the previous owners? Five years? Seven years? Ten years? Before the community finally decides they deserve their support?

    And, even more telling: “If you really don’t like it here, and you don’t respect the people…you should all get on your Triple Crown bus and go back to California”. I think that attitude is what other people are trying to say is what’s wrong with Great Falls. These people have devoted three years of their lives to cleaning up a problem they didn’t create. And, three years later they are still getting kicked in the teeth.

    Your attitude is … if you don’t like it, pack up and leave and that is exactly what is happening. People are leaving, people that could make a difference … people that tried to make a difference. Think about it.

  9. My name is Davidene Tait, and since December 2005 I have been employed as the General Manager of the Triple Crown Motor Inn. In that capacity, I am the only person authorized to speak on behalf of this property.

    Recently, one of our guests brought to my attention that a negative comment was posted about our establishment in response to an article on the Greater Falls website, entitled “Retro: Sip ‘n Dip”.

    After verifying that, in fact, our property was negatively referenced in the above-referenced comment; I contacted the owner of the Greater Falls website and informed him of my intentions to post a response within several days.

    In the interim, it appears this “controversy” has taken on a life of its own and passions are at a near fever pitch on both sides. I have never been one to run from controversy, and I will not do so from this one. It has been my policy since assuming the position of General Manager … “the buck stops with me” regarding this property. I am not only completely responsible for my actions, but also for those of my employees, and for everything that affects this lodging facility – negatively, or otherwise.

    I instructed my employees, and the owner of this website, to refrain from posting comments in response to this article or taking any action whatsoever. To the best of my knowledge, my instructions have been honored. I have no control over what others have posted on the Greater Falls website. My message is the “official” response by the Triple Crown to the “Brent H” comment that is the generator of this controversy.

    After reviewing all comments, I do not believe any purpose, positive or negative, will be accomplished by addressing each issue raised. Rather, it would only serve to incite an already emotional situation that should never have started in the first place.

    I believe the appropriate course of action is for “Brent H” to step up to the plate and issue a retraction for his negative comment regarding the Triple Crown. However, I hold out little hope that he will do so.

    It is with a heavy heart that I submit this comment. Time and experience have taught me to feel regret for the dishonor the Triple Crown has caused the community of Great Falls in the past. But, the operative words in my statement are “in the past”. It pains me to think that despite our collective best efforts, after three years the general perception of the Triple Crown within the community has not changed. We have neither asked for, nor expected anything from the community. However, we had HOPED that after three years we would not still be the recipients of negative comments such as “Mr. H’s” that caused the instant controversy. We are justifiably proud of our accomplishments; we have succeeded in spite of the Great Falls community, not because of it.

    I sincerely wish to convey my apologies to any members of the Great Falls community that were offended by the impassioned comments posted in our defense. However, I fervently defend each individuals right to express their opinion whether for or against the community of Great Falls, for or against the State of California, and yes, even against the Triple Crown Motor Inn when it is a current and warranted negative comment.

    This will be my only comment regarding this matter as I begin to put this incident behind me and move forward with my professional life.

    Thank you for your time and forgiveness.


    M. Davidene Tait, General Manager

  10. Dear Citizen GF:

    “Get on your Triple Crown bus and go back to California”?

    Why should I get on the Triple Crown bus (I didn’t know they had one), or any bus, for that matter, and go to California? I live in Alberta?

    But, thank you for telling me that if we don’t like it in Great Falls, we should go somewhere else. Because, that’s exactly what we’ve decided to do! My friends and I (a party of six) will be checking-in at the Triple Crown Friday evening. And, then Saturday morning we will wave good-bye to Great Falls on our way to Helena where we will spend the weekend shopping until we drop.

    Admittedly, a small protest, but a protest nonetheless . We are entitled to an opinion about how the people at the Triple Crown, who we happen to think highly of, have been treated. And, you are entitled to your opinion that you have voiced by telling us to pack up and “… get on your Triple Crown bus and go back to California”.

    Mature, very mature.

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