Bison Lodge

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People love to talk about what can be done to make Great Falls more attractive, bring in more tourists, etc. I’ve been brainstorming some ideas…they may be half-baked, but they’re mine – and I really think that they stand a good chance at boosting the image of Great Falls, and quite possibly bringing in more dollars. Here’s the first of several of my ideas.

The Bison Lodge! This was inspired by my recent discovery (via Oddities) of Lucy The Elephant, a huge structure shaped like an elephant in New Jersey.

Lucy the Elephant is a six-story elephant-shaped example of novelty architecture, constructed of wood and tin sheeting in 1882 by James V. Lafferty in Margate City, New Jersey, two miles (3.2 km) south of Atlantic City, in an effort to sell real estate and attract tourism.

Of course, elephants can’t be found in Montana, but we are known for our bison – so I propose the Bison Lodge!

Located somewhere along the Missouri River – maybe across from the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, or along River Drive South? – this giant structure would of course be shaped like a bison, and have several rooms for lodging, a gift store, a bison museum of some sort, and so on. It could even have a huge slide, like the kind that can be found at amusement parks, where you sit on a small rug and go whooshing down.

The Bison Lodge would generate tourists and sales – how could it not? – and give Great Falls something to really brag about: The World’s Largest Bison!

Rex Bison



  1. I think having a slide where you can go “whooshing’ down would seal the deal. Seriously, this is a pretty good half-baked ideas!

  2. I have somewhat fond memories back in Northern California, there were (in the early ’90s) a chain of Gas/Convenience stores called “Cheaper!” – and several (Especially one in Dixon, CA: sported a LIFE SIZE re-creation of a brontosaurus rex, appropriately named “Dixie”. It has since been moved to Benicia, but “Benicie” just doesn’t roll off the tongue the same way.

  3. Heh…great name – “Cheaper!” And you’re right – normally, adding the “y” sound makes just about anything sound cuter, but “Benicie” just doesn’t do it.

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