Filed Under Billings

Dude Rancher Lodge

The number of motels in Billings grew rapidly as the national economy boomed after World War II. Millions of Americans took to the road on vacations and for business trips, creating a tremendous need for roadside accommodations. Among all the motels in the Magic City, the Dude Rancher Lodge was the most unique, incorporating the most modern amenities, yet also providing a link to the region’s Old West roots. Billings businessman Percy Goan and his wife Annabel worked with the well-known Billings architectural firm of Cushing and Terrell to develop a design that harkened back to the ranch houses of the Montana frontier. The design integrated bricks salvaged from the old St. Vincent’s Hospital and wood beams from a recently demolished milling company. The rustic Ranch style motel displays weeping brick mortar, full-length porches in the center parking area, and guest rooms with wood-paneled doors. Annabel Goan cleverly designed the interior, which features knotty pine paneling, decorative lampshades, custom-built western-style furniture, and carpeting with the brands of local ranchers who invested in the project. An added treat was The Stirrup coffee shop, which served mouth-watering meals in a western atmosphere. Completed in 1950, the Dude Rancher Lodge quickly became a local showcase and popular hostelry for people from all over Montana and the United States. Promoters promised that the “Spirit of the West was everywhere evident” at the Dude Rancher Lodge. The Goan family operated the Dude until 1990. It was, and still is under its second owner in 2010, Billings’ most distinctive motel.

Images

Dude Rancher Lodge Dude Rancher Lodge. View of the rear gateway to the parking lot, facing southwest. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jon Axline Date: Mar. 2010
Dude Rancher Lodge Dude Rancher Lodge. View of the front façade of the complex and the north wing of the building, looking northeast on North 29th Street. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Joan Brownell Date: Jan. 2010
Dude Rancher Lodge Dude Rancher Lodge. View of the front façade and pass-through, facing east on North 29th Street. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Joan Brownell Date: Jan. 2010
Dude Rancher Lodge Dude Rancher Lodge. Overview of the complex, facing northeast on North 29th Street. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Jon Axline Date: Mar. 2010
Dude Rancher Lodge Dude Rancher Lodge. View of the main building in the complex, facing northeast on North 29th Street. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office Creator: Joan Brownell Date: Jan. 2010

Location

415 North 29th Street, Billings, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Dude Rancher Lodge,” Historic Montana, accessed February 4, 2023, https://historicmt.org/items/show/2158.