Cowboy Hall of Fame
Posted by Barb H (+17) 9 years ago
I cannot believe what I read in the paper last night,that they have withdrawn Miles City's name for the hall of fame.I think that the people of Miles City should have a say as to wheather it is built in their city or not.Give the people a choice...
Top
founder
supporter
Posted by Amorette Allison (+11432) 9 years ago
Did you read the entire article? This is not a simple issue.

Miles City HAS all the components in place to create a tourist attraction based on "cowboys." We need to move beyond this boondoggle "Hall of Fame" and figure out how WE can use what we already have without getting involved in that other project.
Top
Posted by ocne (+482) 9 years ago
I agree that the citizens of MC should have had a say before MC was withdrawn from the running. I would be curious to know how many people still wanted to go for it and how many thought not if all the facts had been presented to them.

I understand what the article in the Star said, but not necessarily the thinking behind the withdrawal. (Maybe i need to re-read it...) What I got from the article was that the local folks involved thought having the Hall here would compete with the Art Center and the Range Riders Museum too much and didn't want to put either in jeopardy. Understandable I guess, and good of them to be concerned about those places. BUT why do they not think that having the Hall here would maybe actually draw more visitors to those other locations as well? Personally, if I was from out of town and came to MC to see the Hall and noticed another museum or similar place just across the street, I would be enticed to go visit that place as well. Might as well make the most out of the trip, right? And isn't a little 'competition' supposed to be good for business?
I'm sure there's a lot more to it than that--and a reasonable amount that wasn't/couldn't necessarily be explained--in a small newspaper article. But still...
In my mind, MC is the perfect place for the Hall; there's lots of other things that would draw people to MC in addition to the Hall (Bucking Horse, Range Riders, the winery, etc.) The other locations still in the running don't necessarily offer nearly as much to draw people to their towns, except for the Hall should they get the bid. If i'm going to travel somewhere to see something, I want to see as much as possible.

What a bummer. Just saying...
Top
Posted by Barb H (+17) 9 years ago
I agree. Miles City has a lot to offer, let the people here have a say not just a few.
Top
supporter
Posted by JCF (+398) 9 years ago
my read of the article was that the Hall of Fame folks didn't like the idea of having the hall at or near the Range Riders as a complementary attraction. The hall of fame seems to want their Hall to be "the draw." Hence, it wouldn't work with Miles City, and so instead of pursing it knowing they would be rejected, they said "bag it." Can't blame them for that.
Top
moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+16491) 9 years ago
I vote to rename the "Range Riders Museum" the "Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame".

Problem solved and look at the money we saved.
Top
supporter
Posted by Julie (+413) 9 years ago
Really. Why is it always the seemingly same "chosen few" always making the decisions for Miles City? Take the depot for instance. Who chose that crew and when? Most of the "preservationists" in this town seem to feel that saving one original door or window makes for inclusion on the Historical Register. Just sayin'.
Top
Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+591) 9 years ago
Does anyone know what is the deal with that? I was told that it began as idea to have a Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame to celebrate Montana's rodeo cowboys. The folks behind idea were either from Wolf Point area or the cowboys they wanted to honor were. In order to be the official state santioned Hall of Fame they needed legislative proclamation. Somewhere in either that process or maybe in the fundraising for the museum it also had Western Heritage and Native American added to the name and mission statement. The legislature approved formation of Hall of Fame and allocated $700,000. What that money was specifically for I am not certain. Can anyone shed light on this?
If I was involved I would recommend the existing Miles City group help Range Riders Museum expand and add Working Cowboy Heritage Center to their name. Of course Range Riders may not wish to change and that is just fine. It is a swell museum.
Top
supporter
Posted by Cory Cutting (+1277) 9 years ago
Personally knowing some of the people on the "board", I fully believe that they made the decision based upon what they saw as best for Miles City. We're not talking about a bunch of yahoos sitting at the coffee counter making a random decision! These people are "Miles City" professionals, and take the job seriously.

Kudos to the committee for making a hard decision and standing by it.
Top
supporter
Posted by Julie (+413) 9 years ago
Professionals? Are you kidding me?
Top
founder
supporter
Posted by Amorette Allison (+11432) 9 years ago
Julie, the Chamber and the group trying to save the depot are volunteer. If you volunteer, voila! You are one of them.

The Wolf Point Cowboy Hall of Fame is designed to create a $30-$40 million "cowboy Disneyland" that becomes a "destination resort." The "Hall of Fame" part is a tiny fraction of the plan, tacked on for publicity. Let's face it. Tourist are going to be bored looking a pictures of old cowboys they didn't know.

The Wolf Point Project is designed for and intended to benefit Wolf Point. That was the whole idea. The only project that met their criteria was their own project.

They said that Miles City's modest proposal was too small, to much of a "start-up to build on rather than a whole shebang" to qualify. They wanted overblown, not reasonable.

They also want to be a standalone resort that doesn't send tourists to existing facilities. Having the Ranger Riders and the Art Center as competition to the "hall of fame" was seen as a bad thing.

Seriously, you want NOTHING to do with trying to bring that boondoggle to Miles City. It is a 'tainted' project that is going to go down in lawsuits long before anything, let alone a $35,000,000 destination resort is built.

What Miles City needs to do is build on what we have! The "hall of fame" has nothing in its collection. We have the Range Riders and the Art Center. We have enough material here to compete with the Buffalo Bill in Cody BUT it needs to cleaned up, curated, publicized, and administered as a PROFESSIONAL museum.

Are we up to the task? Why not volunteer to join the Range Riders and/or the Art Center and give it a go?

Oh, and the criteria for the National Register requires a whole LOT more than one door and one window. I can show you the form. If there is only one original door or window left, a building couldn't qualify. It has to have "high integrity," i.e. not radically changed from its historic construction. I realize that mocking preservationists and pretending all we want to preserve is a door here or a window there makes you feel superior but it does nothing to promote historic preservation as an important tool in economic development.

Just sayin'

[This message has been edited by Amorette Allison (12/9/2011)]
Top
Posted by Jan Cornutt (+268) 9 years ago
The main reason it was shot down here in Miles City was financial. The Cowboy Hall of Fame committee wanted their own site consisting of 29 acres plus the cost of building it and a 25 million dollar endowment, so the Miles City committee looked at it as a 50 million dollar project before the doors even opened. If one would go look at the Range Riders Museum, it already show cases Montana Cowboys and Cowgirls. The concensus of the Miles City committee was we could do a facelift and make improvement to our existing museum a lot cheaper than 50 million. I agree with Amorette, they had it billed as a Montana Cowboy Disneyland. On the surface it looked good and Miles City would have been the logical place for it as Miles City, more than any other town, played an integral and vital role in the old west. Nearly all the cattle drives that came to this area came through Miles City and then went west or north from here. What was proposed was completely unrealistic.......korkyII
Top
supporter
Posted by Julie (+413) 9 years ago
Amorette, I certainly wasn't 'mocking' preservationists. I currently live in M.C. and am restoring an old home. I have seen the form, filled it out and proudly display the plaque in front of my home. Seems to me that putting a metal roof on an old home is far from restoration. Indeed, it falls under the heading of radically changing its original historic construction.

[This message has been edited by Julie (12/10/2011)]
Top
founder
supporter
Posted by H Lockie (+192) 9 years ago
The "Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame" really wanted to go to big and expensive. It takes years to build up a museum, cowboy hall of fame, or whatever you want to call it. The Range Riders Museum started with the original log building by a group of old timers that thought we needed one then and it has been added on to and more buildings built as the money was available. The Museum has never used any State or Federal grants or monies, as it is strictly operated by memberships, memorials, donations, and private grants, The Board of Directors are a volunteer group and work to maintain the buildings and grounds, with help from businesses and volunteers in the community. The Curator is the only paid employee, except for seasonal help. We hope to have some money next year to replace/repair the roof on the Officers Quarters and then will be able to repair the inside and also do some painting where necessary. The Range Riders Reps is also an organization that was formed to assist in the maintainence of the museum property.
Top
Posted by Brandon J. (+24) 9 years ago
Miles City presented a solid proposal. Members of the Miles City committee saw that the original proposal in Wolf Point was a pipe dream and in true WESTERN fashion decided to take a more practical and feasible approach. Their approach was never what can Miles City do for the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame -- it was always about what can the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame do for Miles City.

I wanted to see the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame in Miles City just as much as the next person. A lot of people all over the state wanted to see it in Miles city as well. However, the Board of Directors for the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame insisted on holding on to their original vision that did not work in one location (Wolf Point) and probably won't work in anywhere else either. Some other place may get the project, but it will take a miracle for the project to sustain itself for longer than five years.

Kudos to the Miles City Committee for sticking to their guns and having the foresight to acknowledge that, after careful consideration, this project was not going to work out in our town under the MCHOF Board of Directors' terms.

Let's focus on showcasing and enhancing what we already have by supporting the Range Riders and the Art Center.

Let's show the MCHOF what they are missing!
Top
founder
supporter
Posted by Amorette Allison (+11432) 9 years ago
The RR began with one building and, over the years, expanded. The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman started in an old barn, then one new building, and expanded. This whole crazy idea of starting off with Cowboyland will never go anywhere.

What we have in Miles City already needs to be promoted and improved. Because we have it here!
Top
supporter
Posted by Stone (+1589) 9 years ago
Well, the one positive that I can see is that maybe the Range Riders will finally get some focus and some needed donations to make improvements that they have already planned for. This community needs to take more pride in the Range Riders Museum.
Top
supporter
Posted by Levi Forman (+3717) 9 years ago
After hearing the whole story I think that they did the right thing. The idea of building a 35+ million dollar tourist attraction in Miles City (let alone Wolf Point) is ludicrous. Let's take the same money and build 35 swimming pools.
Top
Posted by gypsykim (+1561) 9 years ago
I'd be happy with just one swimming pool, Levi! The rest can go to the Range Riders and Custer County Art and Heritage Center.
Top
Posted by Mike Willson (+197) 9 years ago
It is well-known that Miles City people will keep Miles City down and never try to build it up because then it might be someplace somebody might actually want to come to and see or stop and see what there is to offer here!!!
Top
Posted by RA (+653) 9 years ago
Don't know how open the Range Riders is or would be to having new volunteers to come in. Just this summer an offer was made to the current curator from a professional military and historical armourer to donate his time to refurbish/repair the guns during the winter months. He was curtly advised that there was no armor housed in the museum. Just saying.........
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6019) 9 years ago
The RR began with one building and, over the years, expanded. The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman started in an old barn, then one new building, and expanded. This whole crazy idea of starting off with Cowboyland will never go anywhere.

When MCC is as big as MSU, I am sure this particular analogy will make more sense, Amorette.
Top
Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6019) 9 years ago
Miles City's local attractions are - and have been for some time - just that: local attractions. The thought that the Range Riders Museum and Custer County Art and Heritage Center will ever have nearly the statewide draw as the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame is counter-intuitive.

Miles City's existing attractions would have benefited from having this. Instead, the town is hell-bent to be a real-life Radiator Springs.
Top
founder
supporter
Posted by H Lockie (+192) 9 years ago
The Range Riders Museum is known worldwide, and has had visitors from numerous foreign countries which is tracked by a pin system and a guestbook register. It is advertised in several Montana Travel magazines which go all over the world. Also has a website available to everyone and is updated periodically. Numerous times visitors say they cannot see it all in one day. There are the gun, spur, wire, saddle, arrowhead and displays of all kinds. Also the dioramas of the area with their history recorded are very interesting to groups that tour the museum. Everyone should take a day or more to spend at the museum. It is closed from November 1 to April 1 as all the buildings are not heated.
Top
moderator
founder
Posted by David Schott (+16491) 9 years ago
"...the town is hell-bent to be a real-life Radiator Springs."

I prefer to think of it as being determined to be just like Terry.

Anyhow, Brian, with any luck the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame will be located in Billings and you won't have to travel as far to spend hours on end there.
Top
founder
supporter
Posted by Amorette Allison (+11432) 9 years ago
Brian, the whole "Hall of Fame" deal was a boondoggle created to profit some folks in Wolf Point. It was never intended to be anything else and was never intended to be realistic. Trust me, it is something Miles City would NOT want to be involved in.

The Ranger Riders is well-known. Tourists from all over the world, thousands every year, visit. Sadly, the years of it being a 'hobby' museum are over and it needs to be professionally curated, inventoried, and promoted. As a member of the Range Rider Reps, I am working towards that goal. Join the RR or the Reps and become part of the effort.
Top
Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+591) 9 years ago
My favorite things at Range Riders are the spur collection and the clump of gumbo. A slick museum would never think to display a bowling ball size glob of dried mud that had been removed from some cow's foot in a glass case.
Top
founder
supporter
Posted by Amorette Allison (+11432) 9 years ago
There was a good editorial in tonight's Star clearly explaining why Miles City had the good sense to withdraw.
Top