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Families in Bozeman for state basketball tournament struggling to find affordable hotels

Hotel prices are ranging from about $170 to more than $300 per night
Posted at 5:02 PM, Mar 09, 2023

BOZEMAN — Families from all over Montana are in Bozeman for the state basketball tournament, looking to take home a trophy. But they’re also looking for affordable hotel rooms for their stay, which are hard to find.

“It was hard because there’s a lot of us family members that came up,” said Chantel Whiteman from Hardin, Montana. She and her family came to Bozeman on March 8 to support her two sisters in the class A state championship.

She says she was shocked when she began looking up hotels in Bozeman that were either booked out or outrageously expensive.

I spent some time looking at hotels in Bozeman and saw some that were over $300 a night. Others were averaging about $170-$200 a night.

Whiteman says this almost made her and her family decide to stay somewhere out of town.

“There’s a lot of native teams playing and a lot of fans coming up,” said Whiteman. “We were actually thinking about staying somewhere else like Livingston but because of the storm we had to come here.”

Whiteman and her family decided to stay at the C’mon Inn in Bozeman.

Her room is priced at $170 a night.

The manager of C’mon Inn told me they have 3 teams staying with them and they’ve been booked out for the last 2 days. She said sporting events always tend to spike their business.

And it’s not just hotels that feel the impact of a state tourney being hosted in town.

“This morning I printed off the roster to know what time the games are so we can anticipate when those rushes will be coming in,” said Jackie Lodine, the manager at Sidewinders in Bozeman.

She said they’ve been conducting a gameplan since last week to prepare for all business they’re expecting

“Once it starts, it’s just going to be a steady flow until the end of the night because there’s night games too,” said Lodine. “Definitely an increase in business for a Thursday night, that’s for sure.”

And despite Whiteman and her family's struggle to find a reasonably priced hotel, she says she’d come watch her sisters play basketball no matter what the cost.

“Go dogs!” shouted Whiteman.