Venture Motor Inn and Restaurant, Located at  1015 9th St, in Libby. Photo by Brian Baxter, The Montanian

Venture Inn plans for springtime renovations

By Brian Baxter


“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” This statement by Socrates, the classical Greek philosopher credited as one of the founders of western philosophy capitalizes on a foundation of wisdom with very few words. In sync with spring, and a common pulsating beat of positive energy in Libby and its surrounding areas, the Venture Inn in Libby will be undergoing a major renovation this March.

Originally named The Venture Motor Inn, the business opened under the ownership and management of Bob and Pat Chapman in April 1974. The brand new motel offered 50 guest rooms with a restaurant, cocktail lounge, and convention center. In 1980, 21 guest rooms were added along with an enclosed pool and hot tub area. In 1985, the Harris family acquired the business and operated it for 29 years. In Dec. 2013, Paul Bunn purchased it and changed the name to the Venture Inn.

Bunn immediately began to upgrade the mattresses, guest rooms, conference rooms, and banquet facilities to accommodate any kind of group, meeting, or conference.

The Venture Inn is nestled in the beautiful Kootenai River Valley at the base of the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness, and is centrally located for any northwest Montana getaway. Their address is 1015 West 9th Street, U.S. Highway 2 in Libby.

In 2014, Bunn began putting together a team to help introduce folks to the shining gem that is northwestern Montana. The group came up with the slogan, Kootenai Country Montana (KCM), and they created the website,, to help get the word out about our remote area with greater than 2.2 million acres of emerald forest dotted with hundreds of shining lakes, rivers, and streams. KCM also highlighted the amazing diversity and uniqueness of wildlife in the region. The cool moist modified Pacific-Maritime climate, terrain, and abundance of wetlands and waterways allow for an incredible array of wildlife to live and thrive in these habitats. Abundant fish species, waterfowl, and numerous birdlife call Kootenai Country Montana home, and some of the winged visitors pass through during migrations. The group intentionally shares this information to let the public know about this rare location, as one visit will be eye opening.

The organization does not forget to give credit to the rugged individualists who live in the region, work hard, recreate in the wild and pristine areas, and whom have shown time after time, the generosity of their enormous hearts.

KCM, the Venture Inn, and the Country Inn across the street from the Venture, are an inclusive concept that often combines efforts as a community minded and charitable group. Recently, they have sponsored and donated to Shop With A Cop, Troy’s After School Program, Troy’s Youth Scholarships, the Troy, Eureka, and Libby Food Banks, the Libby Cross Country Ski Group, Troy’s Friends of the Library, and the Troy Chamber of Commerce.

With the heartfelt theme of community generosity raising spirits and elevating hope, a desire to increase appeal as a meeting place for groups of all persuasions, and a sincere wish to make it less difficult for locals and visitors to negotiate all three levels of the Venture Inn, Bunn is hard at work with a consulting architect. The planned installation of an elevator will especially help the disabled and elderly.

Design and structure plans also include an enhanced outside entrance and carport, and a more open lobby and pool entrance. Marketing Manager, Casey Fletcher said, “We are also looking at adding a more modern and comfortable socializing area where people can come in and hangout, enjoy one another’s company or read a book.”

Work is expected to begin in March.

The newly designed lobby will house the Kootenai Country Montana Fine Art Gallery displaying the art of  local talented oil and watercolor painters, various sculptors, photographers, and other talented artists. Much of the artwork depicts the beautiful wild creatures that inhabit our environment.

The foyers and some of the banquet and conference rooms will have nature based artwork displayed as well. Gallery Manager, Shae Munro, will be giving the finer touches to the art decor. The overall theme of the renovated building will be strongly connected with the Kootenai Country Montana International Chainsaw Carving Championship, that according to lead organizer and Country Inn Manager, Troy Douthit, will be held from Sept 10 – 13 this year and is now accepting applications at:

This premiere carving event is another brainchild of Bunn. It pays tribute to Libby’s timber heritage. The event has gained a lot of attention  and draws top notch professional carvers from around the world. Bunn and his entire team are striving to make Libby the chainsaw carving capitol of the world.

Accents planned as part of the renovation will include additional local timber slab furniture, counter tops, trimming, and unique carvings placed inside and outside of the Venture Inn. Surely the new look adorned with these artistic enhancements will add to the beauty and positive changes happening in our communities. For more information on the Venture Inn visit www.vent, call 293-7711, or email info@Vent

Notice of public hearing on recommended zoning changes

Public Hearing

on  Zoning changes

Tuesday Feb. 18, 6 p.m.

The City of Libby Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Council Chambers – located at City Hall in Libby.

The purpose of the public hearing is to receive public comments concerning the recommended zoning changes to the City of Libby’s zoning district entitled Main Business District.

At the public hearing, the Zoning Commission will present its proposed changes which includes the creation of two new commercial districts, the Downtown Business District and Highway Commercial District; and changes to the text and map, including increasing the Business-Residential District area.

A history of the process, the basis for the changes and a summary of the changes will be included in the presentation. All interested persons will be given the opportunity to ask questions and express opinions regarding the proposed changes. Copies of the proposed changes to the text and map are available at City Hall located at 952 E. Spruce Street in Libby, as well as on the City’s website, They will also be available at the public meeting.