A Place to Call Homey

A Place to Call Homey

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Joe King

You may have heard of it: south of Bozeman, not far from the idyllic Gallatin River, a small private community nestled in the mountains. It’s a place of privacy, endless recreation, abundant wildlife, and a stunning natural landscape that feeds both body and soul. We’re talking, of course, about the West Yellowstone Club, Montana’s latest ultra-exclusive development. It’s like the Yellowstone Club, but a lot more Western.

Here, you can escape the stresses of modern life by embracing high-country redneck charm. Far from the hustle and bustle of cities, highways, and social norms, folks who love the bountiful Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are free to enjoy it as they please.

Connection to nature plays a central role in the development's planning. Coy-dogs roam off-leash and most children begin wilderness-indoctrination and self-defense training before they can walk. A seven-acre park and petting zoo allows members to mingle with local fauna in an oversized, above-ground pool.

To preserve the time-honored values and character of small-town Montana, strict covenants are enforced: residents must park on their lawns, next to an inoperable vehicle of unknown age. Members are required to have at least one misdemeanor (anything indecent is a bonus), a negative net worth, and a drinking problem. Lifetime NRA memberships are a prerequisite for each applicant, as is the ability to drink beer while snowmobiling, fish for trout with treble hooks, and call in elk using an old oil funnel.

“It’s a great place to raise a family,” says resident Linda Jean Hanson. “We've been kicked out of every little town from Rock Springs to Pocatello, but it looks like we finally found a place to call home.” It’s easy to see why so many drifters make these homes a permanent residence. Each unit features an open floor plan with distressed window panes, shag carpet, and pre-installed gun racks in every room. Luxury options offer centralized smoke vents and stainless-steel spittoons.

The clubhouse itself is attractive enough for most applicants, with bowling lanes, circus games, and weekly square dances. “The variety of entertainment options is important,” says Hanson. “Don’t get me wrong, I love the pool. But by mid-July, when you got 20 people crammed in there with a bunch of ducks, I make like a bandit for the whack-a-mole station next to the Coke machine.”

Demand for such a unique set of amenities is high, and once the club reaches its membership cap of 500, a network of trip wires and cattle guards around the property’s perimeter will keep non-members at bay. Which is important to mothers like Hanson. “Right now, it's really safe, and I can let my kids just be kids – you know, spray-painting dumpsters, shooting squirrels, and racing lawnmowers through the creek," she says. But you start lettin' just anybody in, and that could all change.”

At press-time, only 23 double-wide homesites remain. For more information, visit westyellowstoneclub.com or stop by the leasing office during business hours to schedule a tour. Note that only spit cups with sealable lids may enter the model homes.

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