The Baxter---A Community Icon
The Baxter Hotel opened on March 2, 1929. The building was the culmination of a large vision and the collective efforts of the Bozeman community. Fred Willson, the highly regarded Bozeman architect, designed the building in Art Deco style and continued to work on the building's interiors until 1951. The Bozeman Community Hotel Corporation was founded under the leadership of Eugene Graf and sixteen preeminent Bozeman businessmen who secured the support of approximately 250 members of the Bozeman community to finance the construction of the Baxter Hotel. George Baxter, a notable Gallatin County rancher, provided a significant portion of the financing and was rewarded by having the hotel named in his honor. The initial celebration for the opening of the Baxter was held on Saturday evening, March 16, 1929. J.A. Lovelace, a community leader and member of the Baxter board of directors, called for a toast in which all 250 attendees from the community raised their glasses "to the Hotel Baxter, to pledge ourselves to cooperate in doing everything possible to make Bozeman the best town in America in which to live."
From 1929 through 1982, the Baxter was Bozeman’s preeminent full-service hotel catering to generations of Montanans and many notables. However, in 1982, a developer acquired the Baxter and converted its upper levels into residential condominiums and the hotel operations ceased. In 2005, a new owner acquired a majority interest in the property and commenced a comprehensive renovation program to reinstate this treasure to its former glory as the Crown Jewel of Bozeman.