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Changes at Wapiti
with new owners

 Pat and Linda Holt, left, and Bret Holt, right, have opened up the Wapiti Resort to the public after taking over in July. Bret and his wife, Louann, will be moving here from Canada in the spring.

by Suzanne Vernon
For the Pathfinder
October 22, 1998

Changes are being made at the Elk Horn Cafe & Motel and Wapiti Resort since new owners Pat and Linda Holt, formerly of Lolo, Montana and Bret and Louann Holt of Alberta, Canada, took over operations in July.

The biggest change is a new management style and philosophy, Linda Holt explained recently. The Resort office is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with expanded hours during the summer. Inquiries about accommodations are welcome, Holt said.

The Holts are upgrading all of the facilities to better accommodate families, organizations and businesses. The family-style Elk Horn Cafe menu has been changed in recent months, and prices have been reduced, she said. The restaurant is open seven days a week, serving breakfast all day, along with lunch and dinner.

A new playground was built this summer, along with a larger "horseshoes" area. Plans for next year include adding a miniature golf course.

Holt, who is a native of Australia, recently moved to Seeley Lake from Lolo with her family to manage the Resort. Her husband, Pat, is an attorney and also serves as a judge in Missoula. The couple's son, Payden, attends Seeley Lake Elementary School. Business partners, Bret and Louann Holt, operate a family ranch in Alberta.

Linda noted that the Resort showed a significant increase in restaurant and accommodations business this summer, and that special weekend packages for meals and accommodations will be offered this winter. She added that a new hot tub is being installed at the motel, which should prove popular among snowmobilers and skiers.

The Elk Horn Motel offers 21 rooms and 10 cabins. All cabins are complete with kitchen facilities, Holt explained, adding that hunters and snowmobilers, especially, enjoy the cabins. The lakeside Resort also has 10 RV sites available for overnight camping.

The Resort is a popular location for private parties, such as weddings and family reunions. For example, the Camp 9 "mess hall" at the Resort can seat 100 people, and includes conference and kitchen facilities. Meals can also be catered from the Elk Horn Cafe, Holt explained.

The Holts will continue to host these events, Linda said, but services for individuals, small businesses, clubs and organizations are also being expanded.

The Wapiti Resort has scheduled a Grand Opening costume party during the Halloween weekend at the Golden Garter Saloon, which is open Friday and Saturday nights from 5 p.m. until closing. The western-style Saloon, which features new decor and artwork, is a "non-smoking" establishment, Holt said.

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