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Falls Motel

The Falls Motel is located in downtown Thompson Falls, Montana, in between Highway 200 and the Clarksville River. Just behind the property is a walking path that leads to the Thompson Falls and Dam, where guests can enjoy fishing. There are 24 units on the property that vary in size and features, including two wheelchair-accessible rooms. The unofficial motto, according to the owner Kristi, is "Cleanliness and friendliness." Common activities that draw visitors to the area include fishing, hunting, and visiting Glacier National Park. The property is open year-round, with its busiest season of operation being from mid-June to August. The property has been a lodging place since 1948, though the current owner has only been there since 2019.


The Falls Motel is a lodging establishment that is located in the southwestern section of Thompson Falls, Montana. The property is roughly a block and a half north of the Clarksville River and the Thompson Falls Dam, which are both nearby attractions that various guests have visited in the past. Falls Motel is the only motel in Thompson Falls that is within walking distance of downtown, according to the owner Kristi. The surrounding area can be described as a neighborhood, though the motel is just off of Highway 200. The highway is frequently used as a method of arriving at Glacial National Park to the northeast.

There are a total of four buildings that make up Falls Motel, all of which are ground-level. The buildings are relatively old, having been constructed in 1948. As was typical for the time, the property has a classic "motel" appearance with small lights outside of each door and small bushes at the foot of the rooms' windows. Additionally, there are parking spots in front of each unit. Kristi describes the Falls Motel as being "relatively small" for a motel, considering that they only have 24 units. While there are not many activities located directly on the premises, there are small manicured lawns, and landscaping has been done in an effort to improve the motel's appearance. A basic store can be found in the main building at the motel, which sells rudimentary items such as groceries, coffee, soda, and toothbrushes. Finally, there are a few areas on the property that have lawn chairs and umbrellas that allow guests to socialize outside.

The units are relatively uniform in their appearance, though there are different kinds of units that have slight nuances between them. Nine units are classified as "Double Queen" rooms. As the name infers, these rooms have two queen-sized beds and other kinds of furniture. Couches, televisions with cable, DVD players, desks, tables, chairs, and guest-controlled heating and air conditioning systems are all standard amenities that can be found within the units. Also located within Falls Motel are two "King" rooms, which have one king-sized bed apiece. There is also a "King Suite" that is the most upscale unit on-site, offering unique features such as an electric fireplace and a private patio area. As with all of the other rooms at the property, it has a private bathroom, free Wi-Fi access, a coffeemaker, a microwave, and a refrigerator. Kristi considers these amenities to be necessary within a motel, so she is surprised when guests call her to ask if the rooms come equipped with them.

Other room types at Falls Motel include nine "Queen" rooms and two "Triple" units. The former is similar to the "Double Queen" rooms, with the obvious exception of having one queen-sized bed instead of two. The "Triple" units contain two queen beds and a twin bed that can be found in a small, separate room. The beds at Falls Motel have quilt-style blankets, and other furniture in the guest accommodations is relatively simple, though renovations have been made at the establishment to maintain the living spaces at a twenty-first-century quality. Two of the rooms have been updated in such a way that they are currently wheelchair accessible.

Within walking distance are various attractions such as the Old Jail Museum, Thompson Falls Dam, and the Island Park. Guests are also able to venture further away from Thompson Falls as a whole in order to find activities such as hunting and fishing. At the Falls Motel specifically, Kristi has received visitors who have bagged game such as bears, rams, and deer. The nearby Montana landscape has various lakes and mountains, some of which are visible from Thompson Falls.


The culture at the Falls Motel that the owner Kristi and her staff try to emulate is a "homey" one. Kristi talks about how she wants to make a "personal experience for everybody. One of the ways she and her staff try to create this desired atmosphere is by interacting with the guests. Kristi will often personally socialize with her guests in the common spaces outside, where they have lawn chairs available. She mentions that because she tries to interact with her guests in a friendly manner, many of them become return customers. One guest, describing their experience at the property, said, "extremely polite staff, they were very accommodating to any and all of our needs. We thought we were going to need extra parking, and they were accommodating to that also."

The motto that Kristi and her staff have adopted over their time at the Falls Motel is "cleanliness and friendliness." Because they are in an older motel, having been constructed in 1948, Kristi is aware that special care must go into the maintenance of the buildings. She says, "you can have an old building, but as long as it's clean and the people are friendly, then they'll keep coming back." Many visitors have commented on the service they have received from the motel staff, as well as the overall cleanliness of the premises. One guest, in particular, said, "the motel was clean, well maintained, and the hosts made us feel very welcome the moment we entered."

Some unique policies that the Falls Motel has integrated into their service are having a 24-hour check-out and being a pet-friendly lodging facility. It should be noted, however, that dogs are the only pets allowed at the motel and guests need to keep them on leashes at all times and clean up after them. The property is often managed by five to six housekeepers, especially during the summer months—their busiest season of operation. The owner Kristi also directly participates in the operations and housekeeping. She says that the combination of having a loyal staff and "lots of hard work and elbow grease" helps keep the property running smoothly.

The demographic of the patrons that the Falls Motel typically has staying on their property are people that are passing through. Kristi has noted that many of these travelers come from Washington, California, and Oregon. Thompson Falls itself is not a notable tourist location, but Kristi describes it as being a central stop for people making their way to Glacier National Park, among other places. Often the motel will have groups of Harley Davidson motorcyclists and Model A travelers (processions of vintage Ford vehicles).

Some of the local attractions guests can go to during their stay in the area include the Thompson Falls and Dam—a popular place for fishing. Because the Falls Motel is the only motel in downtown Thompson Falls, guests staying on the premises are able to walk to the local café and bar. Some restaurants near the motel include Minnie's, Big Eddies, and the HighLead Saloon Smokehouse and Casino. One guest mentioned that the Falls Motel is a "great little place to stay if you need someplace to stay in Thompson Falls. The motel is vintage, has been updated, and is clean. It is a very quiet and peaceful place to stay and a short walk to the walking bridge across the river."

Montana itself is known by some for its recreational activities. Some of the more popular of these activities include hunting and fishing. Montana also has various outdoor attractions that draw in visitors. Perhaps the most prominent of these is the Glacier National Park. Flathead Lake and the Lolo National Forest are also within a couple hours' drive of the motel.


While most of the specific history pertaining to the Falls Motel is relatively unknown, there are a handful of facts that Kristi is aware of that are of note. Firstly, Kristi herself has been managing the day-to-day affairs of the establishment for just over two years, having started in 2019. The motel has continuously operated as a lodging business, and it first opened its doors to the public in 1948 by the Moore family. There has been an abundance of owners of the Falls Motel over the years, though their names and backgrounds are unknown until 2007 when Mark and Katrina Campbell took up ownership of the property.

The property's old age has made frequent renovations a high priority for Kristi, as well as many of the previous owners. Some of the updates that have taken place over the motel's existence include replacing the furniture, adding more units, and "gutting everything out," according to Kristi. Within the next two years, she hopes to have everything "100% upgraded." Other more hypothetical goals would include the addition of an RV park and/or cabins in an empty lot located not far from Falls Motel.

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112 S Gallatin St
Thompson Falls, Montana 59873
United States


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The Moores, Mark & Katrina Campbell

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