The hostel at 1714 11th Ave. was where many lawmakers stayed during legislative sessions.
“Good gracious for 40 years, this was THE place,” said Dave Lewis, former state lawmaker and budget manager. “During the legislative session, this is where lawmakers went to visit and make their deals.”
Lewis said that when he was budget manager in the 1980s, he often attended a 7 a.m. breakfast hosted by House and Senate leaders to discuss how to proceed with the budget.
Lewis said that in recent years other places have surfaced where lawmakers will stay.
Bowers said she was sure the hotel would continue to be a popular spot during the legislative session. She also added that the development on the site of the former Capital Hill shopping center – which will include a Benefis Health System medical facility and other businesses – will help.
According to a story posted on Jorgenson’s website, Fred Jorgenson, a young Danish immigrant, was crossing Montana on his way to California in 1912 when the train broke down in Helena. By the time it was fixed several days later, Jorgenson decided he would move to Helena instead.
The family built the Jorgenson Restaurant, adjacent to a 37-unit motel near the State Capitol in 1958. The motel was later purchased by the Jorgenson family and expanded into a 102-room resort.