Connect With Your Community!

Chamber raising funds for Visitors Information Center

2024 is a milestone year for the Three Forks Chamber of Commerce, with the organization celebrating its 60th year.

Next month, the Chamber will host its Annual Meeting and Dinner on Saturday, May 11, at the Three Forks Rodeo Barn. According to Chamber President Leann Bryant, the event will serve as the largest fundraising event of the year for a new Visitor's Information Center (VIC) in Three Forks.

Bryant said that in the past, the Three Forks Area Historical Society graciously hosted a VIC in their Milwaukee Railroad caboose, but to the good fortune of the local community, they received a grant to restore the train to its original condition.

"While brainstorming with key players in the process, it has been decided we will purchase a 12'x24' building that will be located where the existing storage shed is now, just behind the train. The Chamber also hopes to provide the facility as a meeting place in off hours for local organizations to host meetings and small gatherings," Bryant said.

The Chamber is fundraising for the purchase of the building along with finishing work that will need to be completed, such as paint and drywall, electric, HVAC, and furnishing, with an ultimate goal of $30,000.

"While this seems like a daunting amount of money, the Chamber is confident we have a community that supports small business and will see the value in a centralized location for those businesses to market their services," Bryant said.

Once complete, Bryant said the Visitors Information Center will provide those passing through, new to the area, and long-term residents with a central location to receive full and up-to-date information about all Three Forks has to offer.

"We are a rich community full of outdoor activities, restaurants, shopping, historical attractions and more. Without a place to access the details of all this enrichment, things can go unnoticed by newcomers and passers-by and even be forgotten by our residents. A warm and inviting place to chat about the things Three Forks has to offer invites people to explore," said Bryant. "Maybe you've lived here your whole life, but you want to know more about the new business that just came to town or a community event happening. A VIC will provide a location to learn those details. We have numerous young families in Three Forks, and what a lovely afternoon it would be to take your children to the museum, have a picnic in the park, and stop in the VIC to learn more about what Three Forks has to offer your family."

Regarding the economic benefits for Three Forks, Bryant shared that the VICs are proven to increase overall foot traffic, increasing business revenue to support the local economy.

"Someone traveling through will likely stop to have a slice of Montana's favorite pie at the Iron Horse, and when passing by, stop in the Visitors Center and learn about Legacy Trading for unique gifts, or The Shoppe for some pastries to go, or choose to stop and pay their respects at the Trooper David DeLaittre Memorial Park," she said.

Because the Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit 501c6, they do not operate on secured government funding.

"Instead, we can only provide what the revenue from our generous Chamber Businesses pay in their annual membership fees and the little profit we receive from other various vendor events. This VIC will be wholly funded by the community for the community. While we have been awarded a grant to pay for operating expenses such as payroll to staff it, utilities, and other expenses during the operational months, the construction of the building is solely our responsibility," Bryant said.


This year's Three Forks Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and Dinner is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Rodeo Barn located at 95691 MT HWY 2.

Three Forks based business Blue Smoke BBQ will cater the event, followed by live music featuring Tessy Lou Williams. The event will also include a cash bar service provided by the Pony Bar and a Live Auction with prizes donated by local businesses.

Tickets are $50 each and include dinner and one drink ticket.

Soiree seating for a table of eight is $500, and two drink tickets per seat, a 'first in line' buffet serving, and an exclusive item available for private auction. Businesses with soiree seating will also be given a three-minute "Business Spotlight" to introduce themselves to guests.

The first 75 guests will receive a 'swag' bag filled with gifts from chamber members.

Bryant said the dinner is open to the public, and Chamber Ambassador Committee members Emily Smith and Stacy Miller have put together a fun-filled evening for all to enjoy while working toward a shared goal.

For tickets, please call Emily Smith at 406-285-4753 or email [email protected].