Missoula just seems to thrive on party spirit, and in the interests of catering to that spirit the owner and operator of Ryan Creek Meadows has proposed a multi-act kegger for sometime in May. The concept is still in the planning stages, but Toby Hansen says he hopes to make this an annual event for the city.
“The more we look at [the venue]," Hansen tells the Independent, "the more we realize it’s as much an event location as it is a concert location.”
Ryan Creek Meadows is an outdoor concert venue located east of Missoula, just past Clinton. So far Hansen has worked closely with Scott MacIntyre, one of the owners of the Badlander, to hash out a rough formula for the kegger. MacIntyre, whose bar supplies alcohol for the venue, appeared before the Missoula Housing Authority (MHA) last night to propose a fundraising partnership. The event will hopefully bring in "several thousand dollars," MacIntyre told the MHA Board of Directors. He added that the money earned could be well spent renovating the 100-year-old Palace Hotel, which houses the Badlander, the Palace, the Savoy Casino and the Golden Rose. MHA and MacIntyre's business share the building.
"Financially, we're not in a place to start moving on renovating this building," MacIntyre told MHA. "These issues [water leaks] will be with us for a long time, and fundraising seemed to be a way to raise money for us and for MHA."
MHA liked the idea and said it plans to further consider involvement with the Ryan Creek Kegger as details are tied down. But the board did express concerns over how the venue will control drunk driving before and after.
To that end, Hansen plans to establish a "pretty heavy duty" shuttle system to and from the venue. He adds he's also entertaining the notion of having the Granite County Sheriff's Department set up a checkpoint at the venue's exit.
Hansen says that above all, he wants to avoid any association with Missoula's fabled Aber Day Kegger. He believes Ryan Creek Meadows, which hosted concerts with Mudvayne and Michael Franti last summer, needs to start establishing a bigger presence in the community.
“We’re really working hard this year to have at least one, maybe two events out there in addition to all the concerts that we’re going to have," Hansen says. "We want to make them our events.”