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The story of Buck's T-4 Lodging & Dining

big sky mt lodging - buck's t 4

Historic Roots

Established in 1946 by Buck and Helen Knight, the original Buck’s T-4 was built on the former Stillman land as a hunting camp. Setting up a sawmill on the property and skidding out the timber by horseback, the Knights built cabins and were open for hunters with lodging, meals, and guided pack trips costing only $12 per day. In 1950, two of the cabins were combined and converted into the present bar. With Buck behind the plank and Helen in the kitchen, Buck’s became a favorite Montana roadhouse for locals, hunters and tourists to Yellowstone National Park.

During the initial construction phases of Chet Huntley’s Big Sky Resort, Buck and Helen retired and sold the business to the Scholz family in 1972. Just out of college, Mike Scholz took the reins for the next 34 years. He displayed the same pride of ownership demonstrated by the Knights, striving to fulfill both the Knights’ and his dream of making Buck’s T-4 a resort complex.

In the 1970s, the addition of a dancehall, game room and pizza saloon quickly transformed Buck’s into the most popular dance venue in the state. Buck’s legendary New Year’s Eve parties featured Montana’s own Mission Mountain Wood Band and drew crowds of more than 1000 people every year. Visitors came from miles around to enjoy revered bands of the times – Asleep and the Wheel, Richie Havens and Norton Buffalo to name a few.

In the 1980s, the first hotel rooms were built and the restaurant began to emerge as a culinary destination, thanks to Chuck Schommer. By the 1990s, two additional hotel buildings and a lobby were constructed, with David O’Connor at the helm.

In 2006, for the first time in more than 30 years, Buck’s was no longer in Mike’s practiced hands. He sold Buck’s T-4 and retired in Big Sky. In 2009, he had the opportunity to buy the business back, this time forming an unbeatable partnership with Chuck and David. In early 2013, Chuck and David were able to assume Mike’s ownership, thus enabling him to once again retire, and once again pass the baton, this time from one family to two others.

However, this is not where the story ends.

In 2020, Chuck and David decided to sell the property to Lone Mountain Land Company, with hopes of supporting the community’s housing needs while giving the Buck’s leadership team of 10 years the opportunity to grow.

Now, a team who collectively has worked at Buck’s in every position imaginable for years, and who keeps the heart and soul of its history alive, have taken the reigns, allowing Chuck and David to enjoy all the pleasures that life in Montana has to offer.

The baton has been passed once again. This time, from two families to several families, still working together to create memorable experiences for our guests.

Thank you for being our guests. We look forward to meeting you.

– The Buck’s T4/LMLC Family