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

big sky mt lodging - buck's t 4

Historic Roots

The original Buck’s T-4 was established in 1946 by Buck and Helen Knight, on the original Stillman land, as a hunting camp. Setting up a saw mill on the property and skidding out the timber by horseback, the Knights built cabins and opened for hunters with lodging, meals, and a horse with guide costing only $12 a day. In 1950, two of the cabins were slid together 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 full service 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 upwards of 1000 people. People came from miles around to enjoy such bands as Asleep and the Wheel, Richie Havens and Norton Buffalo.

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

In 2006, for the first time in over 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.

From the Knights, from the Scholz family, from the Schommers and O’Connors they thank you for your loyal patronage over the last 70+ years.

That is not where this story ends though. As you have learned, Buck’s has always supported the community and growth of the families that run it. So, in 2020 when Chuck and David got the offer from Lone Mountain Land Company, to sell the property in hopes of supporting the communities housing needs and giving the leadership team of 10 years the opportunity to grow they said, “YES”. Haley Rowland, who has worked at Buck’s since college in almost every position property wide, Scott Mechura the man behind the food and strong leadership in the kitchen, and Norm St. Onge who makes sure it all works, happily stepped up to take the reins and send Chuck and David to endless camping days. The baton is passed once again this time from two families to a whole team of families.

Thank you for being our guests and we look forward to meeting you.

-Scott, Haley, Norm & the Buck’s T4/LMLC Family