Can anyone identify this photo, taken near Billings MT?

Travel Forums Travel Photography Can anyone identify this photo, taken near Billings MT?

1. Posted by Ray Bell (Budding Member 45 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

My wife took this photo one night as we were looking for somewhere to park our van in Montana...

It was taken in Montana, definitely between Big Timber and Hardin somewhere (other photos set these parameters), and it was taken in April, 2016.

Not knowing where or what it is really bugs me, so I'm hoping someone can help me out with it.

https://i.postimg.cc/Jn4SSL50/0429-26-brightspot.jpg

2. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 277 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

Ray, you don't say when the picture was taken but as near as I can find, it was at Maui Nights Casino off 1-90 in Billings. That business looks to now be High Tide casino, and possibly only a couple of neon palms remain. The Happy Endings Casino at Deer Lodge, not far from Butte, also had a "forest" of neon palms that the city made them remove, and has since closed.

3. Posted by Ray Bell (Budding Member 45 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

Thank you, goodfish...

I Actually did mention the month and year, but not the date. April 30, 2016. It seems my memory is faulty as the photo was taken from the carpark of the adjacent Econo Lodge hotel, judging by the fences and other details.

It also is difficult to reconcile some features of the building with that angle, but the fences are the same in both my 2016 picture and the 2021 Street View pictures.

My memory of that night is clear only on one detail. We drove into a Walmart carpark and sought out the staff parking area. It was in a fairly large area to the left of the store (as you drive into the carpark) with trucks coming and going, my wife told me she wouldn't be able to sleep there and we went elsewhere.

The Laurel Walmart fits that description, so it is possible we went to Billings and the Econo Lodge was right there at the exit from the Interstate. Deer Lodge is out as we came down out of Canada to Helena and stayed there the previous night, then headed East.

4. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 277 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

Oops, sorry, you did say 2016. Apologies for my (currently fuzzy) COVID brain.
So sounds like Maui Nights/High Tide in Billings was the place: the Econolodge is right there.

5. Posted by Ray Bell (Budding Member 45 posts) 18w Star this if you like it!

I recall nothing of the Econo Lodge, but when I used Google Earth to 'look at' the Maui Nights establishment it was obvious that the white fence in the foreground is the one separating it from the Econo Lodge.

It seems, by the way, that most of those 'neon palms' are still there along the back fence, the fence separating the property from the freeway entry.

Like I said, I can't reconcile some details in my pic with the present reality. But there may have been remodelling done or something. The power pole evident just outside the wire fence near the bright green 'palm' is also seen in the Street View picture.

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