The present day Montana Holidays Inc started life in late September 1980 over a few beers at the Victoria Hotel in Wagga Wagga after a City vs Waratahs Rugby Union game.
Waratahs players Vince Lenehan, Ray de la Motte and Richard Reading together with Tim Brennan were bemused at the high costs of accommodation in the ski fields and came up with the idea of starting a ski lodge in the Snowy Mountains. In the following week Vince made a reconnaissance at Jindabyne. Armed with Vince’s information, Tim, Ray & Richard made the fateful journey to Jindabyne the following week to buy a lodge.
Tim was the real estate consultant, Richard the legal brains and Ray had knowledge of ski type accommodation.
Numerous inspections of potential lodges were made with the Hubertus Lodge in Munyang St being the preferred option at $195,000. Richard was so committed that he decided to personally take up the Contract with exchange on 17 November 1980, completion on 24 March 1981 and possession on 28 May 1981.
The trip back from Jindabyne was thankfully pre RBT days as a beer or two was had at every pub on the way back to Wagga.
On their return, the group then had to fund the purchase of the lodge in a hurry as Richard was personally liable for the contract. A list of all friends, acquaintances and potential members was drawn up, and a prospectus prepared.
In total 81 shares were sold. There were supposed to be 80 shares but Richard miscounted and sold an extra share. As the time for settlement came close it was apparent that there was an insufficient number of shares sold so John and Shirley Lenehan generously purchased all remaining shares and so the lodge purchase was able to be settled.
Richard was responsible for the novel legal and financial set up of the Lodge as the property was owned by a shelf company, Anblickhutte Ltd. The ski club, Anblickhutte Ski Club was responsible under a lease arrangement with Anblickhutte Ltd for all financial outgoings such as rates, repairs, improvements, insurance, electricity, legal fees.
The Austrian name for the lodge was Ray’s creation – Anblick = view, Hutte = hut, as there was an excellent view from the back balcony over Jindabyne and the lake.
The initial annual General Meeting was held at the Wagga Commercial Club on 30 April 1981 with 23 members present.
A General Meeting was called on 29 October 1981 as it was apparent that the Lodge would not survive financially unless there was some type of annual subscription in place to cover annual ongoing fixed costs. The current system of rebate on accommodation was accepted by the members thereby ensuring the ongoing financial stability of the lodge.
In 1992 the members instigated serious considerations into revamping the Munyang St property and came up against the Snowy River Council.
Following exhaustive meetings with Council by Colin Duff an appeal was made to the Land and Environment Court in March 1993, the lodge being represented by Colin Duff, Rhonda Duff and Ray de la Motte. The lodge won the application to commence re-development.
However following a review of the structural condition of the premises by David Scoble, Greg Howick and Colin Duff it was considered that the cost of the redevelopment of the site was prohibitive and a decision was made to sell and purchase a new property.
Maintenance of the predominantly timber construction of the old lodge was becoming prohibitive and it was apparent that there were serious building concerns which would have been very expensive to repair.
A purchasing committee comprising Tim Brennan, Pixie Coates, Peter Ring, David Nicholson and Garth Crosthwaite set off for Jindabyne to buy a replacement lodge.
In March 1995 the old lodge at Munyang St was sold for $175,000 fully furnished and the new lodge Montana at Candlebark Ct purchased for $290,000 was also fully furnished.
The Montana lodge was built around 1990 at a cost of $450,000, with land value at $60,000 and furnishings at $50,000. What a deal!
Ray de la Motte – 1981 - 1986
Colin Duff - 1987, 1988
Glen Gaudron – 1989 - 1993
Garth Crosthwaite -1994 -1996
David Nicholson - 1997 - 2014
Keith Donaldson - 2014 -
David Parker - 2014 - 2017
Jack Andrew - 2018 -
Richard Reading - 1981 - 1985
Tim Brennan – 1986 - 1988
Janet Scoble – 1989 - 1993
James Hamilton - 1997 -
Tim Brennan - 1982 - 1989
Pixie Coates - 1990 - 2004
Lesley Vennell - 2005 - 2014
Liz de la Motte - 2015 -
Greg Howick - 1994, 1995
Robert Nicholson - 1997, 1998
Don McIntyre - 2003 - 2017
Colin Duff - 1992 - 1996
David Parker - 1997 - 2014
Murray de la Motte - 2014 -