Montana Lodge is King of the Mountain

When it comes to over-the-top installations, this 17K-square-foot "lodge" is king of the mountain, with about $2.5M in electronics.

This 17,000-square-foot lodge in Big Sky, Montana has gorgeous views of Big Sky Mountain and about $2.5 million in electronics.
Steve Crowe · December 28, 2010

Located on Big Sky Mountain in Big Sky, Mont., this 17,000-square-foot lodge has gorgeous mountain views and about $2.5 million in electronics.

There is $750,000 of Crestron equipment alone, giving the part-time residents complete control over everything in the house.

And there’s a lot to control. According to Avitel, the Bozeman, Mont.–based custom installation firm that designed and installed the system, there are 760-plus loads of Crestron lighting control and automation, which they claim is the biggest Crestron lighting control system on one processor. Even the two chandeliers in the great room are controllable, lowering at the press of a button so it is easier to change the bulbs.

The lodge includes 29 Sharp 1080p LCDs, 66 zones of audio (299 total speakers, 42 of which are outdoors), 11 surround-sound zones using Crestron C2N-DAP8 Processors, 20 Kaleidescape Movie Players that house 14 terabytes worth of media, 17 fireplaces, a Bosch whole-house security system with 30 cameras tied to DVRs, automated heating and cooling, and more. Everything is controllable via 63 Crestron touchscreens and 31 RTI remotes.

Photos: Montana Lodge is King of the Mountain

“This is the hardest project we’ve ever done. We started five years ago and are still updating things,” says Matt Flynn, who programmed the home’s Crestron system. “The sheer amount of raw programming was a huge challenge. Are we turning on the right zone, the right speaker? Instead of looking at it as one big project, we broke it down into more smaller projects, taking it one room at a time.”

Even one room at a time, the job was still arduous. There are six bedrooms, 14 patios, 11 bathrooms, a home theater, a gym with a spa - and that’s just for starters.

Each bedroom has its own 65-inch LCD mounted over a remote-controllable gas fireplace, a surround- sound system, at least one Crestron touchpanel and RTI remote, and a bedside iPod dock. One bedroom has three Crestron touchpanels - one on each side of the bed and one in the wall - plus an RTI remote.

The bathrooms have at least one TV, one RTI U2 waterproof remote, in-ceiling and in-shower speakers, and a Panasonic intercom system that controls the main gates to the house. One bathroom has two 19-inch wall-mounted LCDs - one near the shower and one by the toilet.

And the owners didn’t skimp on the home theater, either. It features a Digital Projection TITAN projector, a 140-inch Stewart Filmscreen CineCurve screen with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, 11 B&W CT-8 speakers, Rotel amplifiers, and XLO and Nordost cabling.

There are several ski bridges on Big Sky Mountain that lead to this lodge. The owners can ski right up, store their equipment in the ski locker room, warm up their boots on the boot warmers and themselves in the spa, and enjoy all the audio/video heaven this place has to offer. And the best part? You can enjoy it, too. The owners, who only stay here a couple weeks each year, rent the place for $5,000 per night.

More Highlights
A whopping 52 miles of wiring course behind the walls of this home. The cost of the prewire: upwards of $90,000.

Winters in Montana are brutal. A snowmelt system was installed to remove snow and ice from the driveway, walkways, and other areas.

Summers can be buggy. A bug misting system keeps pesky insects away. Plastic pipes run the length of the residence to emit the repellent.

Electricity is supplied by a single-phase system, the biggest found in any home in Montana, according to Avitel. Normally a three-phase service would have been installed, but it was not available at the time of construction. The electricians on the job recommended never turning all the lights on at once, fearing it would cause an outage.

If you ever stay at this lodge, make sure to bring your dog(s). And feel free to wash them in the “Dog Bath,” a separate bathroom that comes with a RTI waterproof U2 remote.

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  About the Author

Steve Crowe has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Steve at

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  Article Topics

News · Crestron · Home Theater · Installation · All Topics
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