Broadwater Hot Springs has Rich History
Colonel Charles Broadwater built the world famous Broadwater Hotel and Natatorium in 1889, the year Montana achieved statehood. This grand resort was the stopping place for elite travelers going to and from the national parks of Yellowstone and Glacier. The Broadwater Hot Springs Natatorium pool at 30,000 square feet, was the world’s largest indoor pool. At one end of the pool giant granite boulders formed into two waterfalls, one from the Hot Springs and one from a Cold Springs. The Natatorium also sported toboggan slides, a “plunge” and observation decks. Stained-glass windows and colorful tiles covered the interior floors and walls. At night, lit from within by electric lights, the building glistened like a jewel box.
Health for You and Pleasure Too was published by the Broadwater Hotel in 1907 as a marketing pamphlet supplied to the Northern Pacific and Great Northern Railways. Heralded as the perfect layover location for the trip between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, the Broadwater was the ideal luxury resort. Click on the cover of the pamphlet to be direct to the University of Montana Library Archives.
Colonel Broadwater died a couple years after the Hotel was built. An earthquake in 1935 severely damaged the Natatorium and it was soon condemned. At that time, the hotel became most known as a place for dancing and gambling. The state began to crack down on gambling and in 1941 the Hotel was closed down. In 1974, most remaining items in the Hotel were sold at auction.
The Broadwater Athletic Club and Hot Springs officially opened its doors October 17, 1979. Shortly thereafter the first of three Hot Springs pools was opened. In 1983, the Recreational pool was opened. This pool, also outdoors, is perfect for the enjoyment of children and adults alike. It is quite the experience to be swimming outside in a snowstorm! In 1989, a third Hot Springs pool was built.
The Broadwater Athletic Club expanded in 1995, adding the Adventure Zone, a 1,800 square foot indoor play area for kids. The Adventure Zone has officially retired as of July 2018 and is currently being renovated into a 1,800 square foot event space. We are now taking reservations for Christmas parties for the 2018 holiday season.
With a bow to the long and rich history of the natural mineral waters from the hot springs, in 2015 the facility under new ownership became Broadwater Hot Springs & Fitness.