FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Kids Activities: The Bozeman Public Library has kids programs which are very popular. For outdoor education, Montana Outdoor Science School runs year-round programs for ages pre-kindergarten to teen, highly recommended - check out their class schedule on the web. During summer, Bogart Pool located on S Church Ave has lots of things going on, including a brand new 25 foot high water slide!
How long has Bozeman Cottage been in business? Since 1998, starting with just the Bohart house and gradually expanding to include all the properties on the web site.
What day of the week do reservations start? Any day you want, no rules about that because it's ridiculous to make people start their vacations on a specific day of the week. A one week reservation means staying 7 nights, ie. arrive on Saturday, leave the next Saturday.
What is the minimum stay? Minimum stays are listed on the Main page where the price is shown. Some houses have 7 night minimums during Summer and holidays unless the reservation is made within 60 days of arrival. If shorter gaps are created in between two other reservations you can reserve them at any time (in other words, two week-long reservations with say, 4 nights in between, can be booked during Summer or Christmas even if it's far in advance).
How do I make a reservation? The whole reservation process consists only of either 1) filling in the on-line reservation linked from this page; or 2) replying to an email and typing in your name and other contact info then simply emailing it back to me. A 25% reservation deposit holds the reservation. Reservations may also be faxed back.
Methods are available to me? Credit cards:
Payable on-line, or I can process payments using your Visa, Mastercard,
Discover card information.
How much of a damage deposit is required? I don't actually collect the damage deposits since I've had so few instances of need. The rental agreement says you agree to use your credit card number or mail a check as your damage deposit, and I have the right to charge your card for any damage incurred during your stay.
What is the cancellation policy? Any cancellation made 60 days or more before the scheduled arrival date will receive a full refund of the reservation deposit, less a $75 cancellation fee plus actual credit card fees (2.5% of the transacted amount). Any cancellation made within 60 days of the scheduled arrival date shall be subject to a forfeiture of the Agreement payment(s), unless the Manager is able to re-rent the Premises for the reserved dates at an equivalent rate.
What is the 7% bed tax? This tax is included in the rental rate, except where noted. Montana does not have a sales tax, but the bed tax has been in effect since 1987. Businesses who provide lodging must collect the tax and forward it to the Montana Department of Revenue on a quarterly basis. Proceeds from the tax are transferred to the Montana Heritage Commission for the preservation of its historic properties; the university system for a Montana travel research program; the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks for the maintenance of facilities in state parks; the Montana Historical Society for signage and maintenance of historic sites; and the Department of Commerce for tourism promotion and for the promotion of Montana as a location for the production of motion pictures and television commercials.
What are the benefits of renting a house vs. a hotel room or B&B? A house provides a livable space with all the amenities needed for cooking and entertaining family and friends, yet provides more privacy compared to a hotel room. You have to make your own breakfast, but the kitchens are stocked with non-perishable goods as well as all the pots/pans/appliances you'll need. You also get to escape the hotel environment and location, oftentimes being able to walk downtown or in some cases there are bikes to borrow (Bohart, Peach, & Garden Cottages). Having your own yard is a real plus, as well. The Bohart Guest House also has chickens for entertainment and eggs, vegetable gardens, a raspberry patch, cherry tree, and apple tree.
How is it that renting an entire house can be so affordable? Hotels in Bozeman are relatively expensive, which opens the niche for alternative lodging to compete. With one room at the Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn, etc etc running at over $900/week and more standard hotels at about $500, I commonly have a hard time convincing first timers that there is nothing wrong with my properties. They are very well kept, exceptionally clean, and equipped with high quality beds/mattresses/linens/towels. You'll notice from the independently posted reviews that many, many people are more than satisfied and return repeatedly. Reviews for each house are linked from my Main page.
What airport do I fly into for Bozeman? Gallatin Field, airport code BZN, located just 8 miles from downtown Bozeman. If you have trouble getting flights into Bozeman or find them expensive, try Billings, Helena, or Butte (140, 90, and 80 miles away, respectively).
When should I visit Bozeman for Skiing, Fishing, Hiking, etc? Please see my separate page for a description of the seasons and fishing information (click here).
How do I find the house? I will email you directions to your house. There is a map link for each house on the Portfolio/Bozeman Houses page, so you can print that map and bring it with you. Cab drivers can find street addresses usually, but will not know where the houses are by name (like, "Where is Bohart Guest House?"). You must bring all necessary information with you to find your house - you may not be able to reach me when you arrive. The directions and keyless door code you receive by email are bulletproof. If you have questions about arrival then call or write to me before you leave home.
How do I check-in, and at what time? Most houses have keyless entry locks, so all you need is your own personal code for the lock and the directions to the house. This way you can arrive whenever you want and you don't need to find me OR a key to get in. Keyless entry means you don't have to keep track of keys and everyone has access to the house if you split up during the day. I'll come by sometime during your stay just to put a face to the name. Check-in varies by property, but is between 3-5 pm. Larger houses need more time to be cleaned and during busy seasons we commonly have people leaving in the morning and the next party arriving the same afternoon. If not, then we can usually flex the check-in/check-out times.
How do I check-out? Check-out time is 10am. Just collect your belongings, stripping the beds is appreciated, pick up the house and lock the door. We'll take care of all the cleaning and laundry and as long as there is no excessive cleaning or damage, your damage deposit will not be charged. Usually a damage deposit is not charged unless necessary and most people elect to provide a credit card number which I reserve the right to charge but hardly ever do.
What is the Pet policy? Pets are welcome at most of my properties with an extra daily charge and damage deposit. By the same token, if anyone in your party has severe pet allergies I will most likely have to refer you to other, usually new, houses which are kept allergy free. Please tell me ahead of time if you plan on bringing your pet, as this doesn't make the best surprise. I have found that the best pets are the ones who are lucky enough to travel instead of stay home locked up in the yard or the kennel. Help me to keep this impression!
How many people work at Bozeman Cottage? One, Paul House, native of Bozeman. I don't keep very traditional hours, but you will notice I get things done quickly and as easily as possible. I also publish this web site which is why it's always up to date and organized simply without a bunch of fancy, frilly web features. Any suggestions for the site? email me.
How did this business get started? I have always surmised that a niche business existed which provides accommodations superior to local hotels. My calculator told me that financially this should work, and it has. For the first 3 years I just had my own Bohart House, then thru hometown connections I gradually took on other properties and let the business grow slowly. It is not, nor should it be, my main job, and for this reason it is still fun. My education is in geohydrology and I mostly work in sustainable energy integration (www.choiceenergy.org) - solar thermal, biofuels, electric bikes and lawnmowers, and anything else that is simpler and more efficient than the status quo. I see the energy predicament we are in as an opportunity to be creative. In Bozeman, having just one profession is both difficult and silly. The cost of living is high, wages low, and therefore creativity is very helpful in creating a healthy lifestyle.
Is there public transportation in the area? Yes there is as of 2006. A free bus network serves Bozeman, 4-Corners and Belgrade, and now there is a free Big Sky shuttle. The Bozeman area bus info is at www.streamlinebus.com
Want to add a suggestion to the FAQ list? Email here.