I've only lived in Missoula for eight months and I'm losing a landmark that's near and dear to me.  OK, so I don't have THAT deep of an attachment to Ruby's Inn.  But it is the first place my cats and I called home for two weeks after arriving in town.

After almost 40 years Ruby's Inn will close the doors for a final time next month.  It'll be replaced by a Homewood Suites by Hilton.

A new name and a new hotel.  But the same ownership will remain.  Erck Hotels is the company that operates Ruby's and they'll continue in that role with the new venture.

Lou and Ruby Erck built the hotel in 1980.  Both have since passed but Erck Hotels CEO/President Dustan Williams says they will keep the local ties to community with the transformation - saying it's what would have been important to Ruby and Lou.

How's this for a pretty cool fact?  While the hotel is under reconstruction, every employee that works for Ruby's has been placed in a different job by Erck Hotels, and some will return when the Homewood Suites by Hilton opens.

The new hotel will have 100 rooms and will be inspired by Ruby's - complete with the Griz decorations and a statue of Ruby and Lou.

Graduation day for the University of Montana this May will be the final day Ruby's will be open.  They hope the event will have them booked on their last night.

Demolition is expected to begin mid-May.  The new Homewood Suites hopes to open in July 2020.

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