Montana has become the ideal place for "private and secure members-only resort communities", exclusive clubs, and luxury experiences that you're simply not invited to partake in if you're a commoner. From spas and golf courses to the famous locked-down communities with full services, being rich in Montana certainly has it's perks.

Custom homes, golf villas, exclusive ski hills with private access, and world-class restaurants that aren't open to the general public - none of that stuff is unusual in Montana anymore. Even if you aren't aware of all the private clubs, you know enough to probably name several celebrities that call one of these clubs home.

You've surely noticed the expansion of several Montana airports. But when you look closer, it's not that our airports are adding just a few more gates or a new public parking garage...new hangars for private jets are popping up way more often than any affordable housing buildings in said towns.

Go ahead - do a Google search for 'private jet Bozeman airport' and see what you get. There are several options for chartering a jet and it's certainly not an unusual activity at Montana's most popular airports. It's fun to check any flight tracker app for flights in and out of certain towns - some days it's a 50-50 split between commercial and private planes. (The circled flights are private planes, BTW.)

Flight Radar 24
Flight Radar 24
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I absolutely don't fault anyone for being rich and successful. There is nothing wrong with owning a big, beautiful home with lots of toys. The growing concern for many Montanans is that the social divide and change in the "Montana attitude" will completely change this place. Would an uber rich person pull over to help you on the side of the road? Maybe, but they probably took a helicopter to the ranch....so, no they won't.

COULD A LUXURY GROCERY STORE COME TO MONTANA?

If luxury real estate companies are still pushing "the Last Best Place" stuff so hard, how can a slew of exclusive, private, members-only places offer an experience that's anything like the real Montana? It's actually challenging to live here when you don't have a full staff to cook, drive, clean, plow, and maintain all your crap.

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According to The Luxury Vacation Guide: "Yellowstone Club initial membership dues are $400,000, plus over $40,000 a year, and you will need to buy or build a luxe mountain home at $3 million or more, once you've been invited to join the club."

According to Country Club Magazine: Estimated initiation fees for the Rock Creek Cattle Company are "Resident Membership: Required for property owners within the development, potentially in the range of $250,000 to $500,000. Golf Membership: Potentially $25,000 to $50,000 or higher, depending on the level of access and amenities."

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
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The list of private clubs and communities in Montana goes on, with more in the works. Iron Horse Golf Community. The Ranch Club. Elk Highlands. Whitefish Hills. Mountain Harbor. The Yellowstone Club. Rock Creek Cattle Company. Spanish Peaks. The Stock Farm in the Bitterroot Valley.

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