Jet hauled out of Yellowstone Jet Center

A jet is hauled out of the Yellowstone Jetcenter Executive Terminal on Monday. The Montana Department of Revenue seized more than 800 bottles and cans of alcohol on June 25 from the center.

The revenue department alleges the alcohol belongs to a Yellowstone Club business.

The Yellowstone Club has asked Montana officials for a hearing over alleged liquor law violations and the more than 800 bottles and cans of alcohol confiscated at the Yellowstone Jetcenter in June.

Shane Reely, attorney for Yellowstone Mountain Club, sent a letter to the Montana Department of Revenue asking for the hearing. The mountain club runs the Yellowstone Club golf course and golf course clubhouse and is connected to Rainbow Lodge, Timberline Lodge and Warren Miller Lodge, according to the Montana Secretary of State.

In June, the revenue department seized 429 bottles of liquor, 70 bottles of wine and 319 bottles or cans of beer in a building at 456 Wings Way, according to a revenue department notice of seizure and intent to forfeit. That address is connected to the Yellowstone Jetcenter.

State law does not allow bars and restaurants to store alcohol off-site.

The Montana Department of Justice, which investigates liquor violations, found the booze a day after the state fined four Yellowstone Club businesses $370,000 for liquor violations.

As part of an agreement in that case, the revenue department did not revoke liquor licenses for Rainbow Lodge Lounge, H&K Spirits, Timberline Lounge and Base Lodge. The state suspended the businesses’ liquor licenses and approved a new liquor license for the Boot Room and Buffalo Bar and Grill.

According to revenue department documents, a whistleblower in January told the department that Boot Room and Buffalo Bar and Grill was serving and storing alcohol while applying for a liquor license.

The whistleblower said alcohol was loaded into a U-Haul truck and hidden in a nearby parking garage the day before an inspector checked on the restaurants. The booze was brought back after the inspector left.

Days after the inspection, inspectors returned and found stocked bars, wine and customers drinking despite the businesses not having a liquor license, according department documents. Investigators seized more than 9,000 bottles of liquor, wine and beer, and 31 kegs of beer from the two bars.

The informant said some Yellowstone Club restaurants used a Bozeman warehouse to receive alcohol deliveries, according to department documents. Investigators later found alcohol that was stored for the club at a Bozeman warehouse.

Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2630. Follow him on Twitter @TGIFreddy.

Reporter

Freddy Monares covers politics and county government for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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