PRESS RELEASE - June 2, 2011

Media Contacts: 
Christy Stensland, Executive Director, (406) 653-3800,CStensland@montanacowboyfame.com  
Aaron Lyles, Director of Finance, (406) 600-8231,                 ALyles@montanacowboyfame.com

MT Cowboy Hall of Fame invites communities to express interest in future building site

Today the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) issued an invitation to communities across Montana to express their interest in becoming the future building site of the MCHF & WHC. The MCHF & WHC is a 501 (C)3 non-profit organization designated by Montana State Legislature to fulfill a mission of “honoring our cowboy way of life, American Indian cultures and our collective Montana western heritage.” 
 
“Montana communities are invited to request a copy of the MCHF & WHC’s Request For Proposals (RFP) document,” said Christy Stensland, executive director of the MCHF & WHC.
 
The invitation explained that the vision of the MCHF & WHC is to be the state's premier destination attraction that honors and celebrates Montana's unique western culture and heritage. MCHF & WHC’s vision includes the development of a campus that will provide a safe, comfortable, exciting portal through which guests can enter to experience the character and teamwork it took to build Montana. From this campus, the story of Montana’s western heritage will be preserved and passed forward to future generations. 
 
The MCHF & WHC is asking communities to respond to the invitation and request the RFP by sending a cover letter expressing interest in receiving the RFP, the community represented, and the submitter’s role in representing that community; a contact information page stating the party’s name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail; and preference for receiving the RFP by e-mail or Postal Service. The MCHF & WHC is also requesting that interested parties review the MCHF & WHC “Position Statement on Community Heritage” prior to submitting their invitation response.
 
All invitations responses must be received no later than 4:00 P.M. local time, July 29th, 2011 at: Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center; C/O: Christy Stensland, Executive Director; 218 Third Avenue South, Suite C; Wolf Point, Montana, 59201. 
 
The selection of the future building site of the MCHF & WHC will take place in three phases. Phase One entails the invitation made to Montana communities encouraging them to request a copy of the RFP. Phase Two entails communities’ responses to the RFP. This RFP is a comprehensive document that will require a substantial investment of time and resources to fully complete. Through a detailed RFP questionnaire, respondents will provide data supporting the feasibility of constructing and sustaining our future campus in the community. The following areas will be examined in detail: Alignment of MCHF & WHC Vision with Community Goals and Objectives; The Role of Tourism in the Community; and Infrastructure: (including) Economy, Transportation, Services/Utilities & Physical Site Analysis. All Phase Two RFP responses must be received by September 29th, 2011. 
 
A field of finalists will subsequently be identified by the MCHF & WHC Board of Directors. These finalists will be invited to participate in Phase Three of the selection process. Phase Three entails interviews and negotiations with each of the finalist communities. Phase Three concludes with the awarding of the future building site to a community in November of 2011. 
 
In February of 2011, the MCHF & WHC Board of Directors, Trustees and Members voted unanimously to revise the organization’s existing legislative designation for the purpose of fulfilling due diligence and stewardship responsibilities related to the construction of their planned facility.  The resulting bill, H.B. 528, passed the legislature and was signed into law by Governor Schweitzer on April 8, 2011. The RFP is the next step in the process.
 
“The selection of a building site is critically important to the success and sustainability of any organization, especially ours, given our stated mission and vision,” stated Aaron Lyles, Director of Finance for the MCHF & WHC. “It is humbling to come to work each day for an organization that seriously reflects upon their responsibilities and then squarely meets those responsibilities with decisions that best further our mission and vision.  The decision to revise the legislative designation and the issuing of this Request For Proposals is a testament to our entire organization’s commitment to honoring those that have come before us.  Today we achieve an important milestone for all of those that have come to know and cherish our way of life.”
 
For more information, please contact Executive Director Christy Stensland at the MCHF & WHC office in Wolf Point at (406) 653-3800 or atcstensland@montanacowboyfame.com.