Missoula looks at reopening Sleepy Inn as COVID cases rise

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The city of Missoula purchased the Sleepy Inn Motel on West Broadway in the first half of 2020.

BEN ALLAN SMITH, Missoulian David Erickson

The city of Missoula is looking at ways to reopen the Sleepy Inn as a quarantine shelter once again as COVID cases surge.

The city purchased the Sleepy Inn in the spring of 2020 for $1.1 million in order to use the rooms for people who had nowhere else to stay while they were isolating. Hundreds of people used the facility until June 30 of 2021, when the city decided to close it down.

The building’s design allows people to stay in their own rooms rather than congregating together, and food can be left on doorsteps throughout the day.

Ginny Merriam, communications director for the city, said COVID cases were dwindling at that time and there wasn’t as much need for the facility.

Also, Governor Greg Gianforte declared an end to the COVID-19 state of emergency that day, which meant the city was no longer eligible to

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