The ‘cool big sister’: New York transplants breathe new life into historic Helena ballroom

Nolan Lister

A pair of big city transplants are bringing new life to a dusty old ballroom above Last Chance Gulch.

Abbey Cook and her husband, Stephen Riggs, traded in their hectic New York City lives and moved to Helena in 2020. The couple officially reopened The Windsor Ballroom on the fourth floor of the Iron Front Hotel building, 415 Last Chance Gulch, in December and immediately loaded its event calendar with unique-themed parties and youthful touring acts.

Abbey Cook co-owns and manages the Windsor at Iron Front, an event space in downtown Helena.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record

“We want Helena to think of us as their cool big sister who throws fun parties,” Cook said. “We want to be a contributor to the downtown community, we want to be a contributor to the community at large, and making people feel like we’re not defaulting to Helena, we’re choosing Helena.”

She said she wants The Windsor’s offerings to drive people downtown after 5 p.m. and on the weekends.

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