Medora North Dakota at a Glance
Location: Western North Dakota, in the heart of the Badlands, 125 miles west of Bismarck, North Dakota, and 200 miles north of Rapid City, South Dakota.
Access: Bismarck Airport, Interstate 94
Major Meeting Spaces: AmericInn Hotel and Suites by Wyndham, Badlands Ministries, North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame
Hotel Rooms: 475
Off-Site Venues: Rough Rider Hotel, Harold Schafer Heritage Center Patio, Chateau de Mores, Bully Pulpit Clubhouse
Medora Convention and Visitors Bureau
Few small towns pack as much of a tourism punch as Medora, North Dakota. Despite a permanent population of just 137, rugged and historic Medora welcomes tens of thousands of visitors annually. Breathtaking views of North Dakota’s Badlands and world-class entertainment draw travelers from near and far.
“In Medora, you get history, variety shows and scenery with a touch of the Wild West unavailable anywhere else,” said Jim Bridger, chairman of the Medora Convention and Visitors Bureau.
North Dakota’s most-visited destination sits on the Little Missouri River, off Interstate 94, two hours west of Bismarck, North Dakota. The ambitious Marquis de Morès founded the town to service his businesses and named Medora after his wife in 1883. About that same time, a young Theodore Roosevelt journeyed to the Badlands to hunt bison.
As a result, Roosevelt’s presence permeates Medora today, where group travelers can enjoy an Old West Teddy Roosevelt experience. Medora offers attractions that explore the legacy of the American cowboy, distinctive dining options and scenic activities that will satisfy even the most energetic outdoor adventurer.
Thanks to its place in history as Roosevelt’s hunting spot, groups meeting in Medora enjoy the same thrilling landscapes that inspired Teddy to found the national park system in 1916. Today, Medora is the southern gateway to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, where the Badlands reach the Great Plains. And carved into buttes and gorges is the nationally renowned Bully Pulpit Golf Course. Here visitors can tee off at one of the nation’s unique golf courses.
Historic hotels and meeting spaces transport travelers to the Old West. Built to accommodate Medora’s rapid growth under cattle tycoon de Morès, the Rough Riders Hotel and Conference Center is in the heart of downtown. Groups can reserve this primary meeting space and divide its ballroom to suit their meeting needs.
Roosevelt credited his strenuous Medora ranching experience with the leadership and talent growth he needed to later secure the presidency. Of Medora, Roosevelt said, “In this country of hills and plateaus, the romance of my life began.”
Groups taking on Medora may find the same to be true for themselves.
Major Meeting Spaces
Visitors can stay in the same 76-room Rough Riders Hotel and Conference Center that once hosted Roosevelt. The 1884 space, named for his volunteer cavalry, allows groups to reserve its 2,340-square-foot historic ballroom with modern amenities.
Half a mile away on the other end of downtown, the 78-room AmericInn Hotel and Suites by Wyndham offers 2,500 square feet of event space. It accommodates up to 200 conference or banquet guests.
At roughly a quarter-mile from each hotel, the Medora Community Center is a great event space option for larger crowds. It holds between 400 and 450 people. “Plus, it’s a great venue because it’s right in between the hotels,” Bridger said.
Unique Meeting Venues
“Wherever you meet and stay, you’re going to see those great views that presidents have been writing about,” Bridger said.
The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame boasts 1,400 square feet of multipurpose meeting space and a 5,000-square-foot open-air patio. The 15,000-square-foot interpretive center features Western culture exhibits, a theater, a gift shop, archives and more.
Chateau de Morès is the preserved home and hunting lodge of the town’s founders. In addition to its small group meeting spaces and attached patio, “the home easily accommodates 50 to 100 guests banquet style,” Anna Killearn, supervisor at the Chateau de Mores State Historic Site said.
Groups can immerse themselves in exploring the little cow town that built Roosevelt. Among the attractions that center on the 26th president are Theodore Roosevelt’s Salute to Medora, TR’s Tavern and Theodore’s Dining Room. “And don’t miss the unbelievable bike trails, hiking and animals,” Bridger said of the national park bearing Roosevelt’s name.
A visit to Medora is incomplete without an evening at the “Medora Musical.”
“The musical is a cherry on top of the entire experience,” Bridger said of the world-famous show. Celebrating Medora, Roosevelt and the untamed spirit of the West, the musical takes place each night during the summer in the 3,000-seat Burning Hill Amphitheater.
The Medora Convention and Visitors Bureau offers turnkey services for meeting planners. Included in their planning services are complimentary hotel rooms, a full tour of the town and event planning assistance. The CVB offers event support such as a welcome packet and bag stuffing. Once groups arrive, meet-and-greet services are available, with a Roosevelt impersonator available for groups of 10 to 1,000.
“We’re lucky that we’re such a small place on the map with a huge heart that can welcome hundreds of thousands of guests with all the facilities you need,” Bridger said.