Since there was quite a bit of interest in the Missoula, MT WM parking story I decided to post the email from the Mayor of Billings because the road rumors had it that Billings was really tough on WM parking. I had heard this for years.
Exact Copy of Email From the Mayor of Billings, MT-Short and to the Point;
"Subject: RE: Missoula, MT, The RV Unfriendly City
Date: 6/4/2007 10:02 AM
Billings allows RV use for up to ten hours with the permission of the landowner.
From: Gus Causbie [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Sun 6/3/2007 8:30 PM
To: email@example.com; Tussing, Ron
Subject: Missoula, MT, The RV Unfriendly City
Dear Members of the City Council and Others Responsible for This Unfriendly Policy,
We just completed a 6400 mile trip in our newly acquired motorhome and on this route passed through your fair city. In no other location during this trip, which includes thirteen other states and some large cities, did we encounter the RV unfriendly policy of no overnight RV parking in WalMart parking lots. Undoubtedly this policy resulted from the greed of a few RV Park owners, probably some of which were or are on the City Council. The only other city I know of with this RV unfriendly policy is Billings, MT so we avoid it also. This attempt to force RV owners into local RV parks is a failure for a number of reasons. Your RV unfriendly policy is in glaring contrast to such innovative cities as Hereford, TX which has free city park RV parking and hookups, and your neighboring city of Helena which seems to have better informed leadership.
Motorhomes are self sufficient and have no need for the utilities in RV parks every day. Going to WalMart for supplies and avoiding the bother of daily utility hook ups is much easier than looking for out of the way RV parks. RV owners can afford to stay in RV parks but it is not always necessary. Surely RV park owners know this? There are numerous other free locations in which to park overnight but the result of this annoyance for us was to move on to another more friendly area without spending any money in RV unfriendly Missoula. We had planned to buy 100 gal of diesel fuel after departing WalMart where we would have resupplied our RV and eaten at a local restaurant. Other Missoula businesses losing customers, other than RV parks, are probably not even aware of this RV unfriendly policy. Missoula could be losing considerable business because of the shortsightedness of a few RV park owners.
This information will be passed on to other RV owners via RV forums on the internet from which I gleaned the information about Billings. Billings is currently being boycotted by many RV owners. After many years of stopping in Missoula during trips in our private planes I had always considered Missoula one of the more friendly and enlightened cities in our travels. We usually stayed at the Orange Street Inn and ate at some of the very good downtown restaurants during these air trips. Those pleasant experiences make it even more disappointing to discover your current RV unfriendly policy. I had read on the internet that Missoula also had the same RV unfriendly policy as Billings but didn't believe it and presumed it was a mistake by the writer.
If anything I have said here is untrue I apologize, but we will no longer plan any stops in Missoula or Billings. We will spend our money in Helena, Columbus or Grey Cliff where the atmosphere is more friendly.
Ash Flat, AR"