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Oct 7, 2010 1:38 PM by Allyson Weller (KPAX News)

Hobbit House finds home in Northwest Montana

TROUT CREEK - What originally started as a simple tourist home in the Cabinet Mountains near Trout Creek has now become a destination for Hobbit lovers around the world.

When children grow into adults they sometimes lose their imaginations and sense of make believe. But a new tourist home in Montana is bringing that back.

"I hope that they let their inner child out, that the come up here and sit back and enjoy all the lights and the fantasy and imagination, and just sit back and see what I've done and go a little bit further," owner Steve Michaels told us.

The Hobbit House of Montana combines a quiet exclusive resort feel, with magic and fantasy right out of J.R.R Tolkien's book, The Hobbit.

"We feel that this place is peaceful and it's beautiful and we are hoping that people when they come will relax," says Steve's wife, Chris Michaels.

Inside the Hobbit House, there are rounded ceilings, a full kitchen, a master bedroom, guest room, washer and dryer, HD/Blue Ray TV, 3 phones with WiFi, granite counter tops, even the back of the toilet is granite! But if you visit the house to get away you can ignore all the amenities, and head outside for an adventure.

All around the property there are homes for fairy's, elves, and trolls. The Michaels' claim once they started building the Tourist Home, the other homes just started "showing up."

The contractor said building this type of home was different than anything he has ever done, not only because it was built into the side of the hill, but because of all the imagination that went along with it.

"It's taken a lot of experience to pull all together and it's been fun and we had to use our imaginations and it's something different," said Contractor, Stanley Hamm.

When you walk around the property you have to keep your eyes open for carefully painted mushrooms, a waterfall that leads to a well and carefully crafted Hobbit homes. The Michaels' say The Shire comes to life at night with flickering candles in the windows and mushrooms that light the paths.

The project started as a destination resort that the Michaels' wanted to building underground. The contractor's son visited and said "that looks like a hobbit home," and the Hobbit House of Montana world was born.

"I said well if we're going to have hobbits that we need to have the round doors with the doorknobs, so I started buying doorknobs and then I said if we're going to do that then I need to have little pipes, so I went down to the local hardware store and ordered 15 pipes and they said what are you doing anyway and I said we're building a hobbit house," said Steve Michaels.

Steve Michaels say this is one of only three Hobbit houses in the world. One is in Hawaii and the other is in Wales. He says he has yet to come across any others like his.

"I'm also writing a book, how to die with a smile on your face, and this is going to be something that will let me die with a smile on my face," says Steve Michaels.

Staying one night at this unique personal resort will set you back almost $350 but the Michaels' say it is an experience you won't be able to get anywhere else.

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