BOZEMAN – The Gallatin Valley is home to some of the finest acoustic guitar builders in the country and over the past few decades, Music Villa in downtown Bozeman has been at the center of it all.
To honor 18 years at the current East Main Street location, owner Paul Decker and his team have remodeled the store to showcase more prominently Music Villa’s acoustic instrument offerings. This weekend, they’re unveiling the store’s new look and inviting the community to celebrate.
“We moved in here in late 1999, right at the beginning of 2000, so this will be our 18-year anniversary in this building,” Decker said. “When we moved in here, we thought we were going to have to rent it out to someone else or split it because we didn’t think we would ever fill it. Of course, now we’re full.”
And what’s filling the displays that now feature prominently in the remodeled Music Villa showroom? A trove of wood and wire from iconic brands such as Gibson – local-made at Bozeman’s Gibson Acoustic factory – Martin and Taylor, along with an impressive offering of local builders’ artistry.
“In Bozeman there are so many great builders. Gibson, of course, is built here. Kevin Kopp Guitars, we sell his guitars. And there’s many others, like Dan Roberts, Larry Pogreba, Ren Ferguson is building guitars, Val Bolitho, there’s all these people that are around here building guitars,” said Decker.
Since the early 80’s, when Decker’s father bought Music Villa from another family, the store has been vital to the local music community, offering a full selection of musical instruments and accessories. The original neon sign from the former location, a little further west down Main Street, is still on display as a reminder of its growth.
“Over the years we’ve built a community; we all kind of feed off each other and help each other. Music Villa feels like it’s always been the hub of the local scene and local builders,” Decker said.
Like Bozeman itself, Music Villa has retained a steadfast dedication to the locals, even as its reach and appeal has extended beyond Montana.
According to Decker, the store’s online presence, including a popular YouTube channel, has helped them extend their sales to customers all across the U.S.
“Believe it or not, even in some of the big cities you do not have this kind of selection, so we get found through our YouTube channel and our website and then we can guide people through the process and help them and ship it to them,” he said.
It’s no surprise they’re excited and proud of the hard work that’s led to the current remodel: “It’s the greatest acoustic guitar showroom on the planet…at least, we think so,” joked Decker.
Starting this Friday, folks can check out Music Villa’s new design along with a full slate of events including clinics, local artist performances, giveaways, and store-wide sales. For full details, visit the Music Villa website and Facebook page.
Music Villa is located at 539 E. Main St.
Reporting by David Dyas for MTN News