Page 1

HELP MAKE THE

AMERICAN AIRLINES

FLIGHT SUCCESSFUL

MONTANA

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS 2017 SUMMIT

GET TO KNOW CHAMBER BOARD MEMBER

CHRIS DIMOCK

IS S U E 14 | J U N E - A U G U S T 2017

TURNAROUND:

TURNING

BIGDOLLARS FOR BILLINGS


Good insurance supports you, Guides you and empowers you, And so should a good broker. Looking out for you. Looking ahead for you. HUB International Insurance 3533 Gabel Rd - Billings, Montana 406.652.9151 hubinternational.com Business Insurance ∙ Personal Insurance ∙ Employee Benefits ∙ Risk Management


table of contents

6.17 CONTENTS TURNAROUND: TURNING BIG DOLLARS FOR BILLINGS

FEATURES THE ECONOMY OF TOURISM

p.20

p.18 ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES

p.27

THANK YOU AMERICAN AIRLINES DIRECT SERVICE SUPPORTERS

p.24

SECOND ANNUAL MONTANA YOUNG PROFESSIONALS SUMMIT

SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

4 | JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

p.26

p.34

2017


DEPARTMENTS

6.17 EVERY ISSUE

PRESIDENT'S LETTER Elections have consequences.

GROW

p.6

p.7

Expanding our Membership Connection through Chamber Ambassadors.

HORIZONS

p.8

Some of the latest statistics and economic data impacting businesses in Billings.

ADVOCATE

p.9

Hits and Misses in the 2017 Legislature.

GET TO KNOW CHRIS DIMOCK

p. 30

MONTANA’S TRAILHEAD The Future of Billings is Bright.

GET TO KNOW MICHELLE FLANAGAN Member and Visitor Services Assistant.

TRIPS ON A TANKFUL Five Low-Cost, Yet Intriguing

p.10

p.13 p.14

Day-Trips through Southeast Montana.

CONNECT

p. 28

New tools for Member Promotion and Connection.

JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 5


TOP INVESTORS

FROM THE PRESiDENT/CEO

ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES In the next several months you will also be given new resources to help you choose the candidate for local office that best aligns with the interest of our business community. A candidate grading system is currently being developed by the Chamber’s new Public Policy Advisory Board. When published, this will simply be one more tool for you to use to make an informed decision at the polls. Take the time to see how those scores align with your vision for the future of Billings.

E

lections have consequences. Every year we go to the polls, or drop our ballot in the mail, to vote for people to represent us in Washington, D.C., Helena, at the Yellowstone County Courthouse, City Hall or as a Trustee to serve on the School Board. While the federal elections for our Senators and Congressmen get most of the attention, the closer to home the position (County, City, Schools), the bigger, more immediate the impact to our community can be felt. Over the next few weeks you will be hearing about the Chamber’s annual initiatives to better our community, grow our workforce, add new destination air service and more. Each of these items, at some level, can be helped-along or hindered by those elected to public office.

The Chamber is your advocate for business. Our advocacy program is strong, and our positions and processes are respected. Much of that success can be attributed to Bruce MacIntyre and his tireless years supporting business at the Chamber. Bruce retired from the Billings Chamber last month after nearly 20 years of service to our organization as a board member and member of our staff. Bruce’s next adventure: School Board Trustee. An honorable leader who is continuing his service to our community now as a public official. Thank you, Bruce. In this issue of LiNK you will find another sincere “Thank You.” This one goes out to the businesses who helped bring American Airlines to Billings. Take a moment and acknowledge those private enterprises. You will also read about the significant impact the oil refineries in our region have on our economy: never more so than during the spring “turnaround.” Read further to examine the impact of tourism on our local and state economies with Voices of Montana Tourism. Each of these stories demonstrate the way business and tourism lean on each other and support our community – and are inherently impacted by our elected officials.

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives

2015 Chamber of the Year

®

BIG SKY LEVEL THE DELP TEAM

REALTOR

kwPREMIER BROKERS KELLERWILLIAMS®

GRANITE PEAK LEVEL

CenturyLink MSU Billings DoubleTree by Hilton NorthWestern Energy EBMS U.S. Bank Holiday Station Stores

BEARTOOTH LEVEL Albertsons District Office Big Sky Economic Development Big Sky Executive Search, LLC BNSF Century 21 Hometown Brokers CMG Construction, LLC Computers Unlimited Crowley Fleck PLLP Denny Menholt Chevrolet Devfuzion DiA Events Enterprise Holdings ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Co. Gainan’s Flowers & Garden Center Kampgrounds of America Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. PayneWest Insurance Phillips 66 Radisson Hotel Rocky Mountain College Spectrum Business Stockman Bank, Billings The Western Sugar Cooperative Underriner Honda Vertex Consulting Group Walmart Walmart Heights Western Security Bank

LiNK is proudly distributed at these member businesses: • Atlas Chiropractic of Billings • Barnett Opticians • Beartooth Vision Center • BioLife Plasma Services • Brewer Dental Center • Crowley Fleck PLLP • Doc Harpers • Double Tree by Hilton & Starbucks • EBMS • Fringe Salon & Boutique • Grand Avenue Dental Care • Heights Eye Care • Jiffy Lube • KTVQ

Published by: Project Management/ Editor: Creative Designer: Photo Contributors

Advertising Sales:

The Billings Gazette Kelly McCandless Nadine Bittner Billings Gazette Staff Photographers, Billings Chamber, Visit Billings, Eric Finstad, Michaele Dimock Kevin Cremer 406-245-4111

www.billingschamber.com PO Box 31177 Billings MT 59107-1177 406-245-4111 • 800-711-2630

Fax 406-245-7333

6 | JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

• LP Anderson Point S Tire – both locations • Masterlube - all locations • MorningStar • Moulton Bellingham • Olsen Ortho Studio • PayneWest • Picture Perfect Ultrasound • RiverStone Health • Sanctuary Spa • St. Vincent Healthcare • Starbucks • Thomas Smile Designs • Western Heritage Center


GROW

EXPANDING OUR MEMBERSHIP CONNECTION THROUGH CHAMBER AMBASSADORS BY JENNIFER REISER, IOM CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

C

hamber Ambassadors are successful business people, engaged community members, and active Chamber members. They are an elite group of volunteers that understand the value of their Chamber membership and are willing to share with others how to get the best use of their investment. Ambassadors are selected from individuals who exhibit a desire to serve, coupled with a past history of supporting the organization through committee activity or other means.

These highly motivated individuals support the mission of the Chamber by connecting new and existing members to opportunities to grow their business and to advocate for the members to the Chamber staff. Ambassadors commit to learning and understanding the mission of the Chamber and to contacting new and existing members on a routine basis. They network with other members, collect information and share their findings with Chamber staff to help us better serve the businesses investing in our organization. Committee members in turn receive contact information for new and existing members, routine contact with other members, membership staff, the membership division Board liaison, and invitations to special events. Chamber Ambassadors also serve on the Business Celebration Committee, attending ribbon

cuttings, open houses, and other events that celebrate business expansion and success. Members serve from July 1st to June 30th, and members in good standing have the option to renew their commitment annually. If you have an interest in being considered for the Ambassador Committee, please contact jennifer@billingschamber. com for an application.

• Becky Bey, KLJ

The Ambassador Committee plays a critical role in the onboarding of new Chamber members as well as the retention of existing members. They’re work is integral to our capacity to serve all 1,300 of our members by sharing their own experiences as Chamber members and assisting with membership engagement.

• Rob Lowe, Pierce Flooring

THANK YOU TO THE 2017-18 CHAMBER AMBASSADORS:

• Tami Bonkowski, Western Skies Real Estate • Tyler Crennen, First Interstate Bank • Roger Gravgaard, Legal Shield • Keith Hart, Keith Hart Real Estate • Brittani Hunter, Chicago Title • Lee Humphrey, Edward Jones • Drew LeVeaux, Hub International • Alexis Mason, DoubleTree by Hilton • Brandon Scala, Valley Federal Credit Union • Kyle Schlichenmayer, New York Life • Win Seitz, QBS Safeguard • Jerry Theis, AFLAC • Cody Tucker, Montana Hot Springs Spas • Wayne Wallace, Edward Jones • Leif Welhaven, EEC

CHAMBER STATISTICS: What are we doing for you? As of May 15, 2017, the Billings Chamber represents 1,279 members with approximately 49,213 employees.

Since the beginning of our fiscal year on July 1, 2016 through May 15, 2017: Number of Calls/Inquiries: ....................... 12,752 calls (avg. 1,105/month)

Visitors to the Visitor Information Center: ........ 2,963 Visits to VisitBillings.com: ..............................140,598 Visits to BillingsChamber.com: ........................ 40,998

Chamber Event Attendance: ...............................5,838 Convention and Meeting Tourism Bookings: 32,690 hotel room nights booked for $7,355,250 total economic impact on the city of Billings.

Conventions and Meetings Serviced by Visit Billings:.................................... 6,716

Relocation Packets Mailed:......................................77

convention delegate packets provided.

Visitor Information Packets Mailed: .................27,582

Is your info current? Make sure we’re sharing the correct information with potential clients! Check your listing at BillingsChamber.com and let us know if changes are needed.

Business Meeting Attendees at Chamber: .........9,994

JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 7


COMMUNITY STATISTICS

KEY ECONOMIC INDICATORS Hotel Occupancy

80.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 70.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 60.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 50.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 40.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 30.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 20.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 10.0% __________________________________________________________________________________________________ 0.0% ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2017

2016 Billings

2015 Montana

2014

United States

Unemployment Rate Comparison County Population

154,200

City Population

106,954

Yellowstone

3.0%

Montana

3.8%

COUNTY STATE

Percent change in county population 2010-2013

United

4.2%

STATES

4.4% Unemployment Rate as of April 2017 Yellowstone County

Median Household Income

$49,265

Montana

United States

Airport Deboardings: City Comparison 500,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 450,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Average Home Price

$238,033

400,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 350,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 300,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Number of Business Licenses

7,350

250,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 200,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 150,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________

School District #2 Enrollment

16,645

Sources: Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Billings Association of RealtorsÂŽ, City of Billings, School District #2, U.S. Census Bureau and the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Reserach.

100,000 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 0 ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2017 2016 2015 2014 Billings

Bozeman

Missoula

Airport Deboarding Data Source: Institute for Tourism and 2017 Deboardings reporting for January only.

8 | JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY


BUSiNESS ADVOCACY

HITS AND MISSES IN THE 2017 LEGISLATURE BY DANIEL J. BROOKS, GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS MANAGER

Travel & Tourism: • SB 206 – (Defeated) Reverts to Montana Standard Time, without observing Daylight Savings Time; and • SB 366 – Allows Montanans to renew licenses with IDs compliant with federal REAL ID Act, which can be used for airline travel.

T

he 2017 Legislative Session has come to a close and it’s time to look back at what we accomplished and the missed opportunities we will address again in 2019. But first we would like to thank everyone who made his or her voice heard during the 2017 Session. Without the engagement of our Billings business community—making phone calls, sending emails, and speaking with legislators or the Governor—our “wins” column would be less populated.

WINS Workforce & Education: • HB 2 – Appropriates $2 million for secondary vocational education (among other funding); • HB 232 – Revises laws to allow for dual enrollment at community colleges; and • HB 308 – Provides a tax credit for apprenticeships with an increased amount for veterans. Economic Development & Equitable Business Practices: • HB 44 – Increases the number of District Court Judges in Yellowstone County by two; • HB 226 – Allows for an increased property tax abatement for new or expanding industry; • HB 359 – (Defeated) Limit tax increment financing to local mills; • HB 573 – (Defeated) Exempts school equalization funds from tax increment funding after 15 years; and • SB 58 – Prohibits the use of $0.00 claims for insurance policy cancellation or renewal.

Infrastructure, Transportation, & Development: • HB 5,6,7,9,11 – Appropriate over $200 million for infrastructure projects; and • HB 473 – Increments the gas tax up to $0.06 and tax on diesel to $0.02 by the year 2023, funding road and bridge construction. Priorities: • HB 567 – (Defeated) Increase bed tax and direct a portion of funding to invasive species; • HB 660 – (Defeated) Revise lodging facility use tax to pay for Montana Historical Building; • SB 355 – (Defeated) Revise distribution of lodging tax to CVBs to include high school districts; and • SB 376 – (Defeated) Revise lodging facility use tax to construct the Montana Heritage Center.

MISSED OPPORTUNITIES • HB 463 – (Defeated) Public incapacitation bill that would have allowed municipalities to more effectively address chronic incapacitation; • HB 577/SB 331 – (Defeated) Local option bills that would have authorized communities to

vote on enacting a limited luxury tax targeting visitors. • SB 367 – (Defeated) A bonding bill that would have added $5 million to fund MSU Billings’ new science building and help pay for Laurel water intake. This summary is a brief snapshot of legislation the Billings Chamber was tracking during the 2017 Session on behalf of our business community. For a full listing, please visit billingschamber.com/action-center and click on "View Key Legislation". While the missed opportunities were disappointing for Billings’ businesses, we should celebrate the wins and note the progress made toward passing a local option. A majority of Montanans already support the local option, and we made good progress this session by introducing two local option bills, affording community leaders from across the state the opportunity to testify in favor. Opposition was present, but primarily for the purpose of offering amendments that were accepted as friendly. We are in a far better position to launch our Authorize Community Transformation (ACT) local option campaign for the 2019 Session, and continue to convince legislators of what we already know—Montanans WANT a local option.

Congratulations Bruce MacIntyre

new trustee for School District 2 and newly retired from the Billings Chamber of Commerce.

Bruce served our organization as a volunteer, a board member and then on our staff for over 20 years and we are deeply grateful for his service.

JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 9


VISION 2027:

THE FUTURE OF BILLINGS IS

BRIGHT

BY ALEX TYSON EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VISIT BILLINGS

Burn The Point

x

FALL FESTIVITIES

NILE Rodeo

Big Sky Polka Fest

Billings Mustangs Baseball

406.656.7470 • DAVID COOK: Sept 1, Shrine Auditorium, • BURN THE POINT: Sept 4-5, burnthepoint.com Sept 4-7, yellowstonevalleymustangs.com • INTERNATIONAL MUSTANG MEET: Sep 4-5, 7:05 pm, billingsmustangs.com • BILLINGS MUSTANGS BASEBALL: Auditorium, 406.656.7470 • BIG SKY POLKA FEST: Sept 4-6, Shrine Oct 4, MetraPark, free admission 29Sept ROPING: TEAM • WRANGLER Oct 10-17, metrapark.com • NILE STOCK SHOW & PRO RODEO:

WIN A Couple’s Getaway Hotel, Dinner, Movie Tickets AND a Couple’s Massage and The hustle and bustle of the holidays is over, while what better way to relax and recover than revitalizing yourself with a weekend escape?

WHERE YA HEADIN’?

Don’t Drink & Drive

Plan your post-holiday getaway with a weekend all about YOU! Enjoy Montana Contemporary in Billings, Montana's Trailhead.

Call 800.735.2635 email info@billingschamber.com or discover www.visitbillings.com

Your first stop is a brewery and distillery in one, with open mic nights and live music often. Enjoy a handcrafted Yellowstone brew-Grizzly Wulff Wheat, Wild Fly Ale, Renegade Red Ale, Huckleweizen and Black Widow Oatmeal Stout.

1 1

St

N 25th

St

MIN.

10

St MIN.

N 30th

dway

N Broa

N

MIN. -4

-8 MILES

Ave

Ave 0.4

MILES

St

8

5

S 27th

Thirsty Street Brewing Co. offers 6 fresh, full flavored beers on tap, including a Belgian Blonde and Belgian Dubbel, along with Montana made hot dogs and sausages. A game room with pool, shuffleboard, darts, and big screen TV will keep you entertained!

Carter’s Brewing 2526 Montana Ave

1st tana

0.2

Mon

7

including Enjoy one of Angry Hank’s 8 ales on tap, Anger Management Belgian-style Wheat, Angry Dog Hank’s Blonde, Street Fight Imperial Red, Slobber Brown, Head Trauma IPA as well as seasonal beers. You’ll love the new location with outdoor patio seating. Try a new brew and munch on some popcorn and hot sauce while you’re here.

ROAD, YOUR GATEWAY TO YELLOWSTONE BEARTOOTH HIGHWAY ALL-AMERICAN

6

Western Heritage Center 2822 Montana Ave

Ave tana

0.2

9

If you’re hungry, Your last stop is at Montana Brewing Company. for dessert. They’re enjoy some dinner and try Custer’s Last Stout open late, so no rush when you’re here.

Thirsty Street Brewing Co. 3008 1st Ave N

3

YOUR TRA

UN

Überbrew 2305 Montana Ave for Überbrew offers a full menu, so stop here an appetizer and a drink before you head out.

MIN. -3 MILES

N Ave 1st

Montana Brewing Co. 113 N 28th St

4

2651 1st Ave N

dinner, head If you feel like exploring a little more after Skypoint. north half a block and look up to see Billings Billings. You have now reached the center of downtown weekends. Many events take place here on evenings and

MET Bus Transit: N

-4

2

MIN. -8 MILES 0.4

Billings Yellow Cab & Limousine Service: 406-245-3033 City Cab: 406-252-8700

MILES

St

1st

N Ave

Park Two Garage

406-657-8218 Ave 1st Transportation Services LLC: 406-254-2900

Spirit of Montana Distilling 2123 1st Ave N # B Enjoy homemade vodka and gin in the distillery tasting room.

0.2

N Ave

2nd

Skypoint

Angry Hank’s 20 N 30th St

10 | JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC FROM MONTANA MICROBREWERIES ARE TYPICALLY OTHERWISE NOTED HERE. VISIT 4 - 8 P.M. TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, UNLESS IN HOURS OR BREW AVAILABILITY. BILLINGS IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR CHANGES IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ACTIONS PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY. VISIT BILLINGS TAKEN BY INDIVIDUALS USING THIS TOUR.

N 23rd

self–guided, walkable Billings, Montana’s Trailhead, has the only “brewery district” brewery tour in Montana. This unofficial and two is located downtown and includes six breweries Take this 1.5-mile distilleries, all within easy walking distance. points along the way. brewery route and enjoy some historic

N 24th

www.VisitBillings.com/contest

St

Job#: 27872 Client: Billings CVB 406-248-7117 Agency: A.D. Creative Group, Publication: Montana Magazine 09 ad Title: Fall festivites, Sept/Oct Size: 4.562” x 7.125” Date Submitted: Submitted to: Larry Sem, ads@montanamagazine.com Supplied Material: Adobe pdf ©2009 A.D. Creative Group

Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co. 2123 1st Ave N # B

WALKING BREWERY DISTRICT

WHERE YA HEADIN’?

GETAWAY • LAUGH • RELAX • REPEAT

N 26th

Billings Mustangs Baseball Photo by Phil Bell.

Trailhead Spirits 2314 Montana Ave Stop at Trailhead Spirits for a taste of their awardwinning Montana made and hand-crafted gin and vodka, and introducing small batch whiskey. Check out their merchandise for a souvenir flask or trademark copper mug.

When you leave Überbrew and head toward the Trailhead Spirits, make sure and check out in Historic Billings Depot. The distillery is housed in part of this historic landmark that was built 1909 to service three major railroad companies. Depot The waiting area and baggage rooms of the are restored and preserved as historical places. garden Enjoy some sunshine in the Depot outdoor before heading into Trailhead Spirits for some house-made gin and vodka.

Carter’s has several handcrafted beers to choose from, including their Coldwater Kolsch, De-Railed India Pale Ale, Black Magic Porter, Farmhouse Ale, StationMaster Pale Ale and Boxcar Brown Ale.

59101 815 South 27th Street • Billings, Montana 406-252-4016 or Toll Free: 800-735-2635

VisitBillings.com

OVER 360,000 SQUARE FEET

OF MEETING SPACE…

EVEN MORE IF YOU MEET MONTANA

STYLE.

out-of-the with natural inspiration and promote Experience Montana’s truly local flavor you meeting spaces. To achieve originality, box thinking with a multitude of unique Billings, your next meeting in “Montana’s City,” must avoid conventionalism. Host Montana’s Trailhead.

and start planning your next meeting. Visit our website or scan the QR code www.MeetInBillings.com/smallmarket Or contact Alex Tyson with Visit Billings: Alex@visitbillings.com • 406.869.3726 Walking Brewery District

the Before you head to Angry Hank’s, stop by fix. Western Heritage Center to get your history head The building is located to your left as you west along Montana Ave. The center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and is housed in the historic Parmly Billings Memorial Library building, built in 1901. View artifacts and learn some Billings history before your next stop.

Billings Depot, Inc. 2310 Montana Ave


T

he last 12 months have been significant in positioning Billings as a regional leader in tourism. For Visit Billings as a destination marketing and management organization, the vision to create a collaborative tourism community that benefits from the promotion of tourism, the tourism experience and destination development, has been actualized on many levels. From supporting the American Airlines flight expansion and hosting the Gold Wing Road Rider Association’s Wing Ding 38 to expanding the destination’s sports resume with the Wells Fargo NAIA DI Women’s Basketball National Championship and implementing 16 major marketing campaigns across key markets in FY17, the Visit Billings boards and team create and deliver significant benefits to the

community. These benefits include economic impact and workforce opportunities while growing visitation to Billings, which directly fulfills the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) mission of generating room nights for hotel and motel owners. This spring, a major milestone was realized for Montana. The Billings TBID was reauthorized by Billings’ hotel owners and by the Billings City Council. The first ten years of the Billings TBID began in 2007. Soon after the establishment of the Billings TBID, more than a dozen other TBIDs were established in cities across Montana. It was a game changer for the face of tourism marketing for Montana because cities were able to leverage the TBID dollars with the smaller Lodging Facility Use Tax budgets and truly compete with other national destinations for tourism business.

ADVENTURE CULTURE BASEBALL SHOPPING BREWERIES EXPLORING RUNNING CONCERTS

LIFE IS

CHECK OUT OUR EVENT LINE-UP:

VisitBillings.com/summer

With the renewal of the Billings TBID comes the momentum from proven tourism tactics in recent years for Billings, which will continue for years to come. These dollars ensure marketing and sales strategies have a clear focus while collaborative partnerships within the industry are nurtured. At the same time, the nod for the Billings TBID helps foster tourism progression in other Montana communities strengthening the Montana travel brand as a whole. That Montana brand is important to the Billings tourism industry – it serves as the initial point of interest and understanding for many visitors. In the coming months, Visit Billings staff will work with its boards as well as Visit Southeast Montana Tourism Region and Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development officials to enhance the branding of local and regional tourism attractions. FY18 will also see new leisure and sports tourism research mined. Meanwhile, the team will continue to adapt to economic indicators and market transitions in order to better showcase Billings effectively to segments offering potential growth like sports, meeting and convention recruitment and leisure visitation. We value the community’s commitment to tourism and look forward to the future. Visit Billings is the leading brand comprised of the TBID and the Billings Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). Visit Billings is managed by the Billings Chamber of Commerce.

BILLINGS GUIDEBOOK

YOUR ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

5/3/16 9:08 AM 38122_CVB_Visitors_Guide_Updates_OL_2016_FOR_PRESS.indd

1

ILHEAD TO MEET

NIQUE

Left: This timeline graphic was used to showcase the progression and success of the Billings TBID since 2007. It was distributed to hoteliers, tourism partners and the Billings City Council to help facilitate the renewal process.

JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 11


EXPERIENCES LOCAL FLAVOR BIG SKY COUN TRY ADVENTURE EPIC VIEWS BEARTOOTH HWY FRESH AIR EXPLORING YELLOWSTON E UNPLUGGED

LIFE IS MORE

Ads like these are placed by Visit Billings to recruit tourists regionally, nationally and internationally. Experience you

r gateway to YEL LOWSTONE via BEA RTO NATIONAL PAR OT H HIG HW K AY,, alon g with vist as and adv ent ure s in Bill ings . PLA N YOU R

YELLOWSTO

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VisitBillings.com ENTURE: /yj

ADVENTURE CULTURE BASEBALL SHOPPING BREWERIES EXPLORING RUNNING CONCERTS OUTSIDE

r5 Alive Afte seball ustangs Ba Billings M ries Concert Se Summer Mofro JJ Grey & ate Games Big Sk y St Qs Brews & BB Montana ghway artooth Hi Scenic Be e Tour Ap e bl us gan: No Rendezvo Jim Gaffi l Balloon ternationa b Hill Clim Big Sk y In o Pr erican Am t ea 99th Gr Artwalk stival ty Blues Fe Magic Ci District Brewery Walkable ory Show st Hi ckson Michael Ja Etheridge Fair d Melissa Montana ra Gi ldo an tar & Neil Pat Bena o ss CA Rode Supercro undup PR ne River Ro ur Yellowsto achine To ed the M Fe k: ac Nickelb Point Burn the itt Bonnie Ra arathon M na Monta

LIFE IS MORE

YO U R

T

SUMME

LI N EEV EN T R FU LL ES ! LY P R IZ OUT OU C H EC K T O W IN W EE K & EN T ER

Vis it B illi CHECK OUT OUR EVENT LINE-UP:

VisitBillings.com/summer

12 | JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

ng s.com/t

ic ke t

UP

R


GET TO KNOW CHAMBER STAFF:

Describe your position in 5 words.

Michele

Growing, Connecting, Rewarding, Fast-Paced & Fun.

FLANAGAN PHOTO COURTESY E R I C F I N S TA D

If you could make one change in Billings today, what would it be?

Position:

End teenage homelessness. I think a lot of people are unaware of the number of kids who live on the streets. Billings has dedicated professionals and volunteers along with some great resources in place for this problem; let's further that by being aware and involved.

Member and Visitor Services Assistant

Years on Staff: 1 Year

The dish you’re known for cooking?

One adjective that describes you: Genuine.

If you could have lunch with one famous person, who would it be and why? Kelly Hoppen. She's an English designer and author. Being passionate about interior design, I would love to visit with her and be inspired by her east meets west style.

Words you live by: Don't pre-suffer.

We do a lot of entertaining and friends and family count on my bacon wrapped dates to be a part of any gathering.

Tell us about your photo: I’m with my husband and very best friend, Ben. We live right on top of the beautiful Rimrocks, so Zimmerman Park and the other amenities up here literally feel like our own backyard. The Billings community is blessed to be surrounded by such beauty and access.

What book is on your nightstand? East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I LOVE the classics and re-read them in between new fiction.

What is one thing about the Chamber/Visit Billings you think most people don’t know? The Billings Chamber has nearly 1,300 members who employ over 49,000 people; that’s a lot of impact! The Chamber, Visit Billings, and Visit Southeast Montana is a dedicated and far-reaching organization with many moving parts and pieces, all working together to move Billings forward.

JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 13


TRiPS on a TANKFUL

FIVE LOWCOST, YET INTRIGUING DAY-TRIPS BY BRENDA MAAS, MARKETING MANAGER

Ah, summertime… sun, long, lazy days and opportunities to explore. While it is tempting to head out-of-state on a long trip, Southeast Montana offers plenty of options for low-cost “staycations” right here. We’ve put together five easy day-trips and challenge you to explore your own state this summer. Kayaks at Bighorn Canyon. PHOTO COURTESY: ED ALLEN

SoutheastMontana.com The mission of Visit Southeast Montana is to increase tourism to Southeast Montana by increasing awareness of our region, showcasing our cultural heritage, developing memorable experiences and educating our residents about the economic benefits of tourism. Visit Southeast Montana is managed by the Billings Chamber of Commerce.

1

Roundup This small town, located just 55 minutes north of Billings, is named because it is a logical place to round-up cattle (yup, that’s Montana). Start with a quick tour of the Musselshell Valley Historical Museum, including a to-size coal shaft exhibit. View it by walking bent-over to understand the physical demands of mining. Kids will love an opportunity to ring the authentic school bell or dream about flying David Comstock’s original self-built Pietenpol airplane. The museum is free/goodwill donation. www.mvhm.us.

Stop for the daily lunch special at Busy Bee Café and Gift Shop or be brave and order the Big Ass Enchilada at The Grand Bar & Grill. Next, walk off some of that great grub with a stroll down the RiverWalk Heritage Trail or jump into the Roundup Public Swimming Pool – both are free to the public. Be sure to check out the art galleries and shops, like Greg Eislelein Fine Art or Coila Evans Art Gallery in this burgeoning creative community.

1. Welcome to Roundup PHOTO COURTESY: VISIT SEMT

2. Boating and kayaking Bighorn Canyon. 3. Waterworks Museum and the iconic Montana Bar. 4. The dino at Carter County Musem in Ekalaka. 5. Crow dancers at Crow Fair.

14 | JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY


3

2

Miles City

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Some may call this Southeast Montana’s best secret but we call it just plain ol’ amazing. With canyon walls ranging from 1,000 to 2,500 feet in height, just being there is an experience of epic proportions. The North District, located at Fort Smith, has three relatively easy hikes, or consider a ranger program for kayaking opportunities (see listing on Facebook). All are free with paid park admission ($5/day or $30/year). While renting a pontoon could be a bigger expense, if split between a few families it’s a completely affordable and leisurely way to explore this natural wonder. https://www. nps.gov/bica/index.htm. On the way home, swing through Hardin for a Wilcoxson’s ice cream treat at 3 Brothers Bistro. If you need a bit more substance, try a hand-tossed pizza or hop across the street for a patio dinner at Ranch House Grill. The Big Horn County Historical Museum, with exhibits that explain the area’s rich history, is a great way to end the day ($6/person or less).

PHOTO COURTESY: VISIT SEMT

PHOTO COURTESY: ED ALLEN

4

This region is known as an epicenter of dinosaur discoveries, including the most juvenile T. Rex ever found. Be sure to check out the Montana Dinosaur Trail and the passport program, which leads you on your own dino adventure across the state. http://mtdinotrail.org. For $5 or less per person, the annual Shindig, set for July 29-30, celebrates old bones and young souls with education, games, food and even an alternative archeological dig for an additional fee.

Next, head over to the Range Riders Museum. Almost more of a heritage center, the museum tells the story of Miles City and eastern Montana. From one donor’s extensive weaponry collection, to Native American artifacts, to an in-depth display on livestock brands and barbed wire, this museum covers more than most history books. Lunch at the iconic Montana Bar or try Café Lindo to spice up your day. http:// www.rangeridersmuseum.com

PHOTO COURTESY: VISIT SEMT

PHOTO COURTESY: VISIT SEMT

5

Carter County Museum in Ekalaka The first-ever county museum in Montana, CCM is small but mighty. Historians, paleo-people and veterans alike will enjoy this museum for its unique and changing exhibits. The Veteran Room honors area soldiers ranging from the Indian Wars to Desert Storm while the stories of regional settlers, including David Russell and his Ogalala Sioux wife, Ijakalaka – the namesake of Ekalaka – are told through intriguing displays and narrative. www. cartercountymuseum.org

A short two-hour drive from Billings, this frontier town offers a twist of whimsy melded with a bit-o-cowboy. Start by perusing the WaterWorks Art Museum, a quirky gallery built into massive, renovated water storage bunkers (free/ goodwill donation). In addition to the broad permanent collection, the museum changes the exhibit regularly. http:// wtrworks.org

Crow Fair Celebration Pow Wow and Rodeo

PHOTO COURTESY: CARTER COUNTY MUSEUM

PHOTOS COURTESY: VISIT SEMT

If you have never been to Crow Fair, add this to your Must-Do List to retain your “Montanan” moniker. Held just one hour east of Billings, August 16-21, this traditional celebration is in its 99th year and remains the largest Native American event in the state. The fair includes a traditionaldress parade (daily at 10 a.m.) that winds through the “Tipi Capital of the World,” named so because it springs up almost overnight, and a pow wow starting at 1 p.m. You will not want to miss the Grand Entry – the rhythmic drumming instinctively makes you stand up and dance. Round out the day with the rodeo, which is sanctioned by the Northern Plains Indian Rodeo Association and is not for the faint of heart. Food concession available throughout the fair. Fry bread, anyone? www.crazycrow. com/site/event/crow-fair-pow-wow-rodeo.

PHOTO COURTESY: MT OFFICE OF TOURISM AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

PHOTO COURTESY: DENNIS K. CHIN

JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 15


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406.655.8000 | 3800 PIERCE PARKWAY | WWW.PIERCERV.COM JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 17


tourism

THE ECONOMY OF

BY DAX SCHIEFFER

DIRECTOR, VOICES OF MONTANA TOURISM

Doc Harper’s in downtown Billings is bustling with activity during a busy tourist season. PHOTO COURTESY: VISIT BILLINGS

18 | JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY


T

ourism is a leading industry for Montana’s economy injecting billions of dollars into communities creating thousands of jobs. However, it can be too easy to take this powerful industry for granted. It was not created by accident, but rather is the result of dedicated policy and technological improvements. Looking back, tourism as an industry is relatively new, even as a human endeavor. Traveling with the sole purpose of pleasure simply wasn’t feasible, safe or affordable for most of human history. The early days of tourism included only royalty and privileged families traveling Europe in the early 1800s. It took transportation technology and infrastructure to support the industry which leaped forward with the development of train travel. Flashing forward, Montana’s earliest tourists arrived by train to visit Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks in the late 1800s. Even with that technology, it was generally limited to upper class citizens who could afford excursions across the country. The next major breakthrough in infrastructure supporting the tourism industry was the construction of the Interstate Highway System starting in the 1950s. For the first time a family could safely drive on consistent and maintained roadways and be supported with hotels and restaurants along the way. For the first time, travel was available to a wide audience.

The proof of success of this model is reflected in the numbers. Since 1988 Montana went from attracting 3 million visitors to over 12 million visitors in 2016. Hotel sales ballooned from $122 million in 1988 to a record $720 million last year. Deboardings, or people getting off a flight in Montana, more than doubled from 800,000 people in 1988 to over 1.9 million people in 2016. Looking closer to home in the Billings market, there is data that shows tourism creates a major economic impact. According to the 2015 Nonresident Traveler Expenditure report from the Institute for Tourism & Recreation Research, Yellowstone County attracted over $400 million in new dollars from non-resident travelers. More than half of those dollars supported jobs in restaurants, retail stores and hotels. In fact, the same report showed nearly 5,000 jobs attached to the hospitality industry with payrolls that were over $150 million. And these figures only take into account non-resident travelers, meaning visitors from outside of Montana. As the largest city in the state, Billings certainly sees a large volume of resident visitors contributing to the local economy as well, who aren't accounted for in these figures.

From the earliest visitors arriving by train, to the millions who drive into Montana each summer, the tourism industry continues to be an economic driver for jobs and new and growing businesses. But history reminds us that this sustainable industry must continue to be supported with strong marketing efforts as many neighboring states would gladly accept Montana-bound guests and the dollars they bring. Voices of Montana Tourism serves as a united voice for Montana's tourism stakeholders. Since its creation in 2011, Voices has led the effort with education and outreach to communicate the immense value a sustainably-grown tourism industry provides for all Montanans. Voices of Montana Tourism is an independent non-profit supported by community TBID’s, Tourism Regions and CVB’s, trade associations and private industry.

2015 NONRESIDENT EXPENDITURES % FOR YELLOWSTONE COUNTY: $401,984,000

Air travel became more affordable and prevalent in the 80s which today plays a key role for the tourism industry in Montana. While all these technological upgrades allow for the tourism industry to exist for Montana, they don’t actually draw visitors to the state. So, what explains the significant growth? The answer is a strong and consistently funded state-wide marketing campaign. Prior to 1987 Montana was near the bottom of the list for states funding promotions to attract visitors. Once Montana committed to collecting a 4% bed tax and used the collections for marketing, well, the rest is history. Montana is now celebrating 30 years where a sustainable virtuous cycle is spinning. With successful marketing, more visitors arrive and they spend more in bed tax, which generates more marketing, bringing in more visitors.

AUTO RENTAL, REPAIR

RESTAURANT & BAR

GROCERY, SNACKS

20.0%

6.1%

MADE IN MONTANA

RETAIL

CAMPGROUND

SERVICE

FARMERS MARKET

TRANSPORTATION FARES

GAMBLING

1.5%

LICENSE, FEES

1.1%

4.0%

HOTEL, MOTEL, B&B

15.0%

18.6%

0.1%

5.7%

0.2%

0.1%

0.6%

JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 19


TURNAROUND:

TURNING

BIGDOLLARS FOR BILLINGS

BY JULIE GREEN


Cranes fill the sky as work progresses during the turnaround at the Phillips 66 refinery in Billings. April 24, 2017.

I

f you’ve noticed a few more out-ofstate plates than usual over the last several months, odds are that at least some of them are a result of the Billings Phillips 66 Refinery turnaround. While turnarounds aren’t anything new and happen about every 5 years at the refinery, this one is bigger than most, resulting in a virtual shut down of the plant to accommodate improvements. “We are committed to ensuring the long-term viability of our facility and maximizing its capabilities,” explains Ryan Wegner, Manager of Finance and Public Affairs for the refinery. “A ‘turnaround’ is the accomplishment of significant preplanned maintenance and/or improvement work at the facility.”

New coker drums were part of the last turnaround and made news when they arrived as mega loads on special trucks.


ABOVE: The Montana Club at 1791 Majestic Way opened for business in 2015 and was voted Readers' Choice Best All-Around Restaurant in 2016.

“We are committed to ensuring the long-term viability of our facility and maximizing its capabilities,” explains Ryan Wegner, Manager of Finance and Public Affairs for the refinery. “A ‘turnaround’ is the accomplishment of significant preplanned maintenance and/or improvement work at the facility.” Built in 1949, the Phillips 66 Refinery has undergone its share of turnarounds. Most recently, the refinery underwent a $48 million replacement of its coker drums in 2012. The 2017 turnaround completes the refinery’s Vacuum Improvement Project initiated two years ago, bringing it online and allowing greater processing of heavy Canadian crude. Other changes include improvements being made to the fluid catalytic cracker used to convert crude into gasoline and other products.

of time, while others will be here only a few days or a few weeks.” Wegner notes that staffing is handled by the individual contracting companies working on the turnaround project. As often as possible, they utilize local workers to reduce travel expenses, but often have little choice in a tight job market and end up recruiting from across the country.

The more than 2,000-acre plant has a regular workforce of just under 400 employees. During the turnaround, that number goes up substantially.

“We were told that about 1,800 people would be brought in to work the turnaround,” says Bruce MacIntyre, who serves on the Phillips 66 Citizens Advisory Committee. He goes on to note that recent updates to the committee have demonstrated how remarkably well various crews have worked together. “Often different teams are all working in the same area. They’re almost right on top of each other, but each is focused on their section of the project.”

“It’s necessary to increase the amount of people onsite to efficiently and effectively meet the respective work objectives,” says Wegner. “This is accomplished by adding approximately 2,000 additional contractors. Very few will stay the entire time; it’s dependent on the work they’re performing. Some may be here for a large chunk

MacIntyre also shares that bringing in crews generates positive economic impact in the Billings community. “One of the statistics that really impressed me is that they are spending a million dollars a day on this turnaround and I think the turnaround is 56 days long,”

22 | JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY


he noted. That expands, he continues, with the increase in business for local hotels and other local businesses—something Ron Spence of the Billings Tourism Business Improvement District Board echoes. “There is no question that hotels have benefited from this turnaround,” Spence says. “Some of the hotels did hundreds of rooms for workers who wanted them for five or six weeks straight.” Annette Welhaven, General Manager of The Montana Club, couldn’t agree more. “The four hotels around us have significant capacity, and they’re nearly sold out most nights. Those visitors, both here for the turnaround and those filling these hotels because turnaround workers are filling other hotels, like our restaurant for its authentic Montana vibe.” Welhaven says her staff works to learn a little bit about their customers, who are able to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner offered daily. “We ask where they’re from and why they’re in town

and offer suggestions on where to visit if they’ve got the time. This type of conversation is part of our standard of service, so we definitely increase our staffing and order levels during turnaround – we have to so we can properly serve each of our customers.” The Montana Club opened just shy of two years ago, and Welhaven sees that even the word “Montana” helps to lure customers. “They see the word in our name and feel confident in the local experience they’ll have. These workers put in long hours and want home-cooked food. They love that they can get a hand-cut steak. They also really love it when they hear we’re a local establishment with owners who actually reside in Montana.” When asked if the turnaround was good for business, Welhaven enthusiastically confirmed. Ron Spence agrees. “Refineries have to do turnarounds on a regular basis, so we can look forward to having some type of [turnaround] done by one of the three

in almost any year,” he says. “It could be a major one like this, where they shut the plant down for several weeks and have 2,000 people, or a partial shutdown with 300 to 400 workers. Either way, we love them. They’re good for Billings. They stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, go shopping, visit our lounges or casinos, and go to movies. It impacts the entire community.”

They’re good for Billings. They stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, go shopping, visit our lounges or casinos, and go to movies. It impacts the entire community.

The Phillips 66 refinery in Billings is undergoing what refiners call a turnaround as the plant is shut down for renovations. April 26, 2017

JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 23


AMERICAN AIRLINES BEGINS DIRECT BILLINGS/DFW SERVICE JUNE 2, 2017 We wish to thank the following for their financial contribution and support to secure American Airlines service into Billings:

• Opportunity Bank • Tancy and Ralph Spence

• KOA • MSU Billings • Beartooth Bank

• HUB International • DoubleTree by Hilton

The first non-stop flight on American Airlines from Dallas to Billings arrives and is showered with water cannons from the airport fire department on Friday, June 2, 2017. PHOTO COURTESY: THE BILLINGS GAZETTE

After nearly two years working with American Airlines, daily direct service to Dallas Fort Worth began June 2 - we invite you to be part of the success! American Airlines agreed to bring this flight to Billings in part due to a revenue guarantee promised by the Chamber’s Air Service Committee. Billings asked for this flight - now we must take care of our commitment! Please consider investing in this revenue guarantee. The funds are only paid if American Airlines falls short of its revenue projections. Please contact John Brewer at john@ billingschamber.com to learn more.


Allure WHY STAGE? • Faster sales time • Higher sales price than competitive listings • More showings, especially during first two weeks of listing

BEFORE • Create buyer-friendly homes • All buyers can envision themselves living there • Staged homes viewed as well-cared for properties by buyers, inspectors, and appraisers • Internet images look better

AFTER

• Shows quality agent who wants to present a quality product

Staging Process Consultation • Recommendations • Contract Staging and Destaging at an Affordable Price Flexible Priced Packages • Return on Investment I use buyer psychology to create buyer appeal and eliminate distractions during the tour by creating a chic “model home” with open and impressive space. I minimize the personality and lifestyle of seller. Staging costs less than your house being on the market another month or a price reduction. I can make your money go further than you would ever expect.

I can stage any size home, from occupied to vacant, using as little as accent pieces or bringing in entire rooms of my own inventory. Be sure to visit my website: www.stagetosellmt.com

Shawna Goodman 4524 Rangeview Dr. Billings, Montana 59106 (406) 672-2235 • stagetosellnow@gmail.com


SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

• Licensed

W

• insured

espinoza, Owner

RAE CONTRACTING e are your local Billings contracting experts, whether you need roofing, siding, gutters, windows, or other interior work such as home remodels, bathrooms, interior lighting and more. With decades of experience, first-class customer service, and a no-hassle approach to all our projects, RAE Contracting makes a satisfied and happy customer our top priority. Robert Espinoza, owner of RAE Contracting, has been a resident of Billings since 1988. He raised his family here including his two children who graduated from Billings West High School. During his time in Billings, Robert worked in the construction field as well as

• Bonded

RobeRt

the sales and customer service industry where he developed the skills and knowledge to be a successful businessman, and learned the value of good customer service and loyalty. What sets RAE Contacting apart is our dedication to providing first class customer service, taking the time to get to know our clients on a one-on-one basis, and learning what their home repair needs are. Our goal at RAE Contracting is to take the stress out of your repairs: no hassle, no hidden cost, just straight to the point. That’s why RAE Contracting is a name you can trust. If you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a FREE inspection or estimate, call Robert at 406.861.9191 or email us at robert@raecontracting.net.

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Business Spotlight_RAE Contracting.indd 1

ENJOY ALL THAT YOU ENJOY IN LIFE. Protect your thumb, feet, arms, head and the rest of you by working safely. Learn how by visiting safemt.com. 26 | JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

6/5/2017 2:59:50 AM


ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES BY JOHN BREWER

T

he Billings Chamber is taking a more assertive approach to important upcoming elections for the Billings business community. Currently, five City Council seats are up for election; two are termed out and the remaining three are up for reelection. Mayor Hanel is also termed out, leaving the position of Mayor open. So far, three Billings residents have either filed or indicated their intent to file: Randy Hafer, Jeff Essmann, and Bill Cole. “The Billings Chamber’s approach to these important seats opening up is simple,” expressed Business Advocacy Manager Dan Brooks. “We ask our community to remember that elections have consequences. The best way to voice your support for visionary leadership is to be active. Run for office, support a candidate, and at the very least, vote.” Brooks continues, “Billings is at a pivotal point in our development as a destination, our business growth and our ability to prosper economically. We will either move forward or become stagnant. Billings must elect leaders to our local government who possess a bright vision for our future, an understanding of local policy

and governance, and a desire to set politics and personal agendas aside for the betterment of our community if we are to move forward.” Registration for candidacy closes on June 19th. To apply to be a City Council or Mayoral candidate, interested parties simply turn in a C1-A (NP) form (http://www.billingschamber. com/media/Form_C_1_A.pdf) and pay the filing fee ($72 for City Council and $92 for Mayor).

Progress Occurs when we find a common vision and work in tandem to reach transformational goals

The Billings Chamber recently hosted a half-day Candidate School for individuals interested in running for elected office. The course was open to the public and highlighted responsibilities and campaign strategies while allowing attendees to hear from former elected officials. Contact Dan Brooks to receive information on upcoming candidate schools for statewide office. Multiple tools are available to members of the community to learn about the opportunities to get involved at www.billingschamber.com/ public-policy/#cityelections. There residents can check voter registration status, check which city ward they live in, and more. Continue to refer back to the Chamber’s website. The Chamber will be interviewing candidates for Mayor and City Council. A grade for each candidate will be presented in the upcoming week. “The bottom line is that this is the time to get involved and affect change,” summarized Brooks. “Elections have consequences – we need to be actively engaged in who fills those seats because they’ll be making major decisions for our community.”

JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 27


CONNECT

CONNECT AND GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH NEW FREE BENEFITS FROM THE CHAMBER BY JENNIFER REISER, IOM

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

T

he Billings Chamber of Commerce launched new software giving your business new ways to be promoted. Your clients and fellow members need accurate information at their fingertips and your membership includes exclusive access to specialized tools for promoting your organization via the Billings Chamber website at www.BillingsChamber.com. In an effort to better connect you with your potential clients, we invite you to take advantage of these new features: • Membership Listing - update your listing to ensure everyone has access to complete, up-to-date information about your business. Completing your profile is critical to gaining increased visibility and exposure! • Deals - offer coupons and special deals; fellow members may well be your best customers. • Job postings - advertise job openings at no cost.

• Advertise events - add your events to our online calendar displayed with quick links; use these links to share in your social media, text to mobile devices, add to calendar, or email to others. • Network with other members - check out other member listings, jobs, deals and more. • Pay Bills Online Once you have a login and password set up, you can download the companion app, “MemberPlus”. You will gain access to members, representatives, events and more. The website and app require that the member have a rep login to access it, so if you don’t have one, please contact Rene@BillingsChamber.com. The “MemberPlus” app is available in both the iTunes and Google Play stores. It’s designed for you, our members, as an easier way for members to update their personal and company information, register for events and interact with other members.

“MEMBERPLUS” FEATURES: • Receive notifications from the Billings Chamber • Link to the Member Information Center • View member listings • Update your own profile information • Enter your hours of operation – let people know when you’re doing business • Enter key words to help clients find you • Add free social media links to your listing • Register, pay and check in for events • Interact with other members • Post & view jobs, hot deals and member-tomember specials

Ribbon Cuttings The following Chamber member businesses recently celebrated grand openings, anniversaries, rebranding, relocation, and ground breakings. Congratulations to each of them!

APEX BUSINESS PERFORMANCE

celebrated their newly launched business on March 3rd.

BILLINGS TECH GUYS

GREAT AMERICAN BAGEL

PHYSICAL THERAPY IN MOTION

BILLINGS ESCAPE ROOM

I’M CRAVIN’ BAR-B-QUE

STRAIGHT’N ARROW

opened a store front and showed off the new signage on March 24th.

showcased their second location in downtown Billings on April 6th.

has gone from a food truck to a store front that was celebrated on April 25th.

UPCOMING

EVENTS BUSINESS AFTER HOURS

Business After Hours is the premiere networking event for business professionals in the Billings area. It is held on the second Wednesday of each month from 5 – 7 p.m and the cost to attend is just $8.

held a grand opening for the second location downtown on May 1st.

opened for business and celebrated with a ribbon cutting on May 5th .

opened their new store to participate in downtown’s Art Walk on May 5th.

MSUB FOUNDATION JULY 12 • 2615 VIRGINIA LANE

HENRY’S GARAGE AUGUST 9 • 12 GARDEN AVE. (hosted by Henry’s Garage & Edward Jones)

HEIGHTS FAMILY FUNERAL HOME SEPTEMBER 13 • 733 W. WICKS LN.

28 | JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

BAUER & CLAUSEN

hosted an open house for their new building on May 12th.

Does your business have a momentous change in the future? Schedule a ribbon cutting celebration! This complimentary member benefit is available to all members – simply contact us to schedule yours by calling 406.245.4111.

BILLINGS CHAMBER OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT 2017 JUNE 23 • THE BRIARWOOD GOLF CLUB PRESENTED BY VERTEX

CONSULTING GROUP

MONTANA YOUNG PROFESSIONALS SUMMIT JULY 27-29 • DOUBLE TREE BY HILTON PRESENTED BY PAYNEWEST

INSURANCE

ANNUAL MEETING SEPT. 26 • RED LION HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER


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Q360 Health Suzie Eades Owner

NSCA-CPT, ACE-HC

Exclusive for Chamber Members.

Ask about QFitness Connection For your company/employees.

50 27th St, West, Suite A Q360health.com | 406-208-1167

Heal from within

Service with a smile. Or a wave. Or maybe a little fist bump.

• Life on the road feels a little more lively at TownePlace Suites.

• In Motion MFR was founded by owner Jonathan Berens in Billings, MT. • We offer Massage Therapy and Expert John Barnes Myofascial Release®. • Our focus is bringing relief from pain and improve wellness through Myofascial Release (MFR). • Truly Authentic Healing. • MFR treats many diagnoses and conditions that have not responded to other modalities.

• Our spacious suites with full kitchens and flexible work spaces put you in charge of your routine. Jonathan Berens, BA MA LMT NCBTM

• Plus our staff knows every nook and cranny in the neighborhood, so look to them for tips on food, fun and other local gems.

In Motion MFR (928) 451-5407 712 Carbon St. Suite 5 • Billings, MT 59102

www.inmotionmfr.com • info@inmotionmfr.com

2480 Grant Road | Billings 406-652-7106 www.marriott.com/bilts

JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 29


GET TO KNOW THE BOARD:

Chris

Why did you initially choose to get involved with the Chamber?

I was new to the area and wanted to get involved with an organization that promoted the interests of local business. It helped me meet other business leaders and allowed me to present information about my company to a large group of people.

DIMOCK

PHOTO COURTESY MICHAELE DIMOCK

The snack always found in your desk/ office:

Business: ELATION

Board Position: Board Member and Fundraising Chair for the Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site

Coffee and breath mints. Pretty sad, I know!

You get to make one change for the Billings community today – what would you do?

One adjective that describes you:

I would create a funding mechanism so that the community can vote on supporting projects that it wants to see happen. As I look at every vibrant, growing community that I know of, they ALL have a way to fund projects that is not dependent on a Mil Levy.

Ardent.

If you had a super power, what would it be? To help influence the mindset of people so that they can get consistently better outcomes in their life. I have devoted the rest of my career to turning that super power into a reality.

Words you live by:

“You change the world through gentle pressure, relentlessly applied.”

Favorite book and why? Tell us about your photo:

As a board member, you have the inside scoop. What would you share about the Chamber that other members may not know?

Members often see Chamber events and initiatives, but they may not understand that these are all woven into a comprehensive plan to help businesses grow and thrive in Billings, which improves the standard of living for the entire community.

30 | JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY

I love producing furniture inspired by the western lodge designs that Thomas Molesworth produced in the 1930s. This desk uses local wood like juniper and boxelder, in addition to walnut from the Pacific northwest. I was fortunate to have a master class in design and construction methods from a nationally renowned furniture maker in Cody, which helped improve my skills immensely.

I was a fan of The Lord of the Rings way back in the 1960’s and I still am. The movies are good, but the books are far better.


COSTCO PRODUCTS DELIVERED DIRECT TO YOUR BUSINESS Why Choose OutLands Market: • YOU serve. • We will save YOU Providing the convenience of online purchasing through our Business Customer link at outlandsmarket.com. Access to online tools and dashboards for you to analyze your purchases and predict future needs. Because we are able to leverage Costco’s buying power, we provide FOR YOU Delivering fresh and frozen Costco products including meat and produce. An Outland’s credit card provided for your purchases for qualifying businesses. • We do the shopping and deliver TO YOU— products within 48 hours from your order. • Our ability to leverage Costco’s products are backed by over 30 years of Costco managerial experience.

Become a charter customer and receive your first year membership FREE!

A Proud Sponsor of Local Communities At NorthWestern Energy, we’re proud to be a reliable provider of energy and a partner in the overall success of the communities we serve. It is through the contributions of our time, talent and resources that we are able to ensure the places we call home thrive – today and in the future.

Michael Clough michaelclough@outlandsmarket.com Cell: 406.661.1135

Drew McVey drewmcvey@outlandsmarket.com

2697 Enterprise, Unit C, Billings, MT 59102

Office: 406.969.5700

Cell: 612.386.7149

Connect With Us:

outlandsmarket.com

OutLands Market, LLC is an independent company

NorthWesternEnergy.com

Partnering to Build Better Communities

CIVIL ENGINEERING • SURVEYING • LAND USE CONSULTING

406-248-9000 | www.TerritorialLandworks.com BILLINGS | MISSOULA | FLATHEAD | HELENA | BAKKEN JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY | 31


BUSINESS GROWTH:

TWO SMALL BUSI

BIG INVE IN THE

BY RENÉ BEYL

BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT SPECIALIST

In the last few months the Chamber welcomed two small businesses as Big Sky level investors in our organization. I sat down with the owners of each to learn a bit more about what makes them successful.

IRON HIGH

When asked about his journey to business owner, Seth Goodell reflected, noting that he recognized his skill for running a crew and his ability to build a tightly bonded team. Empowered by overseeing complete builds on several sites involving hands-off owners, he decided to begin his own company.

RENÉ: What advice do you have for others starting out with a new business? SETH: Having mentors aided in my success. To understand

how to navigate paperwork, I have a local contractor guiding me. A previous employer shared the insight I needed to manage this type of business.

R: Where do you see your business heading in the future? S: My ultimate goal is to become a distributor of the steel products we build. This opens the door to full design and builds for the client. R: What is your favorite project Iron High completed to date? S: The Netrona County High student facility in Casper, Wyoming. This was our highest scale building project to date.

R: What lead you to join the Billings Chamber as a top-level investor?

S:

I have seen the success of other companies that joined the Chamber. The marketing offered gives me a presence and recognition in the community. I just did not see a negative to joining.

iron high est. 2015


SINESSES MAKE A

ESTMENT CHAMBER

THE ASHLEY DELP TEAM

During my conversation with Ashley Delp, I discovered her genuine passion and true fondness for her team. In the challenging real estate market, she aims to make the process of selling or buying a home a smooth and enjoyable undertaking for all her clients.

RENÉ:

Why did you develop the existing structure of your real estate team?

ASHLEY:

Keller Williams pushes the team approach. I hired people offering strengths that complement mine. This leads to the highest customer service experience. We are able to stay in contact with the client during the entire process showing that you are the priority.

R: Do you have advice for others in the realm of professional and personal development? A: I believe we need to continue to grow and take steps to

care for ourselves in order to fully engage in our work. To have a clear head at work in a world of distractions, our team is developed with personal coaching sessions. When I travel I listen to educational books and attend trainings once per month to expand my knowledge.

R: What inspires you? A: Making people better by moving them forward as human beings. Some companies only care about how well you do the job, not about making people that work for them better human beings. Good people equal amazing outcomes.

R: Why did you join the Billings Chamber as a top-level investor? A: The Chamber offers a spectacular way to align your

business with other members. I am excited to be part of the impact made for the greater good of the community.


NEXTUP WITH NEXTGEN:

SECOND ANNUAL MONTANA YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SUMMIT TO BE HELD IN BILLINGS JULY 27-29 BY KELLY MCCANDLESS

T

he Billings Chamber and Billings’ NextGEN are pleased to host the second annual Montana Young Professionals Summit July 27-29, 2017. This year’s Summit is presented by PayneWest Insurance and plans to bring together several hundred young professionals from across the state with the intent of developing our emerging leaders and building connections among working Montana professionals, all while showing off the best Billings has to offer. The 2.5 day event is designed to be a blend of networking, leadership training, professional development and educational opportunities. “The agenda is built so attendees can really engage with the items that speak to their individual needs,” explains Chamber COO Jennifer Reiser. “Professionals looking for development and education will be served quality programming, while others looking for networking, skills building and a unique experience will be pleased with the options as well.” The Summit kicks off Thursday July 27th with a downtown walking tour and pub crawl presented by Seva. Friday’s sessions at the DoubleTree by Hilton will include a keynote address on leadership, panel discussions and breakouts focused on workforce development, civic engagement, customer service, and relationship building. “The panel will feature a mix of local experts in these areas as well

2017 as voices from across the state providing a well-rounded examination of the topics,” Reiser continued. To add local flavor, the networking events are built to push attendees out into the community. Friday evening festivities include a welcome party hosted by PayneWest Insurance and a Night with the Mustangs at Dehler Park presented by Albertsons. Saturday morning, participants are encouraged to visit the Farmer’s Market and downtown coffee shops before attending a session with Karen Grosz of Canvas Creek Teambuilding. Participants will be prepared to think about what they want, why, and collaborate with other goal setters during this insightful, high energy workshop. The afternoon continues with a trip to ZooMontana for Jeff Ewelt’s Passion TED Talk. For out-of-towners wishing to stay an additional night, or local attendees, a closing reception offers a Montana Luau at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Attendees can expect to gain new skills, strengthen their Montana connections and see a fresh and exciting side of Billings while in town. View a full agenda and other details at http:// mtyoungprofessionals.com. Registration information can be found at https:// mtyoungprofessionals.com/registration/. Rates are available including lodging as well as a lower rate for those needing only conference registration. A la carte options are available as well, meaning participants can engage in a single session for as little as $25. What’s more, NextGEN members will receive a promotional code for a discount off the “Local” rate. To book reservations for Saturday night, call the Hilton Garden Inn at 406-655-8800 and request a room under the MTYPS room block for rates as low as $129 per night.

The 2017 Montana Young Professional Summit is presented by the Billings Chamber and NextGEN. The amazing sponsors supporting this event are:

Seva KITCHEN

msubillings.edu ROCKY MOUNTAIN COLLEGE | PHILLIPS 66 | ST. VINCENT HEALTHCARE | AVITUS GROUP COSTCO | AFLAC | OPPORTUNITY BANK | CHARTER COLLEGE | KOA | UBER

34 | JUNE - AUGUST 2017 | LiNK BUSINESS QUARTERLY


Your Wind River adventure is right around the corner! Not only is the Wind River Hotel and Casino the only place where you can Play, Stay and Win but we also have the perfect adventure packages waiting just for you. Dinosaur Dig Prepare to get your hands dirty as you dig into the past and help find the remnants of a world thought lost. With our Dinosaur dig package, you can spend your day unearthing the bones of a T-rex, Triceratops or a Supersaures. This is an activity the whole family will enjoy with the recent release of the Disney/Pixar film, “The Good Dinosaur,” which was inspired by Wyoming. The Wyoming Dinosaur Center in Thermopolis is also home to over 300 skeletons, various dig sites and a gift shop. White water rafting For the really adventurous, join us on a white water rafting trip through the scenic Wind River Canyon. Wind River Canyon Whitewater & Fly Fishing is a Native American-owned business based in Thermopolis. Guiding the canyon for 20 years, they offer a variety of trips from Memorial Day through Labor Day. One of the most popular trips is the Upper Canyon - Enjoy both the peaceful and calm beginning of this trip and the biggest longest rapid on the river! You are surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the upper Wind River Canyon at the launch site; then it’s time to get soaking wet! Golf Looking for something more low-key? Take in two rounds of golf at the highly rated Riverton Country Club. Take on the green and enjoy a day with your friends or partner. We offer great hotel packages and other discounts to make this trip a winner.

Northern Arapaho Experience Song and Dance Every Tuesday night during the summer, the Northern Arapaho Experience Song and Dance is a celebration of music, dancing and friendship. These free performances give viewers a glimpse into the world of the Arapaho people. When the music stops, take a walk through our Cultural Room to learn more about our tribe. An Arapaho elder will guide you through the museum that tells the story of our people through paintings, artifacts and stories. Reservation Tours Want to explore more? We can arrange for a private tour of the Wind River Indian Reservation where you can visit the final resting home of Sacajawea, the famous Shoshone Princess who led Lewis and Clark through the Rocky Mountains. The historical petroglyphs outside of Riverton are some of the oldest recorded art in the area. St. Stephens Mission is a popular site for its beautiful stained glass and painted murals. Our experienced tour guides will take you beyond the history books and give you an up close and personal view of the Plains Indian experience.

Visit windriverhotelcasino.com to find out more information about our packages and book your adventure today.


LiNK - June 2017  
LiNK - June 2017