ideas on...
Posted by jerseygirl (+569) 10 years ago
me and my husband are looking to open a new business here in town wanted t look here for some ideas were taking all ideas EXCEPT bars and casinos we will NOT open a bar or casino but anything else let us know!! something we could really use
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Posted by Vanessa James (+14) 10 years ago
A nice little Ice cream shop would be great, i understand we have DQ and discovery pond but maybe you could and sandwiches and a little choclate shop or something
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9723) 10 years ago
It's been brought up before, but how about a clone of this place:

http://www.osf.com/

Although I suppose getting into the food industry would be a giant pain in the you know where.
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Posted by Zack Carey (+62) 10 years ago
something that involves kids is always good..
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Posted by Salli (Scanlan) Moore (+86) 10 years ago
I always wanted to open a "Family Pool Hall" (family friendly, no alcohol) or a miniature golf - some place where the whole family could play together. At this point in my life - it doesn't look like it will ever happen, but I would love to see it.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14239) 10 years ago
me and my husband are looking to open a new business here in town wanted t look here for some ideas were taking all ideas EXCEPT bars and casinos we will NOT open a bar or casino but anything else let us know!! something we could really use


Before you start any new business, I would encourage you to read a book called the "E-Myth Revisited, Why Most Small Businesses Fail and What to Do about it". You can get a flavor of the book here: http://books.google.com/b...q=&f=false

From personal experience I can tell you that if you don't already have a passion with clearly defined objectives, any business you attempt will likely fail. And even with a solid business plan it won't be easy. The fallout from a small business that doesn't make it isn't pretty, and will negatively impact your life for a long time.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3718) 10 years ago
Wasn't there a mini golf course in town at one time? It is true that for "family" (kid) entertainment the bowling alley is about all there is. When I was a kid there was the roller skating rink but that's long gone. The downside of mini golf is that it's a pretty big investment up front to build the course but I could definitely see people going to it. One of those mini race tracks would be fun as well.

I don't know if a pool hall can make much money without selling beer. I know when I was in high school I was surprised the Yellowstone Tavern would put up with us cause we'd go down there for half the night and spend about $3 each where the drinkers were probably spending 10x that. Traditionally, pool halls make money on video games as well but I don't know if anyone makes money on those anymore since every kid has a superior video game setup at home.
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Posted by Matt Smith (+788) 10 years ago
Dry Cleaner
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Posted by Monet (+168) 10 years ago
Roller rink!!!
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Posted by tim bartolovich (+127) 10 years ago
Long john silvers
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+14053) 10 years ago
A microbrewery.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2311) 10 years ago
How about a homestyle lunch/dinner counter. Like the old Diner style. Best food around, great service, great atmosphere... and downtown. Not on Haynes. That way we can walk to lunch.
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Posted by Just Me (+743) 10 years ago
I would like to see a "Christopher & Banks". I think a chain clothing store would do better here than a privately owned one.

They are reasonably priced and have practical clothing. Maurices is a chain and has survived here a long time.

[This message has been edited by Just Me (1/14/2010)]
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+10021) 10 years ago
A decent shoe store. However, like any small business, you need to KNOW a whole lot about the subject before opening. NZ's did great for 25 years until the owners decided retirement and grand children were more important than my feet.
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Posted by jerseygirl (+569) 10 years ago
what about a kfc
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Posted by jerseygirl (+569) 10 years ago
what would you think about like a non alcohol bo jangles for kids?? food games dancing soda you know kinda like a high school dance every night?
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Posted by Kaye Ailport (+57) 10 years ago
I would love to see a Sonic Drive In, or a really good BBQ place. A Dry cleaners would be an asset. Another Fabric and sewing store would also be great. I get alot of request for that here at the Blank Canvas. An Arcade would be great for the kids. Thats all I have. But as a New Business owner in Miles City, so far I am loving it. And everyone here is very supportive. Its been great. Thanks, Miles City
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Posted by A.Voice (+69) 10 years ago
I think any kind of food place... like an olive garden or Red Robin would be great we dont have enough food choices in this community. Nothing fast food, more sit down would be great. Other things i would say would be a family rec. place...with pool tables, ping pong, table hockey, a rock wall, those kinds of things... Another major thing that would be soooo awesome for this community would be a 24hr,workout facility. The only things here are the centra and curves...both of which the hours arent really accomidating and there isnt alot of equipement. I think if you opened a 24 hr. gym like ones in billings, you would do really well, considering the price for a year pass at the centra and not really having the opportunity to get good use out of the money.
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Posted by K.Duffy (+1716) 10 years ago
How about a dog boarding/day care center? You could start out small and expand as needed. I think dog owners would love to have a place for their dogs to go during the day and be socialized with other dogs. There's also painfully few boarding options.
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Posted by AJS (+213) 10 years ago
Success in Business is to find a need and a way to fill it.

AJS
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Posted by spacekace (+889) 10 years ago
I agree K Duffy! Doggie Daycare is so popular in many places. A place to take your dog and cat when you're on vacation, or to take when you're at work, that will walk them and have playtime... Along with grooming services, and a do it yourself "dog wash".

http://www.doggiedaycareandmotel.com
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Posted by OE (+33) 10 years ago
How about a Great American Bagel store? There's one in Billings and they're great! They have a variety of probably 15-20 different made-from-scratch bagels and several flavors of cream cheese available singly or you can buy an assortment in bulk. They also do different sandwiches with the bagels and soup for a nice lunch option. Its all very reasonably priced and you can even watch them make the bagels on site.
The one in Billings is always busy. (Fact, I have my friend in Billings bring bagels for me every time she comes through MC, lol.) They also do catering.
It would be a nice addition to MC, I think, and something different than the run-of-the-mill chain restaurants.

http://www.greatamericanbagel.com/

[This message has been edited by OE (1/14/2010)]
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Posted by julieinmc (+511) 10 years ago
Sure wish someone would buy and reopen Ben Franklin's. Sewing, crafts and the lunch counter. Plus lots of room for more!
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+591) 10 years ago
Listen to Richard. New businesses tend to fail. The best don't turn a profit for 3 years. If you're just determined to attempt it, plan to have second jobs to live off of. I'd wait for the national economy to turn around & the business climate to warm up.
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Posted by jerseygirl (+569) 10 years ago
were looking for what the people want not your Criticism we wouldnt be here if we didnt know what to do thanks
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Posted by Zack Carey (+62) 10 years ago
ive noticed everyone seems to take things and make it an argument ground... kinda immature.
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Posted by OE (+33) 10 years ago
Thinking into this some more, a craft and fabric store would also be nice. There's a real void here now with Copper Thimble being gone and Ben Franklin's closing. I needed material to make two blankets before Christmas and had to go to Billings and purchase the rest online as there is no place for that here anymore.

A little encouragement for these folks might be nice as well. They have taken the time to ask what people would like. Let's get them positive feedback, not "you're probably going to fail, don't even try" messages. Unless you know who these people are, their background and financial position, you're in no position to say that they can't make it or even need supplemental income. We all know what the current economy is like.
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Posted by Cindy Stalcup (+591) 10 years ago
My sincerest apologies
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14239) 10 years ago
Debt Collection Agency
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+14053) 10 years ago
If, in fact, you are indeed a JERSEYGIRL.....then, opening a hoagie shop in Miles City would be the finest thing you could ever do.
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Posted by Chuck Schott (+1290) 10 years ago
How about a place that sells only left handed stuff.
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Posted by urijah (+128) 10 years ago
pool hall definitely
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Posted by skoh (+333) 10 years ago
Anything for the kids like an indoor mini golf and/or roller rink would be wonderful. Outdoor golf would be such a short season. Maybe that's why the other failed. If it's something in the food industry, a soup and salad place or anything with healthy food choices and vegetables would be nice!
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Posted by David Schott (+14763) 10 years ago
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+10021) 10 years ago
Realistically, anything entertainment based is probably going to short-lived. Kids will LOVE it for a while, then like it, then eh and end of story. A good solid retail business would be more likely to make a go of it then food service, which is an incredibly tricky business, or anything designed to entertain kids.

The joke is, how do you make a small fortune in the restaurant business? Start with a large one.
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Posted by Shu (+1667) 10 years ago
This is certainly something that takes research and knowhow, but I suggest this based on the current trends:

an electronics store - particularly one that sells cells, palms, ipods, laptops and the like...office PC's are beginning to give-way to more portable gadgets.

I'll put it this way: I'm in no position to start my own business at present, but if I were, THAT is what I'd go for.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9723) 10 years ago
Doesn't Walmart and the Internet already do that?
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Posted by Shu (+1667) 10 years ago
They do, Larry, but the thing is this: the internet doesn't give you face-to-face customer service and WalMart has that whole stigma of being the corporate giant that kills tha ma-and-pa businesses in a small town like Miles City, and bigger towns, too.

That said, I realize that in hindsight the small-electronics store idea would have one big drawback in-particular (among others): huge startup costs. One would have to invest a large sum off the bat just to have some inventory to sell.
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Posted by Jess Bradley (+207) 10 years ago
I agree with the suggestions of a fabric/craft store and dry cleaning.
Both are really needed in our community!
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9723) 10 years ago
The only thing I know is don't attempt to compete against the big guy ... otherwise you will lose.

I've never ordered a nice hot spaghetti meal followed up with spumoni from Walmart or the Internet, but I don't expect either would have the ability to deliver it well.

However, as Amorette implied, if not pretty much stated, you basically already need to be rich to get your foot in the door of a food franchise, and I assume the industry is a tough one to deal with in any case.

Best bet is to follow your heart, do what you truly love, and stay away from competing with the big guy on the block.
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Posted by MR (+386) 10 years ago
A water slide, a Cracker Barrel Restaurant, a shoe store, a clothing store , a fabric store (so I don't have to go to Billings for black embroidery thread !), dry cleaners, ice cream place like the old Penguin shop.
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Posted by John Morford (+347) 10 years ago
I think someone should run with the above idea.

You could put them all in one building and name it something like "The Slippery Slide Payless Penguin Ice Cream Emporium featuring the Old Navy Cracker Barrel Dry Cleaning Fabric Depot".

Probably have more money in the sign than in the building though...........

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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14239) 10 years ago
John: in other words, WalMart.
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Posted by Steven Williams-Dey (+255) 10 years ago
I think a craft and fabric store would we awesome.
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Posted by jerseygirl (+569) 10 years ago
ok i was reading the thing abourt how its impossible to get a spaghetti dish and th ethought came to me what about a nice itailan resturaunt?? we have almost every other kind of resturaunt but italian?

[This message has been edited by jerseygirl (1/15/2010)]
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1431) 10 years ago
But an authentic Italian restaurant wouldn't be serving up anything that resembles what the average American considers spaghetti.

In MC... even moreso.

Sadly, almost every suggestion made so far has a dog ear in the history book page for a previous incarnation of the same business. I suppose the brainstorming may need to include *why* some of those businesses either failed or at least why they are no longer?
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Posted by jerseygirl (+569) 10 years ago
but thats the thing it wouldnt be authentic i havnt the slightest clue about itily or italian food it would be an american italian resuraunt pizza, sphegetti, alfredo, homemade sauces, kinda like an olive garden. only american. we would make veggie and vegan dishes and have food for those who have chromes, and celiac

[This message has been edited by jerseygirl (1/15/2010)]
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Posted by Stewart (+155) 10 years ago
Didn't read through all of this, but one thing MC is really lacking is some good clothing stores. There's plenty if your western, and there's some good stuff in the new women's store on main street, teeny boppers are covered by Maurices, but where the opportunity lies is a place for men to get clothes. Slacks, nice shirts, etc. They're just SOL unless they want to go to Billings or buy junk at Walmart. Same--with exception of small new women's store--for professional women. I'd love to see a store that hits the 25-45 age range for men and women. And please sell shoes!!!
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3718) 10 years ago
Before you open a restaurant, read this book:



It's a very entertaining read and it will give you a whole new perspective on the restaurant business. This is not the TV show or the movie with the same name, he wrote this back before he was a "celebrity chef".
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Posted by Just Me (+743) 10 years ago
Stewart - That was my thinking and why I suggested Christoper & Banks. They have 3 different stores. One for women Plus Sizes. One for Average Women and also one for men.

I don't know if they would come here though.
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1431) 10 years ago
JerseyGirl had me at "homemade sauces."
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Posted by Wendy Wilson (+6171) 10 years ago
Ok, this is one of my pet peeves. If a restaurant makes a sauce on the premises it can't be homemade unless the restaurant is someone's home. If it's made in a restaurant it is not homemade. I think most people mean made by scratch when they say homemade.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+9723) 10 years ago
My mom owned and operated a fad low-priced clothing store, "The Clothes Closet", back in the 1980's ... and I know, first hand, it was brutal to compete against the other local businesses, and in particular, K-Mart and Billings. My relatives also owned Shores and it went out of business as well.

Given that Walmart is in town and Billings still exists, I would seriously give a second thought towards the concept of opening a new niche clothing shop in MC. Probably not one of the best ideas.

My 2 cents.
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Posted by Shu (+1667) 10 years ago
Larry: for what it's worth I tried to help keep your mom and Jaci in business while they were there. I bought my first pair of parachute pants and some poofy 80's shirts, such as a "Chams" shirt, at the Clothes Closet. Us "children of the 80's" did patronize that place, I guess there just weren't enough of us with enough money to make it survive.
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Posted by Raven Clan (+41) 10 years ago
Skatepark wharehouse!
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Posted by jerseygirl (+569) 10 years ago
before my mother got sick and moved we had a tux shop? how you think that will do?
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Posted by sfb (+165) 10 years ago
the 24 hour fitness is about the best bet of the ideas so far. there is no one to compete with, there is a want and a need. the start up costs could be fairly high. you need an building with good parking and lighting in a fairly busy area. no lady wants to go to a dark remote place buy herself. you can find large quantaties of good used professional exercise equipment at wholesale prices on ebay or such places. this could combined with the dog daycare pretty easy just dont mix them in the same building! good luck there is something that will work. my suggestion is try to get into something that has very little competition locally. there is already way to many places to eat in miles city
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Posted by polar bear (+515) 10 years ago
Does Miles City have a Learning Center where parents can pay tutors to help the kids with homework?

How about an indoor swimming pool with lessons?

Macy's, Coldwater Creek, Chicos, are all lower priced clothing stores that might fill a need.

Do you have any good bookstores in town?

How about an art supply store?
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Posted by Bob Netherton II (+1910) 10 years ago
DINGDINGDINGDING! INDOOR SWIMMING POOL! But could it turn a profit? Miles City needs a friggin' swimming pool(one without swimmer's itch).
I suppose you'd need buckets of money, however.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14239) 10 years ago
So you should combine men's formal wear with an athletic store specializing in marathon gear. You can call it "tux and runs".
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+10021) 10 years ago
Seriously, talk to Mike Coryell at Miles City Area Economic Development. He is in the basement of the court house at the moment. He can give you honest figures and serious ideas on what can or cannot fly in Miles City.

Trying to open an Italian restaurant when you know nothing about either restaurants or Italian cooking would be suicide. You need to be well-versed in your business, have a solid business plan and serious capital. Mike would be the person to direct you in seeking those things. Well, everything except the capital. That you need to have in hand.

As for franchise stores like Macy's or Coldwater Creek. . . They have population requirements in addition to financial requirements. I doubt if Billings would meet their numbers. Remember they got Dunkin' Donuts to bend their rules to open an outlet and that flew right straight into the ground.
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Posted by snickers (+805) 10 years ago
My vote is a craft and fabric store
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Posted by Kacey (+3153) 10 years ago
Billings has a Coldwater Creek store. Great merchandise and very friendly staff. Krispy Kreme did close their store. I stopped going because they were always out of the ones I liked. Novelty wears off and the good old maple bar wins again!
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 10 years ago
I adore Krispy Kreme...:-)
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Posted by Dan Mowry (+1431) 10 years ago
...we have a Krispy Kreme bakery downtown here where you can get tours and samples right off the line. Then, naturally, all the convenience stores load up on boxes daily. MMmmmmmm...
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Posted by Jonna (+278) 10 years ago
This town desperately needs a personal dry-cleaning service. There are enough professional people right here in town who need drycleaning, not to mention local hotels can no longer offer drycleaning to their guests. Opening a clothing store for business people is all well and good, but considering the fact that most professional clothing requires dry cleaning, who is going to buy it when their only option now is the iffy Dryell option? A drycleaner is the best choice for a new business. The reason the local dry cleaner went out of business was not due to lack of income, it was due to lack of a new manager to run it.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 10 years ago
I remember Krispy Kreme as a child in the 40's in the south...they were delicious then and still are IMO...too bad Montana currently has no stores..
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Posted by ty head (+102) 10 years ago
We have the Blank Canvas for a crafts store, I don't know if she sells fabric down there though.
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Posted by Toni Campbell Tivy (+149) 10 years ago
If I ever moved back to Miles City (and there is very little chance of that happening) I would open a franchise of this business:

http://www.pumpitupparty.com/

Franchis Opportunities: http://www.pumpitupparty....rview.aspx

The good thing about a franchise is that someone else has already shelled out the money for advertising, printing costs, etc. and the business has been successful many other places.

Miles City is the perfect place for this business, since there are always a lot of kids and families there, and at least half the year you have nowhere indoors to take the kids to let them wear themselves out with exercise. There are indoor obstacle courses, slides, bouncers, boxing rings (heavily padded) and a gladiator type ring where the kids can knock each other off the "hill" into a padded area.

I think a lot of people want to throw nice birthday parties for their kids, but if the kids are born in the wintertime (or the hottest part of the summer) you can't take them to the park, and who wants a bunch of energetic kids rampaging through their house? The Airport Inn is a lot of fun, but not great exercise for kids.

They charge so much per kid for birthday parties and have some sort of a deal with the local pizza place so they get a percentage of the food served at the party as well. Also, they are very organized so that you can have a great party without spending a week before the party getting ready and then a week afterwards cleaning up.

The kids here all LOVE this place (when my daughter was a pre-schooler we went to the "pop-in-playtime" every time it rained or the weather was bad just so the kids could get some decent exercise for that day). All of the Moms could keep an eye on the kids and have a nice visit at the same time. One of them even brought her computer and did some work while her son had the time of his life!

Out where I live you can have birthday parties year-round at the beach or the park, but it is just easier to bring the kids to this indoor environment and turn them loose to jump until they are exhausted without worrying about them falling out of trees or leaping into the ocean (while the parents have a nice, uninterrupted visit!)
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Posted by Christen LeBlanc Ramsey (+277) 10 years ago
i second, or third (?) the idea of a 24 hour fitness or similar gym experience. it should have an indoor pool, and at that you've got at least the kids nagging at the parents to go. especially, if you have lifeguards. classes for the parents (yoga, kickboxing, etc) it could be a really positive family oriented experience, that from what i recall, is sorely lacking in the mc.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+10021) 10 years ago
How many million does Jersey girl have to start up her business? Because that's what an indoor pool costs. MILLIONS of dollars. That's why Fun2U is still fundraising. A 24-hour gym is expensive but an indoor pool is completely unrealistic.

Talk to Mike Coryell. Seriously. He knows his stuff.
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Posted by LJ (+103) 10 years ago
Here's something off the wall...We have such beautiful fruit and vegetables in this area. What about a cannery? Kids could make money in the summer picking buckets of crabapples and apricots, ie, keeping the professional people in supply. I have no idea the start-up costs and overhead, but love home canned goods.
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Posted by Lorin Dixson (+590) 10 years ago
Probably not interested, but you could restart the Tongue River Riding Academy. it would probably would be hard to get the permits these days.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 10 years ago
thought the Tongue River Riding Academy was a brothel??
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+10021) 10 years ago
Yes, that was the joke name for those houses on the end of Pleasant Street. Very profitable business, good for the town coffers, that is for sure, but a bit problematic these days.
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Posted by Shawna Gustad (+78) 10 years ago
A good fabric store and craft store would be wonderful. That way we wouldn't have to travel to Billings or order items on-line
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Posted by jimdeastfork (+91) 10 years ago
A few years back I was back to school as a nontrad. One thing I could have used, as could several other single parents I knew, was night care for children. Most communities have several choices available for "day" care for parents who need assistance from 8AM till 5PM, but after that the parent is on his or her own. Possibly a professional child care facility that could be run on a 24 hour/day schedule would be successful. There are a lot of people who work darned early or darned late for one reason or another, and they too need child care.
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Posted by spacekace (+889) 10 years ago
Speaking of dry cleaners... can someone tell me about The Bachelor Laundry Service???? Someone told me they saw a sign in Miles City, is it just for laundry or do they iron too?????
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6019) 10 years ago
Levi wrote:
Before you open a restaurant, read this book:

Word to that. I do enjoy Mr. Bourdain's take on just about everything. Outstanding read, as are his other books.
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+757) 10 years ago
Who cares what a swimming pool costs? Miles City has put this off since way back when I was a kid.
Yes PLEASE build your kids a modern, indoor swimming pool. One designed for competition as well as recreation. The benefits of this are never ending. It is the best physical sport for young bodies and great therapy for old worn out ones, too! Be sure to build it as a venue for swim meets. Be sure to include a community room as a venue for the aforementioned parties.
I thought I had heard some time ago there was a plan to finally do this, what happened?
In 1977 I turned eighteen and registered to vote in a city election which included a bond for a pool. When it was defeated, that is when I realized I had to move away.
A pool can be funded and built privately. It can be leased out and rented to numerous local organizations such as the schools, swim teams, physical rehab business, fitness clubs, etc.
Please do it. Sorry it won't get me to move back to Miles City, though...
Do it for the well being of your families of the present and future.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8302) 10 years ago
Who cares what a swimming pool costs?


I would assume whomever writes the check to pay for the swimming pool might have some interest in how much it costs.
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Posted by howdy (+4949) 10 years ago
Bridgier gets my vote for the biggest understatement of the day!!
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Posted by Jeff Denton (+757) 10 years ago
Okay, think about it this way: What has it cost Miles City to NOT have a real pool?
Sad, huh?
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Posted by Jess Bradley (+207) 10 years ago
Fun2U is working on a pool, support them!!
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Posted by ndrew64 (+48) 10 years ago
I like the idea of a chain clothing and/or shoe store. We are pretty limited in those departments and it is true Maurices has survived where others have not. Not so much on eaterys...
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Posted by Stone (+1590) 10 years ago
strip club
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14239) 10 years ago
Ummm... Brady, isn't that what "Lucky Lil's" is and they strip you of all your quarters? I guess we should ask Gunnar as he seems to know a lot about the joint.
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