Downtown Plans
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+10499) 15 years ago
With the possible help of students at MCC, I am trying to put together a selection of brochures from downtown to be distributed to lodging facilities on Haynes Ave. as part of my insidious plot to tell folks pulling off the Interstate that there is more to Miles City than the strip.

If you check into a motel in Butte, there is a folder in the room full of info and maps about Uptown Butte. I would like to see the same thing here, plus a map (Gene Larson has agreed to help) that shows folks how incredibly easy it is to get from Haynes to Main and back to the Interstate.

I hope to get it going ASAP. Maybe have a meeting in the next week or so to push the proposal. Are there any downtown merchants who would be interested in promoting their business? I mean. . .c'mon! We have a terrific historic downtown and we need to tell folks about it!

Amorette
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Posted by David Schott (+15319) 15 years ago
Sounds like a great idea Amorette. My thought is to include a self-guided tour map of some of Miles City's historic buildings and homes. Include a short blurb explaining the history of each one. Then in the summer time if you get a few of the shops to stay open late, a place to stop and get an ice cream, a little bakery/coffee shop, that sort of thing. Plus things like the Friday night music in Veterans Park I think might draw the travelers downtown.

- Dave
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+14860) 15 years ago
Why not ask members of the Montana Tavern Association to sponser a downtown bar and casino crawl? A flyer can be handed out with squares with the names of all the downtown bars and casinos. Each bar and casino can have their unique punch design (like video stores and coffee shops have) that will be used to punch the square when the patron orders a drink. After the patron hits every bar and casino downtown, the completed punch card can be redeemed for a roll of quarters and a coupon for a free ride home.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14302) 15 years ago
Maybe no one but native Miles Citzens would care... but if Amorette's book was in the motels and there was a corrosponding map that located where all of those historic sites which the book talks about, would the touristy types do a self guided tour through town? Just a thought.
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Posted by Bob L. (+5047) 15 years ago
Gunnar & Richard:

Those are both great ideas!

However, Gunnar, I think there might be a few too many bars & casinos downtown for all but the most intrepid tourist to navigate without ending the night on rubber-leg street

Richard: As a non-MC native who lived in Milestown for a time, I believe many folks would do a self-guided tour if given the necessary information to do so. Miles City is a very interesting town; it's unfortunate that no one has capitalized on MC's fascinating past.
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Posted by Rose Larkin (+37) 15 years ago
Billings, Glendive, Forsyth, and even Beach, N.D. has a map that has ads. from buisnesses. They tell you where things are of interest, too. Some also include on one side a map of downtown.
I would like to see something like that, easy to carry around and/or fold them to put in your pocket. The Hotels/Motels have them and some buisnesses do, too.
I have friends who come and visit me and always are interested in looking at other towns and they love the maps.
I have never seen one for Miles City, so I don't know if they have one. I am one of those people who only show Haynes, because that is all I know. I was told the downtown was almost empty and don't go there, so I never have, but maybe I should.
I am always happy to show my friends the state of Montana and all it has. I would be happy to be able to give them more info myself.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+10499) 15 years ago
The downtown is almost empty?

Must be a surprise to me, whose office is there, to Riggs, Pleasanties, Good Things, the Miles City Saddlery, Miles City Books and News, Stockhill Jewelers, Olive Hotel, Big Sky Pharmacy, Sullivans Furniture, Discovery Pond, Maurice's, The Star, Boss Office Supply, M & H Gas, Milo's Menswear, three banks, the Cowboy Cobbler, the Kicking Ass Hat Company, Brown's Saddlery, The LIghthouse Bookstore, the Montana Bar, the Texas Club, the Hole in the Wall and 600 restaurants, the Cellar Casino, the bike and computer stores, beauty shops, accountants, lawyers, archtitects and other professionals who have offices downtown. Plus the library, City Hall, the county court house, our classic 1930's single screen theatre still showing first run films, the new rib place across from Riverside Park, the folks who frequent Denton Field, described as one of the finest old-fashioned ball fields in the country.

If downtown is empty, why can't I cross the street without waiting? If downtown is empty, who the heck are all those people shopping and transacting business there? If downtown is empty, why am I wasting my time.

Wait. . .downtown ISN'T empty. What do you know. . .
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Posted by Rose Larkin (+37) 15 years ago
I NEVER said Downtown was empty. I said, I was told it was empty. I guess they didn't know anything either. So when I come to Miles City this Summer, I will be sure to go downtown and see it for myself.
What you are trying to do is good. It give people like me, who were told wrong, info. That is why Miles City needs something to tell people more about Miles City.
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Posted by Johnnie Lockett Thomas (+393) 15 years ago
In the fall, Robin Gerder invited me to join her in doing a downtown tour for the vets at the V. A., not of the historic homes (which I think she'd done in the past), but of the historic bordellos. She did the 19th century houses. I did the 20th century places, and one of the vets took us by our current 'House'. The men loved it more than you can imagine. It would take a ton of work to do the map and the attendant stories, but this is some of the material that I am currently working on, so, maybe that's another possibility. Anybody interested?

Johnnie Lockett Thomas
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Posted by Rose Larkin (+37) 15 years ago
Is there any progress with the downtown plans? I would like to know.
Thanks, Rose
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+10499) 15 years ago
I have three hotels signed on for folders in the rooms, one for a display in the lobby and a number of downtown businesses interested in the project. So far, it seems to be going well. . .

Amorette
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Posted by Rose Larkin (+37) 15 years ago
I am glad there is some progress. I hope that many Buisnesses will have the info.
My Friends come to see me and I do take them to Forsyth, Miles City and Glendive. Mostly to Glendive, I think it is because of Makoshika Park.
It will be very nice to have the info to tell people what and where things are.
I must admit, I don't know Miles City very well.
I hope that you will keep us inform of the progress.
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Posted by kate scotty (+40) 15 years ago
Does Miles City have any Public Transportation, besides Rimrock Trailways?
Like Taxi or Bus service?
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14302) 15 years ago
shank's mare
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Posted by Lee Akers (+269) 15 years ago
Perhaps we could put in a BIG hotel and convention center. I have spoken to a number of people about holding conventions here, they tell me there is not enough hotel space for a good sized gathering. I understand the rooms are booked up a year or more in advance for Bucking Horse Sale.

There are several vacant lots, but I don't think they would be big enough for a large hotel. But if they were used for smaller hotel/casino facilities, it might be of help.

Maybe a nice Itallian restaurant. NOT another Pizza joint! A nice Italian restaurant. The success of Bodacious Barbeque tells me that Miles Citizens are seeking diversity. At least in our dining.

I talked to some people befor they opened the BBQ. Usually they said, either "Oh, it'll never work." or "Oh, I never eat barbeque." Yet the nice folks down at the westend of Main street are putting a serious dent in the business of the meat-and-potatoes establisments.

Maybe some enterprizing entrepreneur might take the chance and come out winners.

But then, why should I drive my cattle all the way to Montana, and take a chance on some little burg with no future. The Indian problem will be settled soon, and that military encampment will be nothing but a bone filled prairie. Besides, we've never done it that way before.
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Posted by jackie (+164) 15 years ago
katie, in reply to your inquiry about public transportation, there is a taxi service in town which appears to get utilized well. there is no local bus transit system. I don't believe miles city really has the population to support one. Trailways comes through in place of greyhound.

Lee, i had inquiried about a convention center several years ago as i used to try to bring conferences in for foster-adoptive parents. I was told there was a feasibility study done and it was deemed apparently that we would not benefit from one. My philosophy was if you build it, they will come. As it is now, holy rosary is the only place that can house a large amount of people for a conference. Not much forethought went into the small conference area at Holiday and guest house. Guest house probably has a bigger capacity for meetings. I was looking at conferences that would bring in 100-150 people state wide and tapping into North dakota and wyoming. What a dreamer i am. We did have a training here that 80 people attended. It would have been nice to have a facility at that time that could have accomodated them in a hotel/motel. Glasgow has a nice conference center (cottonwood inn) and seems to do well. As far as an italian restaurant, i second that. it seems that this has been discussed a few forums ago. you may want to check out that forum.

[This message has been edited by jackie (edited 2/25/2005).]
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Posted by Bob L. (+5047) 15 years ago
Look down the road 140 miles to Medora.

They seem to do pretty well in the summer.

It would take a lot of work, but MC could have something similar.

I'm just saying.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14302) 15 years ago
A 160 miles to the south in Gillette, we have the "Cam-Plex" which was built in the 1980's. We have a lot of horse shows and rodeos. In fact the National High School Rodeo will be here again this summer. We also have a national horeshoe pitching tournement coming this year. There is a plan in the works to expand this facility as it is booked throughout the year.

It seems like MC could do the same sort of thing. Especially for rodeo activities. If you had the facilities why couldn't you attract activities like the PBR tour?

Seems to me this issue is more about vision (or the lack thereof) than it is anything else. I can envision a complex which I would call the "Crossroads Convention Center" which would be a large "log" structure out where the Crossroads Inn used to be. Its all a matter of establishing some basic infrastructure and making it grow from there.
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+10499) 15 years ago
It all comes down to dollars. Those who have them don't want to risk them and those who don't have them can't do anything. Everytime I see how much is wasted at the Olive hotel complex I want to SCREAM! Half the building is abandoned and what's left is being allowed to rot at warp speed. The owner wants half a million and it would take nearly that to bring it back to the glory it deserves so no one will ever buy it and fix it up.

[email protected]#$#$!

Or something like that. I'm doing what little I can, as cheaply as I can, and am hoping someone with VISION and MONEY comes down the pike.

Amorette
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14302) 15 years ago
Isn't it ironic that all of us with ideas have little money and those with money seem to have few ideas. At least it seems that way.

Of course if life were fair horses would ride half the time!

[This message has been edited by Richard Bonine, Jr (edited 2/25/2005).]
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Posted by Lee Akers (+269) 15 years ago
Richard:

I have been to the Cam-Plex. What a beautiful facility it is. A large auditorium with good acoustics. Ample meeting rooms, and a convienient, well manicured parking lot. It is something about which the people of Gillette, and Campbell County can be proud.

We could have a similar facility here, but for the old bugaboo, money. Wyoming has a (Montnans hide your head in the sand for the following phrase) SALES TAX. Also, Wyoming is making profitable use of their abundant natural resources. Campbell County coal among is the best in the world. Equaled only by Custer County Montana coal.

Your progressive community is not afraid of railroads, Coal gas harvest, or power generation stations. Your main street is not dying, but thriving. As is the newer portions of town.

The attitude of your business people is progressive, and rooted firmly in the future. You have a rich history, and have kept it alive, while growing at a steady and organized pace.

Gee, I wonder how you do it?

Lee

[This message has been edited by Lee Akers (edited 2/25/2005).]
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Posted by Van (+567) 15 years ago
Ya, Wyoming is also last in wages, although we are not far from that. I would still rather live in Montana.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14302) 15 years ago
Van: While on a statewide basis what you say is true, here in Gillette the median income is around $58,000 per year.
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Posted by Pete Petro (+279) 15 years ago
Right on, Lee. Also, don't forget the big surplus of funds the state of Wyoming has. Mostly due to natural resources.
Pete
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Posted by Van (+567) 15 years ago
I agree with you guys on the natural resources we need to tap into it. Richard what is the cost of an average 3 bedroom house in Gillette? Just wondering.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14302) 15 years ago
The average 3 bed house about 180,000. We looked at 3 bed condo last week that was 140,000. So if you are on the bottom side of the median income, affordable housing is a real issue.
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Posted by Van (+567) 15 years ago
Richard, Moven on up to the East side. Wow, I paid $50 some thousand for a four bedroom 2 story house in MT. Cost of living is cheap but it is going up fast and our wages are not.
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Posted by Peggy (+25) 15 years ago
As for a convention center here in Miles, we have one in the works, the old Buttrey's building is in the process of being redone for a convention center. The "friday nite fights" was held there last month and the Tavern Association dinner was there last fall also. It will hold about 1200 people. It is ready for use now, but they are still working on it. It is so nice to see older buildings being utilized!!!
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Posted by Peggy (+25) 15 years ago
As for a convention center here in Miles, we have one in the works, the old Buttrey's building is in the process of being redone for a convention center. The "friday nite fights" was held there last month and the Tavern Association dinner was there last fall also. It will hold about 1200 people. It is ready for use now, but they are still working on it. It is so nice to see older buildings being utilized!!!
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Posted by David Schott (+15319) 15 years ago
Below are some stats on Gillette and Miles City. These numbers are based on the 2000 U.S. Census. I didn't have as much luck finding stats on housing prices.

http://www.answers.com/to...te-wyoming

The median income for a household in Gillette is $46,521, and the median income for a family is $52,383. Males have a median income of $41,131 versus $22,717 for females. The per capita income for the city is $19,749. 7.9% of the population and 5.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 6.2% of those under the age of 18 and 14.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


http://www.answers.com/to...ty-montana

The median income for a household in Miles City is $29,847, and the median income for a family is $41,190. Males have a median income of $30,123 versus $18,750 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,449. 14.7% of the population and 9.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 17.7% of those under the age of 18 and 8.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14302) 15 years ago
With the boom in energy in the last couple of years, I suspect the Gillette figures will change quite a bit in the 2005 Census.

A realator told me the other day that there are only like 80 houses on the market here in Gillette (population 19,500 +/-) right now. The demand greatly exceeds the supply. Most of the 3-4 bed modular houses are 160-180,000.

The down side of all of the economic growth is that if you are on the bottom side of the median income, this is a very expensive place to live. There are a lot of engineers and others making $75-80,000/year and spend their money like crazy which tends to drive up prices of things like cars and houses locally.

From a financial point of view, the difference between living here and in MC is probably a wash. However, to stay at the same salary and "occupation", in MC, my only option would be for the Federal Government (fulltime ).
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Posted by kate scotty (+40) 15 years ago
My Family and I will be visiting Eastern Montana, cities will be Sidney, Glendive and Miles City.
We will be there the first 2 weeks in April.
What info does Miles City have now? Where can we pick up info on Miles City?
We plan to spend 2-3 Nights there, so we can really enjoy Miles City. It would be helpful if we knew what to do or go there.

Thanks, Kate
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+10499) 15 years ago
Plan on most of a day at the Range Riders Museum. It has turned into a pretty large complex. (Although as I think about it, it may not open until May. Oops.)

The Custer County Art & Heritage Center is a couple of hours of good times as well. There is some interesting shopping downtown--a mini saddle museum at the Miles City Saddlery for instance--and if you're big on architecture or history, my office is on Main Street just two doors down from the Montana Theatre and I can tell you about houses to walk past.

The Chamber of Commerce and the Art Center both have the official brochure collections.

Sadly, our downtown hotel has fallen on hard times so you'll probably stay out on the strip on Haynes Avenue but downtown is very easy to find from there. Just drive down Haynes towards town until you pass Wendy's. The Pine Hills institution is on your right and a big orange Bloedorn Lumber on your left. Turn left, you have the right of way, and just drive straight from there.

Amorette
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Posted by kate scotty (+40) 15 years ago
Thanks. We will check out those places.
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Posted by Julie H (+196) 15 years ago
[This message has been edited by Julie H (edited 5/14/2005).]
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