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Job opportunities and affordable, available housing is drawing millennials to Williston to the extent that two-thirds of the homebuyers in Williston are millennials – and many are former residents returning home. According to the National Association of Realtors, millennials make up more than a third of all homebuyers nationwide. Dickinson, ND is not far behind Williston in regard to the percentage of homebuyers who are millennials.

 

Triple Creek Ranch, the Relais & Châteaux mountain hideaway in Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains, has named David MacIlwraith as General Manager. Recently singled out as one of the top 10 hotels in the world in the annual Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards, Triple Creek Ranch was just ranked among the Top Hotels in the West in the Condé Nast Traveler 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards. For MacIlwraith, who married into a Montana family and is a graduate of Montana Tech of the University of Montana, this is a welcome return to Big Sky Country. He was previously the General Manager of the Travaasa Hana, Maui and before that, General Manager/Business Development for Ortega National Parks, where he oversaw Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company and Death Valley Lodging Company, among other properties.

 

New numbers released from the University of Montana show tourists spent 3-billion dollars in Montana in 2016. The tourism industry employs nearly 35,000 people directly in Montana, but visitors also keep many other businesses from gas stations to shops even restaurants. Some of the local businesses rely on that business every year.  The majority of tourism spending comes from Montana’s two national parks. The visitation to the parks regions alone accounted for $1.9 billion in spending in 2016. According to officials at the university 2017 should continue this trend as both parks are again seeing near record visitation despite this year’s smoky summer.

 

U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Administrator Steven J. Peterson  announced that physical loss loans are available for Lewis and Clark County in Montana. Farm operators who have suffered major physical losses caused by wildfires that occurred on July 22, 2017, and continuing, may be eligible for emergency loans. Additionally, seven Montana counties are contiguous to this designated disaster area, making these producers also potentially eligible for programs. The contiguous counties are: Broadwater, Cascade, Flathead, Jefferson, Meagher, Powell and Teton.

 

North Dakota’s oil production jumped up by over 36,000 BOPD as operators are moving outside the “core areas” including Burke County, where ND Dept. of Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms said he was “surprised that someone took a major risk” Liberty Resources Management Co. LLC of Denver drilled a three-mile horizontal well in Burke County with an expected recovery of 620,000 barrels of oil.  The latest figures from the ND DMR show the state now has a record number of producing wells at 14,080 with daily oil production in August reaching 1,084,690 BOPD, 36,591 BOPD higher than July, which came in at 1,048,099.

 

Natural gas production was also a new record high of 1,894,239 Mcf a day, topping July by 47,109 Mcf a day. In August operators completed 63 wells in August, compared to 95 in July with 863 wells waiting on completion. The inactive well count rose by 20 to 1,498.

 

USDA Montana Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that approximately 19,010 Montana farms that enrolled in safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill will receive financial assistance for the 2016 crop year. The programs, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), are designed to protect against unexpected drops in crop prices or revenues due to market downturns. Producers in 55 Montana counties have experienced a significant drop in prices or revenues below the benchmark established by the ARC or PLC program and thus, will receive payments totaling $212.7 million.  Payments related to wheat crops made up much of those payments.  There were also payments for oats, corn, grain sorghum and canola crops. 

 

A new Montana State University-developed spring wheat is making its way through the pipeline toward Montana growers. It is noted for excellent yields and superior bread-making qualities. Lanning hard red spring wheat was increased from breeder seed to foundation seed this season and is available to farmers. Lanning has higher grain protein and stronger gluten than Vida, the most widely grown spring wheat in Montana from 2010 to 2015. It is a hollow-stemmed wheat and has a grain yield that’s equivalent to Vida,

 

 

The Gallatin Association of Realtors recently released its residential real estate market statistics for September 2017, revealing a tightening inventory of available homes for sale and an increase in the average sales price in the single-family market. The number of new single-family listings in Gallatin County in September 2017 decreased 7.2 percent from September of 2016, going from 139 to 129. The number of pending sales increased from 115 to 129, a 12.2% jump, while the number of units sold fell 19.1 percent, from 162 last September to 131 this year. The average number of days on market decreased from 73 to 51, while the month’s supply of inventory decreased 16.7 percent, from 4.8 to 4.0.

 

 

North Dakota’s future in wind energy is looking promising, according to a study by NDSU’s Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics. Wind energy had an economic impact of more than 170-million dollars in 2016 (not excluding subsidies). The investment is credited with influencing $119 million om manufacturing influence that’s is associated with wind development.

 

Amazon received 238 proposals from cities, states, districts and territories interested in hosting the company’s second headquarters. The online retail giant received bids from all but seven states - Arkansas, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.

 

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West has announced that its Cody Firearms Museum is about to undergo a full-scale renovation. When complete, the renovated museum will exhibit more firearms than currently on display and feature a more interpretive experience for museum visitors. that the CFM renovation is set to display thousands of firearms, interpreting more than 700 years of history. When complete, the new galleries include the evolution of the firearm, military history, western history, modern shooting sports, and embellished arms. The front of the museum is dedicated to an orientation experience for people unfamiliar or newer to firearms. The project has already garnered a $300,000 Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to upgrade environmental controls and improve the CFM’s fire and security systems. In addition, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) recently awarded the Center a Museums for America grant of $255,000 toward exhibition planning.