In 1938, 23 lovers of forests and mountains, formed the business that became Recreational Equipment Inc. and then, simply, REI. REI opened its third Montana store in Kalispell on November 9. It will employ approximately 50 people.and will not sell fishing equipment or firearms.


Aaron Killian and Jennifer Crough will re-open the Showthyme restaurant, Kalispell, which has been closed for almost a year. the new menu will include items French, Caribbean and German cuisine, and game meat. Showthyme Act II will open in early December.


The new location of the Boys and Girls Club of the Flathead Reservation and Lake County is downtown Ronan off of US 93.  The facility will feature two computer/learning labs, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) space, an art center, recording studio, a commercial/teaching kitchen, pottery studio, wood shop, mechanical workshop, playground, sports field, pools and garden. Children and teens from ages 6 to 18 can take advantage of the free programs and meals.


Housing prices in the Missoula urban area have risen sharply since January 2018. Prices are on a pace to see the largest annual spike in well over 10 years. The median price of all homes sold in the urban area between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31 of this year was a record $290,900.


Bozeman’s Cannery District continues as early plans for two new buildings await city review. Developers have filed conceptual designs for a four-story building with space for 52 apartments. They also filed plans for a two-story building that includes an expansion of Sitka Gear.


Passenger numbers have climbed to record heights with the addition of American Airlines flights into and out of Missoula which began in early June. During October, for the first time, the Missoula airport (MSO) handled more than 70,000 inbound and outbound passengers .


The Environmental Protection Agency claims they are forced to delay the Butte consent decree. The agency currently plans on having the legal document signed, sealed and delivered by late spring 2019. The Agency says the slowdown won’t affect the agency’s plan to begin delisting the Silver Bow Creek/Butte Area Superfund site from the National Priorities List in 2024. Anaconda will also have to wait for a signed consent decree until late 2019, rather than by the end of 2018 or early 2019, as earlier announced.


MDU Resources Group, Inc. announced that Edward A. Ryan has been appointed to the company’s board of directors. Ryan retired at the end of 2017 from his position as executive vice president and general counsel at Marriott International Inc., where he worked since 1996. He led a 250-person law department for the global company, and has extensive experience in acquisitions, contracts, compliance, SEC reporting, labor relations and more. Ryan is serving as advisor to the CEO of Marriott through the end of 2018. Prior to joining Marriott International, Ryan was a partner in the law firm of Hogan and Hartson LLP, now Hogan Lovells, and specialized in real estate.In addition to his general responsibilities on MDU Resources’ board of directors, Ryan will serve on the board’s Audit Committee and the Nominating and Governance Committee.


The Montana State University center that has developed a national reputation for innovative programs focused on the American West will be renamed in honor of the late writer Ivan Doig, a Montanan who was often called the “dean of Western writers.” Doig grew up in White Sulphur Springs, and his family also ran sheep in the Bridger Mountains. He attended college at Northwestern University. He  later moved to Seattle, where the he wrote the majority of his 16 fiction and nonfiction books, which were primarily set in his native state. Doig won the Wallace Stegner Award in 2007, was a finalist for the National Book Award, received the National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, won the Western Heritage Award, won the Western Literature Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award and earned many other honors. 


The Montana Department of Transportation is holding a public meeting to seek comments on a proposal to reconstruct about 0.8 miles of Secondary Highway 244 (S-244) through Winnett. The meeting will be held in Winnett on Tuesday, Dec. 11, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Petroleum County Courthouse. The project begins on S-244 (Main Street) at the intersection with Fox Street and extends to the intersection with Montana Highway 200.


The Montana Department of Transportation is also seeking comments on a project to rehabilitate the bridge carrying U.S. Highway 89 over the Yellowstone River in Gardiner. Proposed work includes deck milling and concrete overlay, partial deck replacement for the approach spans, concrete control joints, and minor sidewalk repairs at the northwest corner of the bridge. The project is tentatively scheduled for construction in 2019, depending on completion of all project development and availability of funding.


Anytime Fitness is now open in Sidney, offering clients the equipment and training to reach their fitness goals. A team that includes Danie Benito, club manager, runs the day to day operations and ensures the program is being delivered to every single member.


Oneok, the largest independent operator of natural gas gathering and processing facilities in the Williston Basin, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but with an operation center in Sidney, has a large and growing operation in the Bakken oilfield. That operation is set to grow even larger with an additional project in the area that will increase pipeline capacity and natural gas processing capacity exponentially. Expecting to spend $410 million dollars on the new project, Oneok is beginning the Demicks Lake II natural gas processing plant in McKenzie County, North Dakota. It is slated for completion in early 2020. Demicks Lake I, the project’s predecessor, is a gas processing plant that was suspended from completion during the 2015 oilfield downturn, and it was just announced in March of 2018 that the project is again being continued. Demicks Lake I is supposed to be online by the end of 2019, but will soon be operating at capacity, making the Demicks Lake II addition a necessity. Demicks Lake II will double Oneok’s natural gas capacity in the Bakken. Upon completion, Oneok’s natural gas regional processing capacity will increase to more than 1.4 billion cubic feet per day.


Bozeman is on its way to having two high schools, as its board of directors approve architectural plans for  constructing a new two-story classroom building, a new student commons central gathering spot and a 750-seat auditorium. Bozeman School Board trustees also voted to provide $1.8 million to the renovation of Van Winkle Stadium, which will provide locker rooms, restrooms and concessions stands that would benefit soccer, softball and tennis teams, as well as football. Voters last year approved overwhelmingly a $125 million bond issue to build Bozeman’s second high school, to cope with growing enrollment. The second high school is expected to cost $90.3 million.


In Butte, the National Center for Health Care Informatics plans to establish a medical-simulation training facility. Partners, Ray Rogers and Pat Dudley, announced in March plans to build a $35 million health-care training facility, to be called Praxis Center for Innovative Learning and Rural Health Care Simulation Training Center. The project is expected to bring 73 jobs, and an annual headcount of 3,000 to 4,000 students to use the 82,000-square-foot facility, replete with a simulation-based training center designed to look like a rural hospital.


Gallatin County had the highest amount of tourist spending of all counties in the state according to the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research with visitor spending about $659 million in Gallatin County on things like groceries, hotels, restaurants and recreation in 2017.