This Montana City Gets Big Ideas to Reclaim It’s Glory Days
Once dubbed "The Richest Hill On Earth", Butte, Montana is prime for a renaissance. A new chapter of economic prosperity. We asked Montanans for suggestions about what industry might be the catalyst to Butte's rebirth.
There's not one person I know who isn't rooting for Butte. Everyone in Montana seems to form the biggest cheerleading squad for the town when it's brought up in conversation. So, we started one - What businesses or industry could make Butte, Montana it's new center of the universe? What can Butte hang it's hat on next?
Recent filming of movies and TV shows is cool and definitely creates a few local jobs and injects some cash into the economy. This list was meant to come up with much longer term, permanent injections into the Butte economy.
IMPORTANT NOTE: None of the following ideas or proposals have been vetted for real-world practicality. There was no lengthy discussion of whether or not a particular industry or business could actually take hold in Butte - meaning, there were some cool ideas that just might not be at all feasible. It was simply an exercise in coming up with options.
Become the American Flag Making Capital of America - Pretty cool suggestion for a town known as "Butte, America". Flags, banners, all things patriotic.
Become a Solar Panel & Solar Shingle Manufacturing Hub - Not sure how feasible this is in terms of start-up costs, but lobbying existing manufacturers to relocate to Butte could certainly happen. (That would be the case for a few of these suggestions.)
Develop a World Class High Altitude Training Facility - No need to build ski jumps and crazy expensive luge courses - but a multi-discipline facility that could be marketed to all kinds of athletes. (Some) winter sports, lots of summer sports. Comfortable dorm setting...could be a real money-maker if marketed right. Young athletes, college level, Olympic hopefuls, etc.
Become the Ancestry/DNA Research Capital of The West - Although there are a couple cities across the country who sort of cater to that area of research, we couldn't think of a place aside from Ellis Island that really stood out. Given the fascinating and diverse history of Butte, teaming up with one of the existing ancestry/DNA testing companies might fly.
Entice a Culinary Institute/Fine Cooking School to Locate Itself in Butte - We loved this suggestion. Montana as a whole produces so many important meats, grains, dairy products, and so much more. Butte is centrally located in the northwest right on I-90...why NOT have a culinary institute there? It could be high caliber without the big city cost of New York or San Francisco. The ultimate in affordability to get the same level of training.