Almost 7,000 women registered for the Montana Women’s Run this year, and with about a quarter of them coming from outside the area, the event has a significant impact on the economy of Billings.
The official tally stood at 6,970 entries, marking a record for the 28th annual event, which features two-mile and five-mile races through the streets of downtown Billings. With the mission of encouraging health and fitness and being held the day before Mother’s Day, the event’s popularity has steadily grown as a Mother’s Day tradition for many families, with the annual return of daughters and even granddaughters of many of the first participants.
As an official USA Track & Field sanctioned race, as well as the designated race for RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) for Montana, the Women’s Run draws more and more interest, each year, from racers throughout the country.
While the primary purpose of the Montana Women’s Run is not that of a fundraiser, its growing success has enabled it to become a significant contributor to women’s health and fitness organizations over the past several years. To date the Run has been able to contribute $375,000 to local health programs for women, college scholarships and in support of the YWCA.
It takes the volunteer efforts of hundreds of men and women in the Billings community to organize and stage the Montana Women’s Run, as well as the support of numerous sponsors, including its five major sponsors, Billings Clinic, ExxonMobile, Stockman Bank, KTVQ 2 Television, and Y93.3 FM. The race is managed by the Yellowstone Rim Runners.
Winners of the two mile rece were Karen Sanford Gall, Billings, (12:42:65); Kathie Perrins, Columbus, (13:19.60); Laura Esp, Hardin (13:39.54).
Winners of the five mile race were Sarah Graves, Ballantine (31:07.42); Eryn Caton, Billings (32:08.53); and Jen Reiter, Billings (32:35.04).
At a time when economic turmoil is posing an uncertain future for many people, there is evidence that more so than at any time before in its 40 year history, the College of Technology is serving an important role in the community.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this week, COT, part of Montana State University-Billings, has long been an important factor in helping prepare Montanans for the future, while at the same time bolstering the strength of local business by providing a well-trained work force.
A recent up tick in enrollment which reverses past trends, seems to indicate that people are once more turning to the ever-advancing institution for the training and education they anticipate needing during this time of upheaval, reported John Cech, Dean of COT. Last fall the college saw, for the first time, a dip in enrollment, only to see an increase this spring, said Cech. Always before, fall enrollment has been greater than spring enrollment, explained Cech, who credits the sudden change in traditional trends to the changed economy which is prompting people “to re-tool and retrain.”
COT is one of six colleges that comprise MSU. It was started in 1969 when the Montana State Legislature created the Billings Vocation-Technical Education Center under the auspices of the Billings School District, to serve adult post-secondary technical training. In 1987, the legislature shifted the institution to become part of the university system, administered by the Board of Regents. The “vo-tech” center then merged with Montana State University-Billings, in 1994.
Julie Marcovitz has moved her business, Cutie Patootie, to Rimrock Mall. The store originally opened at West Park Plaza over 11 years ago and has grown from its original 600 square foot store to 3,200 square feet.
The store began as a holiday season project for Marcovitz, but she soon realized the store could be successful year-round. The store was sold and operated under the name "Putting on the Glitz" for two years while Marcovitz was in Las Vegas, but she returned to Billings, bought back her store and has been back in business in Billings for the past four and a half years at West Park Plaza. Cutie Patootie’s location at West Park will go away as part of that shopping center’s redevelopment.
With the move to Rimrock Mall, Cutie Patootie will grow slightly to 3,300 square feet and will be located across from Herberger’s next to The Buckle. Marcovitz says her store focuses on a wide variety of specialty clothing and accessories including bridal, infant, toddler, women’s, juniors, shoes, jewelry and more.When asked about the relocation, Marcovitz said she was very excited. "I believe this is a great move for my business and I have every confidence that my loyal customers will follow me here," she said. "I’m excited about the variety of new merchandise I am offering and hope to continue to grow in the fast-paced mall environment. Perhaps, one day, I will be the size of Dillard’s!"
By Evelyn Pyburn
It’s commonly said that Montana is one of the most entrepreneurial states in the nation. It turns out to be true, according to an article by Economist Aaron McNay of the Research and Analysis Bureau of the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. Not only is Montana one of the most entrepreneurial states, it is the most entrepreneurial state – more than doubling the national average.
“Montana is a state where entrepreneurial activity thrives and is encouraged,” writes McNay in Montana Economy at a Glance (Jan. 2009).
In the 1990s, Montana had an average entrepreneurship rate that was 30% larger than the national average of the United States. By 2007, this divergence in entrepreneurship rates had increased significantly, said McNay – and the numbers are no anomaly.
Billings media were given a preview on Tuesday of the new Cabela’s store which is slated to open on May 14 at the South Billings Boulevard exit off I-90.
With hundreds of trophy animal mounts set in native habitats, visitors are greeted at the entrance with a life-size record book elk. With exhibits placed throughout the 80,000 square foot store, amid the racks of clothing, hunting and fishing gear, gifts and furnishings, there’s something of interest at every turn.
Cabela’s stores are known as shopping and tourism destinations, drawing visitors from hundreds of miles away. Several million people could visit the Billings store annually.
The store showcases thousands of products from the Cabela’s catalog, and most appeared already on the shelves and racks, as some 200 employees work feverishly to be ready for the Grand Opening, during which thousands of people are expected.
General contractor of the facility is Minneapolis-based Kraus-Anderson Construction Company.
Corey Watson will be the store manager.
Cabela’s Incorporated, headquartered in Sidney, Nebraska, is a specialty retailer, and the world’s largest direct marketer of hunting, fishing, camping and related outdoor merchandise. Since the Company’s founding in 1961, Cabela’s has grown to be one of the most well-known outdoor recreation brands in the world.
CTA Architects Engineers announced that it has been awarded LEED-EB Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for their Billings, office. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and is USGBC’s suite of rating systems for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, most efficient, and highest performing buildings. LEED–EB is their Existing Buildings rating system which encourages not only green building, but green operations and maintenance practices as well.
CTA has also achieved the Energy Star label award; Energy Star qualified facilities meet strict energy performance standards set by the EPA to use less energy, and cause fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The Billings CTA office earned an Energy Star rating of 82 which places it within the top 18% of energy efficient office buildings nationwide.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103