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Sobba Cycle has opened in the Mercantile building in Missoula recently. Sobba Cycle is riding to a beat on High-tech stationary bikes. Also open recently in Missoula is Sweat Shop Studio and Hyper House.

 

Fuddruckers in Missoula, has closed. The owners, Russ and Patsy Klare have closed the business after 25 years.

 

Enterprise Truck Rental has opened in Missoula. The store is situated on a two-acre lot at 7910 Thornton Drive. The new location employs three people.

 

A 305-unit apartment complex has been proposed in downtown Bozeman. The proposal includes 18,043 square feet of commercial space and 525 parking spaces. The three-story building would go on 12 acres near Bridger Peaks Town Center. The project has been  temporarily named the Bozeman East Mixed-Use.

 

Shine Beer Sanctuary has opened its doors where The Garage once stood in Bozeman. The renovated and expanded building downtown held onto the outdoor space and built a new rooftop patio.

 

Williston enplanements continue to increase. Boardings are up 22% for 2019 and they are expected to continue to climb with the opening of XWA.

 

Also, more and more people are expected to choose to fly out of Williston’s airport rather than driving hours to fly from other cities. Both airlines that provide service to the XWA are replacing their 50-seat planes with larger aircraft that perform better, as well as provide more seating and a first-class option. United Airlines will using a 76-passenger plane, and Delta Air Lines will increase to a 70-passenger aircraft. 

 

MDU Resources Group, Inc. reported third quarter earnings of $137.6 million, or 69 cents per share, compared to third quarter 2018 earnings of $107.3 million, or 55 cents per share. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, MDU Resources earned $240.4 million, or $1.21 per share, compared to $193.5 million, or 99 cents per share, for the same period in 2018.

 

The Board of Directors of the Big Sky Resort Area District at Big Sky, Montana, have approved changes to the ordinance that imposes a resort tax on the community. The new rules, regulations and registration requirements are aimed at encouraging full compliance and to ensure fair and equitable enforcement by making sure that “necessities of life” are not taxed. Kevin Germain, who heads the board, said, that they do not want to place “more burdens on the cost of living for locals and workforce.” The tax generates about $70 million to fund a “sustainable community.”

 

Residents in North Dakota have the shortest average commute time of residents in any state. According to Census data, in 2017, the average commute time for workers was less than 17 minutes. While it is possible that workers may live closer to their places of work in North Dakota, shorter commutes may also be a product of generally favorable road conditions. The Department of Transportation reports that 90.1% of roads in North Dakota are in good or fair condition, the 10th-highest of any state. North Dakota is also one of the top 10 states where it costs the least to be rich. 

 

One-quarter of Americans plan to take an international vacation over the next 18 months, according to a recent AAA Travel survey. AAA’s advance travel booking data suggests that many travelers will head to popular European destinations as well as warm beaches. AAA’s survey revealed that 80% of Americans have taken at least one international vacation, two in five of those, or nearly 77 million adults, have driven a rented or personal vehicle during their trip. Aligning with this finding, AAA reports a 33% increase in International Driving Permits (IDPs) sold in the last five years (through 2018).

 

Stockman Bank announced it was recently awarded LEED v4 Platinum certification under the Core & Shell rating system.  LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely recognized green building rating system in the world. Stockman received the award for its downtown Missoula branch.  It is the first LEED v4 Platinum award in the state of Montana, the second LEED v4 Core & Shell Platinum award in the US and the eighth award worldwide. The building was designed by CTA Architects Engineers,

 

The board of directors of ONEOK, Inc. increased ONEOK’s quarterly dividend 2.5 cents per share to 91.5 cents per share. This increase results in an annualized dividend of $3.66 per share.

 

Montana State University announced its fall enrollment and its latest graduation and student retention rates, all of which are among the highest the university has seen in a generation. In total, 16,766 students are enrolled at MSU this fall, according to the traditional fall headcount. Of those, 9,911 are Montana residents, representing 59% of the student population. This fall’s enrollment represents the second highest in the university’s history and is just shy of last fall’s record of 16,902. Importantly, the university is graduating more students and doing so in a shorter period of time than at any time in modern history. MSU has made dramatic gains in the number of students who graduate in four years, increasing its four-year graduation rate from 19.6% in 2012 to its current 29.7% During the same period, MSU’s five-year graduate rate also jumped from 41.5% to 50.4%.

 

A large alternative energy project is being planned south of Bridger. The Pryor Mountain Wind Project will feature 114 wind turbines generating enough electricity to power 76,000 homes. Building the project will employ some 50 workers, immediately, and by next July and August, as many as 300 workers will be on site. Long-term the facility will employ 12 people full time.  PacifiCorp, owner of the main transmission line that runs from the Yellowtail Dam into Wyoming, purchased the project in May. It will be built by Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis.

 

A recent report from the Bozeman Real Estate Group cited five reasons why people move from Bozeman, which include the high cost of living, not enough employment opportunities, cold winters, low wages and “Bozeman is not what it used to be.” The later takes on meaning when one understands that sometimes the city is referred to as “Bozeangeles.” The report stated, “According to the U.S Census Bureau, 42% of the people leaving Bozeman are moving somewhere else in Montana. Yellowstone County (Billings) is the most popular, Missoula is the second, and Lewis & Clark County (Helena) is the third. While Bozeman’s urbanization is drawing so many people in, it’s also the same reason that is driving many people out.”

 

A $200-an-acre bonus paid for a 640-acre tract in Richland County accounted for more than half of the total revenues from the June 4 Montana state oil and gas lease sale. Kraken Oil & Gas, LLC of Houston paid $128,000 for the lease. With bids averaging $43.80/acre for a total of $241,534, tracts in Fallon and Toole counties netted bids for leases on 5,514 acres.  Northwestern Energy of Sioux Falls, SD posted the two highest bids, paying $45/acre in Toole County for 160 acres and $30/acre for 320 acres. The remaining tract of 320 acres went to Farleigh Oil Properties of Casper, at  $12/acre. Primary Fuels LLC of Tulsa dominated the high bidding for all eight tracts in Fallon County with the highest bid of $34/acre.