Chamber Listens

BCC Future Water Bottle

Welcome to ChamberListens.com! Help us shape the future of Billings and business. Our goal is to gather 1,000 creative ideas to lead us into the future. Share your ideas now!

Billings is in great shape: our economy is strong and poised for incredible growth. There’s a reason that Kiplinger, Fortune Small Business and Family Fun Magazines have ranked Billings as one of the THE BEST communities to start a business and to raise a family. We are a great community. But what does our future hold and what ideas do you have to improve Billings? How do you see our Community of the Future? We want to put your ideas into action. Share below and let us know how Billings can become even better than we are today.  We want to collect ideas on education, tourism, workforce, entertainment, energy development…or whatever is on your mind.  Now is the time to focus on intentional growth. Together, let’s define tomorrow.

Your ideas will be reviewed before being visible below. Please allow up to  12 hours for your comment to reflect.

My idea best fits into the following category:

My Idea:

Other people's ideas for the future

Current Number of Ideas: 339

Community/Quality of Life

We need an high quality aquatic center in the heart of our community.

105. One hundred and five. One-o-five. That is a lot, no matter how you say it. A simple search in the Yellow Pages shows that Billings has 105 casinos in the city. I don't even know if that is accurate but do we really need more casinos? Please get behind legislation for limited number of licenses per city, somewhat like liquor license rules. Billings needs to be leading the state forward.

-Retrofit and redevelop old dead parking lots. Turn at least one lot into a food-truck plaza. -We need a skate park appropriate to a city. I don't skate.

Discourage commercial offices on the ground floor in the downtown section, including real estate, law firms, bank offices, etc., and encourage food, art, coffee, shopping on the ground level.

-Establish community art projects to paint the grey pillars underneath the overpasses -Rebrand the city, dropping the stale label 'Magic City', replacing with 'Rim City' or 'Cliff City' -Develop the top of the rims commercially with restaurants, shopping, art, and performance -Build a tram to the top of the rims

- Pursue rail-to-trail development wherever possible. - Place a designated bike lane on 8th St. between Grand and Central - Place multi-use paths on Grand Ave, King Ave, and 24th

We have a litter problem. Please help facilitate road adoptions, use of people sentenced to community service, or help allocate funds to fix this.

I believe that the Billings area needs more affordable senior housing. Perhaps with government subsidy (like South 40). With our aging population this is a need that will become more and more evident. Also expansion of city bus lines to help with the expanding population. Also another large grocery store beyond Shiloh to meet the needs of an every growing population between Shiloh and 80th street.

I really like the idea that Yellowstone County Museum will be moved to near Yellowstone Kelly Grave. I like it for also being closer to Boot Hill. Better parking and being more on Bike trail are also advantages. Some improvement for bike trail are also needed to go with the moving of Museum. We need a piece of bike trail to get from 6th Avenue North to the Swords Park Bike trail that would go to the museum. This small piece of bike trail would go by Boot Hill. For bike people coming from tunnel under Main St., we need a short piece of bike trail to get from bike tunnel to Aronson St. and then Aronson to Swords bike trail. This bike trail would be built along alkali Creek and keep bikes off road to airport

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Workforce/Education

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New small business enrollment for Billings.

Focus on continuing education.

Employer training.

Our two new middle schools should be conected to our trail system as part of construction.

Approach Amazon for a fulfillment center for Montana, Wyoming, Dakotas, southern Alberta Saskatchewa Remember we will soon lose corrette ( good for downtown air!).

The chamber should have a place to post continuing education opportunities offered by members.

Create a place on your website for members to post need for interns.

Offer or facilitate job shadow opportunities.

The chamber should serve as a clearinghouse for interns. You would promote which interns are looking for which type of work.

Tourism

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A new Yellowstone County Museum, with a baseball wing, would be a highlight for all the thousands of players who have gone through Billings since the 1800's. We have the people and the memorabilia to fill it. It would incorporate the old Town Teams, both the colleges, the Mustangs, American Legion and Little League. Who does not know someone who has played baseball here???

Billings needs to build a new Yellowstone County Museum. The present museum has outgrown itself. This museum could be integrated with a Yellowstone county baseball museum. This could be an attraction to stimulate tourism.

Billings - starting with the Chamber, needs to work more closely with our area attractions. Coordinate our efforts and our resources. Big Sky and Bozeman work closely together to create a more comprehensive destination experience. They work hard to get airlines and additional flights, and then they create a pull to fill those flights. We compete too much in Yellowstone country and southeast Montana, instead of working together.

I believe a self-guided Ag Tour between Billings and Pompey’s Pillar would be a draw and help promote MT AG. I think it could be a downloadable mobile phone application that would use the GPS to direct the car to predetermined fields then inform the user what is being grown there. (Corn, Wheat, Barley, Sugar Beets, Cattle Grazing, Feedlot Cattle) Another avenue might be the vertical integration from Ag. (Sugar Beet Plant, milling and baking shops, Project Meats etc.) I could see additional information to direct folks to other points of interest. (Yellowstone County Museum, the Huntley Project Museum of Irrigated Agriculture, maybe a story board about the Huntley Irrigation Project, the possibilities are many)

Maintain and grow air transportation.

Move the main line of the railroad out of the downtown. BNSF has had a plan for over 50 years. Keep the old tracks in place and modify the tracks to go around Metra Park. Take the old engine at the Yegen museum and have modified to fuel cell power and run the train from the West end to Metra and solve a transportation and parking problem. Like Durango Colorado. Marty Connell

Billings air service is being surpassed by Bozeman. Flights are costly and direct service should increase.

Why isn't there a restaurant on the Rims?

Our business is located on the east entrance to Billings at exit 455. The trash that collects along the interstate and frontage road is truly an eye sore and a terrible way to greet people as the approach our great city. Let's get a FORMAL clean up project in place - for example - every MONDAY clean up, or at least every MONDAY the first week of the month. What would it take to do this? Is it something that could be added to the list of options for those who need to do community service for our community? In Arizona I have seen the inmates picking up trash along the major interstates. Do we need to apply for some type of grant or funding to see that this happens on a schedule and not just twice a year? You cannot replace first impressions. Let's work to find a solid plan for cleanup. Thank you. Jann Parker, Billings Livestock Commission Horse Sales 406-245-4151

Legislative/Local Public Policy

How the Chamber can Improve My Bottom Line

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Help businesses increase their ROI by bringing more customers through our doors.

The Chambers should create awareness in the business community of issues regarding crime that impact business (theft, check fraud, robbery, ways to protect employees, etc)

Introduce small business to technology for efficiencies; including smart phone applications

Relocation - expand on current Relocation guide, bigger online presence.

Meetings weekly are great but need more results: 1. Help with marketing - how, where, who, how much follow up, etc. 2. Business Plan assistance.

Maybe one on one's with new Chamber members to educate about business resources. I joined networking meeting and feel lost about resources.

Classes on how to market your business - target markets - something to assist new businesses where to start.

Emails to inform of new CVB members more often.

Hold Chamber/Downtown Billings/Big Sky EDA socials. Help expand the circles of business professionals.

Energy Development

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Help eastern Montana boom.

The legislative delegation from Billings is terrible and hurts the business environment. They are so partisan that they only think of their party instead of what is best for Billings and Montana. We need some independant legislators. It's time to end the control of the Tea Party. We can't develop business without forward thinking people.

work on work force development. City College could be a focal point. SD 2 should more actively promote the Career Center and tie it to the degrees offered at City College.

Work closely with Eastern Montana cities and towns to help them with infrastructure needs

Other

there is an alumni group of EMC football players who played from 1947 to 1978, they are called the "Big Huddle". website is www.emcbighuddle.com They have a plan to raise $5 million to reintroduce a quality football program at MSUB to anchor an improved student athlete experience in all sports at MSUB. They have a 3-5-8 plan: raise $5 mil in 3 years, field a team and coaches in 5 years, help build a new football stadium on land jointly owned by MSUB and school dist. 2 on Shiloh road. Chancellor Rolf Groseth opened the door, Rick Halmes (406-208-8142) is the chairman of the Big Huddle org.

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I love working with all of you and your connections with MetraPark and our community! Thanks for all that all of you do!

Chamber should focus on getting people who have left to return.

When the chamber supports a levy that is successful, don’t take it off the radar. Continue to work to assure its successful implementation.

There are too many emails from the Chamber. Maybe go dark for two weeks then relaunch all the eblasts with a request to sign up for the different ones. Chamber must better inform members of initiatives, opportunities to become involved and what we do in general.

Commercial land shortage.

Change the name of the Salespersons' Breakfast to Billings Chamber Leadership Breakfast.

An outlet mall along the interstate would be a tremendous draw to our area. Plus the bonus of no sales tax could be part of promotion to both the stores and customers.

Chamber needs to serve all businesses, not just downtown outfits. Do you support all business in our area or just members? Billings should have lowest energy costs in our area with 3 refineries. But they take advantage of locals to sell cheap in Spokane & Minneapolis.

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