Anaconda is getting a whole lot bigger with new businesses and population growth that hasn’t been seen since the 1980s.
"Today there’s a lot of success that you can see in all of the retail shops and restaurants and bars and businesses that are opening up in the downtown area." said Adam Vauthier, executive director of Discover Anaconda.
Discover Anaconda has been hard at work for the past 10-12 years running programs to move businesses into storefronts and make sure needs are met to start businesses.
Vauthier says there was a time seven years ago that if you walked downtown to look at the storefronts, every other storefront was empty.
"We’ve had a lot of interest in buying buildings and starting businesses here. Today you probably can’t find a building in the central business district that’s for sale," said Vauthier.
Anaconda Bicycles is a new business that recently opened in the downtown area. Emily Adams and fiancée Matt Johnson moved to Anaconda a few years ago for work. The couple saw a need for a shop that has bikes, parts, and service and decided to open a shop to share their love of bikes with the community.
"We see a lot of potential. It’s starting to grow, the energy’s changing a little bit and so we really wanted to become a part of this community and work where we live so we were excited to do that," said Emily Adams.
Vauthier says new businesses are wanting to build in Anaconda on land that recently became available through the remediation process. Among those businesses are a couple of large retail shops and a restaurant. He says the energy is shifting and the town can feel it.
"Downtown is getting cooler and having these businesses out on the east yards is bringing vibrancy to the town, the wages are better, everything feels good," said Vauthier.