From basketball tournaments to the annual Western Art Week, Great Falls is experiencing an increase in visitors and that increase in people leaves impacts on the city’s economy.
An enlarged demand for the hospitality industry continues to grow and businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and stores are seeing that impact directly. For cities like Great Falls, this is a positive affect that not only gives the local selection business and income, but also encourages development and cultivation within the community itself.
“It's just a tremendous opportunity for Great Falls." said Shane Etzwiler, the Great Falls Chamber CEO/President. "Great Falls is right in the middle of the state. So, when we get visitors in class b or class c basketball tournaments, you know, it's easy for them. It's a quick drive to Great Falls versus heading to one side of the state or another. And so really, we become the center point of the state, which we are geographically. And now we've become the focus for these tournaments and western art week as well.”
Harmony Vanderkop, a manager from Tracys Family Diner has seen first-hand a restaurants perspective on what a sudden increase in traffic does for business. “We're pretty busy in general, and we appreciate all the local business and the folks that are from here out of town for the tournaments and the other events. It keeps us running, there's no doubt. But we enjoy being busy and it makes our days go fast. So we definitely appreciate the support."
Great Falls has been growing economically for a long time, and Etzwiler explained that, that growth will only continue. "We've had a lot of excitement, a lot of new restaurants downtown. So, we should see a pretty good crowd of people continue to make downtown vibrant again."
The Class B tournaments will continue into the weekend and Western Art Week will fun from March 15th to the 19th.
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