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Has Bozeman changed? Where to go for Christmas season visit?

Portland, Maine
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Has Bozeman changed? Where to go for Christmas season visit?

We're 2 MSU alums who come back to visit at least once a year. Don't know if it's just my husband and I, but it seems like Bozeman is starting to look like a shell city. Best I can describe this is to say that it looks like it tries very hard to please tourists, but when my husband and I visit our old local haunts, we notice a big difference. Off Main street there's a lot of graffiti and boarded up buildings. Lamme is so sad right now, and City Center Inn, with most of its windows shattered on the ground makes it look like no one cares anymore. I think I saw more homeless and their camping structures this trip than any other trip in the past, from right when you get off the highway, every entrance and exit to Wal-Mart, Costco, and the shopping center behind Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and the downtown parks, man I couldn't believe how many people had just set up living areas or were just sleeping on the ground. For the longtime Bozeman residents what changes have you noticed? Is it just because we pop in and pop out that we're missing the bigger picture, maybe nothing has changed and it's always been this way? What places would you recommend we visit next time? We're looking at a Christmas-season trip, but will probably not be able to make it for the Stroll.

3 replies to this topic
Bellingham...
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1. Re: Has Bozeman changed? Where to go for Christmas season visit?

A very late bump ~ curious if locals agree about the changes the OP noticed...?

~ Colleen

USA
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2. Re: Has Bozeman changed? Where to go for Christmas season visit?

I've lived in Bozeman since the early 80s. Yes it has changed. I'm sure the generation before who were here in the 1950s through 1970s could say the same. Is it really any different for a lot of popular small towns? I've read that Bozeman is the second fasted growing micropolitan area in the U.S., and yes, we have growing pains. I first noticed the difference not long after Robert Redford's "A River Runs Through It" came out in the mid 90s. All of a sudden, it seems, instead of seeing beat up pick up trucks on Main Street, there were Beemers and Audis, and moms with lots of makeup and dripping jewelry showing up at our son's Cub Scout meetings. When I first came here, the Help Wanted page (yes, one page) had jobs for restaurant servers and retail clerks. Now there are high paying tech jobs hidden in obscure buildings you would never realize. And with the wealth comes a slight increase in crime and the cost of housing has gone up proportionately. But clearly this town still has "it", because people still want to move here, and continue to do so. I stopped "selling" Bozeman over a decade ago (and here I am at it again). BTW, the homeless have always been here; maybe you just didn't notice them before.

Bellingham...
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3. Re: Has Bozeman changed? Where to go for Christmas season visit?

Thanks for your reply to this, Rob. Sounds like much of the PNW growth I've seen over the years. Btw, had to smile at your comment about the influence of "A River Runs Through It". Watching that at as a young adult, in a Houston theater, I wondered why the heck I wasn't in my native WA. Turned in my notice the next day and two weeks later, hit the road & made tracks back. ;-D

~ Colleen

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