As we’ve discussed on this blog before, Butte is a place of history and character, hence the nickname Butte, America. Nevertheless, history and character don’t put food on the table. In addition to being a great place to live, Butte is one of the nation’s best cities for business. Why is that, you ask?
We can think of 12 reasons why which we’ve listed here.
- Location – Situated at the intersection of Interstate Highways 15 and 90, and along both the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroads, we are the best placed location for manufacturing expansion and development, and also the best placed location for distribution anywhere in the Rocky Mountain West.
- Infrastructure – Butte’s rich history of both light and heavy industry has resulted in well developed infrastructure and capacity. The Bert Mooney Airport offers daily flights to regional hubs, just a few minutes’ drive from uptown. There’s ready access to water, sanitation, gas and electric utilities, high speed fiber, as well as the highway and railroads listed above. In addition, local crane and heavy hauling services, equipment rentals and dealerships make doing business in Butte more convenient and affordable.
- Reduced Import/Export Costs – The Port of Montana services rail cars and trucks, with a 86,000 pound lift capacity and both indoor and outdoor storage. The Port of Montana and Montana Connections are located in a designated Foreign Trade Zone, which eliminates costs on import and export duties (explained in greater detail in each entities’ linked pages).
- A Talented Workforce – Butte is home to businesses spanning sectors including high-tech manufacturing, healthcare/life sciences, information technologies, energy utilities and geophysical consulting, which combine to generate and attract a talented workforce.
- An Outstanding University – Montana Tech of the University of Montana has earned such accolades as the fourth best value in higher education nationwide and the fourth best public university in the west by the Princeton Review, and the ninth best public university for return on investment nationwide by the Wall Street Journal. With degrees ranging from earth and health sciences, and in 12 engineering fields, Montana Tech keeps the workforce talent pool fresh and deep.
- An Outstanding Technical/Trade School – Montana Tech offers certificates and Associate’s Degrees in fields including Aerospace Welding Technology, Machining Technology and Metals Fabrication, ensuring that Butte’s manufacturing base is staffed and state-of-the-art.
- Low Home Prices -As of this writing, Realtor.com reports the median listing price of homes in Butte is $119k, compared to Missoula’s $315k and Bozeman’s $385k. Butte is an inexpensive place to be a homeowner, plain and simple.
- Access to Outdoor Recreation – Surrounding Butte are 3.2 million acres of National Forest, with ample opportunity for mountain biking, rock climbing, dirt biking, hunting and fishing. There are 7 alpine ski areas within 3 hours of Butte, and Moulton Reservoir hosts nordic ski trails, operated by the Mile High Nordic Ski Club. Three golf courses serve the area, including the Jack Nicklaus-designed Old Works Golf Course in nearby Anaconda.
- Work Ethic – During its peak production years, Butte’s mining industry supplied copper to electrify the nation, supply the World War I buildup and establish telegraph connections with the rest of the world. Around the clock, thousands of people toiled underground in Butte’s mines, instilling an unwavering work ethic that persists to this day.
- Great Food – Keeping the old world, neighborhood grocery store alive, the Front Street Market operates a full service deli, offers a full wine selection, and has something for the gourmet in all of us. The M&M Bar and Cafe first opened in 1890, and has enough neon and polished stainless steel to satisfy the diner enthusiast in all of us. They make a great burger, too.
- Summertime Festivals – The Montana Folk Festival is one of the Northwest’s largest music festivals, hosting more than 20 acts, with food vendors and artists’ booths scattered throughout uptown. Even better, attendance is free of charge. For the more adventurous, Evel Knievel Days bills itself as ‘the only extreme sports festival of its kind in the world,’ a claim that can’t be refuted. It’s three days of stunts, spectacles and generally following Butte native Evel Knievel’s risk-taking example.
- Strong Cultural Heritage – Butte is steeped in its Irish heritage, which it celebrates any chance it can. St Patrick’s day in Butte is a regional draw of revelry in the streets, which, without any open container law can get quite spirited. The An Rí Rá Montana Irish Festival celebrates Butte’s Irish heritage, and is regarded as one of the best Irish festivals in the country.
We’ve listed 12 reasons Butte is good for business, but there might as well be a million. The point is, it’s a great place to live, work and play. After all, that’s what doing business is for, at least in Butte, America it is.