Posted: Sep 15, 2012 5:24 PM by David Jay
Updated: Sep 15, 2012 5:33 PM
BILLINGS - The Scheels ground breaking shows how well business is going at Shiloh Crossing and in Billings.
Some at Saturday's groundbreaking have a good sense about the health of the Billing economy.
In two years, Scheels will move from the Rimrock Mall to the Shiloh Crossing.
"The future of billings retail is moving this direction," said Dewey Algaard, store leader for the Billings Rimrock Scheels. "So we want to be out here."
They say for a company like Scheels to want to build something this big says a lot about what's happening at Shiloh Crossing, as well as retail and the economy in Billings.
To convince a company to make such an investment in a 220,000 square foot store, you have to be confident where you're going and Scheels was confident in making that decision," said Jeremy Vannatta, director of recruitment and marketing for Big Sky Economic Development.
Vannatta says Billings is the retail hub for about a 150 mile radius.
"Projects like Scheels 220,000 square foot superstore only continue to confirm that the retail hub for all of Montana is right here in Billings," Vannatta said.
Mayor Tom Hanel says the Scheels store is good for Shiloh and for Billings.
"Just shows that Billings is doing well," Hanel said. "That our economy is strong that Billings is growing."
Q & D Construction in Reno builds all over the country, but not 220-thousand square foot stores everywhere.
"Things are pretty strong in Billings," said Toby Basta, senior project manager for Q & D. "Billings seems to be a strong, montana in general."
"Ground breakings like today, good news for us," Vannatta said. "It'll only bring more."
"It's projects like this that keep us right at the top of the list," Hanel said.
"We've enjoyed our time in the mall, it's been a great relationship," said Algaard, "But this is the place for us to be in the future."
Hanel and Vannatta say besides Shiloh, the Heights, downtown and other parts of Billings are also thriving.
Vannatta says a lot of Shiloh Crossing has been purchased and is awaiting development.
And he says the surrounding area will continue growing with retail, healthcare and housing.