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Bill Dutcher Way: Road leading into MetraPark honors former GM, current 'intern'

Posted at 5:29 PM, Aug 14, 2023

BILLINGS - A road leading into the parking lot at MetraPark was formally named Bill Dutcher Way on Monday morning, honoring the former general manager who worked there for more than 40 years.

Dutcher, who retired in 2021, is still keeping plenty busy this summer and is currently working as an intern for the MontanaFair.

"I've got my 9 to 6 job during the fair, which gets me out once in a while and just seeing what it's all about," Dutcher said. "I was on salary, but now I'm an hourly employee and I'm really enjoying it."

While it may seem like a shock for a former GM to work an entry-level job like an internship, Dutcher said it's the best way to stay involved with a place that means a lot to him.

"It just keeps an interesting, fun life when you get to do stuff like that," Dutcher said. "It's been great being around these people I've known for so long."

Dutcher served as GM for MetraPark for 16 years but worked there for more than 40 years. When he began, he helped with whatever he could, oftentimes cleaning toilets, helping set up for big events, or just lending a hand wherever needed.

"I started out mopping seats and learned 19 different pieces of equipment to drive," Dutcher said. "Each one was just around wonderful people, and we were always having a good time."

Typically, interns are a lot more like 18-year-old Victoria Otis. The current Rocky Mountain College student said the fast pace of working at the fair makes every day exciting.

Victoria Otis

"I just run all around, do errands, and help where I'm needed," Otis said. "I love it because it gets me out doing stuff. I had a routine at the beginning, but once the fair actually starts you're just running all over."

Otis has helped with the fair for three straight years, and she said her exchanges with Dutcher are always positive.

"He's worked here for so long and he's never said one negative thing about it," Otis said. "I think that's my favorite part about him is just that he's always smiling and enjoying himself."

On Monday morning, Dutcher was honored by the MetraPark board after they named the road leading into the park after him.

Bill Dutcher

"It'll be an honor to think that they're being welcomed into a facility to have a nice, safe, fun environment," Dutcher said. "To be part of that, for as long as I was, and for the little bit I still am, is special."

For this week though, Dutcher will be hard at work, taking in the sights and sounds of the place he loves.

"That's what I love most about being around this place," Dutcher said. "Just being around people and seeing the smiles and seeing what this place was made for."