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Uptown Historic Butte MontanaPicture This: 

Butte, Montana as a destination center. A Florida developer has a plan calling for three professional golf courses, six high-altitude training centers, a football stadium and an entertainment district with 40 music halls and 10 casinos. Can it happen and do we want it to? So far it looks like it could be a big win-win proposition for the economically depressed historic mining town. Temper it with reality and it's still looking good, but all impacts need to be considered. What are your thoughts on this... is this a pie-in-the-sky idea that's never going to happen or a great economic boost for Butte that is due to have come through?

:: Pros and Cons of Open Gambling ::
:: Billion Dollar Gamble - Announcement of Proposed Destination: Montana! ::
:: Destination Montana! Web Site now online :: NEW

Developers chose Butte for this possible $1.8 billion investment because of:

• An extraordinary historic district.
• All-season recreational opportunities.
• An intersection of two interstate highways.
• An airport.
• Between Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks 
• Ability to accommodate growth 


"I certainly endorse anything that's going to be a boon for the tourist industry around here. I have no problems with the concept of open gambling, but my two concerns right now are: 1) ButteSilver Bow must make sure that the proposed impact fees will in fact cover the actual impacts -- all of them -- water, sewer, streets, fire, and police. 2) With respect to the golf courses proposed on the south end of the town, I have some strong concerns about the source of the water that would be used to irrigate those courses and who that might affect, whether it's groundwater or reservoir water being used."

Charlie O'Leary, District 5 commissioner 

"The magnitude of it is mind boggling but we need to do something. If we don't, we may as well turn out the lights and leave. Every time someone has an idea around here, someone beats it down. If it ends up being just half of what they propose it would still provide some good paying short term jobs as well as long term jobs. I haven't seen anyone come up with any other revenue ideas." 

John Forkan, Montana State Building and Construction Trades Council president 

"We've voted unanimously to support the project and assist them in any way possible. I think they have their ducks in a row. They are a strong entity and very viable. It's a win-win situation for the state and the county." 

Linda Guptill, Butte Chamber of Commerce president 

"I think as a whole it's going to help not only the new items coming into town, but ripple throughout the community. This means that all the businesses in Butte are going to benefit from this coming in. I think we need to keep an open mind. It's not just centered around gambling, but around recreation as a whole and it will not just benefit Butte, but sur rounding counties. It will be a great economic impact." 

Tom Blaz, Butte's First Interstate Bank branch manager 

"I think the concept in general is really good. You look out there on Montana's and particularly Butte's horizon and you don't see much. Butte's been beat up with all that's happened with Montana Power and Touch America. I think we're a community looking for an identity. You look at how the con cept has played out in Black Hawk, Colo., and Deadwood, S.D. It seems to have worked very well. Anything that can help draw a crit ical mass to the Uptown business district is really good. We have a unique historic district that we need to promote." 

Jim Kambich, Continental Public Lands Trust president 

:: all quotes from the Montana Standard ::
:: photo courtesy the Piccadilly Museum in Butte ::
:: Meetings Planned - Contact info for Destination Montana! ::


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