By Chris Naumman. At the conclusion of 2010, downtown has very few vacancies, business is picking up, and construction has replaced destruction. In 2010 downtown celebrated 55 years of organizational support as the Downtown BID turned 10 years old, the Downtown TIF passed the 15 year milestone, and the DBA enjoyed its 30th anniversary.

Rebuilding after the Downtown Explosion

On November 11, the American Legion grand opening coincided with Veteran’s Day and signified an important step in the rebuilding process following the March 5, 2009 downtown explosion. On the heels of the American Legion, the F & H Building went under construction in July, 2010. This new three story building will be the new home for the Rockin’ R Bar and a new downtown location for Santa Fe Red’s restaurant.The second floor of the building will be for office tenants while the third floor is planned as office space or possible apartments.

Seeing these buildings come out of the ground was a milestone for the downtown community. It was important to see new construction at the site where before there was only destruction.

Business Improvement District Renewed

As stipulated by Montana statute, the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) was set to expire in 2010. Recognizing the critical work of the BID, downtown property owners renewed the District for another 10 year term.

Over the years the BID maintenance program has grown to this year include one full-time and one part-time employee. The maintenance staff have been vigilant in their daily tasks: emptying trash receptacles; picking up garbage from storefronts, doorways and sidewalks; cleaning up Soroptomist Park and wipe down tables and benches; removing posters and stickers.

During the summer months, the BID staff watered downtown’s beloved flower baskets seven days a week. They also spent a great deal of time fighting graffiti, in fact over 300 tags were removed in 2010. In winter, the BID manages the downtown holiday decoration program in addition to their year-round responsibilities.

Thanks to the commitment of the property owners, the downtown will continue to be clean and look good for another decade.

Downtown Special Events Attract Thousands

The special events presented by the Downtown Bozeman Association enjoyed another year of record attendance throughout 2010. The 10th Annual Music on Main outdoor concert series was a popular as ever. For the 30th consecutive year, the Downtown Christmas Stroll kicked off the holiday season for the entire community.

The Downtown Art Walk series, Trick or Treat event, Bridal Walk and Cruisin’ on Main Car Show continued to be successful and very well attended. As part of a growing tradition, the Downtown Bozeman Association continued partnering with Montana State University to host 4 university events on Main Street: the 1st Annual Bobcat Fest, Homecoming Pep Rally, Cat-Griz Pep Rally, and a Parent’s Weekend event.

Sales Trend on Up and Up

The retail sales data published by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle in the monthly Business-2-Business supplement show a net increase in average sales of 17% .