“Missoula Time” to Blame for Economic Stagnation?

Aaron Flint posted on February 17, 2014 13:52 :: 1346 Views

Is Missoula’s “jus’ chillin” attitude to blame for the stagnant economy? 

Credit to the liberal 4&20 Blackbirds blog for flagging this story for me…

Earlier this month, Missoulian reporter Martin Kidston wrote a sort of ridiculous piece about “Missoula time” and how this alleged concept of “just chilling” may explain Missoula’s economic stagnation. Though the framing Kidston uses is a bit ridiculous, the complicated issue of Missoula’s economic woes is not.

Here’s an excerpt from Kidston’s piece: ‘Missoula Time’ and the symptoms of stagnation.  (Kidston, by the way, is the former spokesman for the Montana Democratic Party)

Over the past year and a half, I’ve watched other cities in the state grow while Missoula flounders with lofty promises that have failed to reach fruition, and deals that fell short (redevelopment of the Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. mill site being one).

While the Bakken booms and benefits Billings, and while Boeing expands in Helena, state economists believe Bozeman will lead the state in jobs and economic growth over the next few years.

The reason why is pretty simple: High-tech and manufacturing businesses are pulling the city up by the bootstraps, quickly lifting it out of the recession.

It sounds like RightNow Technologies founder Greg Gianforte, of Bozeman, needs to send a copy of his bootstrapping book to Kidston and the entire lot of council members and county commissioners in Missoula….

So, is it really this “jus’ chillin” attitude, or “Missoula Time,” that is the reason for the economic woes in the garden city?  Well, if you liked “just chillin” at a popular breakfast spot called Food for Thought right off the UM campus- it sounds like their time is unfortunately up. 

As it turns out, Food for Thought is choking on government regulations, as The Montana Kaimin reports:

Doug and Jasey Stauduhar have owned Food for Thought for 10 years, but said they can’t go any longer.

The Stauduhars have been trying to sell the restaurant for four years. Doug said the city wouldn’t allow new owners to come in and take over the current operation.

During the 10 years they were the owners, Missoula changed some of its codes  required for restaurants, and Jasey said it’s the cost of the required updates that scared all the potential buyers away. She guessed the updates would cost about $60,000 for the new owner.

(h/t Will Selph, candidate for Yellowstone County Treasurer and University of Montana alum)

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