Eastern Montana is Booming and Open for Business

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Record oil production in the Bakken means summer activities in Montana's Missouri River Country

Known for its vast landscapes, friendly communities and plentiful outdoor recreation opportunities, Montana’s Missouri River Country also has exciting new additions thanks to the Bakken oil field. The Bakken spans 14,000 square miles in North Dakota, Montana and Canada and is currently the largest oil field discovery in North America in the last 40 years. Record oil production has brought an influx of new businesses to communities in Montana’s Missouri River Country including boutiques, restaurants and lodging. Montana’s Missouri River Country also boasts an extended line-up of summer events. Visitors can expect inviting people, new amenities and entertainment in every community.

The Bakken oil boom, once thought to be a burden on the infrastructure of the communities that surround it, has in fact been a boon, bringing new attractions for residents and visitors alike. The community of Sidney is an excellent example with two new hotels and a third under construction. The town is adding roughly 200 new rooms ready and waiting for summer visitors. The oil field activity is keeping the hotels busy but they aren’t fully booked. Northeastern Montana still has lots of lodging options available to travelers who want to take advantage of all Missouri River Country’s summer activities. “The influx of people has motivated communities to step up and offer an expanded line-up of summer events making Missouri River Country the place to be this summer. We have a lot going on out here,” said Wade VanEvery, Executive Director of the Sidney Chamber of Commerce.

Each weekend in August plays host to a fair in different communities throughout Missouri River Country. One example is the Richland County Fair, August 1 – 4, the largest in Northeastern Montana. It features a PRCA rodeo that is known for drawing in some of the biggest names in rodeo. Country singer Joe Nichols will be headlining the Richland Fair’s concert this year. Other fairs include entertainment including a tractor pull and car show and delicious cuisine featuring locally grown products.

The activity on the Bakken oil field has not detracted from Montana’s Missouri River Country’s natural wonders which continue to be a draw for summer travelers. A short journey to the Fort Peck Reservoir unfolds endless possibilities for fishing, boating and much more. Walleye, northern pike, lake trout, Chinook salmon and smallmouth bass can all be found in the reservoir. Shoreline stretching 1,600 miles with depths up to 220 feet, Fort Peck Reservoir is also perfect for boating.

Another summer favorite in Missouri River Country is Brush Lake. Like a sapphire on the prairie, Brush Lake is a deep clear lake with white sandy beaches located just two miles from the North Dakota border. Cool and clear all summer long, the lake provides visitors a refreshing escape from the summer heat. Due to the mineral content, no fish live in Brush Lake, eliminating the conflict between boaters and fishermen. Camp facilities are available at the lake making it a favorite summer destination for locals and visitors alike.

“The Bakken oil field has really brought in a lot of exciting new venues. The influx of people means we have more diverse options for dining, lodging and shopping,” said VanEvery. “All of our popular attractions are open, we aren’t packed to the walls with oil field workers like a lot of people think.” For more information on Montana’s Missouri River Country and a complete listing of summer activities and communities, please visit missouririver.visitmt.com. For a free travel planner please call 800.653.1319.

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Sarah Ziska
Wendt Advertising and Public Relations
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