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Traditional stores close as Bozeman’s downtown changes more



Bozeman, Montana – Some stores in downtown Bozeman may have signs that read “store closing” on them, which indicates some significant changes.

“You know, it’s a little bittersweet. I’m excited for my mom’s next adventure. She’s semi-retiring at this point,” says Kelly Flock, whose mother owns Downtown Antiques.

Flock has spent her entire life working at the family’s downtown antique shop, which her mother is now preparing to sell in order to retire.

“You know, a lot of the shops have changed,” says Flock.

Another company closing so its owner can retire is Girls Outdoors, which Sharron Dugger has owned for the past 17 years and is located just a few blocks away.

“Everybody is a little bit sad. It does feel like it’s an era coming to an end,” says Dugger.

Like many companies, Dugger has relocated within the downtown area. She has worked at her present place for around ten years.

“It’s the best location downtown that could ever be. I mean, the address is one East Main,” says Dugger.

Change is common, according to Ellie Staley, executive director of the Downtown Bozeman Partnership.

“Our business district is certainly ever-changing. And we see businesses change and new businesses come or businesses go pretty often. Right now is, I’d say, a pretty significant time in the way of change downtown,” says Staley.

Six businesses in downtown Bozeman have closed or relocated, according to Staley, but as soon as one departs, another enters.

“We rarely see vacant buildings, which means the transition from one business to another is generally very quick,” says Staley.

Two new enterprises, according to Staley, have signed leases, but no announcement has been made as of yet.

Soon, one of those companies will occupy the location at the old Main Street Market on East Main.

“A large outdoor retailer is moving into the space,” says Staley.

According to Duggar, she is unconcerned about the future of downtown.

“I think downtown Bozeman will always be a thriving part of the community,” says Dugger.


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