Business Bites: New owner for The Living Room; Greystone renovation plans ongoing; Popcorn Colonel, R&R reopening; C.M. Russell Museum speaker series; Embark Credit Union lobby closed; CMR HOSA collecting donations for healthcare workers

The Living Room

Michelle Bebbington has purchased The Living Room salon at 614 Central Ave. from Jolie Kiser.

She has been an independent contractor in the salon for more than 10 years.

Bebbington “has been an inspiration to all who have had the opportunity to work with her. She has always had an entrepreneurial spirit & this is the perfect platform for her to continue to grow & create as an artist, business owner & human. She intends to carry on the tradition and spirit of The Living Room but with her own artistic touches and visions,” Kiser wrote in a Facebook post.

Greystone Inn

Plans for turning the former Greystone Inn at 621 Central Ave into The Gibson, a new boutique hotel, are ongoing, according to members of the Downtown Development Partnership.

During a Nov. 18 meeting, DDP members said that Ty Rollins of Choice Hotels had been in town several times in recent months and is hoping to begin construction by the end of the year and have some rooms open by spring or summer 2021.

Rollins announced the hotel in January during a Great Falls Development Authority event.

COVID-19 has slowed their financing and construction plans, the DDP members said. They said Rollins has installed security cameras at the building in an effort to address any criminal activity or unwanted loitering at the property.

Choice Hotels is headquartered in Maryland and is one of the largest lodging franchisers in the world, according to its website. The company currently franchises more than 7,000 hotels, representing nearly 570,000 rooms, in more than 40 countries and territories.

It will be the first of the company’s Ascend collection hotels.

Rollins said the challenge is turning the dreary and tired split faced block into a modern and inviting boutique hotel.

Some architectural renderings are available here.

The goal with The Gibson is to keep with the forward thinking and vision of the hotel’s namesake and city’s founder.

The remodel and rebranding will have a dramatic affect on how the building is used and benefit the downtown, Rollins said in January.

The upscale hotel will feature local foods and they’re looking for a local coffeeshop and bakery to supply items for the baskets that will be delivered to guest’s rooms each morning.

Popcorn Colonel

The Popcorn Colonel is planning a grand reopening on Nov. 23.

“We are waiting on some deliveries and since we can’t really sell popcorn without our kernels, we wait. At least until Wednesday. We’ve waited this long but a few more days is almost painful. We will have a soft opening the end of the week and do our grand reopening next week. As expected, there will be restrictions when we do open. We aren’t able to offer samples, capacity will be limited and face coverings will be required with no exceptions. We appreciate all your well wishes and hope you’ve all been staying healthy.”

Business Bites: Luna Coffee Bar opening; Eklund’s Fine Furniture closing; Game Night Lounge; Not Your Mama’s Nutrition; Ulmers 75th anniversary; Cakes for Thought; Broadwater Coffee offering discount for support of local businesses; Hoyt and Blewett remodel; restaurants bring back family meals

Good Time Charlie’s/R&R Lounge

The bar and casino at Good Time Charlie’s/R&R Lounge have reopened.

The casino is open 9 a.m. to midnight and the bar is open 10 a.m. to midnight.

*Those hours will change to reflect Gov. Steve Bullock’s new directive closing bars, restaurants and casinos at 10 p.m. beginning Nov. 20.

Business Bites: Boutiques donating to Rescue Mission; Bass Clef a FedEx shipping center; GFDA webinar; Elks grants

C.M. Russell speaker series

The C.M. Russell Museum was awarded a CARES Act relief grant through the National Endowment for the Humanities to fund a digital catalogue for the recently restored and reinterpreted Russell Home and Studio, belonging to Charlie Russell and his wife and business manager, Nancy Russell. The new interpretation and educational programming seeks to incorporate a stronger presence of Native American voices and contemporary topics. Because of this, the C.M. Russell Museum has partnered to create the American Indian and Educators Focus Group, which holds advising power in working towards a more inclusive development of exhibitions and educational programming within the museum campus. One such contemporary topic is that of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. The series will take a focus on first hand family accounts; data mapping of missing and murdered Indigenous women; and advocacy and support.

Business Bites: New insurance office; KellerGeist expansion; distillery planning to open spring 2021 downtown; Baskin Robbins closing; Last Straw Bistro closing

The first speaker is Cheryl Horn, the Aunt of Selena Not Afraid, a young woman who went missing on New Year’s Day in Big Horn County. The county, primarily made up of the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Reservations, has one of the highest rates of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People cases in Montana. Join Cheryl as she shares her story at 7 p.m. Dec. 1.

The speaker series runs Dec. 1-3.

Business Bites: Zandy’s demolition; Town Pump building car washes; 721 Central Avenue renovation; Alluvion Health buys more space

Embark Credit Union

The Embark Credit Union lobby and drive through on 10th Ave. S. will be closed Nov. 17 through at least Nov. 30.

The 1500 River Drive N. drive thru will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

HOSA donations for healthcare workers

The HOSA: Future Health Professionals group at C.M. Russell High School are asking the community to donate items for healthcare worker gift baskets. Items could include gift cards, snacks, gel pens, post-it notes, hand lotion etc. The students will assemble gift baskets and deliver to healthcare workers. Drop off any donations at the CMR North Breezeway 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 23 at the tables provided.

HOSA is an organization that provides opportunities for health science students to gain knowledge, skills, and leadership opportunities. Typically, members are active in the community performing community service for Great Falls Fire Rescue, the City County Health Department, the American Red Cross, Showdown Ski Patrol, and others. Students also travel to elementary schools and educate younger children about health care professions and healthy living. This year, the students are focusing on recognizing healthcare workers in the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. 

 Questions may be directed to the chapter advisor and teacher, Christi Virts at 268-6226.