Business Bites: New Starbucks location; Child Bridge office; Greystone Inn construction; Big Sky Cheese/Silver Falls Distillery update; Rise Athletics gets bid to world championships; Voyagers add military tickets; Foothills students place at video competition


Starbucks is planning another location on the west side. The city planning office received a permit application from the company on Feb. 17 and staff is reviewing the application.

The project would involve demolition of the former Rogers Jewelers building at 1205 3rd St. N.W. and construction of a 2,018-square-foot store, according the permit application.

Access Fitness

Access Fitness at 715 13th Ave. S. is closing effective April 15.

The gym will remain open through May 1 for members to collect their belongings, according to letter to members.

“While it’s a pandemic that will do is in, it’s our instructors, employees and loyal members that we will miss the most. We are truly heartbroken that we must close this facility after 44 years of serving the Great Falls community,” according to the letter.

Access Fitness members can become members of the Peak West Bank Landing at their current price through December or members of the Peak main location for an additional $10. Pickup passes at Access Fitness or call the Peak at 727-7325 for membership questions.

Child Bridge

Child Bridge is renovating space in the northern portion of the Real Deals building at 117 Park Drive S. for about 2,000 square feet of office space, including window replacement.

The city planning office approved a permit for the renovation.

Greystone Inn

According to the city planning office, the contractor recently contacted the city to verify that the permit fees calculated about a year ago still apply, and they do. The contractor indicated to city staff that the project is planned for a summer start to renovate the Greystone Inn at 621 Central Ave. into The Gibson, a boutique hotel (rendering from Ballantyne Design Associates LLC is main image).

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

Architects rendering of The Gibson from Ballantyne Design Associates LLC

Big Sky Cheese/Silver Falls Distillery

No location/conformance permits have been issued for Big Sky Cheese or the Silver Falls Distillery as of March 11, according to county planning.

“No information has been provided to us that satisfies any of the conditions of approval at this time either,” Charity Yonker, county planning director told The Electric.

District Court rejects County’s revision of Big Sky Cheese permit conditions

The county Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the special use permit for Silver Falls Distillery in May 2020 and the approved the SUP for Big Sky Cheese in August 2019, with 17 conditions.

The developer, Madison Food Park, appealed some of those conditions and the County Commission adjusted them. But locals took the issue to court and the district court ruled against the county in November so the conditions revert to those of the ZBOA from 2019.

Commissioners modify, reverse and remand conditions on Big Sky Cheese from zoning board permit approval

Yonker said the county reissued the notice of conditional approval on Dec. 10, 2020 for the SUP, which now expires Dec. 10, 2021 without an extension of there’s no action on the permit.

County ZBOA approves special use permit for Silver Falls Distillery

Great Falls Farmers’ Market

The Great Falls Farmers’ Market is intending to hold a market this summer for the first Saturday in June.

“It may not be quite the same as previous years but please know we are doing all we can to bring you an amazing year,” according to their social posts.

The market posted that they’ll share more information once they have it.

Women’s History Month at Cassiopeia Books

Local historian Ken Robison will speak at 6 p.m. March 25 at Cassiopeia Books, 606 Central Ave. about two significant Great Falls women. Masks and social distancing required.

Martha Edgerton Rolfe Plassmann: A Montana Renaissance Woman: Martha, the daughter of Montana’s first territorial governor, lived as a teen-ager in Bannack during the Civil War when Montana territory was formed. She became a teacher, musician, wife, mother and home-schooling teacher for her seven children, a leader in the woman’s suffrage movement, the first woman editor of a Montana daily newspaper, local and state leader in the Montana Socialist Party, and a prolific historical writer for Montana newspapers. Hers was a long life of striking achievements.

Alma Smith Jacobs: An Exceptional Librarian and Community Leader: Alma was raised at a time when Great Falls racially discriminated against African Americans but rose to the top of her profession in Great Falls as well as gaining state, regional and national recognition. Alma graduated from Great Falls High School, completed a B.A. at Talladega College, and earned a Library Science degree from Columbia University. She returned to Great Falls and broke racial barriers when she was named Head Librarian at the Great Falls Public Library in 1954. Her outstanding leadership brought the community a new library while she worked tirelessly for local and state civil rights. Alma became Montana State Librarian in 1973, President of the Montana and Northwest Library associations, and was named to the Executive Board of the American Library Association—the first African American in all these achievements.

Rise Athletics

Rise Athletics is an All Star Cheerleading, which is competitive cheerleading, facility. The athletes train all year to compete. At their most recent competition, the senior team Atmosphere took third. The junior team, Elevation, took Grand Champs, earning them a full paid bid to the invitation-only inaugural All Star Worlds competition in May at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., according to Lani McCarthy, Rise’s director.

“They’ll be competing against the best in the world, representing Great Falls and all of Montana,” McCarthy said.

Great Falls Voyagers

The Great Falls Voyagers has partnered with 1st Liberty Federal Credit Union to offer discounts to all military personnel during their 2021 season.

City Commissioners deny Voyagers rent forgiveness request

For all of the Voyagers 48 home games anyone with a military ID will receive $1-$2 off tickets to home games.

Tickets must be purchased at the Voyagers ticket window or office with a valid ID present.

Voyagers will remain in Great Falls and anticipate 2021 season

All Voyager tickets go on sale March 15 and can be purchased at ,by calling 406-452-5311 or stopping by Centene Stadium.

Foothills Community Christian School

Three Foothills Community Christian School video production teams have been selected as winners in this year’s StudentCam documentary competition sponsored by C-SPAN.

The top placing team earned second in the West Division and the other two competing teams received honorable mentions.

It’s the third consecutive year Foothills teams have been honored for their entries and the fifth year the school has participated in the competition.

The student trio of Ty Chattillon, Josiah Lehmann and Rafe Thompson earned second in the West Division for their video, “Defunding the Police: Is Reform Necessary?” They were one of 16 second prize winners in the nation and their video will air on C-Span on April 2. It can be viewed here.

Two of the school’s entries were among 97 honorable mention winners from across the nation. The duo of Samantha DeLange and Rilee Gervais earned honorable mention for their video, “The Dangers of the Internet and Social Media” and classmates Kassi Huston, Denae Johnson and Samuel Mazaira were recognized for their project, “Discrimination: The Plague of Many Generations.”

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