‘Austin of the Northwest’?: New $100 Million events center epitomizes Missoula’s rapid growth
Missoula’s whirlwind economic expansion has been the talk of the town since the end of the Great Recession, with new banks, restaurants, hotels and construction cranes popping up seemingly daily. But perhaps no single project embodies the city’s transformation more than the unveiling of plans last week by local businessman Nick Checota for a $100-million, 60,000-square-foot events center with a hotel, condos and restaurants overlooking the Clark Fork River downtown.
With roughly $1 billion worth of public and private construction projects approved in the city limits since the start of 2013, including a new public library, new school facilities, massive new hospital additions and myriad new businesses, the physical and cultural characteristics of Missoula are changing at a breakneck pace.