Business group visiting Omaha for ideas about Billings future

OMAHA, Neb. — A group of Billings enterprise leaders is wanting for inspiration in an not likely location – Omaha, Nebraska. But if you glance nearer, Omaha may just be the crucial to Billings’ future.

“We all can find out,” explained Billings Mayor Bill Cole.

Which is the crucial to the trip, in accordance to Cole. Following 24 hrs, almost absolutely everyone in the team has nothing but superior things to say about Nebraska’s most significant metropolis.

“Phenomenal,” claimed Steve Wahrlich, proprietor of the Greatest Western Clocktown Inn and Stella’s Bakery. “Great town with great services.”

“It’s extremely enlightening,” additional Yellowstone County Commissioner Don Jones. “I’m really amazed with the downtown location.”

“It presents you a vision and a desire,” explained Chamber of Commerce Chair Nichole Mehling.

Omaha is much bigger than Billings with about 850,000 people today in its metro area, when compared to about 190,000 in Billings, but both equally have developed about 30 % above the last 20 yrs.

On Wednesday, the Billings group toured Charles Schwab Field, house to the University Baseball Planet Collection. The venue is just one of the city’s gems – significantly like Dehler Park is in Billings – but it does one thing Dehler does not.

“The facility, not just the baseball discipline, is used about 200 moments a year,” Wahrlich explained. “Which is phenomenal.”

Bill Cole Omaha

Picture courtesy Scripps

Billings Mayor Monthly bill Cole appears out at Charles Schwab Area in Omaha, Nebraska through a tour structured by the Billings Chamber of Commerce to get concepts on Billings’ long run.

The group’s most important takeaway so much is the plan of community-non-public partnerships in Omaha. The finest example is Omaha’s Riverfront Revitalization Challenge, a $300 million enterprise funded by equally the city and non-public philanthropists.

“Billings doesn’t do that,” Wahrlich lamented. “Everyone appears at it like, ‘What’s in it for me?’ rather of the most effective passions of the group.”

“Turning the river into a workable/playable/livable area would genuinely enrich Billings,” Mehling added. “No doubt Omaha has a a lot greater philanthropy base than we can obtain. Obtaining claimed that, there are pretty devoted community users that give their time, give their treasure to make items materialize.”

Phase 1 of Omaha’s Riverfront is slated to open July 1. It’ll be a excellent addition to the hundreds of thousands who occur for the Planet Series each and every 12 months, which has the Billings group inevitably pondering about the foreseeable future of its have economic climate-boosting location, MetraPark. Jones is primarily impressed with the Schwab design.

“It’s a incredibly interesting thought with the 501(c)3,” Jones stated. “And a single of the major components they seriously pushed was finding it out of political palms, which proper now (MetraPark) is in the political arms of three commisioners, and none of us have practical experience operating these destinations.

“I feel this is a practical substitute, so I believe we are going to have to look at how the entire issues progresses and see which a person is the most effective one.”

It’ll keep on to be a person of the largest conversations for Billings’ long term.