Attractions and Distractions in Red Lodge - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Attractions and Distractions in Red Lodge

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RED LODGE, Mont. -

While snow is blowing in the Beartooth pass, dirt is blowing in Downtown Red Lodge. And while Red Lodge may not seem like the best place to visit now, all businesses are open and there are still many sights to see through the open part of Beartooth pass to Visit Point.

Red Lodge was thrown a curve ball when snow and ice prevented the pass from opening in it's entirety to Yellowstone National park, which is a huge attraction for visitors. Another attraction, Downtown Red Lodge, which was also hit with a curve ball nearly two months ago when construction started and has been hurting businesses since.

"It's probably 40% decline is revenue because of the construction," says Tom Egenes, who owns two businesses in downtown.

Nearly all businesses are doing all they can to remind people they're open during the construction that is updating a nearly 100-year-old water main. But Tim Weamer, from the Red Lodge Chamber of Commerce says, this is the best time for the project rather than Summer.

"The drive by has probably slowed down a little bit. But, the sidewalks are open and the businesses are open and they're doing it at our slow time of year, anyway," says Weamer.

But some say parking is an issue, and many have to park much further than normal. For some, it's an opportunity to see more of town. For others, it's a hassle.

Weamer says, "wandering the streets of Red Lodge is not exactly a bad thing to have to do. A little extra walk is no big deal."

Parking is so bad in some spots that some homeowners have put signs in front of their house so downtown visitors don't take their only parking.

And for shoppers, the sound of construction is not appealing.

"You know, I just really hate the noise. It really affects me, it can give me headaches and I just hate the noise," says Terri Smith, who lives in Billings and was visiting Red Lodge.

The Red Lodge City Planner says construction will finish in downtown in around four weeks. And starting June 8th, the town will have their summer kick off, which is a great opportunity for tourist to explore and enjoy Red Lodge. It's called Founders Day, and you can find out more information about the events by clicking on Connections.

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