BUTTE – Butte’s reputation as a rough and tumble mining town is well known, but city leaders want to show another side of Butte – as a hub for outdoor activity.
“That’s what our whole state is pushing from the top down is we have the outdoor resources here. You talk to people out of Montana, that’s what Montana is known for is being able to go hiking, skiing, mountain biking, fishing, hunting,” said Joe Willauer of the Butte Local Development Corporation.
The Butte Elevated group plans to push a public image campaign called Basecamp Butte, which will promote all the outdoor opportunities in the Butte area.
“We’ll have trail maps, we’ll have links to resources, we will have of course beautiful pictures things to get you excited about going outdoors,” said Willauer.
Those in outdoor-oriented businesses applaud this campaign because Butte is located in the heart of great outdoor activity.
“I mean the best hunting, the best fishing, the best rock climbing, mountain biking, you name it in recreation, we have it and the opportunity is here and not everybody can say that,” said Mike Marcum, who co-owns The Stonefly Fly Shop in Butte.
Butte built its fortune on headframes and jackleg drills, but local economists hope things like fly rods and backpacks are something that can stimulate the economy today.
“I mean it is a tough sell to the outside world with some of the looks and the history of Butte, I mean, you don’t think of that recreation or fly fishing in general, but we have more water to fish within an hour and half of Butte than anywhere else,” Marcum said.
And with the recent loss of large retail store, Butte is fishing for ways to strengthen its economy. Butte Elevated hopes to have the Basecamp Butte website up by this summer.