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GeeGuy has a great post about how so many people – usually Great Falls natives – are so darn pessimistic when it comes to Great Falls.

In my job, I have the privilege of talking with many people who come here from other places, both temporarily and to live. And you know what? They are invariably more positive about our community that those who were born and raised here. That is wrong!”

And as someone who came here only 3 years ago, I have to agree. My attitude about Great Falls is decidedly upbeat and optimistic, and it just plain hurts me when I hear people complain about how awful Great Falls is, and how the “powers that be” stand in the way of progress, and other such whining.
Believe me when I tell you: this place, this community, this small city called Great Falls is truly wonderful. Perhaps it helps if you’ve lived someplace else for a while…

I’ve lived in many places: Phoenix, Florida, Ohio, England, the San Francisco bay area, Spokane, Oklahoma City, southern California, and San Antonio. Once you’ve seen what living in those places is like, you might really begin to appreciate the virtues of Great Falls. I’ve said it many times: never have I met a more friendly bunch of people than I’ve met here in Great Falls. That is selling point #1 – and one that the locals might not appreciate. People smile at each other! Strangers strike up conversations and get to know each other! In larger communities, that just doesn’t happen on a regular basis. Whenever I walk through the grocery store here in Great Falls, I am always asked by at least one employee if I need any help – believe me, that is a very rare occurence in larger cities.
And if you think that traffic on 10th Avenue South is bad at 5:00 pm, give me a break! Trust me — even at the busiest times, the traffic here in Great Falls is peachy. Natural beauty? People, no matter what direction you look, we’re surrounded by it, from the Big Sky looking towards the Little Belt mountains, to the wondrous Missouri River when it’s iced over, to the charm of Central Avenue. Let’s appreciate what we have here, and remember that attitude makes a big difference!



  1. As a great falls native and someone who lived there for 23 years and has also lived in big cities, there are several general conceptions that many of us have come to believe whole heartedly.
    First, 10th avenue is trashy. there is little or no landscaping on much of tenth, the parking lots have lots of weeds in them and the storefronts are mostly run down old buildings. For such a beautiful state and beautiful are the town itself doesn’t look that beautiful. Northwest bypass is almost as bad. For a lot of us this gives a cold and dirty feeling to our beloved city.

    Second, business growth has been mostly stagnant in the past, I have been out of great falls for 5 years and I understand some of it has gotten better, but the city board has always made it quite difficult to open new businesses. Wal-mart is a good example of this. A second Wal-mart (although i hate wal-mart and work for one of their competitors) would have brought another 100+ badly needed jobs to Great Falls as well as a retail outlet to service the south side and Malmstrom. Living on the south side for 23 years, once K-mart closed the nearest retail outlet is Target. Thats fine, but an inconvenience for people living on malmstrom or the southside at best. This lack of support for new businesses has created a lackluster employment market as well, which in turn drives the best and the brightest out of Montana.

    I agree that it is difficult when a whole community has a negative attitude about the areas around it. Maybe though, our leaders, lawmakers and officials elect should look at why the resentment is there and try to fix it.

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