Friday Flash 11/5/21

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Reminders/Updates for Our Tourism Partners

Please note there will be no Friday Flash on November 12.

Save the Dates...

  • Tourism Partner Call—This bi-monthly call is dedicated to the six tourism Regions, 16 CVBs, the Montana Tourism Advisory Council and specific industry stakeholders. The calls are held on the fourth Wednesday, every other month from 10:00-11:00 a.m. For assistance or information regarding this call, please contact Barb Sanem or call her at 406.841.2769. 
    • December 1, 2021
    • January 26, 2022
    • March 23, 2022
    • May 25, 2022
    • July 27, 2022
    • September 28, 2022
    • November 23, 2022
  • November 9 & 10, 2021 (9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. both days)Glacier Country Tourism Summit: Business Insights for Reaching New Heights—Join Glacier Country Tourism, Western Montana's official destination marketing and management organization (DMO), Destination Analysts, Tread Lightly!, Tourism Diversity Matters, Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, Job Service Missoula, ABMJ Consulting and Janna Lundquist Consulting for a meeting of the minds.

    Discussion will include travel and tourism trends, diversity, equity and inclusion, responsible motorized recreation messaging, building on your social media, and workforce development and training.

    Come learn how to take advantage of Glacier Country Tourism’s marketing assets to grow and support your business. Our tourism and marketing experts can help you market your business or organization to travelers. There's strength in numbers, after all. For more information or to register, click here
  • January 1, 2022Region/CVB FY21 Marketing Plan Completion Reports Due
  • January 20, 2022Region/CVB 2nd Quarter FY22 Financial Reports Due
  • February 7, 2022—TAC Meeting 
  • April 20, 2022—Region/CVB 3rd Quarter FY22 Financial Reports Due
  • June 14-15, 2022—TAC Meeting
  • July 20, 2022—Region/CVB 4th Quarter FY22 Financial Reports Due

Tourism Grant Program

2022 Tourism Grant Update

The FY22 Tourism Grant application submissions are currently being evaluated. We anticipate an announcement of the tourism grant awards for this cycle soon. We encourage you to subscribe to receive email updates from the Department of Commerce for other and future funding opportunities by clicking here. For more information about the Tourism Grant Program, please visit our website at MARKETMT.COM

Made in Montana

Coaster Cycles

MIM Members in the News

This E-Bike Delivery Experiment Reduced CO2 Emissions by 30% Per PackageFor three months last summer, residents in one Seattle neighborhood received their packages via electric cargo bike rather than a delivery van, as part of a pilot program testing new innovations to urban delivery. Bike riders made deliveries between a “microhub” and peoples’ homes. The switch led to fewer miles traveled per delivery and a 30% drop in tailpipe CO2 emissions per package.

The issue of the “last mile”—the final step in the delivery process when a package goes from transportation hub to customer—has become a headache for cities, where delivery trucks cause congestion and spew carbon emissions as they drop off more and more packages. The Seattle pilot—a partnership between the city, Coaster Cycles, logistics company AxleHire, and others, coordinated by the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab—tested last-mile alternatives like e-cargo bikes and delivery lockers, in hopes of finding solutions that reduced emissions and eased traffic.

It might be a surprise that e-cargo bikes dropped emissions 30% per package and not 100%, since they’re zero-emission vehicles, but that’s because researchers counted emissions from the truck bringing goods to the micro-hub, explains Anne Goodchild, founding director of the UW Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Center, which launched the Urban Freight Lab. “But when we look at that system holistically, we’re able to cut emissions by 30%, which is huge.” Read more and access the full report from Fast Company here

Montana Film Office

MFO Logo

FY22 Big Sky Film Grant

The Montana Film Office is excited to announce that the Fiscal Year 2022 Big Sky Film Grant (BSFG) is open for submissions and will be awarding $1.5 million dollars in grant funds to selected productions — AND we’ve extended our deadline to November 29, 2021, 11:59 p.m., MST.

Grant applications are being accepted in 3 categories: Feature Film & TV, Resident Filmmaker, and Short-Form Content. Visit our BSFG webpage HERE for more details on categories and program details. Before applying, please read the program’s Instructions & Guidelines HERE.  

To be considered for the FY22 BSFG round, please apply by November 29, 2021 – 12:00 am, MST.

Applications are accepted via Submittable platform and found on our website HERE.

The BSFG program builds and supports partnerships with filmmakers and production companies with the intention to create Montana film industry jobs. The grant program enhances the marketing efforts of Montana’s tourism regions and advocates for the state’s people, history, and overall quality of life. The BSFG and the Montana Film Office are funded by the 4% Lodging Facility Use Tax - commonly known as the “Bed Tax.”

Yellowstone Season 4

"Yellowstone" Season 4 Premieres Sunday, November 7, on the Paramount Network

Montana is a beautiful backdrop to "Yellowstone," Paramount's drama series starring Kevin Costner. Click here to watch the official trailer.


Carhartt Puts the Country’s Worker Shortage at the Center of an Ad Campaign

The workwear company, whose apparel made a cameo at the Golden Globes earlier this year, makes a ‘call to work’ as employers struggle to recruit skilled labor

A new ad campaign from the workwear seller Carhartt Inc. invokes the nation’s labor crunch to encourage consumers to take new jobs—and to wear its clothes when they do. “Right now, this country needs workers,” the voice-over on a commercial says. “Over three million jobs are available in the skilled trades alone. So grab your tools, and help us build the next frontier.”

The share of the U.S. population 16 or older either working or looking for work remains below its February 2020 level, before the turmoil sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic. U.S. employers are trying to fill more than 10 million job openings, while jobless claims have fallen below 300,000 for the first time since the pandemic, according to the Labor Department. And workers are quitting at or near the highest rates on record in sectors including manufacturing.

Carhartt filmed outside of Livingston this fall. You can watch the "Fit for the New Frontier" piece here. Read more about the campaign from the Wall Street Journal here

Two Yellow Lines

Two Yellow Lines

Two Yellow Lines, distributed by David Glasser’s 101 Studios and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, will release November 9 in 4K Ultra HD and On Demand. Writer/director Derek Bauer’s directorial debut stars Zac Titus (For All Mankind), and introduces his real-life daughter Alexis Titus in her first on-screen role; Grant Show (Dynasty, Devious Maids), Bre Blair (S.W.A.T.), Grant Harvey (Animal Kingdom; Emancipation) and Frank Collison (O Brother, Where Art Thou; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman). The film is a labor of love, personal experience and inspiration, exploring the on-the-road relationship between a father seeking redemption alongside his teenage daughter.

Two Yellow Lines’ story is informed in part by the real-life challenges of lead actor Zac Titus; having lost his sister on 9/11, Titus developed PTSD and went to Montana to grieve and find solace. His character Jack (Zac Titus), a veteran smokejumper, starts the film similarly, after the tragedy of losing his unit in a fire in the Montana wilderness. His struggles with PTSD and survivor’s guilt leave Jack estranged from his family, until, after four years without contact, Jack receives a phone call from his ex-wife asking him to pick up their daughter from camp in Wyoming. Once reunited, Jack and Hanna (Alexis Titus) embark on their journey home, battling as they ride across the remote Montana landscape trying to understand and come to terms with each other’s trauma. 

The film’s personal inspirations extend to the whole cast and crew. Zac was motivated to develop the story of a motorcycle road trip after his own daughter Alexis’ joyful experience traveling cross-country with her grandfather. Bauer, having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, shares Zac’s appreciation and love of the outdoors, and the loss of his own father at age fourteen to early-onset Alzheimer’s made developing the story uniquely personal. Thirteen year-old Hanna’s character, who is struggling to understand her own sense of loss and abandonment, resonated deeply with Bauer’s memories of his own childhood and this film is an expression of those years. It's about how small shifts in our lives can lead to big changes when we face the past, learn to forgive, and find a way to move forward.”

“One of our goals was to treat the landscape as an additional force, or even a character, that would continually influence and support our actors along their journey,” said Bauer, who also served as the director of photography. Bauer and his team did a phenomenal job capturing the beauty and majesty of Montana, following Jack and Hanna aboard Jack’s Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide as they ride through the Tetons, Yellowstone, and the Rocky Mountain West. The film will transport audiences to the Montana wilderness, allowing them to experience the wide vistas of Big Sky country from their home, journeying with Jack and Hanna as they embark on their odyssey.

Bauer concludes, “Teaming up with four friends: Zac, producer Billy Zeb Smith, Jake Olson and me—we are all fathers of daughters—we brought this film to life for you, the audience. With a small, passionate crew in tow, we stuffed everything into an old RV, followed by an older truck towing a trailer of newer gear, and together, we chased a thirty-year-old Harley across the Western United States.” Learn more and watch the trailer here


Social Media Influencers

This fall, the Visit Montana marketing team welcomed three influencers to explore our state.


Nathan Lee Allen @NathanLeeAllen (173k followers) and Tyler Glass @TylerWayneGlass (119k followers), were sent to explore Southeast Montana. Their trip included Billings, Medicine Rocks State Park, and Makoshika State Park (with a lot of stops along the way – featuring Southeast Montana’s charming small towns). 

They were able to capture some beautiful fall shots of Billings and Pompey’s Pillar. They even got to feed the Red Panda at ZooMontana!. We were excited to see the Instagram stories of their adventures and you will be able to see their photography, Instagram reels and TikTok features of these areas in the coming weeks

Pioneer Mtn

Jake Guzman @jguzmannn (262k followers), was sent to explore Southwest Montana. Driving in from Seattle, he made his first stop in Missoula and continued to Dillon making stops along the way (note: he said Dillon was one of the friendliest towns he’s ever been to) and then headed up to Butte. He had a lot of content to feature, including ghost towns, state parks and the Pioneer Scenic Byway.

His Instagram stories have featured some beautiful aerials of different areas in Southwest Montana, and we are excited to see more! You will also be able to see his reels features and photography in the coming weeks. 

Tribal News

US Park Service, Tourism Group Partner to Highlight Tribes

The National Park Service has partnered with a tourism association to ensure the contributions, cultures and traditions of Native Americans are incorporated into exhibits and programming at sites across the country.

The park service says it highlights the history of Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians throughout the year. The five-year agreement with the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) will expand opportunities, officials said.

Sherry Rupert, the chief executive of the tourism association based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said previous partnerships at individual park sites have boosted awareness of nearby tribes.

She pointed to the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, which stretches 1,200 miles from Nogales, Arizona to northern California. A guidebook has tribal attractions on or near the trail, and a map translates locations into Native languages.

A similar project is in the works at Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail that runs 4,900 miles through 16 U.S. states, from Pennsylvania to Oregon, Rupert said. “Native American tribes have ancestral connections to public lands that pre-date the formation of the National Park Service by millennia,” Rupert said in a news release Wednesday. “These wholly unique perspectives can serve as the foundation for one-of-a-kind cultural content for National Park Service sites.”

In Arizona, 11 tribes associated with the Grand Canyon partnered with the park service to create an inter-tribal cultural heritage site at a historic watchtower at the national park.

The park service said visitors increasingly want more authentic experiences and opportunities to engage with tribal communities and to support Native-owned businesses. The tourism association will host virtual and in-person forums for the park service to hear from tribes.

Park service Deputy Director Shawn Benge said the tourism association's past work demonstrates its understanding of the historic connections tribes have to park sites. Read more from the Missoulian here.

Outdoor Recreation

FWP Announces Changes to Application Process for Recreation Grant Programs

Due to software performance issues, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is making changes to its 2022 recreation grant program application cycles. Typically, applications for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), the Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Program (OHV), the Montana Trail Stewardship Grant Program (MTSGP), and the new Summer Motorized Trail Pass Grant Program (SMTP) open on Nov. 1. However, a delay was needed so that FWP can revert to using WebGrants for the 2022 cycle.

FWP will begin accepting grant applications via the online system at as follows:

  • Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Program: This is a state-funded grant program. This program provides project funding with the goal of enhancing and maintaining OHV recreational opportunities for the benefit of OHV enthusiasts in Montana. This program is expected to award $230,000 during this cycle. Applications Accepted: Dec. 15, 2021 – March 31, 2022
  • Montana Trail Stewardship Grant Program: The MTSGP is a state-funded grant program. This is the program’s second grant cycle. This program is expected to award about $1.35 million for construction or maintenance of motorized and non-motorized trails or trail-related facilities. Applications Accepted: Dec. 15, 2021 – Feb. 15, 2022
  • Summer Motorized Trail Pass Grant Program: A grant program funded through the creation of the OHV Trail Pass. This is the program’s second grant cycle. The program is expected to award about $153,000 to non-federal entities for the maintenance of OHV trails on public lands. Applications Accepted: Dec. 15, 2021 – March 31, 2022
  • Recreational Trails Program: The RTP is a federally funded grant program. This grant program awards about $1.5 million annually. Eligible activities include construction or maintenance of motorized and non-motorized trails or trail-related facilities, purchase of trail equipment, and development of trail education or ethics programs. Applications Accepted: Jan. 18 – Feb. 28, 2022

Training sessions for RTP and MTSGP will be offered virtually for prospective applicants. These sessions are free and highly recommended for new and returning applicants. The training provides tips on writing a competitive application, using the grant management software to submit an application and understanding differences and similarities between programs. Online joint trainings will be held via Zoom on Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22, from 1 to 3 p.m.

For more information on attending a grant application training session or applying to one of these opportunities, visit the Recreational Trails Program webpage or the Montana Trail Stewardship Program webpage.

For questions about the Recreational Trails Program, contact Samantha Erpenbach.

For questions about the Montana Trail Stewardship Grant Program, contact Carissa Beckwith.

For questions about the Summer Motorized Trail Pass Grant Program and OHV program, contact Seth McArthur.

The Trail Fund Announces a $50,000 Collaboration with the Ford Motor Company

The Ford Motor Company will make a donation to American Trails via the Bronco Wild Fund to support on-the-ground trail projects across America.

American Trails is delighted to announce Ford Motor Company as a new sponsor of the Trail Fund. Ford is working with the upcoming game Riders Republic™ by Ubisoft® and will make a donation to American Trails via the Bronco Wild Fund, so when players are gaming indoors they are also helping the outdoors.

The Trail Fund is a joint initiative of the Trails Move People Coalition, led by American Trails, to assist the trails community with funding to support trail maintenance, research, and stewardship training needs.

The Trail Fund is designed to get direct results for the outdoors. American Trails strives to maximize all funds collected directly to designated projects. We work to find the best trail partners from across the trails spectrum, and we measure our success in terms of visible on-the-ground maintenance of trails and increased capacity of trail stewards to do the job effectively. To this end, the Trail Fund will begin accepting applications in early 2022 for projects to fund through the Ford sponsorship.

Ford’s sponsorship will allow several projects to move forward, and we will be updating social media regularly to show the on-the-ground status of Trail Fund projects. “We wanted to share our passion for preserving our public lands by teaming up with American Trails,” said Darci Gurney, Ford Brand Content & Alliances Integration manager. “This collaboration reflects the Bronco Wild Fund’s commitment to protecting our environment. Ford is proud to be supporting such a worthy cause.”

Mike Passo, Executive Director of American Trails, says, "We are very excited to be working with Ford and to have a direct connection with the video game community for the first time through this opportunity. This sponsorship will have a direct impact on creating more and better trails for thousands of Americans." Read more from American Trails here

Montana in the News Tourism Partner Shout-Outs, Recognition and News


MontanaYour Guide to Montana's Most Spectacular Road Trips—Driving is a way of life in Montana. The state is rural by nature – people live there to enjoy the amount of space between them and their neighbors – and it's scenic no matter the route.

A road trip in Montana offers the chance to see a bounty of wildlife, from grizzly bears to bald eagles taking off from their treetop nests, and landscape views full of mountain peaks, crystalline lakes, and undulating valleys. Or a driver may find themselves exploring a ghost town stuck in time. Intrepid travelers will find tons of opportunities to take the road trip off-road, but be advised that these adventures require a 4x4 vehicle, driving skill, and a strong constitution.

Wherever you choose to drive in Montana, beautiful sights await. Here are a few suggestions for exploring the best of Big Sky Country by road. Read more from the Lonely Planet here.

Montana State ParksVisitation Steady at State Parks Across Montana for the First Three Quarters of 2021—Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks recorded more than 2.9 million visitors at state parks from January through September of this year. Compared with the same time period last year, visitation decreased by 2%, and compared to 2019, it increased by 27.1%. After a record setting July, many parks experienced a decrease in visitation as smoke from regional wildfires enveloped much of Montana for extended periods.

“As we look back on another summer of extremely high visitation at state parks across Montana, it’s clear they provide not only extraordinary cultural, historical and recreational experiences for our users but also play a vital role in their health and well-being,” said Hope Stockwell, administrator of the Parks and Outdoor Recreation Division at FWP. “I can’t say thanks enough to our incredible staff, volunteers and partners who work tirelessly to make our parks safe and accessible places to recreate and to ensure that our parks will tell the story of Montana for years to come.” Read more from FWP here

SunburstNew Community Center for Small Montana Town—Lowe's is celebrating its 100th birthday by giving 100 towns across the United States money for their 100 Home Town Project.

The small town of Sunburst, Montana applied to be one of those towns and they were the only town in Montana to be selected to get money for a town project. The tight-knit community was looking for a place to gather for events both large and small and that's exactly what they got with a new community center. It will feature brand new ADA bathrooms, a bar, storage and more.

"The heart of this thing in here is actually the kitchen where we'll be able to serve all the food," Korey Fauque, the Sunburst community center coordinator, said. Sally Peters Aschim, the one who wrote the grant to Lowe's for the money, said without the help from Lowe's, it would have taken years to make this dream a reality. Read more from Montana Right Now here


Destination Analysts Update on American Travel Trends & Sentiment—Week of November 1

How has the pandemic changed Americans and their relationship to travel? Different affinities to wellness and work, travel that is more sustainable and more about connection with friends and family. As we move forward, it is also clear travel advertising has the opportunity to be much more inclusive.

Key Findings

  • Many Americans are looking at lifestyle changes, primarily centered on transforming their relationships with themselves, their family and work. Although change is less likely for Baby Boomer-aged travelers, fully one-third of those Millennial-age say they intend to change their lifestyle going forward (with another 20% uncertain if they will). Of top importance: being more mindful of wellness or self-care, spending more time with friends and family, achieving a healthier work-life balance and, relatedly, changing careers and/or jobs.

  • The relationship with travel will also change—more trips, using travel as a means to deeply connect with their friends and family, traveling more sustainably and with a greater environmental consciousness, and a greater focus on outdoor activities. And while nearly half of those that intend to change the way they travel going forward say they will travel more internationally, 48.5% say that the pandemic did open their mind to domestic travel opportunities. In addition, over 60% of Millennial age and younger travelers say they are interested in trying a digital nomad lifestyle.

  • Americans continue to regain normalcy lost to the Delta-variant surge. This week saw another 3 percentage point gain in those feeling that the U.S is largely normal for leisure activities (31.3%). Now 38.5% feel that the COVID situation will improve in the U.S. over the next month. The majority feel confident in their ability to travel safely and sentiment towards tourism in their own communities has improved (39.6% don’t want tourists in town, down from 48.6% at the end of August). The proportion of recent travelers who say that travel businesses were having trouble providing adequate service has declined over 5 percentage points in the last two weeks to 41.0%. Nevertheless, two-thirds of American travelers feel COVID will be with us for the long-term and thus it continues to impact travel. Over 38% still feel that COVID-19 has impacted their ability to have meaningful travel experiences (up from 34.4% two weeks ago) and 20.7% of recent travelers reported high levels of COVID anxiety on their last trip.

  • The near-term outlook for travel is positive. This week, 83.8% of American travelers currently have trip plans, with 53.0% traveling at least once in the next three months. More than 7-in-10 American travelers did some travel dreaming and planning in the past week alone. Nearly 70% have high degrees of excitement about a potential getaway they had not previously considered (a good predictor of upcoming hotel performance).

  • Business and convention/group meetings travel is rebounding. When asked about the overnight trips American travelers expect to take in the next 3 months, 15.5% reported business travel (up from 11.8% October 1st) and 12.1% reported convention, conference or group meetings (up from 8.8%). Similarly, day trips for these types of travel are also up with 15.3% reporting a day trip for business (up from 10.7%) and 11.4% for convention, conference or group meetings (up from 8.5%).

  • Despite the strong desire for travel, Americans are more conscious about their spending. Right now, 52.5% say they will prioritize travel in their budgets—down from 59.8% just two weeks ago. Those that feel that it is a good time to spend on travel has declined from 45.1% to 38.9%. Three-in-five American travelers feel that travel prices are too high right now and 42.7% say that these high prices have kept them from traveling in the past month.

  • Travel advertising has a significant opportunity to be more inclusionary. Just 36.1% say they see people they identify with commonly featured in travel advertising and only 38.1% feel travel advertising is designed with people like them in mind. In fact, 15.0% feel that they have recently seen a travel ad that felt exclusionary and 19.4% saw an ad that felt inauthentic.

Read more from the Destination Analysts report here.

Funding Resources

Montana Main Street Planning and Project Grant Now Open!

The application cycle for the Montana Main Street Planning and Project Grant is now open for Montana Main Street member communities. The deadline to apply is December 9, 2021.

Grants are available for Montana Main Street member communities for comprehensive revitalization projects; this includes planning activities like a downtown master plan and project activities like seed money to implement a façade improvement program.

The Montana Main Street Planning and Project Grant application and further information on the program can be found here

If Montana Main Street member communities have questions about potential projects, please contact the Community Development Division at 406.841.2770 or

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions

The National Endowment for the Humanities offers Preservation Assistance Grants to help small and mid-sized institutions — such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities — improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections.

These may include special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine art objects, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, historical objects, and digital materials. Application deadline is January 13, 2022. For more information on the program and how to apply, click here.

Other Events/Dates to Note

American Trails Presents Advancing Trails Webinar Series—American Trails brings agencies, trailbuilders, advocates, and volunteers the latest in state-of-the-art information on all aspects of trails and greenways. Our webinars focus on a variety of trail topics, usually applicable to all trail types, with expert presenters. Webinar topics are chosen from current cutting-edge trail topics selected from attendee/presenter suggestions as well as recent popular conference sessions.

For more information, visit or click on individual webinar links below. 

Upcoming webinars: