Threshing Bee, Choteau

Located on the edge of the Rocky Mountains, Choteau is the County seat of Teton County and boasts a rich agricultural history. Along with its natural assets and stunning mountain views, Choteau offers remarkable recreational opportunities, famous prehistoric sites, and friendly, authentic hospitality. On the path between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks, Choteau is the perfect place for a layover. Whether enjoying the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the Independence Day Rodeo, the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center, or catching a movie at the iconic Roxy Theatre, Choteau has something for everyone.

Choteau has worked hard in recent years to improve economic opportunities in the area. This has included the formation of the Choteau Area Port Authority, creating the Visit Choteau website, and preparing a MEDA Community Review.

In October 2018, the Rural Partners Team, including Lt. Governor Cooney and Main Street Montana-Rural Partners Chair, Lance Trebesch (CEO + Eventgroove), along with Zach Coccoli (MT Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Development & Marketing Bureau), Sean Becker (Business Assistance Bureau Chief, Office of Tourism and Business Development, Montana Department of Commerce), Pat Wise (MDT Deputy Director), Doug Wilmot (MDT District Administrator) and Elisa Fiaschetti (Rural Community Development Manager, Governor’s Office of Economic Development) met with stakeholders from Choteau to discuss the community’s accomplishments and successes, as well as their challenges and roadblocks and identify ways the state could help with their goals.

Rural Partners Highlights

During the Rural Partners visit to Choteau, challenges and opportunities for the community were identified and discussed. These included:

  • Business development
  • Coordination with MDT on signage and main street improvements
  • Outdoor recreation and tourism
    • Teton Pass
  • Community enhancement and library renovation
  • Workforce
  • Childcare
  • Housing

As a follow-up to the October visit, Rural Partners has continued to work with Choteau to identify additional challenges and opportunities, make connections, provide resources, and identify potential solutions. In particular, Rural Partners has worked closely with Choteau to connect them with resources to fund infrastructure planning and construction projects. This is a critical first step in working with MDT to rebuild their main street- a priority the City has had for a long time. Rural Partners has also worked with the community to identify resources to help fund renovations to the library including making it into a community center that has a computer lab, shared workspace, podcast center, after-school programming, and is ADA compliant. The library renovation project was identified as a top priority for the project during the Community Review.