Sitting at Montana’s lowest elevation, and nestled between the Cabinet Wilderness and Purcell mountains and along the banks of the Kootenai River, Troy offers countless recreational opportunities, unique character, and small-town living.

Troy is home to a vibrant community of artists, outdoors enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and those seeking quiet solitude and beauty. Residents and visitors alike enjoy opportunities like the Ross Creek Scenic Area, which is home to a grove of giant, ancient western red cedars, 500 years old and up to 12 feet in diameter, the Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge, weekly farmers market, and local shops.

In October 2018, the Rural Partners Team, including Lt. Governor Cooney and Main Street Montana-Rural Partners Chair, Lance Trebesch (CEO + Eventgroove), along with Ben Thomas (MT Department of Agriculture Director), Sean Becker (Business Assistance Bureau Chief, Office of Tourism and Business Development, Montana Department of Commerce), and Elisa Fiaschetti (Rural Community Development Manager, Governor’s Office of Economic Development) met with stakeholders from Troy to discuss the community’s accomplishments and successes, as well as their challenges and roadblocks.

Rural Partners Highlights

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

  • Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
  • Capitalizing on local food system with a food hub/network
  • Lack of Broadband Infrastructure
  • Change in traditional workforce
  • Lack of housing- rental and ownership availability

Troy has suffered in recent years with the downturn in natural resource jobs and has struggled to find a new identity. However, rather then sit back and wait, the community has been proactive in working to rebuild its’ economy and identity. Troy is home to three outdoor retailers and is embracing an emerging tourist economy- without forgetting its’ history. In order for Troy to see economic growth, they need reliable and affordable broadband- which much of the community currently lacks.

A major challenge in Troy is lack of reliable, affordable broadband. Rural Partners teamed up with Deloitte Consulting and Montana Telecommunications Association to develop a broadband pilot project in Troy and explore opportunities to expand service in the area. The intent of the project was to explore challenges the community is facing as it relates to rural broadband and identify key opportunities across industries where broadband can accelerate economic development.

Deloitte provided a pro bono analysis of the broadband connectivity challenges that are specific to Troy and helped develop a connectivity roadmap outlining next steps. The 12-week project included 30 interviews with stakeholders in Troy, a planning and visioning workshop, and a final meeting to present the strategic plan.