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McClatchy-Tribune  08/03/2014 10:45 AM ET
Billings Gazette, Mont., Have You Heard column [Billings Gazette, Mont. :: ]

Aug. 03--Construction of a new vacation destination for Fido and Fluffy is underway on the Billings West End.

The Big Sky Pet Resort has started constructing a new $665,000 building at 2922 Millennium Circle, near Ashley Furniture at the corner of Overland Avenue and South 29th Street West.

The pet-care facility will look like a sister business in Arizona, according to owner Marc Underwood, a Billings native who is expanding his Phoenix business into his hometown.

Big Sky Pet Resort will have the usual pet care and training, but will also includes condos and suites for cats and dogs and an indoor dog park, according to Underwood.

Stock Development is building the facility on one acre. Billings-based Studio 4 Architects is designing the project, which will have 8,000 square feet for pet care.

"Our unique design, which we designed for the Phoenix marketplace, will fit perfectly for Billings," Underwood said in a news release.

Underwood was unavailable for comment last week. He said in a written statement he hopes to open Big Sky Pet Resort in November.

Family Dollar

The sale of the Family Dollar store chain to a competitor shouldn't affect expansion plans in Montana, a spokeswoman said last week.

North Carolina-based Family

Dollar is planning to build six new stores in Montana within the next two months in Bridger, Columbus, Big Timber, Belgrade, Anaconda and Darby. Three more stores in Billings, Red Lodge and Ennis are planned but have no announced opening date.

Last Monday, officials at the Dollar Tree, the nation's largest discount retailer, announced they were purchasing all shares of Family Dollar in a deal closing the beginning of 2015.

"Until the transaction closes... it remains business as usual," Family Dollar spokeswoman Bryn Winburn said.

The new company would become one of the largest retailers in the country with $18 billion in annual sales. Dollar Tree officials said they plan to keep the Family Dollar name.

New ag magazine

Montana officials are raising the awareness of barley, beef and other agriculture products grown in the state.

The state Department of Agriculture is partnering with Journal Communications to produce "Grown in Montana," a magazine that will highlight ag products statewide.

Agriculture officials did not announce a publishing date. They said they hope it will become an annual publication.

Awards for Simms

Bozeman-based Simms won seven awards at a national gathering for outdoor apparel retailers, the company announced this month.

The company won awards for its waders, outerwear, footwear and sportswear in both the men's and women's categories.

Simms has an 80,000-square-foot facility and is the country's only manufacturer of wading equipment. Visit www.simmsfishing.com for more information.

Haikus from the valley

Can Rimrock buck trend,

find a big anchor and fill

huge hole in the mall?

 

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