Big Bear was great. Even if you weren't a frequent shopper of the former Billings outdoor gear retailer, you surely recall their super-catchy jingle tagline, "We're big on sports! At Big Bear!" The King Avenue store served Montana shoppers with fair prices and friendly service for years before a bizarre police standoff/shootout inside the store in November 2017 caused significant damage to the interior of the property.

The longtime owners shared the bittersweet news of the store's closure with KTVQ in May 2018, citing too much damage to the store and its inventory during the standoff to continue operations. Rising pressure from other outdoor retailers like Scheel's and Cabela's may have contributed to Big Bear's demise.

Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
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Construction is underway.

After sitting empty for four years, construction activity was bustling at the site on Wednesday afternoon (3/16). Most of the former Big Bear entryway is torn down, as crews begin the demo/remodel of the 67,000 sq. foot space. At least three new businesses are taking over, KULR reported in June 2021. Here's what they are.

Google Maps
Google Maps
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Petco

Does it seem a little weird to open a Petco right next door to a PetSmart? Sure. But it's not unusual to see similar businesses clustered near each other. Remember when Office Max was right across the street from Office Depot? Car lots are frequently right next to other car lots and hotels are often located next door to each other.

Credit: Sierra Trading Post
Credit: Sierra Trading Post
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Sierra Trading Post

Sierra Trading Post, Inc., doing business as "Sierra" is an outdoor gear retailer that started as a catalog mail order company in 1986. At one time, their headquarters was based in Cheyenne, WY. Sierra Trading Post was acquired by TJX Companies, Inc in 2012. TJX also owns the third new store coming to the former Big Bear building...

Credit: HomeGoods, TDX Companies, Inc
Credit: HomeGoods, TDX Companies, Inc
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HomeGoods

Home furnishings and decor is big business, and Billings will soon have another option for knickknacks, pillows, kitchen items, outdoor living stuff, and more. As part of the TJX Companies group (think T.J. Maxx and Marshall's, ), HomeGoods offers what the company calls "off-price value."

Getting to Know Billings From A to Z

New to Billings or not, the Magic City may look like an industrial town from the freeway, but take any exit and you'll discover a city with idiosyncrasies and a whole lot of Montana personality.