12 Predictions for Billings That May Come True in 2022
I still feel like I'm easing into 2022. No need to jump right in. I'm slowly dipping a toe into the New Year, just to see how it feels. And since we're still early in January, I feel like it's not too late to make some predictions for Billings in the upcoming 360-ish days.
Some of these are already in the process, a few are quite likely to happen and a couple of them I'm just pulling out of thin air. Ready to see what I predict will happen in B-town this year? Keep on scrollin'.
The West End will get a new carwash.
Lots of new businesses are popping up along the Shiloh corridor. I'm predicting a new full-service car wash will open this year near the intersection of Shiloh and Central.
Chick-fil-A finally opens in Billings in 2022.
We can only hope. I have no confirmed updates on what seems like the slowest restaurant tease in the universe, but from what I hear, Chick-fil-A is still coming, supposedly in the former Pottery Barn location on 24th St. W.
126 new coffee shops will open in Billings in 2022.
Okay, so that's probably a slight exaggeration. It blows my mind how many coffee shops we have, with more on the horizon. The new City Brew across from Senior High will be opening in early 2022.
We'll get a dozen new banks in 2022.
Again, I'm exaggerating. But you can count on at least one new bank coming to Billings this year. It's already under construction at the former Heights Taco Johns location. I believe it's an Opportunity Bank branch, but don't quote me on that. Stockman Bank hasn't added any new branches for at least a year or two, so they're probably due for a new location somewhere as well.
Town Pump will continue their goal of "one on every block" well into '22.
I'm teasing. There's no way they have a business plan to build more Town Pump stores on every square mile of Billings. Wait... actually, it seems like they are. The relatively new store on Grand and 32nd will soon be joined by another shiny-new Town Pump at the corner of Shiloh and King. I love Butte-based Town Pump stores and I know they're big supporters of various Montana charities, so it's tough to be too upset at their continued expansion efforts.
The Zoo will get a new animal.
I have no inside info on this; it's just a hunch. ZooMontana Director Jeff Ewalt has really turned the zoo around in the past decade or so and they've steadily been adding new animals and exhibits. In the summer of 2020, they added a sloth named Winston and last spring saw the birth of a baby bison. I feel like we'll see a new creature at the zoo in 2022.
Burger Dive will move south of the tracks in 2022.
The Burger Dive, arguably the finest hamburger joint in Billings, announced in 2020 that they were planning on moving to Minnesota Ave. It appears progress on the move has been slow. Perhaps a combination of COVID, staffing, lumber prices, etc have slowed their move to the old Western and Wheel Bar building, but I have a hunch they'll finally make their move this summer.
Billings finally gets a concert pavilion in 2022.
Pub Station announced the news in November and owner Sean Lynch says construction will begin soon. The venue will fit around 3,000 guests and is planning on hosting the first concert late this summer.
The I-90 Lockwood Bridge project will impact your commute again this year.
Construction on the massive bridge replacement project over the Yellowstone River began last summer. And they're just getting started. All three phases of the project are scheduled for completion in 2024.
The City and County will screw up recreational marijuana in 2022.
Despite strong voter ballot support statewide, authorities in Billings and Yellowstone County seem to be doing everything in their power to throw a monkey wrench into recreational marijuana in the Billings area. Not satisfied with an earlier vote, County Commissioners have asked for yet another vote later this year. It's like... keep voting till you get the result you like??? I don't get it.
They'll put the water back in Lake Elmo.
Have you driven past Lake Elmo lately? It's empty. We found some crazy stuff when we went and poked around in the muddy lakebed earlier this fall. Come springtime, they'll turn the water back on and refill the lake. All part of a massive effort to rid the lake of invasive clams. While the lake is empty crews have been dredging some portions of the lakebed for better fish habitat.
They'll start building a new passenger train line through Billings in 2022.
Okay, this one is a long shot, I know. The push to bring another passenger rail service to Montana is gaining momentum, however, thanks to efforts by the Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority and other supporters. With hopes of snagging some federal dollars, perhaps we'll get one step closer to hopping on a train in Billings.
Got a tip on a new business coming to Billings? Drop me a message, firstname.lastname@example.org
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