This morning I was thinking about the tourist season getting back to normal. Places like Red Lodge will be ready to welcome thousands of tourists that travel through their town. I was thinking with all of the traffic they get May thru October, why aren't there any national food franchises there? There is a Subway, but they can put those anywhere in America.

If you ever get off the ramp at Livingston and head toward the park, you'll find all kinds of them. Keep in mind, the volume of traffic in Red Lodge on the way to the park up the pass and camping is significant. I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but I was wondering if it's some kind of local ordinance to protect mom-and-pop businesses.

There are other small towns in Montana that are on their way to nothing that have them. I guess if you consider gas stations, they have some of the recognizable names but not food. I wonder if Jackson Hole has any of the national franchises there? They might also have a similar ordinance that protects them. It seems that it is a tourist-town thing. Big Sky could be another, and Scobey which has the biggest collection of nothing in the state.

Most of the franchises though, tend to be food or merchandise because you can find national hotel chains in all of these communities. It's just the food and the merchandise that they don't have. Another possibility could be that franchises tend to need more employees than a local mom-and-pop store. And with communities that small, they don't have the worker base to provide that to a franchise.

Tell me in the comments if you know.

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Change is usually a good thing, and we hope these additions, renovations and updates around Red Lodge are good for the community. After last year, I'm sure the town can use the support of visitor dollars.

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