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‘Yellowstone’ boom pits lifetime Montana residents against wealthy newcomers


One of the most popular streaming shows is “Yellowstone”. This scripted drama was shot on location in Montana. It tells the story John Dutton, a ranch owner, and the story of his family.

Although the plot is captivating with family drama, backstabbing and intrigue, high-stakes power plays, and dramatic plot twists, it is also highly entertaining. The cinematography adds to the enjoyment. These episodes feature beautiful scenery, picturesque small towns, and snow-capped mountains.

However, if you ask Montanans their opinions on the show they’ll probably be met with grinning and critical comments.

Ginger Rice, who has been a resident of Texas her whole life, stated that at first she vowed not watching the series, after only one episode.

She said, “It is unreal.” It doesn’t depict Montana or Bozeman life, as far as it concerns.

Rice acknowledges Rice was eventually drawn in to the show. However, she also admits that it makes her home state more appealing than her hometown. Who can resist the mountains and prairies?

According to research, production has significant economic impacts on the state. studyUniversity of Montana Season four of the series was shot in Montana in 2014. The production spent $72 million in the state last year. In addition, businesses received $85 million in economic stimulus. Part of the funding for this study came from ParamountThe show is owned by.

This study does not measure the effect of Montana getting free advertising from Yellowstone. It’s evident that the imaginary John Dutton, and his sprawling ranch, have provided rich city dwellers with an image of what it might be like to live in the Wild West.

Still from Yellowstone, a TV Series on Paramount Networks. It is shot in Montana.

Courtesy: Paramount Networks. 

Robert Keith, founder and CEO of a boutique investment company said that there has been an “influx” of rich individuals seeking ranches. Beartooth GroupCNBC spoke with a source. They want to buy large, spectacular properties.

Prices have risen in tandem with increased demand for homes and land.

According to The Bozeman Times, the median home cost for a single family house has risen from $500,000 to $750,000 before the pandemic. Gallatin Association of Realtors. You can find these areas nearby MissoulaAnd KalispellThere were even greater price hikes. The rents have risen to such an extent that working professionals find it difficult to afford housing. Tenants are not being renewed by landlords who seek higher rents.

Big Sky is in high demand

Big Sky Country’s boom in population was several years in the planning. Montana is the eighth smallest stateThe population is now greater than 1.1 million people. The U.S Census Bureau reports that the state experienced a 9.6% increase in population between 2010-2020.

Covid followed, as did remote work. According to the the U.S. Census Bureau.

“A lot of our clients during the pandemic, came out and found shelter at the ranches, a safe place to be and no people around,” says Tim Murphy, a longtime ranch broker from Bozeman and partner at Hall & Hall.

Chris Kimbrell (who had lived in Georgia) joined the mass migration from Georgia to Montana in order to become a Bozeman vet. As a nine-year old, he told me he loved fly-fishing and was hooked from his first visit.

However, he considered carefully the rising costs of living.

Montana housing prices soar: Robert Keith (founder of Beartooth Group) rehabilitates land damaged and sells restored ranches for conservation-minded buyers

Contessa Brewer | CNBC

Kimbrell explained, “If I didn’t have a family member who allows me to live on his land, then I would seriously consider moving out there.” It is getting very costly to rent and live in a rental property. He said that the support staff of his veterinary clinic are priced out housing.

Rice, Montana’s lifetime resident said that Rice was recently informed by her landlord that they would no longer renew their lease on a three-bedroom apartment they had rented for over ten years. She said it took three times as much to rent a two-bedroom apartment in the mad rush.

She said that her daughter believes she will never be able afford to buy a home. “We tried saving but things are going up and down.”

Many families with part-time jobs are now moving to recreational vehicles and tents. People living in tents and campers are now causing havoc on the roads. Habitat for HumanityThis is called a housing crisis. According to the non-profit, “Montana is quickly becoming inaccessible for those who live here and work here.” The group has been pushing legislators to make housing affordability a priority.

Designer jeans and fly fishing

The cultural gap between long-time Montanans and newcomers is also criticized by many residents. While they are against newcomers purchasing property, they don’t want to be part of their communities and join the effort.

I used to love that your neighbor knew you. Rice explained that while we do still get to know each other, it’s not as close as friends.

Bozeman’s “highfalutin” people in posh clothes make her uncomfortable. She also claims downtown is almost unrecognizable.

It is too busy for me. Traffic is not something I like. It’s also too costly,” she stated.

CNBC heard from long-time residents that the changes in Missoula, Kalispell and other areas are evident. They claim that outsiders are too demanding and in a hurry. Rice shared that in her previous job as a dry cleaner, one customer wanted paint splatters from the jeans of designer clothes. What were those people doing with the pants? She wondered.

It is a reminder to residents of another culture conflict that developed in Hollywood’s portrayal of Montana in “A River Runs Through It”. Robert Redford directed it and Brad Pitt, a rising star in Hollywood, starred in the film. The movie was released in 1992. The Academy Award was given to it for Best Cinematography.

Murphy explained that fly fishing became popular at this point because of the desire for fly fishing property in the region.

According to statistics, fly fishing grew 60% between 1991 and 1992. Forbes.

He said that he is seeing the economic boom again, regardless of the uncertainty. He stated that when the stock market goes down and the economy is in turmoil, it just fuels our markets because the land market remains stable.

Most of these newcomers come with deep pockets and aspirations to be entrepreneurs, which fuel Montana’s growing economy. Gov. Greg Gianforte’s office reported in May that the state’s economy expanded by 6.7% in 2021. This is the highest rate in over 40 years. seventh-fastest growing state economy in the nation.

Montana housing prices soar. Robert Keith (founder of Beartooth Group) rehabilitates desolate land and sells restored ranches for conservation-minded buyers

Contessa Brewer | CNBC

Beartooth Group bets that investors are not just looking for a financial return, but also a legacy. The firm specializes in rehabilitating degraded land – such as old mines, feedlots or ranches – and then selling it.

Keith, Beartooth founder and CEO, demonstrated to CNBC how a creek had been made into a waterway for trout. The creek was originally made into a ditch by farmers generations ago. Now the fish attract birds. Ospreys made a nest, and parents could be seen feeding their offspring.

Keith stated that this type of property appeals to potential buyers who have ideas about Montana’s wild places. They are eager to observe deer, bears, and butterflies.

“I think that we can all agree there’s not enough dollars being put into conservation,” he stated. When they buy a property, wealthy and conservation-minded buyers will often spend more to restore it. Beartooth said that Beartooth is unique in his pitch: “By doing good for the planet, we make it more valuable economically and environmentally.”

A marketing campaign is being launched by the state to attract former residents to Big Sky State. “Come Home Montana.”

The campaign states that “No matter how far you have been gone, this is your chance to return to rural Montana.” You can live the life that you want.

If you plan to stay there, be prepared with your cash. Ex-residents will be surprised at how much more costly their new home is than it was when they moved there.