‘Yellowstone’ has created a tourism boom in Montana

Yellowston, a hit starring Kevin Costner, set new ratings with his fourth season finale, and it seems that many fans can’t get enough of the show — or its atmosphere.

Ruby’s Café is preparing more than usual, as the famous scene was now filmed there. A shooting that killed a sheriff was featured.

Now, the owner of the cafe, Brenda Hallas, says that not a day goes by without someone asking her about it.

“There are a lot of people who are always wondering,” Hallas said. “They’re always questioning, taking pictures.”

At first, the cafe saw a plethora of selfie-takers and not such a boost in real business. But now that has changed.

It’s not just the cafe. The fifth season began filming in western Montana, and the actors were filming in downtown Missoula.

Another draw: Dutton Ranch House – actually called Chief Joseph Ranch, 60 miles south of Missoula. Fans can also be in one of the two booths used in the show, but it will cost between $ 1,200 and $ 1,500 per night.

A report by the University of Montana’s Office of Business and Economic Research found that “Yellowston” brought more than $ 85 million in additional costs to Montana, spending nearly $ 100,000 on parking alone.

The Paramount-funded report also brought in $ 25 million in revenue for some of Montana’s residents in the fourth season of the show.

Tourism spending was not included in the study, but economists say it is high.

“It’s touching, whether people like it or not,” Patrick Barkey told the Office of Business and Economic Research. “He knows a lot more about Montana, at least from an imaginary point of view, than he did before this series. It really took off.”

In addition to tourism, the University of Montana reports that 233 people went to the big skies to work on the show, but there’s more: fans are also calling in real estate agents.

“It’s like being on a touring cycle right now,” said Bill McDavid, a partner at Hall and Hall real estate agency. “I mean, I thought I knew what he meant by being busy.”

As a real estate agent, McDavid specializes in high-end ranching.

“Everyone who walks through the‘ Yellowstone ’gate raises it, but I would give more weight to the pandemic,” McDavid said. “There were a lot of people who thought they had a farm for years, and they never ran.”

That goes up when you add a successful TV show that shows wide views of Montana and rugged mountain ranges.

“Every buyer is talking about that,” McDavid said. “I won’t say he brought them here, but it’s a very popular show.”

Some locals are not impressed with the focus on rising real estate prices and the pandemic demand.

“It’s hard to be a buyer now,” McDavid said.

The median price of a single-family home in Missoula has risen from $ 350,000 in 2020 to $ 500,000 in 2022. In Bozeman, MT went from nearly $ 660,000 in April 2021 to more than $ 811,000 in April. But if you want to live in a ranch like Duttons, it will cost you a lot more.

“I think now our average deal is probably going to be 8-10 million, so if that tells you anything, I mean … a lot of the deals we’re doing are smaller than that, but it’s been a while since I’ve been” 2 million I made a lesser deal, ”McDavid said.

The irony is not lost much: the show about land rights and development conflicts affects state-owned real estate issues.

“If we’re not already doing a really good job, in some of those areas, growth will highlight these kinds of issues, it will create bold ones,” Barkey said. “But is it a growth issue? Or how do we manage growth? And I’d say that’s the last one.”

It’s not just real estate. Bitterroot Valley Ranch faces a site used for filming, and the owner says it’s common for “yellowstone” fans to ignore multiple non-attack signs in an attempt to see the scenery. They spent more than $ 1,000 on security features, such as a door, to try to keep their privacy intact. They told Newsy, “I live where I live, because I want to be alone and have my own privacy …”

Returning to Ruby’s Café, Brenda is the first to say that not all of her diners are in “Yellowstone”; some are just outdated Montana tourists.

“I think ‘Yellowstone’ made a difference?” said Hallas. “Of course there is, but freeze on the cake.”

So if you’re in the market for biscuits and gravy, a “Yellowstone” photo shoot, or a multi-million dollar ranch market, you’re in the right place. With multiple spinoffs and bigger real estate problems, it’s not slowing down.

Newsy is the nation’s only free 24/7 national news network. You can find Newsy using your digital TV antenna or free streaming. See all the ways to view Newsy here.

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