Tester, outdoor businesses, brewers to host Last Best Outdoors Fest

The Last Best Outdoors Fest is Tuesday, Aug. 22 in Columbia Falls. (Last Best News photo)

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, Business for Montana’s Outdoors and the Montana Brewers Association will host the Last Best Outdoors Fest in Columbia Falls later this month to celebrate the jobs and businesses that power Montana’s robust outdoor economy.

Here are the pertinent details:

Last Best Outdoors Fest
Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017
4-8 p.m. MDT
The Coop
830 1st Avenue West
Columbia Falls, Montana

The event is free and open to the public and will feature Randy Newberg, host of Hunt Talk Radio and Fresh Tracks TV. Also on the agenda: networking opportunities for Montana business owners, new research on the economic impacts of Montana’s public lands, a Montana craft-beer garden, local food trucks, live music, and activities for kids.

“Montana’s $7 billion outdoor economy is thriving and supporting tens of thousands of jobs all across this state,” Tester said in announcing the event Friday. “This event will be a great opportunity for Main Street business owners to network and the public will have a great time celebrating what we all love about Big Sky Country.”

Headwaters Economic Research is planning to reveal new research analyzing Montana’s economy, what’s driving performance, and which new business sectors are increasing along with a geographic analysis of recent growth in the state.

The report will include a discussion of how federal lands give Montana a competitive advantage by helping to attract people, investment and businesses to the state.

The event also commemorates the five-year anniversary of Business for Montana’s Outdoors, which includes 140 businesses responsible for more than 3,600 Montana jobs.

“Our public lands provide a competitive advantage to Montana businesses and fuel one of the most important and thriving sectors in our state’s economy. We can think of no better way to ring in our fifth anniversary than celebrating all of the ways the outdoors shape our businesses and provide opportunities for tomorrow’s entrepreneurs,” said Marne Hayes, Business for Montana’s Outdoors executive director.

According to the Outdoor Industry Association, every year Montana’s outdoor economy generates $2.2 billion in wages and salaries, $7.1 billion in consumer spending, $286 million in state and local tax revenue, and supports 71,000 jobs.

Local members of the Montana Brewers Association will also be on hand, offering a selection of made-in-Montana craft beers

“Montana’s public lands and our outdoor lifestyle are intertwined with Montana’s craft brewing industry. They provide us with clean water to brew quality beer, offer inspiration for the beers we brew and give local breweries an added advantage in recruiting and retaining talented staff. We look forward to celebrating our outdoor economy and sharing delicious Montana craft beer at the Last Best Outdoors Fest,” said Matt Leow, Montana Brewers Association executive director.

Main Stage Schedule

4- 5:30 p.m. – Live Music from The Loose String Band

5:30 p.m. – Remarks:
Marne Hayes, Business for Montana’s Outdoors
Matt Leow, Montana Brewers Association
Don Barnhart, Columbia Falls Mayor
U.S. Senator Jon Tester
Randy Newberg, Hunter & Host of Hunt Talk and Fresh Tracks

6 p.m. – Live Music from The Cold Hard Cash Show

To RSVP for the free event, head to www.lastbestoutdoorsfest.com. TV and radio stations are encouraged to download the PSA and play it on their stations. To download an event poster click HERE.