1. Montana State University
Montana State University is the largest university in Montana, nationally recognized for its research efforts and with more than 60 areas of study and 40 master’s programs. The number of students at Montana State has been increasing steadily over the last 10 years, hitting a record enrolment number of 16,902 in the fall of 2018. 50% of those students come from out of state. MSU also employs nearly 2,500 full-time staff & faculty. Approximately 75% of MSU students live off campus which has a huge impact on Bozeman’s housing & rental market.
2. The Airport
With more than 1.2 million passengers through its gates each year, the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport has become one of the fastest growing airports in the country. There are now 16 direct flights to and from Bozeman from places like New York, Chicago, and Atlanta. This ease of travel has put Bozeman on the map as a destination for people living in many of the major cities in the U.S. And while Bozeman has always been considered a nice place to live, in the past its distance from major metropolitan areas and lack of flight options kept a certain number of people from moving. Now, with direct flights available, many people are able to balance their city-based jobs with Bozeman living.
Years ago, most tourists only passed through Bozeman on their way to Yellowstone or Glacier National Parks. Now, Bozeman has become a destination of its own. Gallatin County sees the highest amount of tourism dollars in the entire state with nearly $660 million spent in 2017. This spending directly generates approximately 8,500 jobs and is a significant economic force in our community. While summer is generally the busiest season for tourism in Bozeman, Big Sky Ski Resort and Bridger Bowl are drawing in a significant number of winter tourists as well. According to Airbnb, Big Sky, MT is the #1 “trending ski spot” in the U.S & Canada and Bozeman, MT is #2. Both towns have seen a more than 50% increase in winter bookings over last year, solidifying Bozeman’s place as a year-round tourist destination.
4. The Tech Industry
According to the 2018 State of the App Economy report, “Bozeman has become an unexpected hub for tech and innovation, largely driven by local college graduates and Silicon Valley transplants.” Well known companies like Oracle and Elixiter have put Bozeman on the "tech hub” map, but smaller companies like software company Foundant Technologies and app development company Triple Tree have found Bozeman to be the perfect incubator for tech start-ups. Outside of the tech world, there are a number of globally recognized outdoor manufacturing companies like Simms Fishing, Mystery Ranch Backpacks and Oboz Footwear that all call Bozeman home.
5. The Lifestyle
Bozeman has been named one of the best places to live, best places raise a family and one the best places to visit in the country countless times. And for a good reason. Life in Bozeman is a beautiful balance of outdoor recreation, a vibrant community, and thriving culture. The outdoor access right out our front door is unrivaled and many Bozemanites often escape to the mountains and rivers after a day at the office. Bozeman offers the work/life balance that so many people are looking for, making it an appealing place for many. As a result, Bozeman has become the fastest growing city of its size in the U.S, with an annual growth rate of more than 4%.