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Classic shops closing are more signs of change in downtown Bozeman

Downtown Antiques and Girls Outdoors are both closing as their owners retire
Downtown Bozeman Health .jpg
Posted at 6:45 PM, May 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-31 11:42:46-04

BOZEMAN — If you walk the streets of downtown Bozeman, you may have noticed signs that say "store closing" at some storefronts, signifying some big changes.

“You know, it's a little bittersweet. I'm excited for my mom's next adventure. She's semi-retiring at this point,” says Kelly Flock, whose mother owns Downtown Antiques.

Flock has grown up at the Downtown antique store her mom owns; now, her mom is getting ready to retire and sell the building.

“You know, a lot of the shops have changed,” says Flock.

Just a couple of blocks down, Sharron Dugger has owned Girls Outdoors for the last 17 years—another business closing so its owner can retire.

“Everybody is a little bit sad. It does feel like it’s an era coming to an end,” says Dugger.

Like a lot of businesses, Dugger has moved locations within downtown. She has been at her current one for around a decade.

“It's best location downtown that could ever be. I mean, the address is one East Main,” says Dugger.

Ellie Staley, executive director of the Downtown Bozeman Partnership, says change is not uncommon.

“Our business district is certainly ever-changing. And we see businesses change and new businesses come or businesses go pretty often. Right now is, I'd say, a pretty significant time in the way of change downtown,” says Staley.

Staley says that in about the last year, six businesses have closed or moved out of downtown Bozeman but as quick as they leave, something new comes in.

“We rarely see vacant buildings, which means the transition from one business to another is generally very quick,” says Staley.

Staley says two new businesses have signed leases but an announcement has not yet been made. One of those businesses will soon fill the space at the former Main Street Market on East Main.

“A large outdoor retailer is moving into the space,” says Staley.

Duggar says she’s not worried about the future of downtown.

“I think downtown Bozeman will always be a thriving part of the community,” says Dugger.