Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Pit stop
For several months we enjoyed a
respite from renovation here at the
Passion Pit. However that ended a
week ago. Now we have a hole the
size of a swimming pool out front,
a "cherry picker" parked in the rear,
and scaffolding to the south. All are
signs that our exterior restoration is
back in business. While I may miss
the solitude of sipping my morning
coffee sans an audience, we eagerly
welcome back our team of experts.

Build it and they will come
Living in rural Montana I've had
to adjust my expectations. Given
that immediate gratification is my
natural inclination it's been a tad
challenging. Our issue is limited
resources. Not ours... but theirs.
There simply aren't enough local
skilled craftsman to handle all of
the work in a timely manner. That
means you either wait your turn or
go out of town to get a job done.
And that approach most definitely
does not boost the local economy.

Community property
Lewistown, Montana is blessed to have
an infrastructure that is better than we
currently deserve. Due to the land boom
at the start of the twentieth century, our
historic downtown sports several quite
substantial buildings. Said momentum
continued for several decades ending
with the construction of a large hotel
complex in the early sixties. Funded by
the local community, said facility later
went private. However many locals still
act as if they own it. Which is fine as
long as you're not the one who owns it.
Getting from there to here
Recently two former New Yorkers
purchased The Yogo Inn. With lots
of cash they have already started to
aggressively renovate and restore.
One would think that most locals
would be overjoyed at the prospect
of one of our community's biggest
assets being revived. Yet many are
unhappy with what's going on. And
mostly because of who's doing most
of the work. You see, the owners
have made the business decision
to not use local construction talent.
No wait necessary
There are times when one must step
back and put everything in context.
People like said newbies are unlike
anyone most locals have met. Given
they've worked in the Manhattan real
estate arena, they know what a "New
York minute" is. Hence they've little
patience for waiting on the bottom of
a list until it's their turn. They bought
the joint to make money. Thus most
locals will have to wait to reap any
benefit from their investment until
after the job is done. That's business.

Opposites attract
As someone who's been both there
and more than done that I see both
sides. It's beyond challenging to run
a business is a small town. Beyond
the politics of bidding it's feast or
famine. Maintaining a viable team,
the latest equipment, and flexible
finances is tough enough. However
having the ability to suddenly jump
at an opportunity is harder given
one already has prior commitments.
On the other hand, for any investor
that's our problem, NOT THEIRS.

One step at a time
They also purchased a historic home
in town to renovate. I recently gave
the lady of said house a tour of ours.
She was impressed especially when
I shared that every inch of our home
was restored by local talent. As she
left I provided a list of said experts.
Hence my hope is that they'll keep
this project closer to home. Not only
will it benefit our local economy. We
can assure them is that in the end the
end product will be more than worth
the wait. Patience makes PERFECT!