ANACONDA — The organization Discover Anaconda has been awarded the Main Street America accreditation for 2022 for its work improving the downtown area.
"We kind of just stood at the corner of commercial and main and said we’re going to start here and work our way down and start making strides one building at a time if we have to," said Adam Vauthier.
This is the third accreditation award Mainstreet America has given Discover Anaconda for their work revitalizing Anaconda’s downtown area. Adam Vauthier, the executive director of Discover Anaconda, has worked hard with other organizations to ensure that businesses come to town.
"You’ve got a downtown that has no vacant buildings anymore and everything that doesn’t have a shop in it is under construction," said Vauthier.
One new shop that has seen business booming since its grand opening is Anode Designs owned by Blake Hempstead.
"Business has been just wild. I mean long nights and it’s, you know, a small business is always tough in a small town, but we’ve had so much support from the surrounding communities whether it be Butte, Deer Lodge, Philipsburg, and especially our town here in Anaconda," said Hempstead.
According to Main Street America, accredited status means that a program has a strong commitment to preservation-based economic development, and community revitalization through the four-point Main Street Approach of economic vitality, design, promotion and organization.
Hempstead has lived in Anaconda all his life and is impressed by how much growth is happening all around.
"Everybody has put money into businesses. I’ve had a few friends that have invested in businesses, family businesses, and purchased others. I mean the transformation of downtown is great...everybody who is seeing growth is very happy with the direction of Anaconda," said Hempstead.