GREAT FALLS – Organizers say BaseCamp 2019 was a huge success.
“We’re the evolution, we’re the future product,” Leah Beattie, marketing committee member, said.
The event showcased everything Great Falls has to offer.
“That’s what we were striving for, just a positive environment where we can all just learn about things,” Beattie said. “We were able to showcase that in a way that they not only found new opportunities, but there was also detailed information on how to be involved.”
More than 300 people attended to learn more about Great Falls and give input and ideas for the future of the community.
“We support the chamber. We support Visit Great Falls. We support our downtown. We support every small, big, local business. We want to know about it and we want the rest of Great Falls to know about it,” Beattie said.
BaseCamp was inspired by the “Future of the Falls” forums held late last year.
“I stood up in the room and said, ‘I’ve heard enough negatives. I’m ready to hear what positive and inspiration that you can give to me for being new to this city,’” Beattie said,
Beattie moved to Great Falls in 2015. She said she struggled to find her niche in the city.
“I’ve seen it changed for the better and that’s how I know I want to stay in Great Falls,” Beattie said. “It was really hard for me to find a group that I belonged to. It’s hard to communicate for people that move here, ‘How do I get involved, what do I do, where do I go, who do I talk to?’”
She said BaseCamp 2019 was positive and powerful. Two main takeaways, according to Beattie, include economic development and what goals can be met in the near future.
“One of the highlight points of our entire event on Saturday was hearing that we have reached Billings. Billings was talking about Great Falls. That feels cool that another town was supporting the ideas of us trying to have this connectivity and growth,” Beattie said.
Among the community members in attendance were Mayor Bob Kelly and city commissioner Mary Moe. Beattie said it’s important to have support from public figures in Great Falls.
“Being backed in your community and having the political support I think is a phenomenal aspect for any type of organization,” Beattie said. “I’m glad to see our city officials were there to support us. It shows that they are on board with the change, and they are happy with a positive change.”
She hopes they can continue to hold events such as BaseCamp 2019 in the future.
“The fact that this concept could be used all year long I think is the greatest piece of it,” Beattie said.
“Whether it was one person or 300 people, we brought somebody in that door that wanted to see what a piece of change looked like,” Beattie said.