The Downtown Bozeman Partnership (DBP) hosted the 18th Annual Breakfast on Wednesday morning of May 29th, 2024 at the AC Hotel. This was the 1st year of the AC graciously opening their doors to downtown community members, including business members, property owners, and downtown supporters!

The Annual Breakfast serves as an opportunity for socializing and for downtown supporters and members to receive updates on the DBP’s recent accolades, annual events and programs, and presentation of the Annual Downtown Bozeman Awards.

Attendees also were privileged to three keynote speakers in a “Pecha-Kucha style” presentation titled “Connecting Communities” by Sonja Bahr of The Bozeman Public Library, Sunshine Ross with Streamline Bus, and Matt Parsons of Gallatin Valley Land Trust (GVLT).


Sonja Bahr started off the presentation showcasing the The Bozeman Public Library’s incredible community spaces in the recently revamped building, their incredible free classes such as culinary course, yoga and even a retro aerobics class coming up! The library does an excellent job connecting all ages with their indoor and outdoor spaces, programs all while being free and accessible.

Next up was Sunshine Ross with Streamline Bus, operated by the HRDC, which offers zero-fare rides to work, shopping, medical appointments, recreation and more! The Redesign Streamline 2020 project was highlighted as it introduced new routes, including a Belgrade stop, as well as the recent creation of the Urban Transportation District, to make Bozeman more accessible for all and connecting our community. Galavan is another amazing transportation service for the community providing paratransit. By offering these fantastic services it creates a more livable community and stronger sense of belonging for all residents as the county continues to grow.

Finally, Matt Parsons of Gallatin Valley Land Trust came to wrap us up. When building trails, GVLT builds community. By closing gaps in the urban trail network, they are able to connect Bozeman and invite more people to get outside and enjoy trails such as the Gallagator . M trail, Peet’s Hill and many more. GVLT is also creating a bike boulevard on Black Ave! Creating trails in a growing urban area can be tough, but with the recently passed Parks, Recreation and Active Transportation Plan and future trails will be developed to further bring together Bozeman, including the new Raptor Route which will span about 15 miles.


The DBP is comprised of three major organizations, each with their own acronym and identity; the Downtown Bozeman Association (DBA), the Downtown Business Improvement District (BID), and Urban Renewal District (URD).

The Downtown URD, founded in 1995, is the entity that invests in economic development and infrastructure upgrades.

The BID, founded in 2000, is the property owner group that oversees the beautification and maintenance of downtown.

The DBA, founded in 1980, is the business member organization that focuses on branding and marketing downtown Bozeman and hosts free annual community events.

So, in other words…

The URD helps construct the building blocks of downtown.
The BID keeps downtown attractive and vibrant.
The DBA brings thousands of people downtown to experience this great place.

Our DBP Team gave updates, summarized notable achievements for each organization, and welcomed a member of each of their boards to announce awards!


Emily Cope, the DBP’s Economic Development Director, recounted the BID’s many successes over the last year.

The Business Improvement District (BID), more commonly known as the BID, was originally established in 2000 and most recently recreated in 2020 with an expanded boundary. The BID consists of over 200 downtown property owners who pay a voluntary assessment which is used to fund maintenance and beautification programs.

The BID staff is the reason that our downtown remains an incredible place that is clean and inviting! Mike Grant & Trish Riha and Luke Petrus are the year-round maintenance employees and deserve a the biggest shout out! DTNBZN can never thank them enough for the work they do on a daily basis, and they do it ALL. They are truly the eyes and ears of downtown and know what’s happening before the rest of us. Trish, Mike and Luke – THANK YOU for all of your hard work and for always going the extra mile!

The BID installs over 315 flower baskets downtown each summer! They are proud to announce that this summer downtown will be FULLY transitioned to all Earth Planter hanging baskets! These baskets only need to be watered 2-3 times a week rather than 7 days a week, reducing labor & fuel costs and water usage.

Additionally, The BID offers streetlamp banner space for nonprofit organizations and nonprofit events in addition to our Downtown Bozeman branded banners. There has been a record number of participating organizations this year, totaling 24!

The BID is also always thankful to partner with the Bozeman Fire Department, who so generously donates their time to maintain and upkeep the "spiders". The green and red spiders were replaced over the last two years. The gold spider will be replaced this winter, followed by the white spider in 2025. We look forward to having the refurbished spiders on display for another 50+ years. There are also plans to replace some of the bows and lighted garland that go on the streetlamps, which are now about 12 years old.

Natalie Van Deusen, a DBA Board member, presented the Downtown Cornerstone Business Award to the American Legion Post #14!

The Legion has been a steadfast champion of our downtown, notably through its unwavering support of the Downtown Bozeman Association (DBA) and initiatives like Music on Main, which they've backed since its inception. Every year, they generously offer their event space for the Christmas Stroll Gingerbread Contest at no charge. Their commitment doesn’t stop there; the Legion’s dedicated board organizes the Memorial Day parade downtown and arranges flag assemblies for key national holidays and remembrance days. They also collaborate with various non-profit groups to promote and support youth sports and activities throughout the community. The Legion stands as a true cornerstone of collaboration and community spirit. A heartfelt thank you to the American Legion for all they do for our downtown and the entire Bozeman community!


The Executive Director of the DBP, Ellie Staley, spoke on the successes of the Urban Renewal District (URD).

The primary goal of the URD is to maintain an economically thriving Downtown that attracts investment, strengthens the tax base, and supports the vitality and diversity of the Gallatin Valley as its commercial, social, and cultural center.

The Urban Renewal District continues to focus on implementing the primary objectives of the 1995 Urban Renewal Plan and 2019 Downtown Improvement Plan including the following programs and projects…

First, the URD offers a variety of financial grant programs to facilitate the development of mixed-use buildings, hotels, utility improvements and residential units within the downtown district.

The URD also funds the design, implementation and maintenance of the downtown streetscapes and public spaces such as Soroptimist Park and the alleyway beautification between North Black and North Tracy. With the alleyway project recently being kicked off by the completion of the amazing mural by Stella Nall. Work will continue with the addition of another large format mural on the east side, 3 large sculptures and the Gallatin River along the ground.

The URD Is happy to continue their quest to replace our impacted urban trees. Since 2022, the URD has worked with City Forestry to remove and replace 13 large tree stumps along Main Street and have plans to replace the remaining 17 this summer between the city and contracted staff. Through 2023, many new benches were placed, as well as trash cans and recycling bins throughout the district, specifically to many of our newly redeveloped sites along Mendenhall and Babcock.

The URD Is also excited to announce that the North Black Pocket Park will soon become the I-Ho Pomeroy Peace Park in memory of an incredible, kind staple of our community.

If you are interested in any of the projects mentioned or any of the URD priorities or projects, please email Ellie.

Downtown URD Member, Sky Cook, then presented the Downtown Community Award. This award acknowledges a business or organization that has provided exemplary support of all that is downtown Bozeman and 2024’s winner is Lehrkind’s Coca-Cola!

Lehrkind’s Coca-Cola and the Lehrkind Family have been unwavering pillars of support for Downtown Bozeman for many years. Their generosity shines brightly through their sponsorship of our largest events, including Music on Main, the Christmas Stroll, Trick-or-Treating, MSU events and more. They not only provide crucial funding but also donate products in-kind, enabling our non-profit partners to raise vital funds for their causes.

Eric bowman

Cache Maples, DBP’s Program Director and Brynn Gestson, DBP’s Operations Manager, mainly work with the Downtown Bozeman Association (DBA) arm of the Partnership. The DBA stays incredibly busy managing Membership, Events, and Marketing throughout the year.

Membership continues to grow year over year and the DBA has an amazing Outreach Committee that helps us develop our benefits and resources for members! The DBA currently has 349 business members located in the downtown core and surrounding areas.

“DTNBZN” is the well-established downtown brand that business members are proud to use and represent. Speaking of branding, the DBA has numerous branded resources including newly printed Directories and Tear-Off Maps. Additionally, downtown Kiosks, which mirror the Tear-Off Maps, are displayed in 3 key locations downtown: Chalet Sports, the Parking Garage near Revelry, and in Soroptimist Park.

Downtown Dollars, a program the DBA has nurtured for many years, continues to grow annually! 2023 reported a record sale of $130,000 over the holiday season – all of which go back into our downtown businesses!

Finally, the DBA hosts 15 unique annual events with over 25 occurrences. These are FREE community events, each with its own target group of business involvement and each welcoming a different customer demographic.

Summer events kick off Friday, June 14th with Art Walks! Details on more exciting upcoming events can be found HERE.

Babs Noelle, of Alara Jewelry, bestowed the “Life is Downtown” Award. This award honors a person who has given a ceritable lifetime of service to downtown Bozeman. 2024's winner is Eric Bowman!

Eric Bowman is the owner of Owenhouse Ace Hardware and Owenhouse Cycling. Eric and Owenhouse Ace Hardware have been steadfast champions of our downtown and the three organizations within our Partnership since day one. Eric’s dedication is truly exceptional—he has served on the Business Improvement District (BID) board since 2006 and is currently its chair. His commitment goes beyond titles; Eric continually volunteers his time to various committees and working groups, all aimed at enhancing our downtown.


We wanted to introduce one last award, the inaugural “Heart of Downtown” award. We created this award to recognize individuals who truly have put their heart and soul into our beloved downtown, and for this first one, who better than the inspiring Ellie Staley. Ellie has dedicated 17 years to championing the businesses, events and people of downtown Bozeman and has left a legacy that is deeply appreciated.

Thank you Ellie, for being you.

Iho 3

As the breakfast came to a close, we wanted to take a moment of silence to remember an incredible community member who we unfortunately lost this year. I-Ho Pomeroy was a shining star who’s light touched everyone around her. She will be deeply missed.

Bfast sponsors

Finally, a huge thank you to our sponsors: The AC Hotel, Sanderson Stewart, Bozeman Health, Blackfoot Communications, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and First Security Bank. We could not host this complimentary breakfast for all our wonderful supporters without your help!