UM Researchers Predict Commerce Park Will Spur Economic Gain for Billings, State

March 02, 2015

MISSOULA – According to a recently completed study by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, the construction, operation and success of the Trailhead Commerce Park in Lockwood, Montana, will result in “significant gains for the Billings and state economies.”

“The industrial development project in Lockwood, with its location adjacent to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe/Montana Rail Link rail line, bisected by the proposed Billings bypass roadway and situated in the strategically well-positioned Billings market area, would make it an attractive candidate for business expansion,” write study authors Patrick Barkey and Paul Polzin, UM BBER director and director emeritus. 

The researchers also said the “development of the TCP would be a significant economic event” in the area. The study takes a conservative view, using 60 percent occupancy for the park in 2024.

By 2030, the study projects the economy will have an additional 3,655 permanent jobs across a wide spectrum of industries and occupations, $255.7 million in recurring annual household income, $862 million in recurring annual gross sales by Montana businesses and other entities, as well as a permanent population increase of 4,352, including 1,200 additional school-aged children.

The study was supported by the Montana Department of Commerce Business Resources Division’s Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund.

The complete report is available online at

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Contact: Rob Van Driest, marketing director, UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research, 406-243-5113,