GREAT FALLS — Great Falls will soon welcome musical acts from around the country - that's what owners of The Newberry, a newly-announced concert venue, events center, and bar, hope to accomplish. The owners shared their vision for the business this week, and economic development officials believe it could be a catalyst for the downtown area - and Great Falls overall.
“Expect national touring acts in here on a weekly basis, rocking the house, having awesome shows every single week,” said Scott Reasoner, one of the five partners in the project. In addition to concerts, the venue will be open for large events such as weddings and other social gatherings.
"We've launched a new talent attraction effort to try to grow the Great Falls population. Not to explode it, but we're still losing more people than we're attracting, so we want to grow and bring kids back home and these types of entertainment experiences really enrich the experience of living here,” said Brett Doney, Great Falls Development Authority CEO.
Doney is confident the space would prove to be a successful marketing tool for the city. "It's very similar to what we've seen in other cities that have proven to be extremely popular,” Doney explained. "Success breeds success. When we have businesses and real estate developers who invest (and) they're successful, that attracts more investment and that's what we're trying to do particularly in downtown."
"We are beyond excited,” said Kellie Pierce, operations director for the Downtown Great Falls Association, calling The Newberry a "catalyst" project.
"I think this will really give us a way to add that extra layer of motivation for people to come downtown,” said Pierce. "The more vibrant we can make it with activity going on and people moving around - shopping, dining - have all that sort of fun really just draws more positivity which is what we really strive for."
The venue, located at 420 Central Avenue, is expected to open in September. The Newberry website states: The Newberry is the creation of five local investors with a passion for the Great Falls community. The Newberry is a versatile space that can rock the house one night with some of the best music in the country and craft your perfect wedding the next. We look forward to being a gathering place for our community; a place where memories are made and new experience discovered.
As for the name? The building was once home to a "five and dime" store called Newberrys.