The Roundup -

Something Old Always New

 

December 27, 2017 | View PDF

The indoor waterfall is the centerpiece of the Yellowstone Marketplace.

The structure housing Yellowstone Marketplace (formerly Yellowstone Mercantile) has over a 100-year history in Sidney.

"The Merc", as it was called by locals, had many changes in its long history. Clothing and groceries were two of the department store's wares.

Yellowstone Mercantile owners closed out its inventory approximately 10 years ago and sold the building and remaining inventory to an Alaskan group.

The building sat idle for about 3 years before local retirees, Russ and Linda Wells, purchased the structure and began reconstructing the entire interior. The first project was to revamp the former Yellowstone Hallmark into a permanent home for Sidney's area-wide Roundup newspaper. Next on the list was a large modern apartment above the Roundup for the owners.

Working with Richland Economic Development and Richland Federal Credit Union, attention turned to the main floor. RED encouraged the development of an incubator facility to house small businesses and startups, and that's what Wells' did. Store units were constructed like any indoor mall. An example of this plan was Big Sky Embroidery who started their store in the Marketplace. The two female owners became very successful and had to have more space. They purchased a vacant downtown store and continue their success.

One unique feature in the Marketplace is an indoor waterfall that attracts everyone's attention. The lighted display windows give residents a peek at what's inside.

A restaurant was next on the list. A couple of different types of restaurant fare were tried before Mucho Si 2 Mexican Restaurant came to town to become a favorite of locals and visitors.

The Marketplace soon filled up with tenants and a lower level was added to house offices. Three mid-size offices, along with a corporate office with 9 individual offices and a conference room were added.

As the oil price dipped many businesses in Sidney and other regional cities took a hit.

The Yellowstone Agate Jewelry & Gems features a wide range of locally made jewelry.

Yellowstone Marketplace is still operating. The Wells' recently added three new stores on the main floor to join the antique store owned by Arch Ellwein, Elite Energy Services, and the Mexican restaurant. The new businesses include Yellowstone Agate Jewelry & Gems, Sidney Fine Arts Gallery, along with a whimsical store called the "Garage", patterned after the always popular garage sales. All the stores feature MonDak products. Wells' are planning to add more stores and invite other small businesses to become tenants. The rents, except for the corporate office complex, are $500 per month with utilities included.

The community salutes Yellowstone Marketplace as one our Top 10 for 2017, always proving that something old can become new again.

 

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