Advantage Butte to lobby at MHSA meetings

Advantage Butte to lobby at MHSA meetings

By Bruce Sayler

A Butte presence and pitch will be delivered in visibility next month at the annual Montana High School Association meetings.

Officials of Advantage Butte said Tuesday at the organization’s December meeting that they will again operate a booth at the meetings with hopes of influencing more events The Mining City’s way.

The Advantage Butte meeting was held at the Butte Plaza Inn. The MHSA meetings are scheduled for January 15-16 at the Grantree Inn in Bozeman.

A motion by Ray Ueland of Perkins Restaurant and The Metals Sports Bar & Grill to cover expenses for Advantage Butte representation at the MHSA meetings was seconded by Amanda Lease of the Copper King Inn. The members attending the Tuesday meeting approved the motion on a voice vote.

Rody Holman, Advantage Butte president and PayneWest Insurance representative, will join Ron Davis of Butte Broadcasting as Advantage Butte’s personnel at the meeting. Other members said they will be attending also as representatives of their business interests.

The booth will be informational as Advantage Butte touts the offerings of Butte in terms of lodging, sports facilities, eateries, etc. Butte regularly competes with Montana’s other larger towns to land the championship events awarded by the MHSA.

Davis said one topic likely to be on the meeting agenda will concern a central location for Class A, B and C high school football championship games and that Butte needs to show a favorable profile at the meeting as athletic directors from those schools will be among those at the MHSA convention.

Secretary Dorea Wilmoth, who represents Town Pump/Comfort Inn, asked Advantage  Butte business members for goody-bag items to be given out for lobbying purposes at the meeting.

Lease reported that the Copper King Inn has landed the 2019 MHSA meetings.

Advantage Butte also on Tuesday approved $5,000 to go toward expenses associated with playing host to the Western A Super Divisional basketball tournament, which will be held February 22-24 in the Butte Civic Center. Holman said the financial request was a joint one submitted by both Butte Central Catholic High School and the Civic Center. He said the Advantage Butte Executive Board met about it and recommended approval. Ueland moved for approval and Melissa Bolton of the Butte Plaza Inn seconded. It passed on a voice vote.

Treasurer Brad Spear, also a representative for Anderson ZurMuehlen and Co., said at the beginning of the Tuesday meeting that Advantage Butte had $25,170 in its checking account, had recently paid $5,500 for expenses of the 2016-17 sports schedule and has committed $8,850 so far toward the 2017-18 slate.

Davis reminded that the Civic Center will house two state Class C high school basketball tournaments in March — the boys’ games March 1-3 and the girls’ tourney March 8-10.

“Other than the Class AA combined tournament, the state C boys’ is the biggest basketball tournament in the state,” he said, referring to the crowds and the gate draw.

Chad Petersen, Butte Central activities director, thanked Advantage Butte for agreeing to help with Super Divisional finances, and also noted that the city championship basketball games — Butte High vs. Butte Central — are scheduled for Jan. 11 in the Civic Center. He said the boys’ and girls’ varsity and junior varsity games will all be played that day on the main court with the subvarsity contests between the two schools to be held the day before. The scheduling should help keep the Jan. 11 slate of games be closer to being on time. Petersen also said BC will play host to the MAC Holiday Hoops youth basketball tournament on Dec. 29, and that a high amount of entries are being received. It will be held at the Maroon Activities Center.

Butte-Silver Bow Parks & Recreation Director J.P. Gallagher told the group his department has been struggling putting ice down on the city rinks due to the recent warmer-than-usual weather temperatures. He said top priorities will be the facilities at the U.S. High Altitude Sports Center and at Clark Park. He added that the “polar plunge” benefiting area Special Olympics has been moved to Butte from Silver Lake. He said it will be held Jan. 20 in tanks to be set up  and filled with water at the Mountain Con Mine yard on North Main. Gallagher also said the annual SNoFLINGA Butte winter festival is being planned for Jan. 29-31. He said Discovery Basin Ski Area has offered use of its snowmaking equipment should snowfall not be enough for the festival. However, Gallagher said, a power source to run the equipment has not yet been solved.

Maria Pochervina of the Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce said room tax money collected by the TBID (Butte Tourism Improvement District) will soon be awarded in grants. She said $30,000 has been set aside for festivals and that $55,000 will go toward tournaments, including the state Class C tourneys and the Western A Super Divisional on the winter docket. She said applications are due Jan. 30. More information is available from the Chamber or its Websites.

Ueland noted, also that Butte’s biggest youth basketball tournament — The Mining City Hoops — is scheduled for Feb. 10-11.

The next Advantage Butte is set for Jan. 16 at the Butte Plaza Inn.


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