I moved here bout 3 years, since my husband is from here. the only other place i've lived is my hometown, which is pretty much a mini version of Billings in western Montana. I cannot wait to move out of Billings. It was nice to live in a bigger city with more options for shopping and job opportunities, but the cons quickly outweighed the pros. It took us 2 months to find a rental that accepted dogs. We are extremely lucky our rental is on the cheap side and we are allowed to have our animals. PROS: no tax, biggest city in MT, many walking trails and parks, has many of the big chain retail stores (walmart, costco, Ross, ect.) CONS: its sad because I can think of way more cons than pros! - very hot in the summer, very cold in the winter, rent is ridiculously high I dont understand how most people can afford to live here, wages are low compared to the price of living, pretty much NOTHING for people or couples in their 20s unless you like to go out the very few "popular" bars (definitely not clubs) and plan on getting ur ass beat or mocked by wannabe gangsters, too many casinos and bars, locals are very rude and if they are not rude, they are def on crack or some other planet, i have never lived anywhere where there was so much drug abuse and crime. the kind of stuff that happens in Billings should be happening in a city 3-5x its size. Don't ever leave your car unlocked, you will get everything stolen or have it stolen. Don't get a pet if you plan on renting here. Traffic is ridiculous pretty much due to idiotic drivers and road rage. There is actually a group dedicated to the road rage of Billings, see for yourself. Public education is a joke. Downton would be nice to walk around if it wasn't overrun with homeless drunks. people seems to be very judgy and racist in this town. I work in the service indutry and meet alot of people on a daily basis. Racism is definitely alive and well in Billings and filled with very closed minded individuals. I can't really think of much more to say about Billings, except that i can't wait to leave. I cannot see myself wanting to settle here permanently. hopefully this helps in whatever decisions or thoughts you have on Billings!
Pros: The Mountian Views are pretty much everywhereCons: People are rude, The schools are not very good (especially for kids that need a little more learning attention), Cost of living is horrible (rentals are not worth the money they ask for, you might as well buy your own home), Crime is ridiculous (not just on the south side), not the best place for minorities (Lots of looks, not much is said, but the kids in my family have been called the "N" word by other kids in school... Also by brother has been harassed by the police here) There is NOTHING to do Unless you like to bar hop, pay for Expensive A** tickets at the Metra (which don't have the best selection of entertainment [and don't get me wrong I Love country music, but that's all there is, if there is any other entertainment they either don't come because there are not enough pre-ticket sales or they are not Allowed to perform at Metra... they have to go to the Shrine which is on the westend])... They are also trying to "develop" the city and Modernize it but it's just a lot of nonsense construction for no reason (It's Highly annoying). The jobs out here don't pay very well unless you work at a McDonalds. Not a lot of family activities. Once a year they have the MontanaFair, It's pretty cool but it's always packed and there is not enough parking...or spaceSo basically unless you are a College Student that is not a minority and loves to bar hop.... Billings is probably not for you
I'll be straight up with you.Pros: Nearby mountains, shopping is okay, a good city parks and recreation system, the universities in Billings are good for what they offer, a walk-able brewery district, great music scene for Montana, culinary scene is improving, Chinook winds warm temperatures up in the winter for a few days, good for hunters and fishermen/women. Billings Clinic is a large employer and treats its employees well.Cons: Crime, drugs, alcoholism and drunk drivers, not enough people that care about their community, above average cost of living with high property taxes, unemployment is low but jobs also pay low, homeless population is high, air quality isn't always great, and the city has an inadequate city snow removal system. Also, if you're looking for big city life there, you should probably go to Denver.
I lived in Billings, Montana for 15 years in my early twenties. I enjoyed the beautiful views of the nearby mountain ranges and the sunny climate. I really enjoyed all the outdoor opportunities located in and near Billings. I spent a great deal of time hiking the city trails and getting a chance to take in the views of the Yellowstone River. I skateboarded during this time, and Billings has a very large, public concrete skateboard park which only has to close for a few months during the winter.
One of the things I liked about living in Billings was the friendliness of the locals and access to good shopping. I liked being able to stock up at the big box stores before going to the mountains for camping and fishing trips. I also liked the variety of restaurant options in the newer areas of Billings, away from the downtown part of the city.
I found housing to be very reasonable in Billings, especially for newer builds in the northern parts of the city. I also appreciated the low taxes found in the state of Montana, and the cost of living was very lower during this time.
Downtown Billings has its good areas and other areas that weren't very kid friendly. The west end of Billings has an oil refinery, and this area of the city is very industrialized. I lived in the northern part of the city during my time here, and enjoyed being a part of the neighborhood and interacting with other young professionals in this part of the city. I enjoyed my time in Billings and still enjoy visiting the city after relocating away from the area.
I'm from montana, born and raised. I moved to Billings 2 1/2 years ago and I can't wait to leave. Crime is pretty bad here, from robberies and shooting to drunk drivers wrecking into everything.Renting is the worst part of Billings. Almost everything is run by property management companies and the rental prices are horrible for mediocre housing. Also if you have a dog or cat you might as well give up all hope of finding somewhere to live. This is the worst town when it comes to pets. They simply hate cats and dogs but not horses or cows. I'm serious one guy told me I could have livestock but not my well trained black lab. The restaurants are fine but I'd avoid downtown whenever possible unless you like drunks who beg for money. They literally line the streets of downtown. The city parks are okay but a good portion of them have homeless people in them, so I quit taking my kids. There's not much in the way of stuff to do that doesn't cost money. Outside of restaurants Billings doesn't have a lot to offer anyone.
By the way stay away from here in winter, whoever plows the streets here is a complete moron.
Having lived in Billings for the past nine years, I can't wait to leave. If you do come to Billings please allow me to let you into what to expect.
The scenery is lacking unless you like barren rock and scrub brush.
The people, well you will learn that every stereotype in regards to Native Americans and White Trash is alive and well. There is a very Larry The Cable Guy type of mentality here. In fact you will see many vehicles with those fake testicles attached to them and "Git R Dun" stickers in the windows and on the bumpers. Be prepared to be treated with contempt and racism by the Native American population of which there is in abundance.
The traffic is atrocious and the drivers completely have the "I am entitled" attitude. There is a cell phone while driving ban within the city limits but it seems that nobody cares. The police also seem to be laissez faire. There are multiple published stories about the corruption within the law enforcement in Billings and the local judicial system as well.
Shopping is pretty generic with all of the usual suspects in regards to national names (Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, etc.) Dining I must admit is decent. Plenty of excellent local eateries and your usual national chains. The problem there is that there are always lines and waiting times at any of these places. It is a common joke that nobody in Billings cooks everyone eats out.
Grocery store selection is limited to Albertson's, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Costco and an IGA. Less than 10 years ago there was a larger variety which made for more competition and better prices.
If you are looking to rent, good luck. The rent in this town is ridiculously high and you will be lucky to find a rental that isn't run by a property management company. I would avoid Rainbow Property Management, which is hard because they are the largest in town but they also have an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau. From personal experience, this "F" is well earned.
For a city of its size there is a large criminal and drug element here. Having worked in private security I have seen it first hand. There is some scary stuff that goes on in the dark of the night here that doesn't get the proper media coverage. You will find that there are a lot of wannabe gangbangers cruising around like they are out of the Fast & Furious movies. They seem to cause the most grief for the citizens. A majority of the males here have the "I'm a UFC Champion" mentality and believe that they can beat up everyone they come across. I find this mentality amusing but some may not. Just watch your business or you might be randomly faced with a "kick boxing champion from Tennessee" like I did in the parking lot of an Albertson's. All I did was point out a Burger King sign to my wife and this genius assumed I was pointing to him and raced over to confront me. That kind of thing happens a lot here. Oh yeah, he seemed to be full of hot air and after warning me of his kick boxing prowess and what he could do to me, he left.
I don't know what else to add. I can't comment on the nightlife as I do not partake in it. I do know that drunk driving is not just against the law but a way of life here so beware.
Yes that is a perfect way to end this. BEWARE!
I had the opportunity to visit Billings, MT. I spent a week there. I could not get out of that city fast enough. I found Billings to be extremely slow and lacking. The people did not seem to understand someone who was different from them, nor were they interested in learning.
I stayed at the Comfort Inn on Overland Ave. This hotel was the worst hotel I have ever stayed in. My room was cleaned only once during my week stay. There was a mall nearby, it was called the Billings Rimrock Mall. The mall was not up to my standards. I felt that I stood out like a sore thumb walking around in there. I am into fashion and designer clothes. There was nothing fashionable in this mall, unless you consider fashion Wrangler jeans and cowboy hats. There were several restaurants around the hotel. I have to say that I did enjoy the burgers at Fudruckers. I had never eaten there before, but now I stop in whenever I see one. I am not trying to discourage anyone from visiting Billings, MT. This is just purely my opinion and others may feel differently about the town. I am just used to a more fast paced way of life.