Visit Southeast Montana and the Billings Logan International Airport are partnering to showcase the uniqueness and array of visitor opportunities in eastern Montana communities with a new photo installation as the airport continues its $60 million terminal expansion project.
The installation highlights the local communities and outdoor experiences in this part of the state that await the more than 400,000 passengers who use the terminal each year. It features:
- A wallscape of the night sky at Acton Recreation Area with a backlit lightbox that will inspire visitors to visit some of the world’s darkest skies along Montana’s Trail to the Stars, which includes more than 45 dark sky viewing locations across eastern and central Montana.
- A 4.5-foot by 8.5-foot image of the Indian Memorial at the Little Bighorn Battlefield, the most-visited location in the Southeast Montana tourism region.
- A cutout with a cowboy riding a bucking bronco, which is a call to the area’s summer rodeo season that kicks off with the World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale.
- A 4.5-foot-tall burger that reminds viewers to bring a hearty appetite and find their favorite burger along the Southeast Montana Burger Trail, which features more than 20 local eateries over hundreds of miles across eastern Montana.
A “dino selfie spot” to encourage visitors to embark on the Montana Dinosaur Trail, where families can dig into paleontology on a guided dinosaur dig or stop at local museums.Nonresident visitors to the Southeast Montana tourism region spent an estimated $868 million in 2022, according to data from the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana.
The Visit Southeast Montana installation is expected to be displayed for more than four years, offering a picturesque and eye-catching welcome to airport passengers and inviting Montanans returning home to travel further into the smaller towns and friendly establishments of Southeast Montana.
“We are very excited to partner with Visit Southeast Montana and welcome travelers to our newly expanded airport terminal with this outstanding display,” said Jeff Roach, director of aviation and transit at Billings Logan International Airport. “At BIL we look for every opportunity to share the many natural wonders and thrilling opportunities available throughout the region. This is one of the many perks you’ll find when you fly BIL!”
The installation features the work of several regional photographers, including Nathan Satran, who grew up in Forsyth and has traveled the globe, but always returns to Southeast Montana.“It really means a lot to have several of my images creating the first impression for visitors of Southeast Montana as they arrive at the airport and to remind all the locals of how amazing this place is that we call home,” said Satran.
The Billings Logan International Airport is the primary air entry point for eastern Montana, supporting five eastern Montana communities as the base for Essential Air Service via Cape Air, and providing access to the rugged beauty of eastern Montana.
The airport expansion is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2024.