Rebels & Razors

Addy Helland and Samantha Waller own Rebels & Razors Barber Club at 118 N. Broadway in Billings.

Addy Helland and Samantha Waller bring a new attitude and new look to their downtown Billings barber shop, so they changed the name to match.

Helland, 27, and Waller, 28, launched Rebels & Razors Barber Club in March, about five months after they bought the former Prohibition clothing store at 118 N. Broadway.

The Billings women stripped out the retail sales portion to focus entirely on the barbershop: a six-chair space up front, with a type of lounge for customers and employees in the back, with couches and a TV.

“We wanted it to be ours,” Helland said.

“Start fresh,” added Waller.

The two stylists started working at Prohibition in September 2014. They bought the business from former owner Jim Huertas and have invested about $35,000, almost entirely from savings.

Helland and Waller hired three new contract barbers this spring and have a total of five.

The shop operates in a building from the turn of the 20th century, and Waller says she wants to retain that historic charm. She said her father did much of the interior work, including a sink basin the back and steel kegs in the barber area to keep a rustic look.

Rebels & Razors is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The phone number is 406-200-7320.

Micro housing in Billings

A Bozeman developer wants to start Billings’ first “micro housing” concept, designed for busy professionals and students, near the Montana State University-Billings campus.

Shaun Shahan, a Billings native, recently obtained a parking variance from the Billings City Council for a building at 1333 N. 27th St., which he’s planning to convert into a complex of 22 to 24 units.

Shahan said he wants to build small units, between 220 and 400 square feet, where residents can live with the basics at low costs, around $500 a month.

“What do you do with a building that’s oddly shaped, old, but is in an area that’s conducive to affordable housing for students? The answer to that is micro-housing,” Shahan said in a recent interview.

Micro-housing is a concept that’s taken off primarily in larger cities, where affordability is becoming a rising concern. Shahan said he’s seeing it now in Bozeman.

The building, more recently office space, would be aimed at MSUB graduate students and doctors doing their residencies at nearby Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Health Care. Those are the type of people who are living on a budget and probably aren’t spending much time at home anyway, Shahan said.

He added that the apartments, which will have a three-quarter bathroom, no stove and on-site laundry facilities, will be open to anyone.

Shahan said he’s planning to start renovating the building this summer, and he is unsure when it will open.

New lodging manager  

Yellowstone National Park Lodges has a new general manager, just in time for the tourism season.

Michael Keller has been named managed by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, which operates nine facilities with 2,000 rooms within the park.

Keller began his career in Yellowstone before embarking on a 28-year career in the hospitality industry, primarily in national parks.

Xanterra owns lodging, restaurants and other facilities inside national parks nationwide.

Gaming firm reports Montana revenue

A Las Vegas gaming firm recently reported about $15 million in revenue for the first quarter in its newly acquired Montana operations.

Golden Entertainment Inc. last year bought Billings-based Amusement Services and Rocky Mountain Gaming in western Montana early last year.

The company, now Montana’s second-largest producer of gaming machines, reported a $692,000 profit for the quarter in Montana.

Video gaming is taxed at 15 percent in Montana on the money put into the machines, minus the payouts. The tax revenue pays for schools, roads, infrastructure and other state services.

Golden is a publicly traded company.

Haikus from the valley

I’m off for the next couple weeks, and when I return, I’ll have a new ring on my finger and a wife by my side. We’re at the home stretch, baby!

Planning a wedding

is a headache but worth it

when you kiss the bride.

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Business reporter for The Billings Gazette.