Berkeley Pit viewing stand may get needed upgrade

2014-07-12T18:32:00Z 2014-07-12T23:36:07Z Berkeley Pit viewing stand may get needed upgradeBy MATT HOFFMAN Montana Standard The Billings Gazette
July 12, 2014 6:32 pm  • 

BUTTE — The Berkeley Pit may not be the most attractive spot in the world. But for the Butte-Silver Bow Chamber of Commerce, that’s no reason not to spruce up the pit’s main access point.

“This is where people start,” Executive Director Marko Lucich said of the former open pit copper mine, which gets about 30,000 visitors per year. He wants to use that starting point to funnel those visitors toward the Uptown area and other tourist sites.

The Chamber acquired the site from Montana Resources 11 years ago and created Envision Butte, a nonprofit to operate the site. They started charging $1, then $2, for entrance, and have spent about half a million dollars on improvements so far.

The Chamber plans to spend about $30,000 to improve things like the peeling and faded trolley, bland and chipped tunnel entrance, aged viewing deck, lack of signage and unfinished landscaping.

Work will begin over the next few weeks on the entrance tunnel.

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