Libby is Montana’s ‘most charming small town,’ says Reader’s Digest

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Libby is the most charming small town in Montana, according to Reader’s Digest.

The publication on July 3 posted a list outlining “The Most Charming Small Town in Every State.”

“You’ll find the heart of America in these small-town gems lost in time,” wrote Lyn Mettler, whose byline accompanies the article. “Add them to your must-visit list now.”

The paragraph accompanying the Libby entry highlights its view of the Cabinet Mountains and proximity to outdoor recreation, and calls out two local businesses “for a local’s experience” — Cabinet Mountain Brewing Company and The Black Board Bistro.

Local economic developers see the accolade as both a reaffirmation of and a potential boost to existing efforts to attract people and commerce to the city.

“This is fabulous marketing exposure, even more significant as this list was limited to one community per state,” Tina Oliphant, executive director of Kootenai River Development Council and Lincoln County Port Authority, said by email. “Libby was compared to some nationally known, community downtowns that subscribe to a serious effort to accentuate and build on the charm of their natural surroundings. Our question in front of the City is how to bring that charm into our downtown. Can you imagine the possibilities?”

“It is great to see Libby get some positive press for a change,” wrote Scott Beagle, president of the Libby Area Chamber of Commerce.

Beagle noted Libby is undergoing “a lot of changes,” including property cleanups and business starts, that have contributed to a sense of optimism.

I see a lot of changes going on in Libby right now. Property being cleaned up, houses being fixed up, new businesses being started that has caused a sense of optimism throughout the community.

“For the first time in awhile, I feel that community stakeholders have come together and are working in unison ... to positively advertise Libby as one of the last great places,” he wrote. “As a person born and raised in this community, I am proud to say I am from Libby and I am proud to raise my children in Libby.”

Beagle said the chamber “will continue to promote our community as a great place to visit and an even better place to live.”

The article can be viewed online at www.rd.com/advice/travel/most-charming-small-towns-in-every-state/.

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