“Yellowstone” is really ramping up filming for season 5. It’s reported that the show will move filming to a new location in Western Montana. The series is introducing a new location in Ravalli County, Montana. Notably, Ravalli County contains the town of Darby, where Chief Joseph Ranch is located.
Previously, crews filmed around the courthouse in downtown Missoula. Now, they’re going to shut down the intersection of First and Main streets in Corvallis for filming. Corvallis is a tiny town that sits between the Bitterroot Mountains and the Sapphire Range, located south of Missoula. According to the show’s producers, filming could start as soon as August 5, though it is officially scheduled for August 9 from 5 am to 11 pm. The intersection will be closed for the entire day. There will still be a route through town, fortunately, on the Eastside Highway.
Ravalli County Commissioner Jeff Burrows commented on the filming schedule, noting that “Yellowstone” has the county’s full permission as long as fees are paid. “Yeah, total road impacted, I get roughly, that’s if I use the whole thing, a quarter of a mile times a thousand dollars per mile that we used before. $250; plus $600 a day permit fee. $850 total,” said Burrows, laying out the fee system.
‘Yellowstone’ Filming Boosts Economy for Small Montana Towns
Location fees are definitely benefitting the local Montana economy, as reported earlier this year. Within just five months of filming “Yellowstone” on location, the show brought in an extra $70 million to local economies. For the first three seasons, that was in Utah. But, in 2020, the series moved to film in Montana.
The University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research began a study that tracked the jobs created and the economic impact that came with “Yellowstone.” According to the study, the show created 527 permanent jobs in Western Montana, in addition to employing 624 local extras. This was a boost of $25 million in personal annual income. The show also added to the government’s annual revenue by $10.6 million.
Although, while there are definitely economic benefits to “Yellowstone” filming in Montana towns, residents are somewhat divided on the impact the show is having on their state. Lifelong Montana residents are somewhat hostile towards newcomers, especially those from California. Some feel that “Yellowstone” is causing an unnecessary population boom and unrealistic expectations for new residents. Rents and housing prices are increasing as people flock to big-sky Montana from crowded cities. This forces longtime residents out of their homes because they can’t afford them anymore.
“Montana has quickly become inaccessible to those who live and work here,” Habitat for Humanity has said of the housing crisis. There’s an imbalance between the cost of living and wages paid in Montana, now. Essentially, lifetime residents are being priced out of their home state against their will.