Driving around Billings today (3/25) it was eerie to see a lot of our busiest parking spots around town empty or nearly empty. The top photo is Ross. This parking lot is normally jammed every day of the week. Not today, 2 PM on a Wednesday afternoon. Some businesses are closing voluntarily, others are operating under our latest guidelines on social distancing.

Credit: Michael Foth TSM

After announcing they would suspend hours until April 6th Rimrock Mall had only a few stragglers in the lot.

Credit: Michael Foth TSM

Red Lobster's parking lot is never empty. It seems to be full even when they are closed. Today there were about 5 cars out front. I'm assuming a couple of cooks and workers for take-out orders?

Credit: Michael Foth TSM

Same thing over at Olive Garden. I'm not sure why people go nuts for the O.G., but they do. This parking is usually packed, from the moment they open until they kick out the last bread stick at closing time. Today there were maybe 4 cars.

Credit: Michael Foth TSM

I drive past the Muzzle Loader Cafe & Powder Horn Lounge every day on my way home from work. Every day it crosses my mind to stop by for a quick cold-one. I never do, because I just want to get home. However, their parking lot is ALWAYS full of happy hour workers, gamblers, diners, pool players and people just looking to unwind. Ever since the rules on bars has been in effect, their lot has been completely empty. That makes me sad.

Credit: Michael Foth TSM

It has been equally empty over the High Horse Saloon & Eatery. These guys have a fantastic menu and their parking lot always packed. I know they are doing take-out options, but still... it sucks to see the lot empty. If you look real close you can see they had the smoker rolling.

Credit: Michael Foth TSM

Downtown was pretty empty too. Have you ever tried to score a parking spot in front of Jake's? You'd have better luck winning the shake-a-day at the Crystal. This stretch of downtown parking is prime parking... and it's been empty.

Credit: Michael Foth TSM

Getting a parking spot in front of the Montana Brewing Company is normally impossible too. Not lately. While there were a few cars on the west side of the street, most of Broadway has been pretty empty the past week or two.

Of course, many parking lots are full of shoppers out running around. I don't need to show you pictures of Costco or Sam's Club. Support your local businesses when possible (while being socially distanced) and we'll get through these crazy times together.