July 23, 2020

Keeping a Business Operational During Renovation

Construction Site

Customers + Construction = A Difficult Situation.

It’s a common challenge for business owners and managers, “We need to renovate our space, but we can’t shut down.” Keeping the doors open and business operational during construction is a complex process that requires coordination and cooperation from the business owner, contractor, consultants, and customers.

Case Study: Ennis Town Pump

Add in the factors of a small town, a busy convenience store located on a tight lot, during the height of tourist season and those are the conditions that were present when remodeling the Ennis Town Pump.

Ennis, Montana is a small town with under 1,000 residents, but it offers some of the finest river locations in the state. It is a popular tourist location for fly fisherman from around the globe.


  • 3-phase construction plan allowed the store to stay open at the height of summer, which is Montana’s busiest season.
  • The square footage of the convenience store was doubled by creating an addition.
  • All new finishes were added throughout the existing building, in addition to new plumbing, heating, cooling, lighting, and roof systems.


The Ennis Town Pump needed more room to accommodate customers. To gain this space the site required demolition along with adding an extension to the existing store to increase square footage. The Ennis Town Pump is located on historic Main Street, so it was important when remodeling that the character of the community was maintained. The site is one of only three convenience stores along highway 287, which is heavily trafficked by people heading to and from West Yellowstone. This creates a situation where a high volume of people come in and out of the store every hour. The store is small and land locked on three sides, including by a city park, which created the need for even more careful planning and synchronization from start to finish.


  • Ennis is a historic, well-organized city so the design coordination had to be closely managed to obtain approval of the overall aesthetic, as well as signage for the building. This was done through presentations between the design team and city.
  • To maximize the new addition and match up with the existing building we had to work closely with Montana Department of Transportation to challenge the limits of the setbacks while designing functionality and safety into pedestrian routes.
Base Floor Plan
  • Working within the constraints of the existing store required very careful coordination between the overall architectural layout, structural design as well as lighting, HVAC, and installation of an all new fire sprinkler system.
Demo Plan
  • The project required demolition of an existing, aged structure which was adjacent to another building. As well as the removal of an entire exterior, load bearing, structural wall.



Throughout 12-weeks of design and a 23-week construction process, the store was able continue to meet customers’ needs by remodeling and reconfiguring the existing store in sections. All new finishes were added throughout the building in addition to new, plumbing, heating, cooling, lighting, and roofing. During the construction phase, unknown issues from the existing structure were resolved, safeguarding the space for employees and customers, and creating smoother operations. To increase efficiency and ease of use the stores layout was changed and major functional areas were moved.

For business owners we understand that renovations are probably more overwhelming than exciting, but we’re here to help guide the process and find creative solutions to keep your business operational and your stress levels low. For clients on the fence about remodeling here are a few lasting benefits to consider.

Reasons to Renovate Your Business:
• Eliminate safety hazards to safeguard your space for employees and customers
• Reduce operating and maintenance cost by increasing energy efficiency
• Create an aesthetically pleasing, eye-catching space
• Make room for growth
• Boost productivity and workplace efficiency
• Save on overall cost versus building new