Belgrade’s Phasmid Rentals is an independent car and gear rental agency that provides rental Subaru Outbacks and Chevrolet Suburbans, rental bear spray, camping and fly-fishing gear, and travel planning services. As tourism continues to grow exponentially in Yellowstone and the Bozeman area, the associated effects, both negative and positive, are becoming more apparent. Tourists typically possess a disposable mentality, opting to purchase new and throw away out of convenience and vacation purchasing frame of mind. By actively encouraging and offering tourists the options of renting the most commonly bought and disposed of items, Phasmid Rentals is successfully leading the way towards responsible and sustainable tourism in the Yellowstone region.Since 2010, Phasmid Rentals has been providing four-wheel drive rental cars, trip planning services, and rental outdoor gear for visitors to Southwest Montana. “It all started when I would come to Bozeman to fly-fish; I would rent a truck, buy a cooler and some cheap camping equipment and throw it all out at the end because I couldn’t fly home with it,” states Will Casella, the owner and founder of Phasmid. Since starting the company, Phasmid Rentals has been offering rental use of pretty much everything that visitors may need or desire; camping equipment, maps and guidebooks, car seats, roof top boxes, fly fishing gear, coolers, and bear spray. They reuse free maps and tourist guides whenever possible.
Tourists also typically rely on known national brand names versus local businesses for food, accommodation, and retail. Through efforts in providing in depth itinerary planning and personalised service, Phasmid actively directs tourist dollars to locally owned businesses. “Montana is one of the few places left in the US that isn’t completely dominated by international franchises. We encourage our guests to utilize only locally owned businesses because this uniqueness is what makes Montana special and what will keep the right kind of tourists coming back in the future,” claims Casella. “We like to think our guests have a far greater impact on local economies, and less impact on Montana.”
Phasmid Rentals utilizes Montana-made products; from rental Simms waders out of Four Corners and rental UDAP Bear Spray from Butte, to using car washing products made in Helena. They also only recommend locally owned businesses for accommodations, dining, outfitting, and retail with their itinerary planning services. Phasmid’s sustainable tourism model is simple: reuse or rent whenever possible, support the small towns and local businesses that make Montana special, and provide an overall Experience that will keep visitors coming back.