Students and staff were shocked this week to find the doors locked at BOLD Beauty Academy. A sign taped on the door reads, "PERMANENTLY CLOSED!! SORRY FOR THE INCOVENIENCE!".

Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media

Why did BOLD close?

I reached out to the Academy's owner, Jason Priest, who responded with this email:

We appreciate that this is very difficult for students. Bold’s team, other schools in and out of Montana, and even national organizations are looking for ways for students to enter a beauty industry we’re all proud of and committed to.

We closed because we believe Covid makes it impossible to meet the first duty of the beauty industry which is to keep students and clients safe and healthy.

Recently I had to close the school for 14 days because someone came to school with Covid and had “close contact” with every student. According to Riverstone Health’s guidelines, students who are fully vaccinated could have returned to school as many as 9 days before the mandatory 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated individuals. We could have resumed teaching for those individuals. When surveyed, only 3% of our students reported being vaccinated. Given the number of students who told us they would not get vaccinated, we concluded there would be no end to these closures. It’s untenable for any business to incur 100% of the costs associated with teaching students while risking that only 3% may be eligible to attend.


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Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media

The lights were on, but nobody was home.

When I stopped by today (8/27) to snap some pictures, most of the lights were still on at the classrooms and it appears that equipment and other items are still on-site. Priest offered no details on what will happen to the inventory or if the business will be sold.

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