Around Idaho: Economic Activity in June 2018

Information provided in this article is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.

Northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
Southwestern Idaho
South Central Idaho
Southeastern
Eastern Idaho

NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties

Bonner County

  • Bonner Homeless Transitions and the Bonner Community Housing Agency have announced a partnership to expand the local rental pool for low income families and offer transitional housing in Sandpoint. The partnership will explore avenues to purchase single-family homes and convert them to rental houses available to those earning less than 80 percent of the area’s median income. Source: Bonner County Daily Bee

Kootenai County

  • Construction has begun on a new 294-unit apartment complex in Coeur d’Alene. The complex, which will be called The Northern at Coeur d’Alene Place, will be built through 2020 by Coeur d’Alene developer Anderl Development LLC. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Crews broke ground on a new 50,000-square-foot industrial building in the Riverbend Commercial Park in Post Falls. The project is expected to be completed in August and is anticipated to accommodate up to five tenants. Kootenai County currently has low inventories of available industrial and warehousing space. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • A new medical office building is under construction in the Riverstone Development in Coeur d’Alene. The new building will house Ellenbrecker Eye Clinic. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Openings
  • Once Upon a Shoe – a new retail establishment in Hayden
  • Ten/6 – a Cajun style restaurant in Coeur d’Alene
  • NYC Piano Bar in Coeur d’Alene

Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

NORTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce counties

Clearwater County

  • Idaho Youth ChalleNGe Academy, the National Guard school in Pierce for teens from around Idaho who need assistance to finish high school, graduated 111 cadets in June. With its strict schedule free of distractions and emphasis on pride in work and order, the school helps some cadets finish high school or GEDs and sends most back to their own high schools ready to succeed. The 22-week boot-camp-style course allows students to earn as many as 14 credits — the same amount they’d earn during a full year of high school. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Idaho and Lewis Counties

  • Advanced Welding & Steel, a steel fabrication company in Grangeville, has grown to 70-plus employees and $32 million in sales. It makes the structure of buildings throughout the Pacific Northwest and also has worked on projects in Alaska, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Texas and Utah. It plans to add up to 18 employees in Grangeville in the next year. It bought Jack Wimer Machine in Cottonwood four years ago and renamed it Brute Steel. The Cottonwood operation employs 13 people. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Kids Klub, the after-school program in Grangeville, used a $400,000 Idaho Community Development Block Grant to build a 4,300-square-foot facility, where it serves more than 480 children from preschool through junior high. Built by Morris Arnzen Construction of Cottonwood, the new facility will allow the organization to expand its offerings. Source: Idaho County Free Press
  • Nezperce, a city of 480, completed construction of a new 9,475-square-foot regional emergency services facility in May. Funded largely by an Idaho Community Development Block Grant, the new facility has five bays for fire engines and EMS vehicles. It is a collaborative effort among the city’s fire department, Nezperce Rural Fire District and Nezperce Ambulance Inc. The facility includes training space, a kitchen, restrooms and showers, and sleeping quarters. Source: Idaho Department of Commerce
  • Property values are growing at a fair clip in Idaho County, according to the Idaho County assessor. Agricultural and timber lands rose 5 percent in assessed value this year. Rising home prices are boosting values. In 2017, 44 Grangeville houses sold at an average reported price of $124,027, while so far this year 10 sales have been reported at an average price of $140,645. Similar increases occurred in Riggins and Cottonwood, but no changes occurred in Kooskia and Stites. Source: Idaho County Free Press
  • Three Rivers Resort, 30 miles east of Kooskia where the Selway and Lochsa rivers meet to form the Clearwater, has new owners and is under renovation. The property along Highway 12 includes 15 cabins, 30 campground spaces, an eight-room motel, convenience store, swimming pool and hot tubs. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Latah County

  • Northwest River Supplies (NWS) plans to add 100,000 square feet to its 43,000-square-foot warehouse on South Blaine in Moscow starting in July. About 70 percent of the new space will be used for warehousing the company’s growing inventory and the rest for office and a showroom. The warehouse and the shell for the rest should be completed by early 2019. Eight years ago, it employed 55 people. Today, it employs twice as many. The company makes NRS inflatable kayaks and rafts. It also distributes outdoor gear and clothing. Via the internet, it makes sales all over the world. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • The USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council, based in Moscow, was awarded a $44 million contract in purchases from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutrition program in May. The program purchases high-quality food each year to support USDA nutrition programs, including school lunches, supplemental commodities, food distribution on American Indian reservations and emergency food for victims of natural disasters. This year’s grant will purchase $22 million in dry peas, $10 million in lentils and $11 million in pinto beans from U.S. pulse growers — about a third of them in the greater Moscow-Pullman area. It will help offset losses following India’s imposition of trade tariffs last year. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • A University of Idaho researcher received a $750,000 grant from the Department of Energy to study biofuel sustainability. Tara Hudiburg in the College of Natural Resources will lead the biogeochemical modeling, which involves assessment of greenhouse gases, improving predictions of future crop yields, and assessing impacts on soil health, biodiversity and water quality. Her team will study mostly non-food biofuel crops such as switchgrass, miscanthus and sorghum. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Latah County’s property values are rising sharply due to a strong real estate market, according to the county assessor’s office. In Latah County, 428 homes sold in 2017. Residential property values increased about 16 percent in Moscow, where 222 houses and 21 multi-family residences sold last year. Commercial property increased about 20 percent in assessed value. Agricultural and forest land grew about 5 percent. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport’s runway realignment project will cost about $22.5 million more than initial estimates, mostly because of the higher cost of land acquisition and $5 million in additional costs for drainage. Originally expected to cost $120 million, the project’s price tag now is about $142.5 million. The Federal Aviation Administration will pay about 92 percent of the new cost. The project, which is 70 percent complete, is expected to end by the beginning of October. The airport will shut down from Sept. 8 through Oct. 3 for the last project. Commercial service will resume Oct. 10. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Genesee broke ground in June on a new fire station. A bond passed in November 2017 will provide the $3.2 million needed for the project. The current station can’t accommodate modern fire vehicles. Source: KLEWtv.com

Nez Perce and Asotin, Washington, Counties

  • Port of Lewiston commissioners approved a $1.61 million budget for fiscal 2019. It includes $405,000 in revenue from a local property tax levy. That’s the same amount as in this year’s budget and with market values on the rise, the levy rate will drop. Since 1990, the port’s property tax levy rate fell almost 70 percent. The average Lewiston homeowner pays less than $16 a year for the port levy. The port collects about three-fifths of its revenues from dock and warehouse operations and leasing space. The fiber-optic network it began building in 2015 is a fast-growing revenue source. The $1.5 million network currently extends over 14 miles, from North Lewiston to the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport. This year, the port will spend $300,000 to extend the network. Private internet and telecommunications companies lease the fiber-optic network from the port and use it to serve their retail customers. This year, the port expects to collect about $81,000 in fiber-optic fees. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The 500 tourists per week arriving or departing from Clarkston on cruise boats could help the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport boost its passenger numbers. Currently, 30 to 40 cruise boat visitors use the airport each week, while 120 to 150 cruise boat visitors per week are paying $120 per person for a shuttle to or from the Spokane airport. The Lewiston airport seeks to attract travelers after Horizon Air announced it was pulling its Seattle and Boise flights at the end of August because they weren’t full enough. Once Horizon leaves, SkyWest’s Salt Lake City flights will be the only commercial passenger service offered at Lewiston. Meanwhile, tourism nonprofit Visit Lewis Clark Valley said the $3 million overnight cruise boat industry along the Snake and Columbia rivers is growing. Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic recently replaced a 62-passenger boat with one that has room for 100 passengers, and American Cruise Lines is adding a third vessel—holding 186 passengers—next year. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Howell Munitions & Technologies and seven affiliated businesses are seeking bankruptcy protection. The businesses make and sell ammunition and ammunition components. They also build and repair ammunition-manufacturing equipment. At its peak in December 2016, it employed more than 400 people in Lewiston. By mid-June, it employed 67 people. Demand for guns and ammunition slumped after the 2016 presidential election. No longer fearful of possible gun control efforts, gun owners quit stocking up on ammunition. According to bankruptcy filings among the $5.4 million in unsecured claims from its 20 biggest creditors, is $3.6 million from P Kay Metal, a lead supplier that opened a plant in Lewiston last year. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Home prices in the Lewiston metro area grew 5.9 percent between April 2017 and April 2018, according to CoreLogic, a national provider of real estate data. That was the smallest increase among Idaho’s metro areas. Idaho’s home price index increased 12.4 percent in the same period. All Idaho metro areas, except Lewiston and Pocatello, saw increases above 12 percent. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Forest Auto Parts, a 30-acre field of recycled auto and truck parts along Highway 95 west of Lewiston, closed in June. The 57-year-old business bought cars that had been wrecked, abandoned or no longer worked and recovered auto parts. Forest Towing, a related business owned by the Forest family, will continue to operate 24 hours a day. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The Lewis-Clark Terminal at the Port of Lewiston added two steel storage bins this year with a combined capacity of 1.2 million bushels, bringing total capacity to more than 10 million bushels. It ships about 22 million bushels every year by barge on the Snake-Columbia river system. Now, it is working to fully automate controls for everything on the east side of the facility. At its busy peak during harvest, it handles 340 semi-trucks per day. The terminal is owned by three farmer’s cooperatives—CHS Primeland, Pacific Northwest Farmers Coop and Uniontown Coop — representing more than 2,000 grain growers in the region. It provides grain to more than 30 countries worldwide. Source: Port of Lewiston newsletter
  • Smitty’s Barrel, a building in downtown Clarkston known for its rounded roof, is undergoing a massive remodel so a Mexican restaurant can open there in August. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Kathryn.Tacke@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-5000 ext. 3984

SOUTHWESTERN IDAHO – Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley & Washington counties

Ada County

  • Primary Health Medical Group broke ground on a pediatric urgent care clinic in Meridian, which is expected to open in early 2019. The clinic will be the group’s largest facility with 18,000 square feet and 42 exam rooms. One half of the building will house the pediatric urgent care and appointment services while the other half will house family medicine and urgent care. Source: Meridian Press
  • CHOW opened June 21 across from Edwards Boise Stadium 21 movie theater. It is a new public market called the first of its kind in Boise. Thursday evenings and Saturdays will feature rotating pop-up vendors showcasing farmers-market style wares. Nine permanent tenants include Aladdin’s Egyptian Cuisine, Bar 76, Bluwave Tacos, Good Burger, La Gelateria, Ratio Coffee, Something Sweet, The Spice Shoppe and The Chow Market. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The Eagle Rodeo held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in June at the new grounds located in the foothills off Highway 55, about 10 minutes from the original space. The new location accommodates more people and may be used for additional events in the future. Each year more than 8,000 people attend the three-day PRCA – Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association – rodeo. Source: Eagle Chamber of Commerce
  • The fourth and final structure of Boise’s Pioneer Crossing broke ground June 13. The five-story, 120,000-square-foot office building should be completed in mid-2019. Approximately 50 percent of the space is pre-leased and another 25 percent or more occupancy is anticipated when the building is completed. Gardner Co. is the developer of Pioneer Crossing which includes an 850-space parking garage, Panera Bread and the Hilton Garden Inn. The parking garage is open. Panera Bread is expected to open in early July and the hotel in mid-July. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Highway 55 motorists are getting used to two new signals to improve flow and safety as traffic volume has increased. Ada County Highway District and Idaho Department of Transportation added one signal at the corner of Highway 55 and West Avimore Drive and the second at the corner of Highway 55 and Beacon Light Road.
  • RideOut Technologies, a Boise-based company, recently released the Challenger seat for mountain bikes that was three years in development. This is the second seat the company has developed. The first came out eight years ago for traditional bikes. The owner of the company, Jeri Rutherford, set out to design a seat with a shape to meet the unique requirements of mountain biking. The seats are made in Taiwan, but assembled in and shipped from Boise. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Impact Radio Group is ending its tenure with ESPN Sports Radio Affiliate. The radio station changed its format to Idaho’s Pure Rock 99.1 FM. Source: Idaho Press Tribune
  • Road to X Games was held for the second year in Boise in June. Boise hosted roughly 140 men and women competing in three events for 16 spots at the 2018 X Games in Minneapolis in mid-July. The event drew crowds of several thousand. Last year the event drew 10,000 spectators and had an estimated economic impact of $1.5 million for the city. When the final accounting is finished, this year it is expected to have increased to $2 million because of the popularity and additional venues. Source: Idaho Press Tribune

Boise County

  • Bogus Basin opened for the summer season June 22. Visitors can ride the mountain coaster, take a chairlift ride, go biking, enjoy a meal, rent a mountain bike and take advantage of all of the area’s new attractions  any day of the week. For the first time in its 76-year history the nonprofit recreation area will be open seven days a week until Labor Day, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free music events are scheduled on selected weekends with music on the patio Saturdays and Sundays from 4 to 6 p.m. Source: Messenger Index

Canyon County

  • The Luxe Reel Theatre opened in Caldwell in late June. The 11-screen theatre offers first-run moves and other amenities, including reclining seats and a self-service drink station. Source: Idaho Press Tribune
  • Indian Creek Plaza is set to open in Caldwell mid-July. The 57,000-square-foot plaza will be a gathering spot for music concerts, a farmers market, a splash pond during the summer and an ice-skating rink in the winter. To encourage owners of downtown buildings to make upgrades, the local business improvement district with pick up 35 percent of the cost. It is hoped that the plaza will also be a starting or ending point for people visiting wineries on the Sunnyslope Wine Trail. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Primary Health Medical Group broke ground for a new clinic in Caldwell in June. The clinic will have 11 exam rooms, an X-ray suite, trauma room, a lab and procedure room. Services will include walk-in urgent care and work injury care, as well as family medicine by appointment. This will be the second clinic located in Caldwell. Source: Idaho Press Tribune
  • The Idaho Press-Tribune is expanding its coverage of the Treasure Valley. The newspaper has hired new reporters to cover Ada County news, opened a Boise bureau and added sections to the daily paper. To reflect its new focus, the name has been changed in both print and online editions to the Idaho Press. The Idaho Press-Tribune has a history as the paper of record of Canyon County since 1883. Source: Idaho Press Tribune
  • Orchard Lofts, a 36-unit, two-structure complex in Nampa is expected to open in August. Pre-leasing began in June. The complex will have 18 one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units with one bath unit and six with two bath units. A pedestrian bridge was built across the Phyllis Canal to give residents access to Lions Park. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Saltzer Medical Group is planning its future as an independent organization following an antitrust lawsuit that forced it to unwind its planned merger with St. Luke’s Health System. It is the largest independent multi-specialty physicians group in Idaho with 40 physicians located in six locations. The group plans to expand to 100 physicians in the next five to 10 years, including adding surgical subspecialists. The group also is focusing on expansion in Canyon and West Ada counties, where population is growing. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Integrated Biological Systems (IBS), founded in 1986 in Nampa, purchased BioPlus Manufacturing located in Texas. BioPlus was the primary manufacturer of the bio-stimulant products that the Nampa company used. IBS distributes to more than 200 farm customers, primarily in Idaho and Oregon, but also Nevada, Utah, Washington and Colorado. The acquisition could also lead to broader distribution for IBS products. IBS is a family owned distributor of fertilizer alternatives and soil enhancement products. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Mike Mussell purchased the former library in Nampa for $1 and after renovations, reopened in June with 11 tenants, including the Nampa Chamber of Commerce. The library was originally home to a bank, which donated it to the library in 1966. The library remained in the building until 2015. Much of the building’s original features have been preserved such as the façade, marble entryway, original exposed brick and strained-glass windows. Throughout the building are displays of Nampa’s history. Source: Idaho Press Tribune
  • Fresca Mexican Foods of Boise is building a new facility in Caldwell. Fresca makes roughly 3 million tortillas a day, and sells chips and tortillas to restaurants. The 180,000-square-foot Caldwell facility is slated to open later this year. Source: Idaho Press Tribune
  • Panattoni Development Co. Inc. is proposing to build a new 850,000-square-foot warehouse on 111 acres in northeast Nampa. The city will hold a hearing on the proposed warehouse on July 10.The developer has built Amazon distribution centers around the world Source: Idaho Press Tribune
  • McCain Foods USA may build a facility in Caldwell that would bring up to 550 jobs to the area. The Caldwell Urban Renewal Agency approved providing $400,000 in grants to the company. The facility would be located on a 17-acre property in the Sky Rank Industrial Park. Because McCain manufactures frozen potato, onion and cheese products — raw materials produced in the area — Caldwell is an attractive location. If McCain decides on the Caldwell site, about 140 jobs would be available during the first phase of the construction. Source: Idaho Press Tribune

Elmore County

  • Mountain Home Air Force Base celebrated its 75th anniversary as it hosted the Gunfighter Skies Air Show and Space Celebration in early June. Source: Mountain Home News

Gem County

  • Boise Cascade Wood Products, LLC donated land to the Gem County Fire Protection District #1. The dream of streamlining and sharing county fire and ambulance resources is now closer to reality. The land in the county is close to the city and has city services and water just across the railroad tracks. The city and county have been sharing services for several years but they are located in separate buildings. Now that they have land, the county is pursuing a community block grant to assist with the cost of the building. It is anticipated it will take about two years to raise the money. Source: Messenger Index
  • The annual Emmett Cherry Festival June 13-16 surpassed last year’s attendance and ran out of cherries by the end, selling more than 2,000 pounds. Carnival officials estimated a 15 to 20 percent increase in traffic. Several businesses in Emmett reported increased sales. Chamber of Commerce officials estimate more than 60 percent of the chamber’s revenue is generated from the annual festival. Source: Messenger Index

Valley County

  • Cascade Airport recently updated its master plan, concluding the facility is in good condition and does not require substantial improvements over the next 20 years, including the 4,300-foot runway, which was rebuilt in 2012. The apron, where planes are parked next to the runway, is showing multiple deep cracks, and the city has requested about $157,000 in funding from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Idaho Department of Aeronautics to design a renovation of the apron. About 8,150 planes a year take off from the airport. Three out of four takeoffs are made by Arnold Aviation, which supplies mail to backcountry locations. The airport, two miles south of Cascade, is owned and operated by the city. Source: McCall Star-News
  • Plans for a network of bicycle paths that could attract more visitors will benefit from a project on Warren Wagon Road. In May, the Federal Highway Administration awarded a $9.9 million contract to M.A. DeAtley Construction, based in Clarkston, Washington, to rebuild 5.5 miles of the north of McCall. It will add shoulders between 3 feet and 4 feet wide on both sides of the road for bicycles. The project should be completed by the fall of 2019. Valley County Pathways will provide funding for safety signs for pedestrians and cyclists. Source: McCall Star-News
  • Cascade School District will eliminate four teaching positions before the upcoming school year to reduce a $400,000 deficit. The district employs 22 teachers, but only has enough students enrolled to fund 15 to 18 teachers in the budget year that started July 1. Source: McCall Star-News
  • About 85 percent of McCall voters in May approved a 10-year renewal of the city’s tourism local option tax. It continues a 3 percent sales tax on overnight lodging. Since voters first approved the tax in 2005, it has raised about $3.8 million. Source: McCall Star-News
  • Property values increased 10.3 percent in Valley County this year over last year. Commercial properties increased 60 percent or more because they had been undervalued, according to the Valley County Assessor’s Office. Residential values grew the most in McCall because of a surge in construction and home sales. New construction in the county was valued at $90.1 million in 2017, up 55 percent from $58 million the year before. Source: McCall Star-News
  • The Idaho Department of Lands auctioned nine state-owned cabin sites at Payette Lakes for a total of $3.87 million. The total price was $382,500 more than the appraised value. Eight of the nine lots had homes on them; seven of the lots went to the owners of homes who had been paying rent to the state for the land beneath their cabins. Source: McCall Star-News
  • With Albertsons moving into the McCall market, Idaho-owned Ridley’s mounted an aggressive update, completely remodeled the store and rebranded to Ridley’s Among the Pines. Some of the new features are in-store Dawson Taylor coffee shop, a dining area, sushi bar, upgraded sandwich shop, beer cave and more. The Payette Sporting Good & Outfitters store was also updated and remodeled with camping supplies, fishing poles and other items. Source: BoiseDev

 Washington County

  • The 66th annual National Oldtime Fiddler’s Contest was held the 3rd week in June in Weiser. Top fiddlers of all ages competed for nearly $10,000 in prize money and trophies. Fiddlers came from at least 30 states and every region in the country as well as international contestants from Italy and Bali. The contest provides an economic boom to the city and the county. Source: Weiser Signal
  • Washington County Commissioners plan to apply for a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Business Development Grant to fund a feasibility study of bringing a new hotel to Weiser or Washington County. The commission will be required to put up matching dollars. The city of Payette is going through the same process and is using the Core Development Group to conduct the study. Source: Weiser Signal
  • The Idaho Potato Commission is promoting the certified heart-healthy Idaho Potato this summer with a new Big Idaho Potato – a 28-foot-long and 11.5 feet tall “fake” potato that tours the U.S. pulled by a semi-trailer truck. The original big potato, made of foam and concrete, was intended for a one-time promotion, but six years later, it is an annual excursion. The new potato is fiberglass and designed to carry gear inside. The old potato will be retired and used as an Airbnb near the Stage Stop along Interstate 84. The potato travels about 30,000 miles every not only in Idaho but across the county. Source: Idaho Statesman

Openings

  • Crooked Fence Brewing reopened June 15 in Garden City with 12 beers on tap.
  • Chip Cookies opened June 9 in downtown Boise.

Closings

  • Kmart in Nampa will close in August.
  • Savage Baking Company closed June 16 in Nampa.
  • Destination 112, a restaurant and bar in Nampa, closed on June 9.
  • Butter Skin and Body closed June 16 in Nampa.
  • The Tailgate, located near Boise State University, closed June 30.
  • Tap and Cask on Broadway Avenue in Boise closed in late June.

Janell.Hyer@labor.idaho.gov, senior economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 332-3570 ext. 2330

SOUTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls counties

Region

  • Milk production for Idaho was up 3.5 percent from April 2017 to April 2018, producing an additional 42 million pounds of milk — more than a million pounds daily. Rick Narebouts, CEO of Idaho Dairymen’s Association, estimates that Idaho produces about two million excess pounds daily. Businesses expanding production of dairy products will help alleviate some of the over-production.  Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service

Blaine County

  • Blaine County School District approved its $55.6 million budget for the upcoming academic year, up $1.7 million from the previous year. Projections of health insurance premiums indicate an increase of 3.2 percent next year. The school district no longer covers administrators’ families but continues paying premiums for the administrators. The teachers and administrators will see a 1.25 percent increase to base salaries but will have to contribute .5 percent more personally toward retirement. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • Warfield Distillery & Brewery is expanding production with the goal of ultimately producing 10,000 barrels of beer and 300 barrels of whiskey annually. The projected destination market is southern Idaho, including the Wood River Valley eateries and drinking establishments. Ketchum Planning & Zoning Commission’s major requirement is for the business to expand its off-site parking availability. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • A solar-powered 2,000-square-foot greenhouse in Bellevue is being used to raise tilapia fish and radiant hydronic vegetables. The average year-round temperature in the greenhouse hovers between 72 and 74 degrees. If all goes as planned, the operation and owner’s residence will be using only solar panels and storing power in batteries within a year. Along the way, chickens and turkeys will join the mix of tilapia and organic produce. The Local Food Alliance will help distribute the product to Wood River Valley consumers. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • Hailey recently held an installation celebration of its Welcome Center pavement art. Cultural themes include the influence of the Shoshone tribe, Basque and Chinese in the Wood River Valley. Another part of the theme includes the mountains, sun, river and sky with vibrant colors to add to the visual gateway. Source: Times-News

Jerome County

  • Idaho Milk Products announced a $26 million expansion to increase production by one third at its existing campus in Jerome. The company converts raw milk into milk protein concentrate, milk permeate power and cream. The expansion means the company will need an additional million pounds of milk daily and will hire 25 new workers. Needed personnel will include research and development, production and warehouse workers. The current expansion of Jerome’s wastewater plant will comfortably accommodate all four of the production expansions in Jerome including Commercial Creamery, Agropur and Magic Valley Quality Milk. Source: Times-News

Twin Falls County

  • The site of El Milagro, will soon undergo a face change. It is home to low income housing, the Community Council of Idaho offices and Felipe Cabral Migrant Seasonal Head Start. The new design features new four-plex multi-family housing with garages and a business park that will provide office space for nonprofits including the Community Council of Idaho. A cultural center is part of the plan in an effort to preserve the historic buildings associated with both seasonal farmworkers and the Japanese interment. The multi-use development plan will roll out in phases once approved by the city. Source: Times-News
  • Betaseed plans to build on its existing research & development operations in Kimberly, investing $7.8 million. The national company will move some of its operations outside the city. Kimberly has doubled its land area by annexation, which decreased its density as the population grew. Much of the 23 percent growth in households and population occurred in subdivisions and not in the original city footprint. The U.S. Census Bureau provides land area data in its decennial census. The following table provides the most recent data from the 2000 and 2010 decennial census. Source:  Times-News

  • The Chobani Foundation donated $160,000 in scholarships for students majoring in a specialized dairy program at the University of Idaho and Cornell University in New York. These two states are home to Chobani Greek Yogurt manufacturing plants. There are eight students committed to the program over the next two academic calendars. Source: National Public Radio
  • Dierkes Lakes closed over Memorial Day weekend due to water. Twin Falls city’s wastewater treatment lab tested the water, returning results that indicated the water was safe for swimmers. Workers potentially impacted by the closure included those working as lifeguards and those working the canoe rental and snack concessions. Source: Times News/IDOL

Projects in Process

  • Marriott TownPlace Suites has applied for a building permit for a $7.7 million 104-room hotel to be located next to Fairfield Inn and Suites in Twin Falls.
  • The building permits for Epic Shine car wash and Tommy’s Car Wash Systems were both approved by the Twin Falls Planning and Zoning Department.  Epic Shine plans to employ 15 to 20 workers. Source: Times-News
  • Hong Kong Restaurant in Twin Falls applied for a building permit.

Openings

  • Tomato’s JR Italian Bistro is opening in Jerome, its third location. The company is based in Twin Falls with another restaurant in Kimberly.
  • HomeGoods opened its second Idaho store in Twin Falls.
  • Blue Lakes Inn has reopened in Twin Falls. The summer tourism season is this operator’s target market.
  • A ribbon cutting was held for the new U.S. Forest Service’s Sawtooth National Forest headquarters at Crossroad’s Point in Jerome. Its previous location was in Twin Falls. The newly constructed building is home to more than 20 employees with responsibilities ranging from fire management to recreation to personnel. It manages the Minidoka, Fairfield and Ketchum Ranger Districts as well as the Sawtooth National Recreational Area. This includes more than two million acres with four ski hills and three designated Wilderness Areas. Source: Crossroads Point website

Closures

  • Moxie Java Tuscany closed its doors after 13 years of operation
  • Express Printing closed its operations in Hailey due to retirement.
  • The Upper Crust Restaurant in Heyburn is closing its venue located above Gossner’s Magic Valley Chalet. It will reopen under new ownership.
  • The Magic Valley Chalet recent reopened after a brief closure for renovation.

Jan.Roeser@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3639

SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO – Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida & Power counties

Bannock County

  • Local dignitaries gathered in an open field for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, symbolizing the opening of the much-anticipated Northgate Interchange. The new Interstate 15 interchange that will provide access to a large development project underway in north Pocatello is slated to open by December. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The Olympus Drive road expansion project is underway. This road will lead to the new Northgate Interchange marking the start and one of the first phases heading toward the Northgate project. Source: KPVI
  • Inergy, a Pocatello-based start-up company, is migrating to a larger space to accompany its development of future products. The move will also add 10 jobs to the 18 it already has, with more potentially in the future. To support the company’s expansion, the Pocatello Development Authority provided $25,000 of building improvements for Inergy’s new headquarters. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Gem Prep Pocatello has received approval to expand. The local school will be moving to the old Sears building by the 2019 school year and plans to add two additional grade levels for each school year in the new building, until they reach 12th grade. The groundbreaking process will begin in the next few months. Source: KPVI
  • County commissioners approved a deal to open a behavioral health crisis center in Bannock County through state funding. The contract includes an initial $200,000 and a total of $1.5 million each year from the state. That amount per year will gradually decrease as the center becomes fully operational. Source: KIDK
  • Kevin Satterlee began work as Idaho State University’s 13th president this June. Satterlee was named the University’s new president by the Idaho State Board of Education on April 5. Previously, he was the chief operating officer, special counsel and vice president at Boise State University. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bear Lake County

  • U.S. Secretary of the Interior announced $95,000 in funding approved for critical U.S Fish and Wildlife Services Infrastructure in Idaho. All funds will be used to repair the Bear Lake Public Use Road in Bear Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Source: The Morning News
  • Wells Fargo announced that its Montpelier branch is one of hundreds that will be closed as part of the company’s consolidation plan. Operations are set to end by Sept. 12, 2018. Source: The News Examiner

Bingham County

  • Premiere Technology broke ground on a new addition to its Blackfoot facility. The 70,000-square-foot, multi-phase expansion will include state-of-the art automated metal-processing equipment. Premier officials said the $15 million expansion will create more than 100 new jobs. Source: KIDK, Morning News
  • Bingham Memorial Hospital presented its biggest ever check to Bingham County for $523,924.The amount represents a percentage of the hospital’s net revenue that it commits yearly to the county as part of an agreement formed in 2007 when the hospital became a nonprofit. Since 2007, the hospital has contributed about $4.1 million to the county’s general fund. Source: Post Register
  • To combat the labor shortage in the trucking industry, SAGE organized a job fair with 12 trucking companies to appeal to a generation that may overlook the importance of trucking. The fair was held at the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds on June 17. Source: KPVI
  • The Shelley Senior Center received a $150,000 Idaho Community Development Block Grant administered through the Idaho Department of Commerce. The grant will be used to replace equipment and upgrade the facility. The Aberdeen Senior Citizens Center of Bingham County also received a $150,000 grant through the Bacon-Davis Program. Source: Morning News

Franklin County

  • Weston city has begun construction on its water project. The project was awarded to Patriot Construction for their bid of $963,478.10. Source: Preston Citizen

 Power County

  • Construction began last month on the first phase of the Power County Hospital renovation. This will include remodeling the upper hospital parking lot; building a new machine room and lab; new retaining walls; and helipad excavation. Phase two, which goes out to bid this fall, will encompass the largest part of the construction project – the expansion and renovation of the main hospital building. Source: Power County Hospital, The Aberdeen Times

Openings

  • BW Ohmie Photo and Design in Pocatello.
  • Playtime Café in Pocatello.
  • Chubby’s in Pocatello Everest Kitchen in Pocatello.
  • The Melt food truck in Pocatello.
  • The Blackfoot Health & Wellness Center in Blackfoot.
  • Prestige Auto in Blackfoot.

Closings

  • Chopstick Café in Pocatello

Esther.Eke@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331

EASTERN IDAHO – Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison & Teton counties

Region

  • Yellowstone National Park had its busiest May on record. There were just under a half-million visits in May, up more than 6 percent from last year. Yellowstone has also experienced about a 3.5 percent increase in visits since the park opened for the summer season in April compared to last year. Source: Post Register
  • A budget bill pending before the Senate would authorize $10 million for a pilot program at Idaho National Laboratory to convert some spent fuel into fuel for nuclear reactors. The provision, which was added to the 2019 Energy and Water appropriations bill by Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., would fund research to take spent naval fuel and convert it into fuel that could be used in advanced reactors. Source: Post Register
  • Idaho National Laboratory is hoping up to 99 employees will take a “voluntary separation” agreement. In a notice sent to INL employees, Director Mark Peters said the cuts would help INL maintain a competitive cost of doing business and invest more in other areas, such as improving the lab’s infrastructure and supporting research and operations, said Mark Holubar, INL’s director of human resources and diversity. The buyout offer is across the board and not targeted at any particular department. Source: Post Register

Bonneville County

  • Porter’s Craft and Frame, a new arts and crafts store will be opening in both Rexburg and Idaho Falls. The New Jersey-based A.C. Moore Company announced that it planned to set up shop at both stores in the ensuing months. The Rexburg and Idaho Falls stores will be A.C Moore’s first locations in the West. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
  • Express Lab, a full-service clinical laboratory with three locations already in the region, is opening its new location on South Woodruff Avenue in the coming weeks. The growing need for laboratory services in Idaho Falls led to the company’s decision to expand. Source: Post Register
  • A remodel of the Earl Building on Park Avenue, is for the Cardamom Restaurant. Idaho Falls Building Department approved a building permit for the 2,945-square-foot remodel was approved by city of in mid-May. Source: Bizmojo

Madison County

  • Brigham Young University-Idaho had 15,751 students enrolled during the 2018 spring semester, which was an increase of nearly a thousand students over the previous spring semester. In addition to this number, 4,618 campus-based students were taking online courses or fulfilling internships away from campus. Male students numbered 7,738 and there were 8,013 female students on campus spring semester. Married students made up 25.2 percent of the enrollment or a total of 3,962 students. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal

Openings

  • Pop’s Ice Cream in Idaho Falls
  • Majestic Art Framing and Galleries in Rigby

Closure

  • Key Bank in Idaho Falls

Hope.Morrow@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 525-7268 ext. 4340

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