Around Idaho: Economic Activity in November 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

Kootenai County

  • Kootenai County has started construction on a new transit center in the Riverstone development in Coeur d’Alene. The transit center will be located on a four-acre parcel, which is owned jointly by the county and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. The center is expected to open in the summer of 2019. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Construction has started on a new medical building in Hayden. The $2 million facility will house a new office of the North Idaho Eye Institute, which also has offices in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • The Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel has begun a $15 million renovation project, which involves an update and improvement of both the gaming and entertainment facilities at the casino. A spokesperson for the casino said the improvements would be completed by March of 2019. Source: Spokane Journal of Business

  • The city of Coeur d’Alene opened its new multi-story downtown parking facility. The garage provides 350 parking spaces. The city hopes that additional parking will allow economic development in downtown Coeur d’Alene to spread northward from the city core around the lake and resort. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • A new 27,000-square-foot medical building has opened in the Riverstone development in Coeur d’Alene. The building will be the new home of North Idaho Dermatology. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

 Openings in Coeur d’Alene

  • Woops Bakery
  • Vape
  • CJ’s Alterations
  • Thai Express

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

Region 

  • The Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously in November to suspend the ongoing steelhead fishing season after Dec. 7 and to shutter the coming spring season in response to several environmental groups filing a notice of intent to sue. The commission plans to reopen the season as soon as Idaho’s permit for incidental take of wild steelhead is approved by the federal government, which may happen in February or March. Steelhead fishing will close in the Clearwater and Salmon rivers, but anglers who are licensed in Washington and Oregon can continue to fish for steelhead in those states, including in the Snake River where it forms a border with Idaho. The closure will affect small communities that rely on income from steelhead anglers, especially Riggins. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Clearwater County

  • Clearwater, Idaho and Lewis counties are among 10 counties in Idaho participating in a pilot program to help military veterans receive college credit for their experiences while in uniform. With a $400,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation, the program, administered by the Idaho State Board of Education, will increase veterans’ job and educational opportunities. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The US Bank Community Giving WORK program awarded the Pierce Community Improvement Corporation $3,200 to help support the Clearwater County Economic Development Workforce Readiness & Employability project. It provides targeted workplace readiness training to participants in the County Problem Solving Court program. Although participants are on a positive path, many struggle to secure gainful employment. The training may include developing basic mathematical skills, earning certifications for Microsoft Office software and receiving C-Stop workplace safety certification. Source: Clearwater Tribune

Idaho County

  • In the November election, 70 percent of Idaho County voters opposed more wilderness or Wild and Scenic Rivers designations in the county. County commissioners have no authority to decide whether more wilderness areas will be established or Wild and Scenic River designations given, but commissioners had placed the measure on the ballot to get an accurate picture of how local residents stand, so they can report that to Congress. About 83 percent of Idaho County land is owned by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The Selway and Lochsa rivers already have been designated as wild and scenic, and recently there has been some discussion about adding portions of the South Fork of the Clearwater River between Elk City and Kooskia to the list. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • A scholarship is helping Idaho child care workers develop their skills, which helps raise their wages, reduce labor turnover and improve the quality of child care programs. Across the state, about 30 early care and education workers have received IdahoSTARS academic scholarships this year. IdahoSTARS recipients must work with children for a year before applying, and the program they work for must agree to a 2 percent wage increase each year. They are also required to continue working at a child care facility while in school, which helps combat the high turnover rate for child care workers. Grangeville’s Kids Klub has sponsored some IdahoSTARS recipients. Source: Idaho County Free Press
  • One of the few retailers left on Craigmont’s Main Street closed in November. After more than 100 years in business, Craigmont Hardware & Antiques Too succumbed to pressure from online sales and big box stores. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The Kamiah Library started a Girls Who Code group in October. It introduces school-aged girls to computer coding in a supportive environment to increase the number of women in computer science. There’s already a waiting list. Source: Idaho County Free Press
  • Cottonwood Credit Union opened a new branch office in the former Wells Fargo Bank building in Cottonwood in October after extensive remodeling. Source: Cottonwood Chronicle

 Latah County

  • The University of Idaho’s enrollment at its Moscow campus fell 1 percent, from 8,915 in the fall semester of 2017 to 8,835 this fall. Drops in first-year Idaho residents and a decrease in transfer students caused the decrease. Student retention remained steady this fall with first-to-second-year retention holding at 81 percent compared with 82 percent in 2017 and 77 percent in 2016. The university invested in graduate teaching assistantships in the past year to help undergraduate students, while supporting students in their graduate studies. Graduate student enrollment increased 4.2 percent this fall. WWAMI, Idaho’s medical program, filled all 80 seats allotted by the Idaho Legislature. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  •  The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport continues to see growth in passengers. In September, 11,249 people flew in and out of the airport compared with 8,172 in September 2017. In October, typically the busiest month of the year, the airport handled 13,383 passengers compared with 11,367 the previous October. It is not known if the increase occurred because Horizon discontinued direct flights from Lewiston to Seattle in August. Passengers looking for that direct flight could still be driving to other airports in Spokane or the Tri-Cities. The Palouse airport handles four daily flights to Seattle except on Saturdays. Airport management also hopes Alaska Airlines will add flights to and from Denver. A study by Mead & Hunt found most of the top domestic destinations for travelers using the airports in Pullman, Spokane, Seattle and Lewiston are on the West Coast, but Denver is in the top five. All of the West Coast destinations can be fed through the Seattle-Tacoma Airport, but Denver International Airport can be a gateway to the east. The airport is also pursuing direct flights to Boise. With Horizon gone, Lewiston no longer offers direct flights to Boise. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News; Lewiston Tribune
  •  Patrons of the Moscow School District in the November election approved an increase in the supplemental levy by $1.9 million. The increased cost to homeowners with property valued at $100,000 is estimated at $28 a year after their homeowner’s exemption. This would increase the levy tax to about $678 annually. The funds will support the district’s all-day kindergarten program, increase the number of school resource officers, pay for more paraprofessionals and help with upkeep of school buildings. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Dry pea, lentil and garbanzo prices fell 40 percent between the 2017 harvest and this fall because of tariffs imposed by India, their largest overseas market. Pulse prices haven’t been this low since the early 2000s. Pulses — dry peas, lentils and garbanzos — are the second most important cash crop on the Palouse after wheat. In recent years, chickpeas (garbanzos) have made up more of the mix because of the growing popularity of hummus in the U.S. Since 2015, when wheat prices began to fall, pulses helped farmers remain profitable. Now wheat prices are higher, but pulse prices have dropped, which is likely to result in a dramatic decline in acres planted with pulses for next spring. Source: Lewiston Tribune; Moscow-Pullman Daily News; Spokesman-Review

Nez Perce and Asotin, Washington, Counties

  • Lewiston’s former dollar theater is under renovation to become a pet day care. The 10,000-square-foot theater, which closed in 2014, will open in January as Fur Family Cinema. It will provide services for dogs and cats such as day care, overnight boarding, training and grooming. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Voters in November approved the Asotin-Anatone School District’s two-year capital levy. The estimated levy rate is 80 cents per $1,000 in assessed property value, and it’s expected to yield $304,600 in 2019 and $309,169 in 2020. The money will be used for facility upgrades, maintenance, technology and safety measures including more security cameras and door locks. 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

Housing Market

  • October is typically a slack season for housing sales, but the inventory starts to stack up, particularly in new construction. Most homebuyers avoid moving around the holidays or during a school term. Sales typically peak during the summer starting in May through August. The Boise metro area has seen October inventory plummet since the Great Recession, falling to a little over a third of previous levels in 2008. The smaller market areas that are more remote have seen inventories fall to half of the pre-recession levels.

Ada County

  • Micron Technology’s stock is spiraling from the effects of Chinese patent thefts. Other chipmakers are similarly suffering with an especially steep price decline beginning in October. Micron’s stock price peaked at $62.57 on May 30, closing the end of November at approximately $38 per share — down about 40 percent. Source: Idaho Statesman and Google Finance
  • Marco’s Pizza has launched a major push into the western part of the U.S. and is seeking another five franchisees in the Treasure Valley. It is the seventh largest pizza chain nationally with estimated annual gross sales of $561.3 million and is third fastest in growth, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. Pat Giammarco, an Italian immigrant, founded Marco’s in 1978 in Toledo, Ohio. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Life’s Kitchen will move to a new facility in Garden City within the next two years. Kilmainham Holdings is building a four-story, 40,000-square-foot building in the area known as the Live Work Create District. Life’s Kitchen will occupy the first two floors, and apartments will take up the third and fourth floors. Life’s Kitchen is a training program where young at-risk youth ages 16-20 learn the skills needed to work as a cook, server or other position in a restaurant. The 16-week training program graduates 35-40 students in a typical year. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Boise State University’s enrollment set a new record for the third year in a row. Fall enrollment headcount was 25,540, up 5.7 percent over last year. Dual credit enrollment accounted for most of the increase with 5,261 students taking dual-credit courses, up 23 percent from the previous year and up 83 percent over the past five years. Enrollment at the state’s other two public universities dropped – University of Idaho headcount dropped 2.6 percent of its headcount and Idaho State University was down 2 percent.  Source Idaho Education News

Boise County

  • Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area’s big project for this year is snowmaking. Resort officials say they have a made a key achievement in collecting runoff in a special pond to make into future snow. The new snowmaking will be the second largest in the state after Sun Valley Resort’s extensive system. Bogus will have 24 fully automated fan guns that use water transferred by pumps running from the collection pond. The pond can hold up to 13 million gallons of water. Bogus officials say there should be enough runoff to “fill the pond nearly three times over.” Although snowmaking launches this year, Bogus will not know how much it can generate for a few more weeks, depending on precipitation levels. Source: BoiseDev

Canyon County

  • Project Bronco, an 850,000-square-foot warehouse in the works in northern Nampa, may require as many as eight new roundabouts or traffic signals and six new additional intersection by 2030. A traffic impact study says the project is expected to employ 2,000 to 3,000 people and create 7,000 vehicle trips during peak operating season. The warehouse would serve as a distribution center, mostly for small packages. The warehouse would be located on 100 acres at Star and Franklin roads and generate more than 350 truck trips a day. The Nampa Planning and Zoning Commission issued a conditional use permit, but the applicant has not closed on the property. The impact study report was more than 900 pages and examined more than 20 intersections. Source: Idaho Press
  • The Ford Idaho Center in Nampa finished a fiscal year in the black for the first time since it opened in 1997. The events center, owned by the city, reported a profit of $185,768 in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. However, the center not free of the tax burden yet. The city council approved $225,000 of a $1 million request for this year to fund renovations and capital improvement. The newly acquired profits will go towards renovations, which could benefit people who attend events and help attract even more events. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Voter turnout in Canyon County for the November elections increased more than 15 percent over the 2014 midterm elections. The county saw a 72.05 percent turnout compared with 55.3 percent in 2014. Early voter turnout in Canyon County totaled 13,850 – 7,411 in early ballots and 6,439 in absentee ballots. Source: Idaho Press
  • A recount was called for the College of Western Idaho’s plant facilities levy, a 10-year, $4.7 million per year request levy to help pay for a new health science building, which would allow 2,500 more students to take health and science courses. Initial results showed the levy failed by 144 votes, just under 0.1 percent in the November election. It received 54.9 percent approval and needed 55 percent to pass. Idaho law allows for a free recount if the difference in the results is less than or equal to 0.1 percent. The count should be completed by mid-December. Source: Idaho Press
  • A new restaurant and event center, proposed at the building referred to as Eagles Lodge in downtown Caldwell, will be used to host weddings, dances, small concerts and more. The building is located near Indian Creek Plaza. Although the event center was approved by the city, a date to begin work on the facility has not yet been released. Source: Idaho Press
  • Nampa will receive nearly $14.7 million in 13 grants for transportation projects. The funding will go toward projects planned through 2022, such as adding railroad crossings, installing pathways and adding signals to intersections. The total funding allocated for each of these projects ranges from $50,000 to more than $5 million. The grants were possible through partnerships among the Idaho Transportation Department, Local Highway Technical Assistance Council, the Community Planning Association of Southwest Idaho and Valley Regional Transit. Nampa needs about $20 million per year for several years to fund projects necessary to reduce traffic congestion, increase safety and support ongoing maintenance. The grant is essential to help bridge the gap. Source: Idaho Press
  • The Nampa Planning and Zoning Commission approved a conditional-use permit for the development of a 102-unit apartment complex called Idaho Center Apartments. The apartments would be located on 5.62 acres on Idaho Center Boulevard across the street from the College of Western Idaho main campus. The development will consist of five three-story buildings. Source: Idaho Press
  • Caldwell’s new outdoor ice skating rink opened Nov. 12 in the heart of Indian Creek Plaza. It may be the only skating feature of its kind in Idaho. The ice ribbon takes up nearly 9,500 square feet of skating surface. The ribbon winds through the plaza, allowing up to 180 guests an hour to skate around a lane of ice and back to a traditional ice rink. Source: Idaho Press
  • Of the 2,400 manufacturing jobs in Caldwell, 42 percent have been added in the past five years – a growth rate 15 times the national average for metro area manufacturing sectors. Manufacturing has added more jobs than any other sector and is growing at three times the rate of economic development in Caldwell as a whole. In 2018, more than 200,000 square feet of industrial business have moved to the Sky Ranch Business Park, the city’s central hub for manufacturing, bringing jobs and a growing tax base to Caldwell. Sky Ranch is the home to several manufacturing businesses like Southwark Metal Manufacturing Co., Capitol Distributing and AMFEC. The growth has brought challenges to the city in terms of available space and workforce. Source: Idaho Press
  • Lippert Components, a vehicle and housing component manufacturer, leased 40,000 square feet in the Interstate 84 Industrial Park in Nampa. Three of its four operating plants in Idaho are located in Nampa. Source: Idaho Press

Gem County

  • The Emmett Messenger-Index newspaper recently celebrated 125 years in business. It was founded as the Emmett Index. It was combined with the short-lived Emmett Messenger and evolved into the Emmett-Messenger. It has been bought and sold several times and is now owned by the Adams Publishing Group, a community-oriented media company based in Tennessee. Source: Messenger Index.

Owyhee County

  • Marsing High School’s earth science and introduction to agriculture instructor Nic Usabel received a $3,000 Whittenberger Foundation grant. The money will be used to purchase new lab equipment that will allow students to apply the scientific methods through innovative STEM labs. From the labs, students will maintain observational and mathematical records, conduct research and make in-class presentations. Source: Owyhee Avalanche

Adams County

  • A court order that shut down the Lost Creek-Boulder Creek project west of New Meadows in November could result in unemployment for people from the local timber industry. The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the 80,000-acre project last month, finding that the designation of land within the project was conducted contrary to the Payette Forest Plan. Ikola Logging, based in McCall, was preparing to start work on the project by the beginning of December and work there throughout the winter. It may be forced to lay off 15 to 20 workers. Source: McCall Star-News

Payette County

  • A proposed mix-used development on 4.7 acres along U.S. Highway 95 in Payette has passed all local hurdles. Pirate Landing would include eight buildings with four apartments each and two lots for businesses. Source: Independent Enterprise
  • A new charter school plans to open in Fruitland in August 2019. Treasure Valley Classical Academy, a tuition-free public charter school, would enroll students from all over the Treasure Valley. Seats will be filled through a lottery system. When it first opens, it will include kindergarten through sixth grade. Academy officials hope to enroll 257 students. It will add one grade each year until it includes 12th grade. The academy, which will be in a former school building on Third Street after a $4.2 million renovation, will provide a traditional American curriculum. Source: The Argus Observer
  • The city of Payette recently installed an informational kiosk at Bancroft Park in downtown Payette. The kiosk’s central panel shows a map of Payette highlighting 11 special points of interest that can be accesses for a walking tour. The kiosk includes corkboards and brochure holders for citizens to use. Source: Ontario Argus Observer

Valley County

  • St. Luke’s McCall Medical Center plans to build a two-story, 50,000-square-foot extension north of the existing hospital. Construction is anticipated to start in spring or early summer to be completed in two years. After that, the hospital will renovate a 15,000-square-foot addition built in 1996. The last phase of the construction, expected to occur in 2021 or 2022, will be demolishing the oldest section of hospital built in 1956. The three phases are expected to cost $40 million. Source: Idaho Business Report
  • The Valley County Planning and Zoning Commission approved a proposal for a venue that would host weddings and other events on Boulder Lake Road. The Retreat McCall development would feature a covered pavilion and an enclosed conference center. It also would include five cabins able to accommodate up to 40 guests. Source: McCall Star-News
  • Construction on a six-mile segment of the Payette Lake Trail was completed in October. The multi-use trail eventually will be extended to a 33-mile loop. Source: McCall Star-News
  • The University of Idaho’s McCall Outdoor Science School won a University Economic Development Association Award of Excellence on Oct. 22 in Milwaukee for its education programs that promote regional economic development. The award emphasizes STEM learning to build scientific literacy and positive attitudes toward science. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Tamarack Resort Holdings purchased Tamarack Resort near Donnelly for an undisclosed price with plans to complete the half-finished project. The group of investors and developers say they have experience in the premier resort industry and the financial backing needed. The project ran into financial trouble in its first development by French owner Jean-Pierre Boespflug who defaulted on Credit Suisse loans. A group of homeowners bought part of the resort to keep the ski lift in operation since then, but it has never regained its original momentum. The assets included in the purchase include land, ski lifts, lodges, utilities, a portion of the golf course, the unfinished Village Plaza and other private real estate parcels along with the lease to operate the Arling Center, an event venue. There are to be new options on the ski hill including a new restaurant, new terrain park and free ski lessons for newbies. It plans to open Dec. 14. Source: Idaho Statesman

Washington County

  • Weiser School District trustees recently closed enrollment to students residing outside of the attendance area because class sizes at the middle school and high school are at capacity. Source: Weiser Signal American 

Openings

  • Big Daddy’s BBQ on Fairview in Boise opened in October.
  • Trillium, a new restaurant in Boise, opened in the former Emilio’s Restaurant in the Grove Hotel with a new concept and space, focusing on using local ingredients. Source: BoiseDev
  • 208 Pho & Vegan opened its second restaurant in Boise Nov. 1.
  • Soft Surroundings opened its 4,300-square-foot store at the Village in Meridian. The St. Louis-based company has strong catalog sales in the Treasure Valley. The company hired 20 workers. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Zamora This and Zamora That, a fashion boutique in downtown Nampa, opened in early November.
  • Indigo Wellness opened a yoga studio with a juice bar, massage and aromatherapy in downtown Nampa. Source: Idaho Press
  • Gerry’s Shoe Service opened in Glenns Ferry offering custom-sized boots and cobbler services and products. Source: Mountain Home News 

Closures

  • Zimm’s Burger Stache in Boise has closed. The owners cited low traffic during the evening hours as the primary cause. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Famous Dave’s on Eagle Road in Meridian closed.

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

Blaine County

  • Sun Valley Resort’s 83rd season started Thanksgiving Day with 2,000 skiers. Warm Springs Lodge plans a grand opening Dec. 15, after restoring and upgrading it following the fire that caused substantial damage last April. Sun Valley Inn room renovations will be completed and open for tours at the same time. Source: KMVT News
  • Blaine County School District students from kindergarten through third grade scored eight percentage points below Idaho as a whole on the Idaho Reading Indicator, a standardized test, administrators recently released. The test for the 2018-2019 school year has been revised and will not be comparable to previous years. The new test is designed to provide teachers and parents with more comprehensive results. The test is administered three times a year. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • Ketchum’s local option tax receipts were up 14.8 percent in July from July 2017, while August’s collection rose 14.2 percent from August 2017. The city’s “1 percent for Air” tax generated an additional $2.2 million in local option taxes for fiscal year 2018, an increase from fiscal year 2017 of six percent. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum recently held its grand opening. The high tech, modern venue will seat 462 people with additional studio seating up to 49 and includes a café and outdoor plaza. The nonprofit Sun Valley Performing Arts owns the 25,000-square-foot facility, built by Boise general contractor McAlvain Construction. Source: Idaho Business Review

Camas County

  • Soldier Mountain Ranch and Resort is selling 150 acres and 26 buildings for $1.3 million to Camp Rainbow Gold under a conditional agreement. The nonprofit camp ran into opposition when attempting to purchase ground in Blaine County, which was challenged by neighbors. The camp was established 35 years ago north of Ketchum for kids with cancer. The camp has a full medical staff and a social worker along with 160 volunteers. Source: Times-News

 Gooding County

  • North Canyon Medical Center celebrated its 100th anniversary by rolling back prices to 1918—specifically, $19.18. The pricing applied only to outpatient services and only for one day, on its anniversary. Source: Times-News

Jerome County

  • The 1970s-era rest area on I-84 between Jerome and Twin Falls closed permanently. Myriad issues led to the closure, including the exit’s proximity to the next exit, the size, design and cost to update it. An Idaho Department of Transportation contract with Mr. Gas C-stores, The Garden of Eden and Valley Country Store allows restroom access for travelers and oversight on sanitation and maintenance, contributing to the decision close the rest area. The razing of the building will take place in December. Source: Times-News
  • The Magic Valley YMCA announced its Jerome after-school program is ready for kindergarten through fifth graders at Jefferson Elementary School. The program consists of physical activity games, crafts, STEM activities and assistance with homework. Source: Times-News

Minidoka County

  • The city of Heyburn is asking for a judicial confirmation to approve a $12.4 million wastewater bond. The system is out of compliance and is facing large-scale fines from the Environmental Protection Agency. Upgrades to the system will include a new ultraviolet disinfectant system, an additional clarifier and a screw press dewatering system. The lift stations also need work. Source: Times-News

Twin Falls County:

  • CropLogic, a New Zealand-based public company listed on the Australian stock exchange, is opening an office on the College of Southern Idaho campus. The company uses drones and geographic information systems to diagnose crop stress, soil moisture and nutrient deficiencies. The company announced it intends to hire a few local workers in the near future. Source: Times-News
  • Katie Breckenridge has agreed to sell 1.5 acres of her family’s iconic property on the canyon rim to the city of Twin Falls to complete the Canyon Rim Trail system. The Breckenridge family was instrumental in deeding much of the land around the bridge to the College of Southern Idaho resulting in a land swap, housing and commercial development and a bigger footprint for CSI, which paved the way for its historic expansion. Source: Times-News
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs will be joining the retail and restaurant cluster near the Magic Valley Regional Medical Center and Canyon Ridge High School. Developer Gerald Martens estimated construction of tenant improvements will take a couple of months and should be completed in February. Source: Times-News
  • The College of Southern Idaho released its fall enrollment headcount at 3,378 — down 1.2 percent from last year’s fall semester – or about 85 people – according to Chris Bragg, associate dean of Institutional Effectiveness. Full-time student count was 3,378, a drop of 0.9 percent or 31 students from the previous year’s fall semester. Career and technical education enrollment was down 7.3 percent, or 665 students. Dual credit enrollment was up 8 percent or 2,955 students and those students are taking more credits — up by 0.4 percent. CSI is also educating 1,700 people who are taking non-credit classes, showing the intangible benefits of a community college to its constituents. The dual credit program receives a subsidy from the state’s Advanced Opportunities Program that allows high school students up to $4,125 to pay for college-level courses. Source: Times-News
  • The city of Twin Falls issued 19 single-family home permits in November, according to a report summarizing construction permits. That brings the total to 246 for the year thus far. This is the highest number of permits pulled in November since 2006, which had 60 permits for the month and 535 permits year-to-date. Source: City of Twin Falls

Openings

  • Paddles Up Poke – new restaurant opened in Ketchum with existing restaurants in downtown Boise and Eagle.
  • The Covey opened in Ketchum.
  • Tundra Café opened in Hailey offering breakfast, lunch, espresso drinks and baked goods.
  • Sterling Urgent Care is opening a new clinic in Hailey.
  • The Mint, a bar, restaurant and concert venue in Hailey, recently held its grand opening.
  • Camilla’s restaurant opened in Hailey. It is family owned and operated.
  • El Toro opened its Mexican cuisine restaurant in a new and larger location in Hailey.
  • Mariscos is a seafood restaurant recently opened in Hailey.

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

  • Idaho State University’s student enrollment for the fall 2018 semester is down 256 from the same semester the year before. Although the overall fall enrollment was down, the university enrolled 3.2 percent more freshman students at the institution. This number includes early college, career and technical, and academic degree-seeking students. Additionally, first-time graduate student enrollment increased by 8.6 percent. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Idaho State University plans to pump approximately $21 million into the Eames Advanced Technical Education and Innovations Complex over the next six years to house most of its College of Technology programs. The Eames Complex master plan involves three phases with each phase costing the university approximately $13 million, $5 million and $3 million, respectively. ISU would like to complete the first phase in time for the spring 2020 semester. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • City officials confirmed that Pocatello agreed to purchase the former Western States Cat building last November for $2 million. The sale was finalized last winter, and the Pocatello City Council voted unanimously last month to allow the city to spend up to an additional $1.53 million to renovate the building. The newly acquired facility will serve as the new home of the city’s street and sanitation departments as well as a newly created centralized fleet department. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Gem Prep Pocatello, a 4-year-old K-6 public charter school, will soon occupy space in a former Sears department store in Chubbuck. The school will join several other Idaho charter schools housed in unorthodox locations, including space in a strip mall in Nampa and a former movie theater complex in Blackfoot. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • The city of Pocatello opened its newest bus stop – the Sherman Street bus stop – in October. The new stop at 7th Street and Sherman features new sidewalks and crosswalks, ADA compliant ramps, a stormwater retention area and a new fence. The cost of the project was $250,000 with $200,000 of that coming from an Idaho Transportation Department Elderly and Disabled Grant. Source: KPVI
  • The city of Chubbuck has annexed 632 acres west of Interstate 15 to make way for a major “walkable” development of a similar vein to the large-scale Northgate project, which is early in construction on nearby land. The city council increased Chubbuck’s land mass by an estimated 24 percent when it voted to annex the property from unincorporated Bannock County. It is uncertain how many homes or businesses the project will include. However, one of the developers expects to break ground next spring on 200 single-family and multi-family homes — valued at between $275,000 and $375,000 each — as well as light commercial space within his 100 acres. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bingham County

  • BWX Technologies, a Virginia company, received the engineering contract to manufacture small modular reactors that are planned to be sited in eastern Idaho. BWXT was chosen after an 18-month process with interest expressed from 83 companies in 10 countries. The Blackfoot company Premier Technology also was in the running for the small modular reactor contract. Source: Post Register
  • Idaho will be awarded a grant for $7.4 million to establish a new State Veterans Cemetery in southeastern Idaho. This will be Idaho’s third veterans cemetery, including the current cemetery in Boise and proposed National Rural Veterans Cemetery under construction in Buhl. The new State Veterans Cemetery will be located on 40 acres of farmland adjacent to State Hospital South in Blackfoot. The project is expected to break ground by the summer of 2019. Source: Idaho Press

Caribou County

  • J.R. Simplot Co. proposed expanding the phosphate mine at Smoky Canyon, east of Soda Springs. If approved, the East Smoky Panel Mine Project would sustain 626 jobs for an additional three years at the existing Smoky Canyon Mine and Don Plant facility, along with 1,326 indirect jobs in the region. The Bureau of Land Management Idaho Falls District and Caribou-Targhee National Forest have released a draft environmental impact statement for the project and public comments are being accepted until December. Source: Caribou County Sun

Openings

  • Gin Sen Noodle and Ramen Bar in Pocatello.
  • The Poky Dot Boutique in Pocatello.
  • GemSource Jewelers in Blackfoot.
  • Himalayan Flavor restaurant in Pocatello.
  • The INN (Idaho Nutrition Now) in Pocatello.

Closings

  • Maverick in Aberdeen.

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 is reporting another uptick in visitors for October. The park logged 218,076 visits during the month, an increase of 2.9 percent over October 2017 and making it the third busiest October on record. Source: Post Register
  • Idaho National Laboratory has been honored with four R&D 100 Awards in 2018. The U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories typically have dozens of finalists every year. This year, there were 60 finalists from DOE national labs, with 11 coming from INL. Source: Post Register
  • For the sixth year in a row, Idaho National Laboratory exceeded its goal to work with small businesses, spending nearly $235 million or 59.1 percent of its total business expenditures with small businesses. Between February 2005 and September 2018, INL spent $1.66 billion with Idaho small businesses. The majority of those contracts, $1.04 billion, were with eastern Idaho businesses. Source: Post Register

Bonneville County

  • Idaho Falls Power launched a fiber pilot program to test the feasibility of expanding the fiber network throughout the city to 28,000 customers. Construction started in November, and Idaho Falls Power hopes to have people in the optional pilot program online by Jan. 1. After the pilot program, the city council will decide whether to go citywide. Source: KPVI
  • A new full-service hospital with an emergency room will open in 2019 adjacent to Mountain View Hospital. The Idaho Falls Community Hospital is expected to employ about 300 credentialed doctors and more than 200 nurses and supporting positions. It will house an emergency room, in-patient services, an intensive care unit, 88 private rooms, a café and an outdoor patio. The project is estimated to cost $65 million. Source: Post Register
  • The Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park reported its second-highest attendance in 2018, drawing 144,000 visitors. That was short of last year’s record attendance of 160,000, which was boosted by a baby boom at the zoo. Source: Post Register
  • A new U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs clinic is preparing to begin accepting patients in Idaho Falls. The Idaho Falls Outreach Clinic will be capable of handling up to 3,000 patients when fully staffed with patient-aligned care teams. The clinic has already hired a second physician, with the goal of eventually three or four care teams on site to handle the veterans care. Source: Post Register

Custer County

  • Custer County residents who hit the polls in November rejected a ballot measure for a bond to fund a new county jail and make improvements at the courthouse. The $4.5 million bond — at an interest rate of 3.44 percent for 20 years — is the third time in the past year that residents have rejected a ballot measure for the bond. Source: Post Register

Fremont County

  • The North Fremont Canal System recently received a 20-year, $4.3 million loan for Phase Three of its Marysville gravity pressurized irrigation project. The loan comes via the Idaho Water Resource Board. The total endeavor is estimated to cost around $11 million. The Natural Resources Conservation Service recently awarded a $6.8 million grant toward the project. Construction is expected to begin this fall and completed by the spring of 2019 — just in time for planting. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal

Madison County

  • Enrollment numbers from BYU-Idaho show 20,266 students are attending the university this fall, a 4.3 percent increase from last year. Source: Post Register

Openings

  • T-Mobile in Rexburg.
  • Fiesta Cancun Mexican Grill in Idaho Falls.

Closings

  • Wingers in Rexburg.
  • Sears in Idaho Falls.
  • Kathryn’s Lounge restaurant at Idaho Falls Regional Airport.

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

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