Around Idaho: Economic Activity in January 2021

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 Idaho
Eastern Idaho

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

Kootenai County

  • The Idaho Division of Veteran Services plans to proceed with construction of a 64-room home for veterans in Post Falls. The 83,000-square-foot skilled nursing facility is slated for completion in 2022. It will be Idaho’s fourth veterans home and the first in northern Idaho. Source: Journal of Business
  • Redevelopment of the former Atlas Mill site in Coeur d’Alene is underway, with the first phase now scheduled for the first half of 2021 to include a mix of housing. The first development phase includes 24 townhomes, 54 single family homes and 93 multifamily units along with a mix of retail and office space. Altogether, this first phase of construction will use four of the Atlas Mill site’s 13 development plats. Source: Journal of Business
  • Kenworth Trucks is planning to build a new facility in Post Falls to offer parts, sales, service and leasing. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press

Post Falls

  • Maverick Gas Station
  • Neighbors-N-Need
  • Olive’s Pastry
  • Dirt Kart

Coeur d’Alene

  • Linden Coffee Company
  • Panhandle Cone & Coffee
  • Once Upon A Fairytale
  • TK Lighting Design
  • Ziply Fiber Services
  • Becky’s Sewing Center
  • Ventura Stone

Dalton Gardens

  • SuperSprings International, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext 4451

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


  • North central Idaho’s manufacturing sector showed strength. While U.S. manufacturing jobs fell 4% between February and November, Idaho manufacturing jobs grew 5%. Idaho was the fastest-growing state. Only three other states experienced any manufacturing growth, while three states lost more than 10% of their manufacturing jobs. The region’s manufacturing employment expanded even faster than Idaho’s — growing an estimated 8% between February and November, as manufacturers added 370 jobs. A national ammunition shortage and a surge in gun purchases raised employment at Vista Outdoors ammunition plant in Lewiston from 1,000 jobs to 1,200. It also increased employment at the region’s gun and gun parts manufacturers. Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories added more than 30 jobs in Lewiston this year, bringing its employment there to 620. Record high prices for lumber in the last half of the year buoyed sawmill jobs. The region’s largest manufacturer, Clearwater Paper in Lewiston, benefited from strong demand for toilet paper and other paper products. Sources: Idaho Department of Labor, Moscow-Pullman News; Spokesman-Review
  • Another high-performance sector in north central Idaho was construction, which added more than 100 jobs in 2020, making it an estimated 5% higher this November than a year earlier. U.S. construction employment fell 2.4% in the same period. The construction growth boosted employment at cement, concrete and gravel providers; building material stores; and appliance stores. Real estate and related financial and insurance agencies also hired more people. Source: Idaho Department of Labor
  • Emsi, a high-tech labor market analytics firm in downtown Moscow, added a couple of dozen jobs bringing its employment close to 200. Construction progressed on its new headquarters, which will be able to accommodate up to 500 workers. Emsi officials predict the company will employ 500 in about six years. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • Pullman-based Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories plans to break ground on a 140,000-square-foot manufacturing facility for printed circuit boards this spring in Moscow. The company plans to complete construction by mid-2022. Sources: Moscow-Pullman News; Spokesman-Review
  • The Nez Perce Tribe announced its plan to turn the Riverside Sport Shop site near Orofino into a casino. Construction could begin as early as January. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Two career & technical education centers that will benefit the entire region opened in Lewiston this fall. The state-of-the-art CTE centers at the new Lewiston High School and nearby Lewis-Clark State College promise great job opportunities for the region’s youth and a skilled workforce for employers throughout the region. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Exceptionally high yields for wheat and other crops benefitted the region’s farmers, which in turn will boost spending in the region. Source: Idaho Department of Labor

Clearwater County

  • Ziply Fiber has completed a critical phase of the fiber-optic network build-out in Orofino and Weippe, that will deliver gig-speed fiber internet to households and businesses for the first time. It is extending fiber to hundreds of residential and business addresses throughout the towns and will have more than 40% up and running by the end of the year. The remainder of the work is scheduled for completion in the next few months. Source: Clearwater Tribune

Idaho and Lewis Counties

  • Airbridge Broadband recently completed a $1.32 million project that expanded internet service to approximately 3,000 unserved residents in Lewis and Idaho counties. Overall, 44 sites were completed. The project also provided the infrastructure for further expansion in the next few years. As part of the work, redundancies were built into the connections, providing multiple broadband pathways in the White Bird-to-Riggins corridor, so if one site goes down, the whole leg of the network does not. More redundancies are planned in 2021 to ensure service in the event of a fiber feed cut. Source: Clearwater Progress
  • The city of Riggins held a community meeting about the community’s lack of affordable housing. City Councilor Brady Clay noted, “The geographic location of Riggins limits building — we’re between a mountain and the river. There are very few properties in city limits that are buildable, but with some negotiation and creativity… can we come together and fix the problem? What have other small cities done?” Clearwater Economic Development Association and the Idaho Housing and Finance Association provided information about potential resources. Source: Idaho Free Press

Latah County

  • Idaho Central Credit Union recently opened the 5,956-square-foot branch it built on Moscow’s Third Street. Moscow is one of 41 branches of the credit union based in Chubbuck in southeastern Idaho. Two years ago, when the company made a $10 million contribution to the University of Idaho to gain naming rights to the basketball arena currently under construction, its only branch in north central Idaho was in Pierce. It recently acquired land in Lewiston for a third branch in the region. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • The second floor of the former U.S. Bank building in downtown Moscow has been converted into 18 private offices with a kitchen and lounge area for new businesses and entrepreneurs who need a professional working space. The offices with high-speed internet are available for lease on day, month and year contracts. The building’s owners plan to move their Sangria Grill restaurant to the building’s first floor in a couple of years. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News

Nez Perce and Asotin Counties

  • A group brought together by Idaho Gov. Brad Little to find ways to bolster faltering salmon and steelhead population released its report with two dozen policy recommendations on Dec. 31. It recognized that recovery of salmon and steelhead population required work both within and beyond the state’s borders. The workgroup, drawn from a diversity of interested parties, discussed dam breaching but did not reach any consensus. The group’s recommendations would lessen the negative impacts of dams and reservoirs, improve habitat, make sure hatcheries produce fish for harvest without harming wild stocks and reduce species that prey on salmon and steelhead. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Smart Foodservice Warehouse Store has nearly finished construction of its 20,000-square-foot outlet on Port Drive near Walmart in Clarkston. The 70-store chain operates throughout the Western U.S., selling products to restaurant owners, chefs, caterers and event planners. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Union Gospel Mission opened an upscale thrift store on Snake River Avenue in Lewiston in February. The nonprofit also plans to open emergency overnight housing for men, women and children at that location in a year or two and to offer services for those who need help finding work or overcoming addictions. Source: Lewiston Tribune


  • The Pioneer Inn in Pierce, a restaurant and bar, recently opened offering rentals for hunters, skiers, snowmobilers and travelers along the Gold Rush scenic byway. Source: Clearwater Tribune
  • The Untamed Daisy Boutique opened in a mini-mall on Grangeville’s Main Street.
  • Massage by Kat opened in The Gym in Grangeville.
  • Bitchin’ Britches, a boutique offering bohemian and western fashions for women, opened at the Palouse Mall in Moscow in November., 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

  • Equifax acquired local start-up company Kount based in Boise for $640 million. The company will continue to develop fraud detection and prevention software as part of Equifax’s United States Information Solutions unit. All employees will be retained and will continue to work at the downtown office building occupied in 2019. Equifax reported interest in the artificial intelligence patents for identifying fraud filed by Kount. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • MacKenzie Scott, third wealthiest woman in the world, donated $10 million to the Treasure Valley YMCA. The organization is deliberating how to best use the generous donation. Scott distributed approximately $4.2 billion among the 50 states plus District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in the last part of 2020. The Treasure Valley YMCA reported laying off nearly all 1,200 employees early in the pandemic and has hired back fewer than half so far. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Amazon announced it will build a 225,000-square-foot sorting facility in Boise’s Gateway Industrial Park south of the Boise Airport. The company plans to hire approximately 1,000 full- and part-time staff to sort and ship customer orders and for office positions such as facilities and operations management and human resources. This new building comes in addition to other Amazon facilities in the Treasure Valley including its automated fulfillment center in Nampa, a specialty large-package sort and delivery center in Meridian, delivery stations in both Nampa and Boise and a last mile delivery station under construction in Meridian that is nearing completion. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • In March, the Kuna School District will bring its supplemental levy to voters for reapproval. Extending the expiring $2.5 million levy will not change property owners’ tax rate since it is already on the rolls. Its initial two-year funding has been insufficient to cover the needs of the district, which is forecast to require a cut of five teaching positions due to rising health care premiums. A survey reported that 80% of participants favored a higher supplemental levy to invest in personnel and programs. Source: Kuna Melba News
  • Drake Cooper, an advertising agency based in Boise, recently converted its ownership to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan, meaning each of the approximately 50 employees have been gifted stock shares of the business. This status creates tax savings that can be invested back into the business. In addition, the move keeps the ownership local reducing the chance of a buyout by a larger corporation. The process took almost a year to complete according to the company’s CEO. There are approximately 42 ESOP-owned businesses in Idaho. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Tate Rentals is celebrating its 75th anniversary in the Treasure Valley by converting to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. This third-generation family ownership will allow employees to qualify after one year and be fully vested in five years. The current generation is preparing to retire and believe this transition a proper celebration of the company’s growth with nine stores and 108 employees, but it also a way of ensuring long-term viability. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Amalgamated Sugar donated 36 tons of sugar to food banks and organizations assisting those in need during 2020 with seven tons donated over the holiday season. The company’s headquarters are in Boise, but has plants across southern Idaho including Nampa, Twin Falls and Paul. White Satin is the brand for its consumers and retailers. Source: Capital Press
  • Boise came in third among cities nationally for the largest percentage of inbound moves compared to outbound moves according to an annual study by United Van Lines. The company releases a study after year end detailing where the population moved during the previous year for cities and states with more than 250 moves using United Van Lines. Boise had 75% inbound compared with 25% outbound moves following Wilmington, North Carolina, at 79% inbound moves and Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, at 78% inbound moves. From a state perspective, Idaho ranked first with 70% inbound, followed by South Carolina at 64% and Oregon at 63%. The report can be found at Source:
  • Internet service provider CTC Telecom is constructing a $7.8 million office building and warehouse in Boise near the Winco Food distribution center. CTC is based in Cambridge. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Meridian-based Engineered Structures Inc. (ESI) recently merged with Idaho Falls general contractor Morgan Construction to develop projects in eastern Idaho. ESI is Idaho’s largest privately held general contracting firm. Morgan Construction will become a division of ESI. Source:
  • Micron Technology reported its foundation’s charitable donations doubled in 2020 from 2019 with $23.9 million distributed among recipient categories including COVID-19, basic human needs, social justice and learning. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Albertson’s announced it will reduce payrolls and improve its competitive advantage by moving to independent contractors for online grocery deliveries. The second and third quarters of 2020 saw growth of more than 250% from the same period in 2019 for the Albertson’s line of grocery stores. It also owns other grocers across the nation including Tom Thumb, Von’s, Pavilions and Safeway. E-commerce growth has been driven by the pandemic’s emphasis on social distancing and isolation. However, it is projected this consumer behavior will stick after the pandemic lessens. There are 16 employees impacted in Idaho by this move to third-party delivery. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Boise Airport reported its 2020 November passenger statistics dropped 49% from November 2019. Its year-over-year comparison between 2019 and 2020 dipped by 52%. In November 2020, 172,008 passengers traveled through Boise Airport compared with the previous year levels of 337,480. Source: Idaho News 6
  • Midas Gold announced plans to move its headquarters from British Columbia, Canada, to Boise and potentially become an American corporation. This follows the approval of parts of its Stibnite mine site restoration plan by the U.S. Forest Service and the Environmental Protection Agency. The company has a 20-year plan in place as it removes metals and minerals from the site including gold, silver and acrimony. There is potential to employ as many as 500 workers. Meanwhile, the Nez Perce tribe has filed a lawsuit to stop the reactivation of mining activities at Stibnite. The lawsuit involves water contamination that impacts the fisheries industry supported by the Nez Perce tribe. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Gem County

  • Valor Health announced in 2020 it had received community donations allowing it to purchase fetal heartbeat monitoring equipment, vital signs equipment and to start its financial endowment. The hospital is county-owned but reported it is one of the few such entities that does not receive county tax dollars to support its operations. It has not received tax funding since the 1990s. Source: Messenger-Index
  • Idaho Power is replacing bulbs in streetlights on behalf of the city of Emmett. The new LED bulbs will not only burn brighter but will last longer and use less power. Source: Messenger-Index
  • A new boat ramp is now operational on the Payette River at Gem Island Sports Complex. The ramp was funded using Bureau of Reclamation mitigation funds, and the labor was provided by Idaho Fish and Game and Gem County. Source: Messenger-Index
  • Housing inventory for November 2020 in Gem County was estimated to be low with only one month of inventory available, according to regional realtors. The inventory dropped by 57.4% from November 2019. The median sale price based on a 12-month rolling average was $331,000, an increase of 35.8% from the same time last year.

Valley County

  • Lake Cascade is set for a record-breaking season of ice fishing according to Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The levels of large sized perch, rainbow trout, kokanee salmon and smallmouth bass are in good supply based on gill netting activities designed to monitor the fish inventory. Fishing mortality rates are low in Lake Cascade as the number of anglers is not high. The presence of predators such as northern pikeminnow is being closely watched by the department but is not out of balance. Source: Messenger-Index

Event Changes due to COVID-19 Pandemic:

  • The April Race to Robie Creek has again been postponed to 2022. It originally was postponed due to the pandemic in March 2020 and again in January 2021. Source: Idaho News 6
  • Jaialdi Festival, the Basque cultural event held every five years at Boise’s Basque Block, has been set back to July 2022 after originally deferring from 2020 to 2021. The festival attracts thousands from Idaho, across the U.S., South America and Europe. Source: KTVB News


  • Primary Health Medical Care opened its urgent care clinic in Kuna. Source: Kuna Melba News
  • Anthony’s Restaurant opened its 23rd seafood restaurant in downtown Boise in the JUMP complex. Source: KTVB News
  • 3 Wood Pizza and Pub opened in Boise occupying the former Garbanzo’s Pizza location. The owners completed training to create ‘Old world style’ pizza at a restaurant on Staten Island. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Gramercy Park II opened its new three-story office building in Meridian. It offers 30,000 square feet of space and is part of a mixed-use development that provides shopping, dining, business and home life, all within walking distance of each other. Source: Idaho Statesman and
  • New owners renovated the previous Indianhead Motel and reopened as the Weiser Motel and RV Park. The motel is open, and the RV Park will open in April with renovations in the works for that portion of the property. Source: Weiser Signal American
  • Mad Swede opened a downtown Boise pub offering its award-winning brews and a locally sourced but limited food menu. The brewery installed a new ventilation system and has stringent mask requirements of its employees. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • O’Crab Cajun Seafood & Bar, a Utah franchise, has plans to open by the third quarter of 2021 in the newly vacated McGrath’s Fish House. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers opened with interior capacity for 86 plus patio seating. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Speak Studios of Spokane, Washington, opened a podcast studio in Boise. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Twisted District Brew Company opened a brewery in Garden City offering pairings of food with its beers and local wine and cider. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Union Block Bar & Eatery, a sister restaurant to Mai Thai, opened in the former Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom. It is currently occupying only part of the space offering only take-out and delivery of its New American cuisine. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Cupbop opened in downtown Boise opening in the space previously occupied by Thomas Hammer. It offers fast-casual Korean BBQ in a cup. The Salt Lake City-based company has other area restaurants in Meridian and Nampa, along with food trucks serving the Treasure Valley. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Mirror Studios opened in Boise offering post-production audio services. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Mi Almida is the newest addition to Crave Delivery and has James Beard award winning chefs creating its menu and organizing its kitchen. It specializes in Mexican food from the Oaxaca state of Mexico for pickup and delivery. Source: Idaho Statesman


  • The Dutch Goose, a Boise favorite due to its food specials and finger steaks, closed its bar and restaurant after 26 years. It is unclear what the new owner of the property plans this spring when the transaction is complete. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Christopher and Banks women’s clothing store located in Boise’s Towne Square Mall is liquidating its inventory after announcing debt reorganization as part of its bankruptcy filing. The CEO stated that most if not all brick and mortar stores will be closed nationwide and implicated the COVID-19 pandemic as the cause of financial woes. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Moon’s Kitchen and Café in downtown Boise has temporarily closed due to COVID-19 but plans to reopen by spring. Source: BoiseDev
  • Pleasure Boutique closed its doors after operating in Boise for 22 years. The owner has plans to retire selling the real estate to Boise School of Rock. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Bier Thirty: Bottle and Bistro has shuttered its Bown Crossing location in Boise after nearly 10 years. The owner has not decided whether it is a permanent closure. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Blue Toro of Eagle closed its doors after being open just over a year. The owner cited the cost of doing business during a pandemic was an unwinnable situation. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The Regal Edwards Boise Downtown theatre is permanently shuttered. The owner is exploring other theater groups, but no firm plans or timetable has been set as of late January. Source: Idaho Statesman, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext 3639

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

Blaine County

  • Data from Visit Sun Valley suggests that hotel guest occupation rates in the Sun Valley area declined during 2020. Guest occupation rates fell by about 30% in November 2020 compared with the same period in 2019. Overall, hotel room occupancy across the region fell 24% from June to November 2020. The average daily room rate in November rose 19%, however, from $155 in 2019 to $185 in 2020. Source: Idaho Mountain Express

Camas County

  • The U.S. Forest Service has supported a gold mining company’s plans to expand its exploration project in the Black Pine Mountains. Pilot Gold’s project expansion would potentially disturb 51 acres. It would also include 15 miles of new access roads and 154 new drill pads. The company built 5 miles of access roads during the first phase of exploration in 2019 and constructed 46 drill pads. Pilot found two mineralized zones in 2019 within the old Black Pine mine area. Source: Idaho Mountain Express

Gooding County

  • The Buhl School District has opted to return to its normal five-day in-person schedule, taking effect on the first day of the spring term. Along with the schedule change, the Buhl school board also approved a change in the district’s COVID-19 operating plan that outlines how long students and staff must quarantine if they test positive for the virus or are a close contact with somebody who has tested positive. Source: Idaho Mountain Express

Power County

  • Construction has completed on a nearly $800,000 broadband internet project that will bring wireless connectivity to American Falls City Parks (via hot spots) and replacing the current internet system at the city office building and other city buildings. Eventually, it will provide security cameras across the city. Source: Power County Press

Twin Falls County

  • The city of Twin Falls got its first food hall with the opening of the 2nd South Market. The market brings seven locally owned businesses into one building, offering a variety of food and beverage selections. Source: Times-News
  • Texas Roadhouse in Twin Falls has announced an opening date of March 1. The company said the restaurant will employ 190 people at the 7,450-square-foot building at on Pole Line Road. Source: Times-News


Twin Falls

  • The Smokey Bone BBQ
  •  Rosti Xpress Mexican Food
  • Cloverleaf Creamery
  • Poke & Sushi Hut
  • Full Steam Espresso
  • The Tap House
  • Lucy’s New York Style Pizzeria
  • Java – Twin Falls


  • Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites – Hailey
  • Arctic Circle – Burley
  • Arctic Circle – Wendell

Bonang, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext 3820

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


  • Idaho State University’s department of civil and environmental engineering’s structural laboratory (SLAB) has undergone a $250,000 facelift. With funding from the Higher Education Research Council’s Research Infrastructure and ISU’s Center for Advanced Energy Studies, the SLAB will now offer students more opportunities to transfer knowledge developed in classrooms into research. Source: East Idaho News
  • Phosphate mining company Itafos published its Notice of Intent for the Husky 1/North Dry Ridge extension of the Conda mine. The NOI is the formal statement that Itafos will now prepare the Environmental Impact Statement for the Husky 1/North Dry Ridge development project. The phosphate firm previously defined H1/NDR as its path forward for the continued mining of the Conda deposit. The upgraded mineral reserves at H1/NDR are expected to extend the life of the Conda mine through mid-2026. Itafos is a multinational phosphate fertilizer firm that employs more than 500 people in Caribou, Bear Lake and Franklin counties, which makes it one of the largest employers in the rural southeastern corner of Idaho. Itafos contributes an estimated $180 million to the local economy and $335 million to the state overall. In addition to the Conda mine, Itafos also operates a phosphate processing plant seven miles north of Soda Springs. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected FMC Corporation’s final appeal to contest the jurisdiction of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes to regulate storage of approximately 22 million tons of hazardous waste on the Fort Hall Reservation at the Eastern Michaud Superfund site west of Pocatello. By this action, the U.S. Supreme Court defers to the findings of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribal Courts and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmation of the District Court’s findings requiring FMC to comply with tribal jurisdiction. For more than 50 years, from 1949 until 2001, FMC owned and operated an elemental phosphorous production plant on the Reservation and for that entire period, FMC used its fee lands as a dumpsite for its phosphorus production waste. ​ Source: Idaho State Journal

Bannock County

  • After a year of unprecedented growth, is expanding and opening its first remote office in Pocatello. The News site has hired two additional staff members and grown its network of part-time and freelance writers. Source: East Idaho News
  • Plans to convert the Clarion Inn into apartments where services would be offered for elderly veterans have fallen through and the facility will continue to operate as a hotel. The Chicago-based real estate investment and development company, Lockwood Development Partners LLC, will look for another local property to establish a veteran apartment complex if owners of the Clarion remain unwilling to sell. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • An American Falls businessman plans to resurrect the idled skating rink in Capell Park using panels and cooling equipment salvaged from an outdoor rink that formerly operated outside of Chicago’s Wrigley Field. Cris Schulz, owner of Pinnacle Recreation, aims to have the Chubbuck rink operational by next winter for a variety of uses including public skating, hockey and curling. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bingham County

  • Voters in the Blackfoot School District will soon decide on a $23.9 million proposal to fund a new elementary school and career-technical high school. If passed, the March 9 measure would repurpose I.T. Stoddard Elementary School into a career technical high school and allow the district to build a new elementary school nearby. Blackfoot Technical Education Center would become an extension of Blackfoot High. The new elementary school would be built on nearby Walker Street and serve some 450 kids. Bond issues in Idaho require a two-thirds supermajority of votes to pass. Source: Idaho Ed News

Power County

  • Construction has completed on a nearly $800,000 broadband internet project that will bring WIFI to American Falls City Parks, replace the current internet system at the city office building and other city buildings, and eventually provide security cameras across the city. Source: Power County Press
  • The Willow Bay RV Resort and Marina did well in 2020. Pinnacle Recreation, which operates the resort, reported that around 35,000 people or more visited the campground this season, based on a 3.5 person per camp-visit estimate. In May through October, the resort exceeded 80% occupancy in its campground. Boat rentals and paddle crafts also exceeded their expectations. Source: Power County Press


  • East Idaho Credit Union in Pocatello.
  • Falls Town Beef in American Falls.


  • Adventure Video, a video rental and sales business, in Preston., regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331

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


  • The U.S. Department of Energy announced the third of three rounds of nuclear reactor development under its new Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program. The Idaho National Laboratory-based National Reactor Innovation Center is helping test and assess designs. The three recipients, who will receive a total of $20 million, are Advanced Reactor Concepts of Herndon, Virginia, which plans to deliver a conceptual design of an advanced sodium-cooled reactor facility; General Atomics of San Diego, California, which will develop a fast reactor conceptual design; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which is working on commercializing the modular integrated gas-cooled high temperature reactor. Overall DOE expects to spend $27.5 million over 3 ½ years on Advanced Reactor’s project, $24.8 million over three years on General Atomics’, and $3.9 million over three years on MIT’s. The companies need to provide at least 20% in matching funds. The earlier recipients are TerraPower and X-energy, which are receiving an initial $80 million each for their reactor designs, and three other reactor projects that DOE announced $30 million in initial funding for earlier this month. Source: Post Register
  • The effort to deploy NuScale Power Modules at the Idaho National Laboratory has hit another milestone. NuScale and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) has executed agreements for facility development of the Carbon Free Power Project. In this phase, NuScale is to develop a higher maturity cost estimate and initial project planning for the licensing, manufacturing and construction of the project. UAMPS and Fluor Corporation have also signed a cost-reimbursable development agreement. That agreement provides for estimating, development, design and engineering services to develop site-specific cost estimates for deployment of the NuScale technology at the INL site. UAMPS will continue to evaluate the size of the NuScale plant as Fluor refines the engineering of alternatives to ensure the plant is the best overall cost of energy and size to meet participants’ needs. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission review of the project is expected to be completed by the second half of 2025, with nuclear construction of the project beginning shortly after.​ Source: KIDK
  • Melaleuca Inc. of Idaho Falls finalized its purchase of the former Harley-Davidson property in Missouri the week before Christmas, bringing 200 jobs back to the Kansas City area. The firm announced on Dec. 18 that it will invest at least $35.5 million into the facility. It anticipates that the refit of the plant into its new Midwest distribution center will be finished in early 2022. Source: Idaho Business Review

Bonneville County

  • City experts expect the new U.S. Census to show Idaho Falls with its usual steady growth of about 1.5% to 2%, but they are bracing for a possible major boom in population potentially doubling the city’s size over the next decade. Brad Cramer, director of the city’s community development services department, points to the potential of the small modular reactor project at the Idaho National Laboratory desert site and the rise of the “Zoom towns” phenomenon across the West to cause a major influx for Idaho Falls and surrounding towns. Source: Post Register
  • Construction on the new Summit Orthopaedics building in Idaho Falls is now underway and on track for completion this fall. The 19,000-square-foot building on Woodking Drive across from Cabela’s will nearly double the current space on Coronado Street. Ground was broken on the new clinic in October. An exact opening date will be determined once construction is complete and will likely coincide with a ribbon-cutting and grand opening celebration. Source: East Idaho News
  • Allegiant Air has announced a new nonstop route from Idaho Falls Regional Airport to Portland International Airport in Oregon. The flights will begin on May 28 and will operate twice weekly. Exact schedules and fares are available online. Allegiant will offer a one-way ticket for $49 as an introductory fare. Source: KIDK
  • A recently completed new mixed-use development in Swan Valley is hoped to bring new visitors to the area. The Centre at Rainey Creek is a 23-acre commercial and residential project off U.S. Highway 26 that got underway this summer. It includes 12 1,800-square-foot duplex townhomes on the east side of Rainey Creek and six bay homes on the west side with five units a piece. Also on the west side is the 8,200-square-foot General Store that includes both grocery and hardware sections and six double-sided fuel pumps. A community services building with six commercial 1,100-square-foot storefronts is located between the General Store and the bay homes. The project has taken about three years from conception to completion. Construction crews are putting the finishing touches on the project, but most of it is complete. The General Store opened in October and about 13 townhome were already sold by the end of 2020. Four of the six commercial spaces have been leased as well, which include a dog groomer and fly shop, a real estate broker and a fitness and nutrition coaching business. Source: East Idaho News

Butte County

  • Lost Rivers Medical Center in Arco has used about $650,000 of federal coronavirus relief funds to nearly triple the size of its laboratory. The expanded lab was fully operational by mid-January and fills a role in the state’s response to COVID-19. Source: Challis Messenger

Lemhi County

  • Construction of the new $5 million Nep & Mary Ellen Lynch Center at Salmon High School is drawing to a close and the new gym could be ready by spring graduation. Just the main floor of the building will measure more than 31,000 square feet. The building will not cost the Salmon School District a single dollar. About half of the project is being paid for by a single donor: Nep Lynch. Since Lynch’s initial contribution, contractors and community members have donated time, resources and additional funds amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Source: Challis Messenger; KIDK


  • Smash In Therapy, a ‘rage room’ in Idaho Falls.
  • Pizzeria Alpino, an Italian restaurant, in Driggs.


  • Macy’s in Idaho Falls., regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331