Around Idaho: Economic Activity in April 2021

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

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


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

Kootenai County

  • Work is now underway on a major Idaho Department of Transportation improvement project on State Route 41 between Post Falls and Rathdrum. The work includes widening the highway with additional lanes in both directions as well as new traffic lights and improved railroad crossings. The $131 million project is scheduled for completion in 2022. Source: Journal of Business
  • Coeur d’Alene Schools suspended its mask requirement for staff and students and replaced it with a mask recommendation. Mandatory masks for students have been a continued source of consternation for Coeur d’Alene parents. Source: CDA Press


Coeur d’Alene

  • Chalice Brewing
  • Life is Good
  • ReMax Centennial
  • Lake City Vape
  • One Lakeside Hotel
  • Wallaroo’s
  • Affordable Bridal and Tuxedo
  • Prock’s Paint Bucket
  • Coeur d’Alene Wigs

Post Falls

  • The Coffee Market
  • Flippens Secured Self Storage
  • Washboard Laundromat

Spirit Lake

  • Retrofit Athletics, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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


  • Pandemic-inspired interest in outdoor recreational activities benefited Idaho and Lewis counties which saw employment growth  — 1.9% and 1.4% respectively in March — in manufacturing, logging and construction. Their leisure and hospitality sectors saw less dramatic job losses than counties that rely on conventions, meetings and business travelers.
  • Latah County experienced the greatest employment loss — 3.9% in March. Its tourism sector is the most reliant on events and meetings and was hit harder. Job losses at the University of Idaho because of long-term financial issues and the fall in student enrollment because of COVID also reduced retail and service jobs.
  • Clearwater County’s tourism sector held up well, and its manufacturing and logging sectors added jobs, nearly offsetting job losses caused by the pandemic. The net result was a 0.8% drop in employment in March.
  • Nez Perce County’s employment was marginally lower — 0.3% — this March than a year earlier. The county’s manufacturing sector added an impressive 320 jobs, and construction and related activities added about 150 jobs. Sectors that lost jobs include retail; some health care and social assistance industries; personal services — especially hair and nail salons and dry cleaners; and nonprofit organizations. Source: Idaho Department of Labor
  • Record-high lumber prices and increased timber harvests on federal land should keep logging and wood products manufacturing strong in north central Idaho. A surge in demand for ammunition and guns is likely to result in more job gains in the recreational technology manufacturing sector. With a growing percentage of the population getting vaccinated, tourism is expected to increase this summer and fall. Cruise boat traffic will help tourism-related businesses in the Lewiston-Clarkston area. The flow of federal aid is boosting spending. Locals are starting to return to normal shopping, dining and other activities. Construction, real estate and related activities are likely to continue to expand this year. Businesses and consumers are more optimistic about the future, which also bolsters spending. Source: Idaho Department of Labor
  • Lumber prices have risen dramatically this past year. In March 2020, the price per thousand board feet of framing lumber was around $350 — slightly higher than the $337 average from 1999 to 2019. By late February 2021, the price rose above $1,000, according to Random Lengths. Prior to 2020, the record high price was $582 in June 2018. Both supply and demand factors were responsible for the soaring price. In early 2020, many lumber companies reduced production because of COVID restrictions and an expected drop in housing starts. Housing starts did not fall as much as many expected and by this March rose to 1.7 million units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate — the highest level since 2006, according to the Census Bureau. With people cooped up in their homes during the coronavirus lockdown, many people begin to make improvements to their homes, driving up demand for lumber. Historically low mortgage rates and a tight inventory of existing homes have fueled demand for new housing and therefore, lumber. In north central Idaho, 850 people work in wood products manufacturing sector, which added roughly 40 jobs during the past year. Source: Idaho Department of Labor; U.S. Census Bureau; Random Lengths
  • The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest sold 84.5 million board feet of timber in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the highest amount since 1991. This year, a large restoration and timber project on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest southeast of Grangeville will allow more than 7,000 acres of commercial timber harvest that will produce about 173 million board feet of timber. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • More than 300 sophomore and junior high school students from 19 school districts in north-central Idaho and southeastern Washington participated in the fifth annual “Dream It. Do It… Here” youth conference on March 18. The Clearwater Economic Development Association coordinated and the University of Idaho hosted the event,  held virtually this year due to the pandemic. Dozens of  local businesses participated and showed students a host of career opportunities and academic and career-technical programs that can prepare them for the future. Source: Cottonwood Chronicle

Nez Perce Tribe

  • The Nez Perce Tribal Housing Authority recently received $4.8 million in federal funds to build 16 new rental units on the reservation. That will allow the tribe to increase affordable housing that is energy efficient and handicap accessible for low-income families. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The Nez Perce Tribe has put a fast-charging station for electric vehicles at the Clearwater River Casino and Lodge along U.S. Highway 12. It also is working to develop a station at the It’se Ye-Ye Casino in Kamiah and may add one at Zims Hot Springs, off U.S. Highway 95 near New Meadows. Source: Lewiston Tribune

Idaho and Lewis Counties

  • Many Idaho County employers find it extremely difficult to recruit new workers. Meadowlark Home, an assisting living provider in Grangeville, closed its doors in early April because it couldn’t find employees. In the past few years, the home’s staff had fallen from nearly 20 down to nine. The Grangeville Taco John’s also closed in March because of staffing shortages. Salmon Rapids Lodge in Riggins delayed reopening after its closure due to COVID restrictions and because it could not find enough workers. Source: Idaho County Free Press
  • The Upriver Youth Leadership Council in Kamiah received a $115,000 grant from the Idaho Department of Education that will allow it to offer an after-school program at its teen center on Main Street. The center will offer homework help, tutoring team activities, busing and hot meals. It also will provide continued education opportunities in the summer and offer field trips including one to the Lewiston civic theater. Source: Lewiston Tribune


  • Salmon River Mobile Veterinary opened in Riggins.

Latah County

  • The Kendrick Joint School District recently received a $119,901 grant from the Idaho Department of Education for youth academic and enrichment programs. It will help the district offer full-day kindergarten to about 20 students and a before- and after-school program that serves between 40 to 60 students on a regular basis. One focus will support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Northwest River Supplies, a Moscow-based wholesaler and manufacturer of outdoor gear, sells its products — including the paddling gear it designs — all over the world. Bill Parks founded the business 50 years ago, and it continues to grow. In 2014, the company became employee-owned. In late 2019, NRS opened a new corporate headquarters and warehouse in Moscow. Demand for its outdoor equipment soared during the pandemic, but COVID-19 also broke supply chains and many items are currently on backorder. The company employs about 100 people in Moscow. Source: KIVI TV
  • Nearly 7,000 passengers arrived or departed from the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport in March, the biggest number since the pandemic started in March 2020. Pullman’s two daily round-trip flights to Seattle are running about 75% full, and its carrier, Horizon, is adding another round-trip Seattle flight starting May 20. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  •  The Idaho State Board of Education voted in April not to increase in-state undergraduate tuition at the state’s public universities. Tuition was also frozen in the 2020-201 school year. The University of Idaho has successfully dealt with many financial challenges in the past two years and is prepared to absorb another restraint on its revenues. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • The Moscow Renaissance Fair is canceled in 2021 for the second year in a row due to COVID-19. Before the pandemic, the fair has been held every May since 1974. Source: Lewiston Tribune

 Nez Perce and Asotin Counties

  • The Walla Walla Community College’s Clarkston campus continues to focus on workforce training programs for nursing, welding and industrial mechanics. The main campus has a popular enology and viticulture program that serves the Walla Wall area’s flourishing wine industry. With grape growing and winemaking now on the rise in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, there is need for related education and training. WWCC and Lewis-Clark College are discussing a partnership that would allow some students to co-enroll at both colleges. Those attending LCSC would have access to the winemaking classes at WWCC while WWCC students would have access to classes not available at the Clarkston campus such as advanced mathematics. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Cruise boats will return to the Lewiston-Clarkston area this spring, after losing an entire year because of the pandemic. More than 12,000 overnight cruise boat passengers are expected to visit this year, which is still lower than the 19,000 passengers who came in 2019. The boats, which travel along the Columbia and Snake rivers, always dock at the Port of Clarkston. This year may be an exception. Washington’s COVID-19 restrictions prevent vessels from docking at its port, so the cruise boats may dock at the Port of Lewiston instead. The Lewiston port is trying to determine how it can accommodate the cruise boats, while continuing its product loading and unloading for businesses. A study estimated the cruises generated $4 million in revenue for Lewis-Clark Valley businesses in 2019. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Baseball World Series, one of Lewiston’s premier tourism events hosted by Lewis-Clark State College and sponsored by Avista every year, will be held May 28 to June, although activities will be scaled down because of COVID-19. Ten of the best college baseball teams throughout the U.S. gather in Lewiston around Memorial Day every year for a week-long, double-elimination tournament to determine the baseball champion of the NAIA. This year, seating will be limited, and some events will not occur. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  •  The Wells Fargo branch in the Lewiston Orchards is closing July 14. The downtown Lewiston branch will remain open. With more customers using digital services for banking activities, Wells Fargo is shutting down several branches across the region. In March, Wells Fargo announced it will close its Blaine Street branch in Moscow. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  •  The hoarding of toilet paper in the early months of the pandemic kept Clearwater Paper’s complex in Lewiston running at full capacity throughout 2020. Now, demand for toilet paper nationwide has fallen below pre-pandemic levels, as households are working through their stockpiles. Demand for the Clearwater Paper’s other products — paper napkins and paperboard used for paper dishes and packages for goods like medicines and cosmetics — has risen, so the complex’s 1,300 employees are likely to remain busy. Source: Lewiston Tribune; Wall Street Journal
  • One of the Lewis-Clark Valley’s largest recreational facilities fully opened in March for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic started. Lancer Lanes and Casino in Clarkston gradually resumed operations, starting earlier with the restaurant, bar, limited arcade operations and bowling alley. In March, the casino reopened with poker and blackjack games. The hours and staff are still reduced compared with before the pandemic. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • The Idaho State Board of Education’s decision in April to freeze in-state undergraduate tuition at the state’s public colleges for the second year in a row may be difficult for Lewis-Clark State College, according to President Cynthia Pemberton. She said the freeze would likely affect the school’s ability to fully implement employee pay raises, but the school also is committed to access and affordability. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News, 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

  • Commercial Tire, headquartered in Meridian, moved its ownership to an Employee Owned Stock Program. The ESOP is an increasingly popular succession tool and allows the company to continue operations while encouraging employee engagement. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • PlexTrac, a cybersecurity company that started up in Eagle was awarded $10 million in Series A funding from a collaboration of venture capital firms. With this transfusion of capital, the company has leased its own space in downtown Boise and will continue to hire workers, moving up from three to 25 staff. PlexTrac created a software platform that allows companies to track results from security assessments. Last fall, it joined forces with other cybersecurity firms in the Treasure Valley to create the Security, Trust and Fraud Prevention Alliance that shares best practices and trends within its industry. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Spaulding Farm is in the development stage as one of Boise’s newest parks. It consists of 20 acres on the bench near Capital High School. The park is a partnership between the University of Idaho and the city of Boise after developing a master plan over the past six years since acquiring the parcel. The U of I students, faculty and staff will oversee farm operations while the city of Boise will ensure the park is adequately maintained. The city recently planted 100 fruit trees this spring hoping to reap the rewards in about three years as part of a farm-to-table process. Other planned features include a wildflower field, small animal farm, commercial kitchen and functional farm. The emphasis will be on learning and demonstration while potentially taking years and millions of dollars of investment to fulfill the entire master plan. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Fort Builder opened its doors in Garden City to the co-working and event space market, offering 46 spaces for lease. The property is set for both indoor and outdoor access to Wi-Fi and provides coffee, tea and snacks. The concept is loosely based on the European model that combines art galleries, bars, gardens and idea building space. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • RealtyHop reported Boise ranks 23rd among 100 cities considered least-affordable for owning a home. The rankings compare median home prices to median household incomes. This comes after Boise was ranked 33rd two months earlier. Source: Idaho Statesman

Boise County

  • Bogus Basin Mountain extended its ski season by a week based on groomed trail conditions and spring skier enthusiasm. The recreation area reinvested $24 million over the past five years ensuring conditions for both winter and summer seasons are attracting patrons and visitors. Source: KTVB News

Canyon County

  • Omega Morgan of Portland, Oregon, signed a lease for a 70,000-square-foot warehouse on 10 acres in Nampa at the Adler Industrial Park. The company is known for its heavy equipment rigging for cranes at construction sites or millwright activities in an industrial plant setting. Other areas of expertise include industrial metrology, warehousing and moving machinery from site to site, including a bridge. In the past, the company has completed contracts in the Treasure Valley and decided growth in southern Idaho has reached a threshold necessitating a larger investment. The company currently has operations in Portland, Seattle, Houston and now the Treasure Valley. It employs about 300 workers nationally but will start with a core of three in Nampa, with plans to expand with the growth of business. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • The Caldwell Night Rodeo, a tradition for more than 90 years, will change its arena name to D&B Arena. D&B Supply will sponsor the five-day event held in August with a commitment through 2028. While the event was canceled last year due to COVID-19, the show will go on this year with the added support. Nationally, the event is one of the top 20 large professional rodeos and one of the top five large, outdoor rodeos. Source: Kuna Melba News
  • The city of Caldwell is not opening its municipal pool this summer due to a cost-prohibitive electrical repair. The pool was slated for replacement with construction starting this fall on a new facility. Instead of a hefty repair bill, monies are redirected to the new construction and a new city pool should be operational in summer 2022. Source: 2 News

Elmore County

  • The downtown Mountain Home space formerly occupied by retailer Beall’s, and before that King’s Variety Store, will be transformed into a privately-operated construction training facility. Mountain Home Urban Renewal Agency released a request for proposal in 2020 and recently accepted the collaborative bid from Elmore Development LLC and Porter House. Porter House currently owns and operates Shelley Adult Training Academy in Shelley, which started in 2014. Elmore Development will complete the renovation transforming the store into eight classrooms while Porter House will sign a long-term lease. Mountain Home Adult Training Academy will offer the community nine apprentice programs approved by the U.S. Department of Labor including carpenters, construction laborers, electricians, HVAC workers, iron workers, millwrights, pipefitters, plumbers and welders. Source: Idaho Business Review

Owyhee County

  • The Bureau of Land Management started construction on a new site for its wildland firefighting operations in Bruneau. The existing facility was outdated and obsolete. The first phase of the new facility will provide living quarters for 10 firefighters while the second stage includes the fire station. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche
  • The Homedale community held a grand opening for its youth center after 2½ years of planning. The non-denominational Christian youth center, The Rock of Homedale, is located near the high school. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche
  • The Homedale Chamber of Commerce is reinstating its beautification project that incentivizes businesses to improve their store fronts. The project was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic bringing other challenges to small business owners. The chamber matches 50% of each investment up to $250 and the winner receives a $500 prize. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche

Valley County

  • McCall’s city council voted to renew its mask mandate for another 45 days lasting through May 26. Non-compliance garners a $100 fine. High tourism areas can be vulnerable to new waves of the COVID-19 virus due to social gathering and visitors from higher incident areas. Source: Idaho News Six
  • The West Central Mountain Economic Development Council is surveying the owners of short-term rentals to determine their interest in converting to long-term rentals. Housing for those working in Valley County is hard to come by and the survey is seeking to identify the personal usage of the property by the owner, how much they earn from the short-term rentals and what incentives would be most attractive to convert to long-term rentals. According to a recent report, 75% of all housing units are second homes or short-term rentals, according to the council. Source: McCall Star News
  • Despite the pandemic, McCall area resorts enjoyed a profitable ski season with excellent snow conditions and the pandemic driving more people to outdoor recreation. Tamarack Resort hosted the most skier visits since it opened in 2004. Brundage Mountain Resort also had a record year. Food and beverage sales, however, fell because COVID precautions limited capacity and closed indoor dining areas. Tamarack and Brundage closed winter operations in early April and started the transition to summer operations and activities. Source: Idaho 6 News
  • A rock slide on March 15 closed Idaho 55 north of Smiths Ferry for several days. The closure reduced tourism activity in McCall and Cascade during one of the busiest periods of the year — spring break. Source: McCall Star-News; KIVI TV
  • McCall’s severe shortage of affordable housing for workers is becoming more acute as many homeowners are converting properties to vacation rentals. The pandemic accelerated the influx of people wanting to move into or visit Valley County. Rents are rising sharply. The average home value in McCall rose 11.4% during the past year, according to Zillow. According to the McCall Chamber of Commerce, the city has 28 hotels, motels, camps or retreats; 28 property management companies that manage 325 short-term rentals; and an additional 118 business licenses for short-term rental vacation single homes. The city has a lodging local option tax that adds a one percent tax on goods and services. The collections from the tax increased 33% in 2020. Lack of affordable housing makes it more difficult for businesses to attract workers. Source: KTVB; BoiseDev
  • The McCall City Council recently approved a 13-home subdivision on West Lake Street across from Rotary Park. The Running Horse Subdivision will feature “mountain modern” homes, which will primarily be second homes. Source: McCall Star-News
  • The Valley County Planning and Zoning Commission recently approved a commercial development in Lake Fork. Unique Holdings LLC plans to build two commercial buildings and one storage building on 2.5 acres at the corner of Idaho 55 and Pleasant Acres Drive over the next five years. Unique Holdings includes Unique-ARs, which manufacturers custom firearms and accessories. Some of the space would also be rented to other light industrial businesses. One building will contain two apartments that could be rented to employees or the public. Source: McCall Star-News


  • The Boise Fry Co. owners are diversifying its portfolio of restaurants by recently opening Mala Luna, a Latin kitchen, in the former Dharma Sushi & Thai space in downtown Boise. The nearby Boise Fry Co. location and Mala Luna cater to the late night crowd. A menu of empanadas, tortas, Navajo tacos and salads along with Brazilian cocktails and Chilean wine are new offerings to downtown. A patio will be completed soon. Dharma Sushi & Thai moved to a space two blocks away. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Devil’s Den replaces RamaPong Restaurant in downtown Boise, still operated by the Boise Fry Company. The ping pong tables are gone. The vibe is tiki jungle, cocktails and a large tropical fish tank, thought it still offers ramen noodles. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Timberline Massage Therapy is opening its doors on the Boise bench. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Teriyaki Madness opened in Meridian, a first in Idaho for this franchise. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • A Saltzer Health medical imaging center has opened in Meridian at its Ten Mile Medical Campus. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Murray’s Treats, an ice cream and sweet shop, held a ribbon cutting in Homedale. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche
  • Hobby Lobby opened its first store in Boise after renovating a former Shopko space. It has plans to hire 35-50 full- and part-time staff. Source: Idaho Statesman


  • The Caldwell and Boise-Overland Wal-Mart stores will no longer have McDonald’s as an option in its stores. The fast food chain had success during the COVID-19 pandemic with its restaurants offering drive-thru windows. However, the restaurants in the stores had less foot traffic and languished during the pandemic. The local franchise holders cooperated with the corporate decision handed down that closes 300 restaurants nationally. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • The US Bank in Marsing will close on July 22. Branches in Homedale and Caldwell will be able to accommodate the Marsing clientele, according to bank officials. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche, 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

  • The city of Hailey approved a final plat subdivision application for Sunbeam subdivision’s first phase of development. This 54-acre project will add 85 single-family homes and townhomes on 70 lots, including three cottage single-family lots, during its first phase of construction. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • Ketchum City Council has approved plans to develop a new 35-lot residential subdivision on the Warm Springs Ranch property.

Gooding County

  • The Gooding County Sheriff’s Office is reopening a jail annex to house additional inmates after being closed for 10 years. The reopening will provide the county with 30 additional beds on top of the current 21-bed capacity. The county plans to use $104,000 it received in COVID-19 relief funding from the federal government to assist with the reopening. About $45,000 of these funds will be used to buy and update equipment for the annex. The remaining funds will go toward the cost of hiring the eight deputies needed to run the annex. Source: Times News

 Lincoln County

  • Wells Fargo plans to close its Shoshone  branch June 2. This branch closure will have a lasting impact on Lincoln County’s economy and residents as it currently is the only banking facility in the county. Apart from jobs to be lost, this closure will also have a negative impact on any population relocation to the area because the nearest banks are in Gooding, which is a little more than 15 miles away, or Jerome, which is about 20 miles away. Source: Times News

Twin Falls County

  • The city of Twin Falls has voted to build two new fire stations and a fire training center. Construction is expected to take about one year. One of the fire stations is estimated to cost $7.6 million, another is estimated at $6.1 million and the fire training center is projected to cost about $3 million, according to meeting documents. Source: Times News


  • D.L. Evans Bank, Bellevue

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

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


  • A total of 2,111 spring and summer 2021 graduates received 2,250 degrees and certificates during the Idaho State University spring commencement ceremonies on April 24. Spring, summer and fall 2020 graduates, who celebrated virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, were also honored at the events. The breakdown of degrees and certificates includes 31 Doctor of Philosophy degrees, six Doctor of Education degrees, seven Doctor of Audiology degrees, two Doctor of Arts degrees, 24 Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees, 46 Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees, 81 Doctor of Pharmacy degrees, 11 educational specialist degrees, 429 master’s degrees, 76 academic certificates, 970 bachelor’s degrees, 410 associate degrees and 157 certificates from the College of Technology. Source: KIDK
  • Gov. Brad Little is promoting the need for major statewide transportation funding that would address infrastructure needs, including Interstate 15 from Pocatello to Idaho Falls and the I-15 and Highway 20 connector in Idaho Falls. The I-15 stretch between Pocatello and Idaho Falls needs to be expanded to three lanes each way. In addition, 60 outdated structures including overpasses will need to be rebuilt. Roadway realignment and interchange reconstruction are also needed for about six miles along U.S. 20 and I-15 in the Idaho Falls area. To help pay for the work, the governor is promoting an $80 million a year bonding plan. Source: Bingham News Chronicle

Bannock County

  • The group of local businessmen working to transform the defunct Hoku polysilicon plant in Pocatello into a robust industrial park has proposed to add a multimillion-dollar sports complex to the site. The project, estimated to cost a total of $13 million, includes two separate facilities — a renovation of an existing 60,000-square-foot building and a newly constructed 125,000-square-foot pressurized air dome. The Pocatello Development Authority board voted unanimously to conduct a feasibility study of the multi-use sports complex to determine if portions of the project would be included in the North Portneuf tax increment financing funding mechanisms. Source: Idaho Sate Journal
  • Portneuf Medical Center announced it is expanding outpatient medical care offerings in the region. A groundbreaking ceremony for the future home of Portneuf Medical Plaza at Northgate took place in early May in Northgate. The 20,000-foot high-tech building will be home to providers in  Primary Care, Urgent Care and WorkMed. Completion is slated for late summer 2022. Source: East Idaho News
  • The new Chubbuck City Hall remains on schedule for a mid-July opening. While finishing has begun on the interior, work is underway on the exterior, including the grading and paving of Chubbuck’s two new roads — Kinport Crossing and Scout Mountain Way. Part of the area surrounding the city hall building is divided into pads for businesses, as part of the city’s plan for a city center. Development and assignment of those pads is set to begin soon, with completion by the end of 2022. Source: East Idaho News
  • Construction is underway for a new Bingham Healthcare Specialty Clinic and Urgent Care in the former Golden Corral building. Golden Corral closed its doors in September after 19 years of business due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bingham Healthcare began looking at the property about six months ago and purchased it in February. The specialty clinic and urgent care is Bingham Healthcare’s eighth clinic in eastern Idaho. It is slated for completion in October with a grand opening planned for Nov. 1. Source: East Idaho News
  • Valley Mission is converting a former downtown fitness facility into a rescue mission with a warming shelter, a food pantry, life skills programs and housing for at-risk populations. Valley Mission’s new home will be the former Metropolitan Health Spa building. The expanded operation will be operated by a combination of paid staff and a large team of volunteers, who will provide skills training and a host of other services. Source: Idaho Sate Journal
  • Housing Alliance and Community Partnerships is taking the lead on a project to convert a former car wash on South Fifth Avenue into a skills development center aimed at helping local residents in need lift themselves from poverty. HACP is partnering on the center with the United Way of Southeastern Idaho and Idaho State University. An architect is currently working on designs and is ready to start with environmental testing inside of the building. The project will soon go out for proposals from general contractors. Source: Idaho Sate Journal
  • The Northgate Project is moving forward despite the increased cost of materials. Developers are working with other companies to get more businesses in such as retail and restaurants. Workers just finished paving the ‘Gold Star’ Road at Northgate and are getting ready to start 10 new homes. Source: KPVI

 Bingham County

  • Concordia Development of Rexburg is adding in 750 units of mixed townhouses, modular homes and trailer park homes to the region. The development will be on 40 acres contiguous to Blackfoot city limits on the west side of the Snake River. Four other projects are also in line to begin construction this year. When all the new units are totaled, Blackfoot will be adding 950 new housing units. This is in addition to the 187 single family homes in five new subdivisions that were either permitted or already under construction in 2020. Source: Idaho Business Review

 Caribou County

  • Itafos will advance the wind-down of its Paris Hills resources following its decision to extend the life of the north Dry Ridge mining area and Conda plant. The Paris Hill project is for a high-grade underground phosphate mine. Itafos also has started on its Environmental Impact Statement for the extension of its Conda mine. An EIS study is a key step in obtaining its permits for the planned expansion of the mine. Source: Idaho Business Review


  • Yaksup, a mobile kayak rental shop, in Pocatello.
  • Applegarth Apothecary in Soda Springs., regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331

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


  • Eastern Idaho played a significant role in the recently signed HB 225 bill with two projects in the area receiving funding: The College of Eastern Idaho and the St. Anthony Juvenile Corrections Center. A total of $3 million will go to the College of Eastern Idaho’s Future Tech Facility. The estimated $35 million Future Tech facility will be an 80,000-square-foot facility with a 1,000-student capacity. Students will receive technical education and train for apprenticeships there. Local workers will receive continuing education in their fields within the facility. Another $6.4 million will go to St. Anthony’s Juvenile Corrections Center, primarily to update housing facilities on site. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Grand Teton National Park is awash in visitors setting a new high mark for the month of March with 74,754 recreation visits and nearly 25,000 more visitors than March 2020 which tallied 51,445. In 2019, the Park’s March visitors reached 65,864. With mostly dry weather, April is on track to also rack up big numbers. Despite being closed for almost two months due to the pandemic, Grand Teton National Park had 3,289,638 recreation visits in 2020 – the fourth-highest number of recreation visits of all national parks. The park ranked fifth highest in annual attendance in 2020 among national parks and eighth in 2019. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located in North Carolina and Tennessee, was first at 12.1 million visitors. Source: Post Register
  • The College of Eastern Idaho partnered with Home Depot and Eastern Idaho Home Builders Association to hold the annual Idaho Falls Construction Combine event on April 7 and 8 at Home Depot in Idaho Falls. Inspired by the NFL draft, the Construction Combine allows trainees, mainly high school and college-age, to learn and demonstrate construction skills, as well as potentially land a summer job in construction. While the first combine began years ago in Pocatello, the events spread to Idaho Falls in 2019, giving more opportunities to students in the area. About 45 students participated this year and the 10 storage sheds built during the event will be donated to local veterans. A Home Depot Foundation grant supplied the materials for the build, adding to the millions given around the country. Source: East Idaho News
  • Frank VanderSloot announced the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration – the largest fireworks show west of the Mississippi – will return this year on July 3 following its cancellation in 2020 due to the pandemic. Ball Ventures is hosting the celebration once again at Snake River Landing, which features a 110-acre outdoor amphitheater created and designed exclusively for this show. Source: East Idaho News

Bonneville County

  • The Idaho Transportation Department is currently working on a plan to rebuild the I-15/US-20 interchange, but that project is still several years in the future. Until then, ITD is installing a free-flowing on-ramp for northbound I-15 traffic heading east on US-20. Construction began the second week of April and is expected to be finished before the Fourth of July. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • A vision and eyecare clinic in Idaho Falls is expanding after 10 years of business. A-B-See Vision Care held a groundbreaking for an expansion project of about 3,000 square feet behind and in front of the clinic on East Lincoln Road. The expansion will include a new breakroom for office conferences, new auxiliary testing rooms, specialized pediatrics rooms and three large family exam rooms. Construction will get underway immediately and is expected to be complete in September. Source: East Idaho News
  • Architects from two consulting firms presented a design for the Future Tech building at the College of Eastern Idaho to the Board of Trustees. The design is not finalized and has not yet been officially approved by the trustees, but it provided an early three-dimensional look at the 80,000-square-foot building. Future Tech which will be built on the north end of the CEI campus, will be dedicated to providing career-technical education to current students and continuing education to workers in and around Idaho Falls. The project has a projected cost of $35 million. The project already received $1.2 million from a U.S. Department of Commerce grant in October that is matched by local funds and $3 million from the “Building Idaho’s Future” bill approved in March. CEI expects to finalize the design process by the end of 2021. Source: Post Register


  • Tacobox, a mobile restaurant in Rexburg.
  • Top Notch Jerky in Sugar City.
  • Plant Therapy, inside the Grand Teton Mall in Idaho Falls.


  • McDonald’s inside the Ammon Walmart.
  • Wendy’s on 2nd East in north Rexburg., regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 433-