Around Idaho: Economic Activity in July 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

  • The city of Hayden approved a new subdivision to be built on the location of the former Hayden Meadows Soccer Complex. The new subdivision, to be named Hayden Meadows Estates, will include 53 single-family homes, built on roughly 16 acres. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
  • Post Falls-based Steel Structures America has started work on a new self-storage complex which will eventually include 170,000 square feet of storage. The first phase will include eight buildings with 70,000 square feet of storage. Source: Journal of Business
  • The city of Coeur d’Alene began work on traffic improvements, funded by a federal grant through the Local Highway Technical Assistance Council. The work will improve signaling and management at multiple high traffic intersections and is expected to be completed by the end of August. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press


  • Outpost Brewing, Coeur d’Alene
  • Gathered Restaurant, Post Falls
  • Embers by the Green, Post Falls
  • Peak Health & Wellness Center, Post Falls
  • Alt’s Copperhouse, Post Falls
  • Findlay Jeep, Post Falls
  • Twisted Slate Brewery, Hayden
  • Birdie’s Pie Shop, Hayden, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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

Fire Update – Idaho and North Central Idaho
Data is current as of Aug. 5, 2021

  • Idaho fires started early this summer with drought conditions and extreme heat exacerbated by lightning strikes. By July, the number of fire starts was significantly higher than the 20-year average of 559 for August. The largest fires have been in the north central region including the Snake River Complex near Lewiston on the Idaho-Washington border that burned almost 109,000 acres. The complex was formed when the Shovel Creek, Captain John Creek and Hoover Ridge fires merged. It was 90% contained as of the publication date.  The Dixie-Jumbo area has 249 personnel working on 43,168 acres with 59% containment. This fire may continue to burn until the end of October. The following table is a snapshot of  fire activity as of Aug.  5, 2021.


  • The wildfires have created concern in various industries including tourism, transportation, agriculture and timber. Resources are tight and fuel is an in-demand commodity for aircrafts of all types, including those fighting fires. Campsites, roads and waterways are restricted to emergency firefighting activities in most of the five north central counties where tourism reaches a crescendo in summer. Drones are a continuing nuisance as recreational flyers attempt to track the fires while interfering with firefighting efforts. One evening saw 34 wildfires start due to lightning strikes and wind that stokes the spread. The north central region of Idaho is dependent on dry land farming and with little to no precipitation this year, fields and pastures are dry. The harvest of wheat with fires nearby are a concern for producers. The timber-harvesting tracts owned by the state and by private companies are at risk of devastation.
  • Gov. Brad Little issued an emergency declaration allowing Idaho National Guardsmen with appropriate firefighting training to support containment efforts. In addition, the Idaho National Guard helicopters help airlift water to the fire. These additional personnel are critical as wildfires burn in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and Montana, which are also needing firefighters and resources.

U.S. fire incident mapSource: InciWeb – Incident Information System, Associated Press

Clearwater County

  • The Avista Foundation, an arm of the main utility company in north central Idaho, granted $10,000 to a Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho medical program student (WWAMI) enrolled at the University of Washington’s Medical School. The desired outcome is for the student to experience rural medical delivery in Orofino. Source: Lewiston Morning Tribune

Latah County

  • Moscow held its Rendezvous in the Park music & arts festival this year in July after canceling in 2020 due to COVID-19. The music festival started in 1992 and has attracted national acts in the past and many visitors to the area. This year, the planning timeline was short, so the Rendezvous was a one-day event. Source: Lewiston Morning Tribune

Nez Perce County

  • The Avista Foundation awarded $7,500 to the Chief Joseph Foundation in Lapwai to finish wiring and lighting its new indoor horse arena. Source: Lewiston Morning Tribune
  • Over a three-year period, the Boys and Girls Club is using Avista Foundation monies to renovate buildings at the former Lewiston High School. Source: Lewiston Morning Tribune


  • One of north central Idaho’s pizza restaurateurs is returning to the business, opening Hopper’s Pizza Buffet in Lewiston in the former Red Bento location. At one point the operator had ‘take and bake’ pizza venues in three communities throughout the region but sold or closed them five years ago. Source: Lewis Morning Tribune, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3639

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

Ada County

  • The Boise Airport has expanded some commercial air services. Alaska Air is offering direct flights to Chicago O’Hare, Austin and the Pullman-Moscow Regional airports. The Federal Aviation Administration is reclassifying the Boise Airport as a medium hub starting this fall. The regulations require specific amenities to be added including a service animal relief area and a nursing room. Completion of these amenities is expected to wrap up in August. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • The Boise City Council approved seeking $67 million in bonding to finance two new parking garages at the Boise Airport and other upgrades to the airport facility. The project was delayed because COVID-19 reduced travel demand in 2020. One parking garage is planned for employees while the other will provide five stories of economy parking for passengers. The economy lot will be serviced by a shuttle van. The low interest rate bonds will refund a 2012 bond with a higher interest rate, saving the airport $1 million. Source: Idaho Press
  • Sockeye Brewing announced it purchased of a new venue that previously housed 36th Street Garden Center & Bistro in Boise at its late June celebration of 25 years brewing beer in Boise. At the 12,000-square-foot facility, Sockeye will offer more than two dozen of its beer varieties on tap, a full-service restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining and a meeting venue. The remodel should be complete by spring of 2022. Sockeye brews more than 10,000 barrels of craft beer annually and its big seller in Idaho is Dagger Falls IPA. Source: Idaho Statesman and Idaho Business Review
  • The Twilight Criterium, a two-day, professional cycling event, returned to Boise after a hiatus in 2020 caused by the pandemic. This was its 34th year in downtown Boise featuring professional men’s and women’s road cycling, a celebrity greenbelt race, a kids race, amateur races and fan and vendor expo booths at Cecil D. Andrus Park. The event included the Paralympic Cycling National Championship time trial, criterium, relay and road races hosted by the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Source: Boise Weekly
  • Luke’s, St. Alphonsus and Primary Health Group announced employees must have started their vaccine dosages for COVID-19 by varying dates in September or be terminated from their jobs This has led to a series of employee protests by those adverse to the vaccination. Source: Mountain Home News, Associated Press
  • The Meridian City Council approved the Skybreak Neighborhood, a 328-unit subdivision near Boise Ranch Golf Course. The Meridian Planning & Zoning Commission and neighbors are concerned about lack of sidewalks, blocking of Boise foothill views for existing neighbors and drainage issues on the ridge. In addition, nearly half of the homes will be in a gated community. Normally, gated communities in Meridian are restricted to groups of 50 or fewer homes. The subdivision is on about 80 acres and is being developed by the Conger Group. The proposal was denied by planning and zoning in 2020 and early 2021. However, the developers amended the proposal to include larger lots next to the existing neighborhoods for better transition and included sidewalks throughout the neighborhood. The subdivision also would also include a 0.8-acre park with children’s play set and climbing dome, two dog parks and pathways throughout the neighborhood. All homes in the neighborhood would also have access to the pedestrian paths through the gated area and to Boise Ranch Golf Course. The subdivision will be developed in nine stages. Completion is estimated for December 2029. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The Greater Boise Auditorium District, Idaho Competitive Aquatics and the Greater Boise Aquatics Foundation have teamed up to secure real estate in southeast Boise for an indoor aquatics facility. The Auditorium District has committed $5 million and the other two non-profits have raised $1 million each. The goal is to increase access to water safety across the valley, so the facility will be open to the public for lessons, lap swimming and equipment rental. Scholarships will be available for those with limited incomes. The facility can be rented for swim meets, water polo and masters swimming. According to the group’s press release, Boise currently lags behind recommended water space and facility standards established by the National Recreation and Park Association. Stakeholders believe the economic impact could be in the millions of dollars based on spending throughout the valley for hotel rooms, groceries, shopping and restaurants when events draw in visitors. The planning and capital campaign are ongoing. Source:  Idaho Business Review
  • The Meridian Chamber of Commerce and its Downtown Business Association merged effective July 1. The DBA is now recognized as a committee of the Meridian Chamber. It will pursue a Main Street America designation to revitalize downtown and organize its first Oktoberfest celebration, hoping to make it an annual event. Source: Idaho Press
  • Work is underway on replacing the glass in Idaho’s State Capitol building rotunda. The glass is being replaced with the historic wired glass due to the preservation required when renovating a structure of its age and historical importance. The cost to Idaho is around $550,000 while the entire project is estimated to cost more than $1.1 million. Contractors from the Capitol renovation of 2007-2009 are covering some of the cost. The contractors working on the current project are Jacobsen-Hunt Joint Ventures, which includes Jacobsen Construction Company of Salt Lake City and Hunt Construction Group of Indianapolis. The entire rotunda is closed off during the project. All work must be completed by Nov. 15, 2021. Source: Idaho Press
  • A hiring event was hosted by Idaho Department of Labor on July 13 at the Boise Holiday Inn in Boise with about 30 employers seeking a variety of skill sets. Positions posted included bus drivers, human resource associates, account managers, retail, hospitality, IT, warehouse operations and production jobs. Source: Idaho News
  • Slayer Duck Calls of Eagle received a capital infusion from the co-founders of TSheets, now owned by Intuit and renamed QuickBooks Time. The investment allows the Slayer to expand its hunting calls and develop a better website. The company handcrafts hunting calls backed by a lifetime guarantee and donates 10% of each purchase to conservation efforts. Source: Idaho Business Review

Canyon County

  • A ribbon cutting was held for Fuller84 Business Park, a state-of-the-art industrial park in Nampa to be built on a 64-acre parcel near the Amazon Fulfillment Center. The developer is Bow River Capital Partners, a Denver-based private equity and asset management firm who is working with locally-based general contractor ESI to build out Phase 1 by spring 2022. Source: KTVB News
  • The Snake River Stampede was back at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa this year after canceling in 2020 because of COVID-19. The rodeo is consistently listed as one of the top 10 rodeos in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Source: Idaho News 6
  • The city of Caldwell requested its citizens to conserve water for irrigation purposes as average potable water usage is double compared with past averages during the same time frame. Recommendations include watering lawns on either even or odd days based on the house number, not using potable water for lawn sprinklers, reducing shower times, only running appliances when there is a full load and checking indoor plumbing for leaks. Source: 2News

Elmore County

  • The Mountain Home Urban Renewal Agency accepted a bid from Weitz and Company to develop a downtown parcel. The company developed the Mountain Home Rail Industrial Park. The agency purchased the former Hub Clothiers store in 2018 for $275,000. The retailer served the greater Mountain Home area for about 50 years. The proposed new four-story building will double the square footage. Plans are to attract a Basque restaurant on the ground level along with retail and office tenants to fill in the first two floors. The top two stories will have apartments. The company intends to repurpose the more unique building materials for use in the energy efficient new building. Source: Idaho Business Review

Gem County

  • The 86th annual Cherry Festival attracted an estimated 65,000 visitors to Emmett City Park this summer. Four days of festivities included two parades, a cherry pie eating contest, a cherry pit spitting contest, carnival rides and a food court. The event was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. Source: KTVB News and Messenger-Index

Owyhee County

  • The Homedale School District trustees voted to take a $14 million school bond to the district patrons in August. The bond would be used to update the 80-year old portion of the high school, which could include adding an elevator to provide accommodation for those needing to access the second floor and updating the HVAC and fire alarm systems. Other options include an auxiliary gym, upgrading the outdoor track and adding classrooms. Everything cannot be addressed for this price tag, according to Rob Sauer, superintendent, but it will take care of some safety issues. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche
  • The city of Marsing is collaborating with the Marsing Beautification Project to enhance its downtown. Canyon Creek Gardens Greenhouse and Nursery delivered 20 large flower pots, and volunteers donated time and equipment to keep the oversized flower arrangement watered during this dry, hot summer. The plants will be held over in the greenhouse for next summer. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche
  • The Payments in Lieu of Taxes program announced Owyhee County will receive the sixth largest payment in Idaho at $1,538,565. There are 3.6 million acres of public land in Owyhee County with the greatest share is administered by the Bureau of Land Management. It is the second largest acreage of public lands in Idaho behind Idaho County with 4.5 million acres. Elmore County received the largest PILT—$2.75 million. Since 1998, Owyhee County has received more than $24 million in PILT funds. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche 


  • Rockslide Landscape Materials held a soft opening in Homedale. The space was formerly occupied by Don’s Automotive. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche
  • Pizza Twist opened its first Idaho franchise at a previous Pizza Hut restaurant near Boise State University. Its pies are unique to Boise, offering East Indian spices and topping selections. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • PetIQ held a ribbon cutting for its new corporate office in Eagle. When addressing the group, Idaho Gov. Brad Little lauded its success citing ‘the new 3-story building houses 250 employees with approximately 2,100 total employees across the country. All that after starting with five employees at the end of 2010.’ The company went public in 2017 and is traded on the NASDAQ exchange. Some of its brands include Sergeant’s, Besty Farms, Advecta, Sentry, lil’ Tex Ranch and Pet Armor. The company also has manufacturing plants in Omaha, Nebraska, and Springfield, Utah, along with pet clinics in 41 states. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Koco Bell moved from its food stand to a restaurant in a west Boise strip mall. It developed a following at the food stand within a year. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • City leaders attended a dedication to the new Bowler Park in Surprise Valley on the southeastern side of Boise. The 25-acre park has a dog park, bocce ball courts and a disc golf course. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Fort Builder has opened it second co-work and social interaction office in Boise’s downtown Oliver Russell & Associates Building. Oliver Russell will continue to occupy the space, but by implementing a hybrid in-office and remote-work model for its staff, it freed up space for Fort Builder. New furniture and art have been selected for the modern industrial space. It is biker friendly with bike parking, showers and lockers available for occupants. Source: Idaho Business Review


  • Taco Johns closed its doors in Mountain Home after 40+ years of business. Source: Mountain Home News
  • Chapala Mexican Restaurant closed its Garden City location due to lack of staffing. The company was founded in 1989 in Hailey and had grown to five restaurants across the Treasure Valley. The other four locations remain open. The Garden City restaurant opened in 2002. 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

  • City council members in Hailey and Ketchum have enacted an emergency ordinance to allow certain locally employed people and caregivers to occupy recreational vehicles on private property in all residential and tourist zoning districts in the city, subject to city approval of an administrative use permit. Source: Idaho Mountain Express

Gooding County

  • The Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program will provide the city of Gooding $15.3 million in loans and $2.3 million in grants. This rural development investment will be used to rehabilitate Gooding’s headworks building with new additions and upgrades. A polymer feed system will be installed to improve solids handling along with rehabilitation of the existing sludge drying beds and addition of new ones. Temperature treatment will also be included to meet the anticipated permit temperature limit. Other site improvements will include site work and yard piping, utility water pump and plant drain station, site electrical upgrade and standby generator. Lastly, some of the funds will be used to rehabilitate lift stations and replace sections of the collection system piping. These improvements will ensure that the city meets environmental regulatory requirements. The residents and surrounding communities will benefit from this essential project. Source: KBOI

Jerome County

  • IronVista broke ground for an industrial park in Jerome County. This Utah-based developer says the NorthBridge Industrial Park will offer a mix of benefits including easy-on/easy-off access to Interstate 84 and Highway US-93, abundant highway-side amenities and a location in the heart of the Magic Valley. The buildings are intended for industrial use and will be available for immediate occupancy upon completion. Source: Idaho Business Review

Twin Falls County

  • The College of Southern Idaho has reported a record increase in summer enrollment. More than 2,300 students were enrolled on the 10th day of the summer term, which is more than a 40 percent increase from 2020 and the previous year. This growth has been attributed to various factors including expanded course offerings, informational campaigns directed at existing and new students, and financial assistance made available as part of federal pandemic relief efforts. Source: Times News
  • Chobani has moved a step closer to becoming a publicly traded company. The company has filed a confidential draft registration statement for a proposed underwritten public offering of common stock with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It has not yet determined how many shares will be sold or the price, however, Reuters estimates the company could be valued at more than $10 billion. Source: Times News


  • Blue Cross of Idaho, Twin Falls
  • Rural Fire District Station, Filer
  • Grocery Outlet, Hailey, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 332-3570 ext. 3820

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


  • For the first time in more than 20 years, the Idaho State University campus is getting an addition. The university broke ground on the ICCU Bengal Alumni Center, a 26,281-square-foot facility with a price tag of $11.5 million. ISU expects the alumni center to be completed by the spring of 2023. Source: East Idaho News
  • AvCenter Inc. has plans to increase its lease at the Pocatello Regional Airport by about 50,000 square feet to construct a nearly 30,000-square-foot hangar and additional office space. The full-service, fixed-based operator and premium jet aircraft charter is hoping to attract aircraft business out of the resort areas like Sun Valley and Jackson Hole with this additional space. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bannock County

  • NeighborWorks Pocatello is hoping to build a unique 26-unit subdivision — a combination of single-family dwellings and town houses — on the former Bonneville Elementary School property. The units, designed by Myers-Anderson Architects, would range between 1,100 to 1,800 square feet in size and would have single car garages. All units will be for sale and will accommodate people of all income levels. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bingham County

  • Bingham County commissioners approved plats for sections two and three of Cedar Estates following a long discussion about the safety of the surrounding roadways and the amount of traffic that will be added to the area with more than 100 new developments. Sections two and three will add a total of 61 lots to the subdivision. Source: Bingham News Chronicle

Power County

  • The old Hillview Motel that sits adjacent to Interstate 86 and overlooks the city of American Falls will be undergoing major renovations after Idaho-based motel property management group X Stay Properties purchased the vacant building in early June. The renovation project will revamp the Hillview — which will be called the Hillview Extended Stay — into a 34-room destination suited for longer stays. The renovation is expected to be completed in about six months. Source: Idaho State Journal


  • Diva G’s Nails and Spa in Pocatello
  • The Smile Bar, a teeth whitening business, in Pocatello, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331

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


  • The Melaleuca Freedom Celebration returned with a bang July 3 with more fireworks and festivities than ever before. Officials are still working to determine how many spectators attended the 28th annual event at Snake River Landing. They will review drone footage of traffic to measure the number of cars, but Idaho Falls police say “more people than we could count” watched the largest fireworks show west of the Mississippi River. Source: East Idaho News
  • A project to build a first-of-its-kind nuclear reactor in eastern Idaho has been significantly downsized. The initial plan for the Carbon-Free Power Project was to build 12 interconnected miniature nuclear reactor modules to produce a total of 600 megawatts. It would be the first small modular reactor in the United States. After the company tasked with manufacturing the plants said it could make the reactors more power-efficient, planners reduced the project down to six module reactors that could produce a total 462 MW. The project between UAMPS and Portland-based reactor producer NuScale received $1.4 billion from the U.S. Department of Energy last year. Plans are to build the reactor on DOE’s 890-square mile desert site west of Idaho Falls at Idaho National Laboratory. The plant is expected to be running by 2029. Source: Post Register

Bonneville County

  • A popular chain of Utah furniture stores is coming to Idaho Falls in late 2022. RC Willey plans to build a home furnishing store on 21 just east of Interstate 15 and south of Sunnyside Road. This location will become the second store in Idaho. The other store is in the Boise area. RC Willey plans to employ around 150 people. The location will sell furniture, mattresses, appliances, electronics and floor coverings. Source: East Idaho News

Jefferson County

  • A historic building in Ririe is getting a facelift and will soon be occupied by a new tenant – Lovebird Green Grocer & Art Co., a general store that will offer homegrown food and art for customers. Though Lovebird will be open to anyone, it will primarily cater to tourists who travel to Ririe every year to spend time at Heise, 7N Ranch and Kelly Canyon. Source: East Idaho News


  • Hokkaido Ramen House, Idaho Falls
  • Downtown Barber School, Idaho Falls
  • Foam King Party Rentals, Idaho Falls
  • Ultimate Stump Grinding, Idaho Falls
  • The Rocky Bean in Rigby


  • Squealers Fun Park, Rigby, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4331