Around Idaho: Economic Activity in October 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

Shoshone County

  • The state of Idaho has taken ownership of the Central Treatment Plant in Kellogg under the direction of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The plant has been responsible for cleaning up mine pollution in the Coeur d’Alene Basin since it began operations 50 years ago. Under new ownership, the plant is expected to overcome the facility’s former water capacity restrictions and lower the amount of heavy metals from the nearby mine before it flows into the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. Source: Shoshone News-Press

Kootenai County

  • Lanzce G. Douglass Inc. has started work on a $73.3 million housing project in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area. The River’s Edge Apartments in Coeur d’Alene will account for $45.2 million of the total project. With 12 apartment buildings and 384 residential units, River’s Edge will be one of the largest multifamily complexes in the region. The apartments will be located in the Atlas District, part of Coeur d’Alene’s urban renewal district along the north side of the Spokane River, in west Coeur d’Alene. Source: Spokane Journal of Business

Bonner County

  • The Priest Lake wetland is set to be subdivided for land development and housing construction. Local residents have expressed concerns about the permanent loss of several ecosystem functions and their benefits to humans such as flood control, water filtration and aquifer recharge. Source: Spokesman-Review

Business updates

  • Amazon Air has launched daily flights from a 30,750-square-foot cargo facility at the Spokane Airport. The $5.4 million facility will transport packages from the airport to the Amazon Fulfillment Center, located a few miles southwest of the new Amazon Air station at 10010 W. Geiger Blvd. Source: Spokane Journal of Business
  • Corwin Automotive Group purchased Gus Johnson Ford in Spokane Valley and plans to work with Mike White Ford of Coeur d’Alene to grow its presence in the area. Corwin Auto is based in North Dakota. Source: The Spokesman-Review

Rajshri, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

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

Idaho County

  • The Grangeville City Council adopted a 29% increase in its total budget for the fiscal year 2022, amounting to $8,684,442. Nearly $2 million of this sum is set aside for new water and sewer infrastructure projects. While funding for recreation and medical insurance has grown by 20% and 11%, the general fund and the street fund are set to decline by 20% and 16%, respectively. The city is also continuing to implement a standard 3% increase in its total property taxes. Source: Idaho County Free Press

Latah County

  • The city of Moscow approved the establishment of an open-container entertainment district in downtown Moscow. In addition to the Downtown Revitalization Project on Main Street, the city wants to build other facilities such as a restaurant row and incorporate local business communities in its operations. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • The Woodbury Subdivision development project, which aims to transform 82 acres of farmland into low-density residential homes, was approved by the Moscow City Council. Officials also informed the media the project will take major steps to reduce its water footprint in response to public concerns about water conservation. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News
  • The University of Idaho (U of I) received an $18.9 million research grant for the Deep Soil Ecotron facility, which will offer funding for scientists to study how environmental conditions and farming practices affect soil systems and how well soil systems absorb carbon. The research project involves a collaboration of the U of I with the University of Colorado, the University of Delaware, the University of Hawaii, North Dakota State University, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the University of Wyoming. Source: Idaho Education News
  • The University of Idaho launched the first phase of its fundraising initiative — “Brave. Bold. A Promise to Idaho’s Students” — which will fund scholarships for medical students in Idaho. Thanks to a $12 million donation from an Idaho resident and other substantial donations, these funds are intended to bridge the $5,000 gap in costs that prevent students from enrolling in medical school. Source: Idaho Press

Nez Perce County

  • The Idaho Workforce Development Council awarded Lewis-Clark State College a $1.3 million grant to expand its diesel and collision repair programs. The funds will be used to renovate the Wittman Complex and the Mechanical Technical Building, allowing more students to attend the programs and expand the welding program. Source: Idaho Education News

Events and openings:

  • The Idaho Department of Labor’s Orofino and Salmon offices transitioned to remote service delivery on Oct. 4, along with the addition of two new offices at Challis and Wieppe. The mobile offices are part of a statewide effort to increase access to rural communities. The office will continue to provide appointments, walk-in hours and access to the agency’s traditional employment services and some business services. Locations and operating hours can be found at
  • The 3rd annual BrewersFest in Moscow,  canceled in 2020, returned to the Latah County Events Center on Oct. 9, 2021. The event featured beverages from six Lewis and Clark Valley breweries.
  • The Pullman School District inaugurated its new transportation facility. The Whitman County Transportation Cooperative will serve schools in Pullman, Colfax, Palouse and Garfield.
  • After being forced to close due to COVID-19, the Latah County Division of Motor Vehicles reopened during the last week of September. The office is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The University of Idaho’s newly completed, $51 million mass timber Idaho Central Credit Union arena was inaugurated on Nov. 9 during an exhibition basketball game.

Rajshri , regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 332-3570 ext. 3201

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


  • Columbia Bank and Umpqua Bank announced a merger creating one bank with more than $43 billion in deposits. Upon approval, the newly formed bank will trade publicly on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker COLB. Going forward, the banks will operate under the Umpqua name. There are branches of both banks sprinkled throughout southwestern Idaho. Columbia operates 15 branches in Boise, Nampa, Caldwell, Payette and Weiser. Umpqua’s branding is currently on 11 branches in Boise, Meridian, Cascade and McCall. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Walgreens has purchased Bi-Mart’s pharmacy business in Emmett, Weiser and Star. The files and prescriptions will transfer to Walgreens, but in some cases Walgreens will operate the pharmacy within the Bi-Mart store. The affected staff will be absorbed by the Bi-Mart, except for pharmacists and pharmacy techs who will interview with Walgreens for positions. Source: Idaho Business Review

Ada County

  • Micron announced its 10-year plan to invest $150 billion to expand its global markets. Plan details were not released but it is believed Boise will be a key player with its research and development facilities. In 2009, large-scale production of semi-conductor chips in Boise ceased and transitioned into a research and development hub housed at the corporate headquarters campus. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Alaska Airlines is adding daily flights between Boise and Idaho Falls in addition to flights between Boise and the Pullman-Moscow area. The last time Alaska offered a daily flight to Idaho Falls was 2010. The airline also announced daily service to Las Vegas with departure times that synchronize with the Idaho Falls flights. Alaska also is changing its daily Phoenix service from seasonal, to year-round. Alaska’s Boise airport is the eighth largest departure airport among the 120 airports served by the commercial airline. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The Warehouse Foodhall, a 29,000-square-foot food and drink facility currently under construction at in Boise’s BoDo district, announced four new tenants. Caffe d’Arte has operated in BoDo since 2008. The other three include Freshie’s Lobster Co., CAMP Cocktail Bar and Totally Toasted. All signed on to join tenants Paddles Up Poke, Rush Bowls and the Loading Dock. The Foodhall anticipates a 2022 opening. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • According to Zumper, an apartment listing service, Boise’s one-bedroom median rental prices rose by 37% from the same period last year to $1,500. The data was sourced to Oct. 16 and shows 72 apartments posted. Two-bedroom apartments grew by 35% to $1,650 with 79 apartment postings. Source:
  • The Boise Airport broke passenger records for both July and August with July reporting 419,211 passengers, while August reported 378,000. Recent enhancements include  lactation stations and pet relief areas. Expanding routes with several commercial airlines has added to the passenger count while the Boyd Group, an industry tracker, reported Boise as one of the top 10 fastest growing airports nationally. The Federal Aviation Administration will move Boise’s classification from a small hub to a medium hub in the next few years. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Ridenbaugh Place, a long-standing apartment complex near Boise State University is set to be razed and all trees removed to make way for a modern student housing complex.  Residents have been offered reimbursement for moving expenses after given six months advance eviction notice. The complex has contributed to affordable housing, which is a thorny subject in Boise with rising housing costs setting apartments out of reach for those on the lower end of the income spectrum. Boise State is short on housing for students and the project has experienced various delays for more than two years. Source: Idaho Press
  • The International Rescue Committee welcomed 58 refugees from Afghanistan in October. The nonprofit group reported that since 2000, the Treasure Valley has welcomed 844 refugees from Afghanistan. The refugee office in Twin Falls welcomed another 50 refugees, also from Afghanistan. Source: KTVB News

Boise County

  • Crouch voters are deciding whether to apply a local option tax to visitors’ short-term rentals, food and alcohol sold by the drink. It will provide some seed capital for the city to enhance its amenities or for bigger investments. The infrastructure needs of the city are not supported by a broad tax base due to its small population and lack of major industry. The city attracts visitors to its theatre and golf course along with the attraction of recreation in the surrounding mountains. Sixteen other Idaho cities have voted in favor of local option taxes to support their communities. Source: KTVB News

Canyon County

  • The College of Idaho announced record enrollment this fall, the fourth consecutive growth year. The 1,145 student enrollment is the highest in the school’s 130-year history. The most recent record was set in 2014 at 1,144. The college freshmen class is the school’s second largest at 296 while the group of new students is its third largest at 333. Source: Idaho Press
  • The Nampa Development Company and Adler Industrial LLC are collaborating on a 194-acre industrial park in northern Nampa to be built over the next several years. The industrial park will consist of 16 buildings with 2.5 million square feet. Construction will start in 2022. Source: Idaho Press
  • The Darigold plant in Caldwell has been shut down due to fire. All 80 employees working when fire broke out were safely evacuated from the powdered milk facility. The company indicated workers will be offered employment opportunities at other plants throughout the area. Source: KTVB

Valley County

  • Tamarack Resort, near Donnelly, plans to restore the Osprey Meadows Golf Course formerly closed in 2015 following financial pressures. The company negotiated to repurchase the 15 holes sold to an investor group. That transaction closes later this year. Consolidating the purchase with the three holes retained will bring the course back to a full 18-hole course with the driving range scheduled to open in 2022. The golf course is scheduled to be playable in 2023, after renovation. Source: Idaho Statesman


  • Idaho Central Credit Union opened a new branch in Boise, its 43rd in Idaho. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Jersey Mike’s Subs opened a restaurant in Kuna. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Ada County opened a second Department of Motor Vehicles office in Meridian to meet public demand. The office will take appointments only. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Roberts Stephens Wealth Management opened an office in Boise. The company is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Sun Valley and seven other cities nationally. The company has approximately $2.5 billion in assets under management. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Western Aircraft completed its new 53,000-square-foot hangar near the Boise Airport. The company has a multi-phase expansion in progress, investing $17 million with Phase 2 consisting of administrative offices, avionics and interior shops. The company has clients from the U.S. and Canada boasting expertise with myriad aircrafts. Source:  Idaho Business Review
  • Cluck’s Nashville Hot Chicken, a local diner, opened in Meridian with plans for five more restaurants in Idaho. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Country Club Reel will reopen after one year of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The six-screen movie theatre offers second-run films and is one of five Reel theatres across the Treasure Valley. 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

  • St. Luke’s Wood River in Ketchum broke ground on four houses for employees. In total, there will be 12 employee housing units built in the next year – eight in Hailey and four in Bellevue. The hospital, the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation and ARCH, a community housing trust, are working together on the project. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • The Ketchum City Council approved an affordable housing project that add 51 apartments in the city center. The Bluebird Village rentals will range from studios to three-bedroom apartments in two adjacent downtown buildings. The project will target people making between 50% and 70% of the area median income. Depending on income levels, rent for a one-bedroom apartment would cost between approximately $660 and $980. Source: Idaho Mountain Express

Cassia County

  • Snake River Holdings completed the purchase of Kodiak America, a Burley-based company that designs and manufactures industrial and commercial snow removable equipment. Snake River Holdings also owns Apache River LLC and Double L Manufacturing in Heyburn. Kodiak America is planning to merge with Double L and increase employment to about 230 within the next year. Snake River Holdings will also seek to maximize Kodiak’s manufacturing potential and fulfill the need for a significant line of new products. Source: Times-News
  • Yankum Ropes is expanding from Paul to a new 17,000-square-foot building in Burley. The company specializes in double-braided nylon kinetic energy recovery ropes used by motorists, off-road enthusiasts and businesses to recover stuck vehicles and in large agricultural operations. At the new building the company will have equipment to manufacture the rope in-house and open a storefront for local customers. Source: Times-News

Gooding County

  • Shell Oil Products U.S. announced plans to construct a dairy manure-to-renewable natural gas (RNG) facility at the Bettencourt Dairies in Wendell. Once operational, the facility is expected to produce approximately 400,000 MMBtu of negative carbon intensity RNG per year using cow manure from the dairy. Source: Times-News

Twin Falls County

  • The College of Southern Idaho (CSI) partnered with Top Gun Driving Academy to create an accelerated training program for semitruck drivers. The program will allow students to complete all the required training in just four weeks. The first two weeks are online through CSI. During the last two weeks of the program, students gain hands-on experience. CSI also has funding available, which could offset 70% to 90% of the cost for students. Source: Times-News


  • Holiday Inn – Burley
  • Circle 5 – Buhl, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 788-3526 ext. 3820

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

Bannock County

  • The city of Chubbuck is planning to build a new fire station to go with its new city hall and police station. The new construction is as part of the city’s long-term plan to upgrade some of its outdated facilities. The details have not yet been finalized, but the plan is to have the project finished in about 2 ½ years. – Idaho State Journal
  • SkyWest Airlines plans to cut a pair of daily flights from the Pocatello Regional Airport’s schedule, which will leave the city with a single daily departure to Salt Lake City. According to airport manager Alan Evans, the airline is looking to cut costs during its slower winter months and will restore one or both flights next spring. Idaho State Journal
  • Idaho State University saw an increase in student enrollment for the 2021 fall semester.  Enrollment reached 12,157, an increase of 3.15 percent over 2020. For the first time in almost a decade, total undergraduate enrollment at the university increased from the prior year. The number of new, first-time undergraduate students is up 10.7 percent from fall 2020, or 144 students.


  • Just 4 Kids – Chubbuck
  • Craftology Company – Pocatello, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 788-3526 ext. 3820

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

Bonneville County

  • Idaho National Laboratory has been named one of the top places to work for women by DiversityMBA, one of the nation’s leading leadership organizations that integrates diversity and inclusion with talent management. INL ranked 13th in the nation for Best Places to Work for Women and Diverse Managers. This is the second year INL has won best in class for accountability. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
  • Alaska Airlines reinstated direct flights from Idaho Falls to Boise. The Idaho Falls regional airport also increased the number of terminals from three to six. The airport also remodeled its facility and restaurant. Source: KPVI


  • Food Shed Idaho – Victor, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 788-3526 ext. 3820