Around Idaho: Economic Activity in January 2022

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

  • A mixed-used development including more than120 residential units is being planned for the former site of the Idaho Veneer mill. The development will include a mixture of townhomes and multifamily units, in addition to plans for a hotel and commercial space. Source: Journal of Business
  • Developer Measom Holdings LLC is building a development of luxury townhomes in Coeur d’Alene. The project, named the Nest, will feature five high end townhomes on Lakeside Drive, valued at nearly $5 million. Source: Journal of Business
  • Kootenai Health has begun construction of a $37.3 million expansion to its heart center on the main hospital campus. The expansion will add additional operating rooms and bed space in addition to providing vacant space to accommodate future needs. The hospital is expanding capacity to respond to increased demand for procedures from the county’s growing population. Source: Journal of Business

 Openings – Coeur d’Alene

  • Crossfit CDA
  • Aunt Stephanie’s Child Care
  • Takara, a Japanese restaurant
  • Say Yes Bridal Boutique
  • Thunder Games
  • Lake Coeur d’Alene Inn
  • Inland Kava and Botanicals

Openings – Hayden

  • Kaffee Meister
  • Dairy Queen
  • T-Mobile, regional economist
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451

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

Nez Perce County

  • Effective January 2022, the city of Lewiston transitioned from a council-manager to mayor-council form of government. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport will receive $5 million from the Federal Aviation Administration over the next five years. Funds will be used to construct new taxiways, repair existing taxiways and other work. Source: Lewiston Tribune
  • Lewis-Clark State College received a $2 million donation from credit union P1FCU for a 10-year naming agreement for the P1FCU Activity Center. Funds will be used to establish the P1FCU Athletics Endowment Fund to support student-athlete scholarships, athletic program and facility needs. Source:

Latah County

  • The city of Moscow received a $955,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to build a new, 24-foot-long, elevated pedestrian bridge over Paradise Creek incorporating sidewalks, bike lanes and a flood resistant design. Existing culverts that have resulted in damage from the flooding of Paradise Creek in 2017/2019 will also be replaced. Expected completion is scheduled for the end of 2022 and will be matched by a $515,000 contribution from the city of Moscow. The expected labor impact is 66 jobs. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News, US EDA.
  • Effective Jan. 10, the City of Moscow moved all police operations from downtown Moscow to its new facility along Highway 95. The city of Moscow sold the former 9,000-square-foot downtown building to the University of Idaho, which plans to convert it into the Pritchard Art Gallery, VandalStore and community space. Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Big Country News
  • The University of Idaho and Washington State University announced a combined $1 million pledge to support construction of a new terminal at the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport. Total cost of the project is estimated at $61 million with targeted opening in winter 2023. Source: University of Idaho, Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport


  • The Coffee Can mobile coffee business opened near Kamiah. Source: The Clearwater Progress
  • Fog Hill Coffee and Tea House opened in Kamiah in the former location of Higher Grounds Coffee. Source: The Clearwater Progress
  • New Holiday gas station opened in the Lewiston Orchards. Source: Lewiston Tribune


  • Stomping Grounds Coffee House in Genesee will close in March., regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-50000 ext. 3849

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

Ada County

  • Boise School District will offer free all-day kindergarten starting with the 2022-2023 academic year. In the past, the school district has offered all-day kindergarten at various schools sometimes with grants, sometimes with accompanying tuition from parents at 20 of its 32 schools. This is the first time the entire school district will have access at no additional cost to the parents, but it will cost the district $2.7 million with additional funding from private, local and state funds. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The popular PBS series Antiques Roadshow will air three shows in May at the Idaho Botanical Gardens in Boise. The open air event will allow a larger crowd to accommodate social distancing. Tickets are available by lottery to the public, and participants are required to bring at least one antique for evaluation by the show’s appraisers. This is the show’s second visit to Boise. It was held at Expo Idaho almost 10 years ago. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The city of Boise recently reported a high employee turnover rate of 16.1%, impacting the number of job openings within its various departments, which total 228. The Boise City Library experienced the highest percentage of vacancies at 24.7% while the fire department had the lowest at 2.7%. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • The Trailhead incubator in downtown Boise named ERTH Beverage Company the winner of its Trailmix Pitch Competition, earning the company $25,000 and shelf space at Albertsons. Husband-wife team Sam and Eric Herrera started ERTH in 2018 to create healthy beverages. The company’s botanical beverages now are found in several Treasure Valley establishments and ship to 20 states. The judges consider branding, the product itself, the category of product and whether it is forecast to grow in the future. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • The Wilder School District has launched its own online learning platform for ages 8 to 12. Idaho Virtual Learning Academy provides participating families $1,000 per semester to help pay for school-related expenses. The school curriculum is based on mastery education in English language arts, math, science, social studies and Habits of Mind – a program designed to empower creative and critical thinking. The idea for the school started during the pandemic when the principal’s son flourished with online learning. The broader concept was pitched to the Wilder School District, and the school expects to expand to higher grades after its initial year. Source: Idaho News 6
  • The Waterwalk Hotel and the Holiday Inn Express Hotel are both under construction in Meridian adding 126 rooms and 91 rooms, respectively.  The construction cost of the Waterman is estimated at $16 million while the Holiday Inn Express’s estimated cost is $11 million. Source: Idaho Press  
  • Zoo Boise is on a schedule to vaccinate its entire population of animals against COVID-19. Animals can contract the contagious virus just like humans, so the vaccination protocol is an effort to protect staff and guests along with the animals. Some of the animals have been tested for COVID-19 due to exhibiting symptoms but tests have come back negative so far. Source: Idaho News 6
  • The Race to Robie Creek, a half marathon from Boise to Robie Creek each April, will resume its normal in-person race after canceling the 2020 race and holding it virtually in 2021. The leadership announced race participants and volunteers must provide proof of vaccination and wear a mask at the start and end of the race, as well on the bus ride. Spectators will not be allowed at the finish line. The process is in place to keep participants, volunteers and spectators safe from COVID-19.  Source: Idaho Statesman
  • According to the Idaho Association for Education of Young Children, (IAEYC) Boise is facing some challenging child care issues, including:
      • 91% of Idaho child care facilities report staffing is its No. 1 challenge.
      • Rates for child care are already as high as $1,000 monthly while entry wages for child care workers are about $10 an hour. The wage does not compare with offerings from fast food franchises, big box retail and Amazon all offering between $14 and $18 hourly.
      • About 50% of Idahoans live in what IIAEYC termed a child care desert with needs outstripping child care openings.

The city of Boise has amended its requirements for licensing of child care workers to reduce lost time while checking backgrounds and references. A new employee can start caring for kids under supervision until the background checks are approved. The IAEYC recommends private and government collaboration to subsidize the high cost of child care as a solution to providing sufficient child care options across the state. Source: Idaho News 6

  • The city of Boise opened a downtown daytime warming shelter for the homeless population with plans to keep it open through March. The city has also expanded the beds available at overnight shelters as the Treasure Valley experienced bitter cold in January. Source: Boise Weekly
  • Saint Alphonsus Health Care System announced three urgent care clinics would temporarily close on the weekends due to staff illness. Locations affected are in Boise, Kuna and Nampa. Those employees able to work weekends will transition to other locations to fill in for absent colleagues. Primary Health also temporarily closed four of its clinics due to staffing issues tied to the COVID-19 virus. Source: Idaho Press

Boise County

  • Bogus Basin canceled its New Year’s fireworks display and Torchlight Parade due to bitter temperatures precluding participants from spending longer periods of time congregating and spectating outside. Source: Idaho Statesman

Canyon County

  • The Caldwell Industrial Airport changed its name to Treasure Valley Executive Airport at Caldwell. It has more hangars, more based aircraft and more takeoff-and-landing operations than any other airport in Idaho of any size, according to the organization. Source: Idaho Statesman

Valley County

  • McCall will continue with its traditional Winter Carnival this year – Jan. 28-Feb. 6, but the Mardi Gras parade is canceled due to the current COVID-19 Omicron variant. Source:  Idaho News 6

Temporary school shutdowns due to illness as of Jan. 24

  • Horseshoe Bend closed its elementary classes for a week with 60% of students absent.
  • McCall-Donnelly School District closed for two days due to lack of bus drivers and high staff absenteeism.
  • Caldwell School District closed for two days to allow for five-day quarantine. Because of the inability to get substitute teachers, seven classes were moved into a cafeteria for monitoring.
  • Owyhee Elementary in the Nampa School District closed for a day as 37% of staff were absent and half of those tested positive for COVID-19.
  • New Horizon’s Dual Language School, Gateways Alternative School, Nampa Early Childhood Learning Center, East Valley Middle School and Centennial Elementary School were all closed for three days due to 170 absent staff and 72 unfilled classrooms. These school fall under the governance of the Nampa School District.
  • Wilder School District moved its middle and high school to remote learning for four days due to staff shortages and high positivity rates of COVID-19 testing.

Source: Idaho Education News


  • Process Jiu-Jitsu and Yoga opened in Boise offering classes in Brazilian jiu-jitsu to all age groups. Source:  Boise Weekly
  • Grocery Outlet held a ribbon cutting at is newest grocery store in Mountain Home. Source: Mountain Home News
  • Giggy D’s opened in the former Beef O’Brady space in Meridian. The restaurant theme continues to be a sports bar and family grill. Source: Idaho Statesman
  • Chipotle Mexican Grill opened a newly constructed restaurant in southeast Boise. The restaurant is the first Chipotle to offer a pickup lane for online orders. Source: Idaho Statesman


  • Beef O’Brady sold its restaurant in Meridian after 10 years in operation. It no longer has a franchise presence in Idaho. 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

  • The Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission approved plans for a104-unit apartment complex. The units will consist of 12 small one-bedroom units, 40 medium one-bedroom units, 35 two-bedroom units, 12 three-bedroom units and four four-bedroom units, ranging in size from 475 square feet to 1,504 square feet. The development will include a density bonus for 12 rent-restricted units at 100% of area median income. The plans also include several outdoor amenities, seating areas with fire pits, walkways and an open-air BBQ area. – Idaho Mountain Express

Twin Falls County

  • The first Magic Valley and Southern Idaho industrial hemp producer meeting is Feb. 4 in Buhl. Presenters will be from the hosting organizations – the Idaho Department of Agriculture, Hempitecture, IND HEMP, 100 Springs Mill and the Idaho Farm Bureau. The meeting is to inform potential growers of the possibilities, risks, costs and how the hemp growing process works. Hempitecture is currently building a manufacturing facility in Jerome County that will make hemp insulation for homes and other buildings. Hemp can be made into paper, textiles, food, medicine, paint, oil, fuel and many other items. The global industrial hemp market size was valued at $3.61 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.2% from 2021 to 2028. – Times-News


  • Cristina’s Restaurant – Sun Valley, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 788-3526 ext. 3820

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


  • The December seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in southeastern Idaho fell to 1.6% from 1.9% the previous month and 3.4%the same time the previous year. All counties except for Caribou saw their unemployment rate decline. Total employment in the region grew by a seasonally adjusted 246 persons in December, with every county except Bear Lake seeing gains relative to the same time the previous year. Labor force participation grew by 2,982 persons year-over-year with only Bear Lake and Caribou counties seeing declines. Source: Idaho Department of Labor
  • Job postings in southeastern Idaho for Idaho were estimated at 1,180 with personal care assistants (147); heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (47); and customer service representatives (44) being the largest individual occupations represented. By industry, the largest volume of job postings was in health care and social assistance (294). Most job postings (726) were in the Pocatello metro area. Source: Burning Glass
  • Idaho State University and Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI) joined a consortium with Siemens Energy and other national stakeholders to create the Cybersecurity & Industrial Infrastructure Security Apprenticeship Program, with the first cohort planned for fall 2022. Source: Idaho Business Review
  • Multiple school districts in the region have closed due to winter storms as well as staff shortages and elevated student absences due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Sources: Idaho State Journal, Post Register
  • Eastern and southeastern Idaho nonprofits raised $510,525 for the annual Avenues for Hop Housing Challenge to assist organizations throughout the state that provide critical housing and supportive services to Idahoans in need. Source: Post Register
  • The Eastern Idaho Ag Expo kicked off at Holt Arena in Pocatello mid-January, held in conjunction with the Annual Idaho Potato Conference. The trade show offered presentations on a host of subjects of interest to area farmers by top agricultural researchers in addition to opportunities to network. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Idaho-Montana spokesperson for the Red Cross says hospitals are receiving only 75 percent of their expected blood volumes as the organization declares a first-ever national shortage. A spokesperson for the Portneuf Medical Center says they are strongly encouraging community members to donate. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Southeastern Idaho sees record-breaking COVID-19 cases as Omicron variant spreads as of late January. Source: Idaho State Journal

Bannock County

  • DW Investors is beginning construction of tiny homes on land adjacent to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks in Pocatello as part of a pilot program that would address affordable housing in the Portneuf Valley. Source: KPVI Channel 6
  • The Boys & Girls Club of the Portneuf Valley Committee is raising funds to secure future site and fund operations for a Boys & Girls Club in the Gate City area. The committee is working with the Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25 and city of Pocatello staff to identify suitable locations for the club. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Donations to the Salvation Army’s Pocatello outpost are significantly down compared with the previous year. This will impact the organization’s ability to provide community services and continue to employ its sole employee. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • First Congregational United Church of Christ in Pocatello has opened its warming center for the winter season, its fourth year in operation. Source: Idaho State Journal.
  • The city of Pocatello and other stakeholders continue to advance a project to build a new facility for the Pocatello Senior Activity Center, New Knowledge Adventures and other community programs. Their goal is to raise another $100,000 this year toward the project. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Primary Care Specialists of Pocatello is offering monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 at a time of rising caseloads in eastern and southeastern Idaho. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Gov. Brad Little’s budget proposal for the Idaho Department of Correction suggest opening a 100-bed community re-entry facility in the Pocatello area. If approved, the $12 million facility would be completed in 1½  to two years and staffed by 25-30 workers including security, employment coordinators and case managers. It would help qualified inmates connect to jobs and resources in the outside world to help them succeed upon their release, thereby reducing recidivism. Source: Idaho State Journal


  • After a two-year, multi-million dollar renovation, a once-dilapidated three-story building in Pocatello recently had its open house. The Riverside Apartments has 18 studio-style and 10 single-bedroom apartments, complete with full kitchen, bathroom and on-site washers and dryers. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Pinnacle Recreation expects to open the resurrected ice skating rink in Chubbuck’s Capell Park soon after weather-related delays. Source Idaho State Journal
  • Black Swan Esthetics moved into American Falls. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • C-A-L Rand Stores will be relocating its Pocatello store with a grand opening Feb. 3. Source: Idaho State Journal
  • Pours & Fores opened a family-friendly indoor golfing facility in American Falls. Source: Idaho State Journal


  • Bed, Bath, and Beyond announced they will be closing their store in Pocatello in addition to 36 other locations nationwide. Source: Idaho State Journal, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4249

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


  • The December 2021 seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for eastern Idaho fell to 1.5% from 1.6% the previous month and 3.1% the same time the previous year. Only Clark County saw its unemployment rate rise month-over-month, and every county saw a year-over-year decline. Total employment in the region grew by a seasonally adjusted 100 people in December, with every county except Custer seeing year-over-year employment gains. Labor force participation grew by 2,337 individuals compared with the same time the previous year, with every county seeing gains except Custer and Lemhi. Source: Idaho Department of Labor
  • There were an estimated 1,756 job postings in eastern Idaho in December, with personal care aides (130), registered nurses (108), and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (63) being the largest individual occupations represented. By industry, the largest volume of job postings was in health care and social assistance (505). Most postings (1,343) were in the Idaho Falls metro area. Source: Burning Glass
  • Idaho National Laboratory opened applications for 2022 K-12 education grants with the goal of growing the eastern Idaho STEM landscape by aligning future workforce needs with STEM education. Source: Post Register
  • US. Department of Energy announced it is nearly finished with its Accelerated Retrieval Project first launched in 2005, 18 months ahead of schedule. The project has removed 13,500 cubic yards of radioactive and hazardous waste from unlined pits at its eastern Idaho site that includes the Idaho National Laboratory and is permanently depositing the material at the U.S. government’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. Source: Post Register
  • Multiple school districts in the region have closed due to winter storms as well as staff shortages and elevated student absences due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Sources: Idaho State Journal, Post Register
  • The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission denied a license to Oklo Inc. to develop a commercial nuclear reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory site. The reactor would have run on recovered material from used nuclear fuel to reduce nuclear waste. Source: Post Register
  • Eastern and southeastern Idaho nonprofits raised $510,525 for the annual Avenues for Hop Housing Challenge to assist organizations throughout the state that provide critical housing and supportive services to Idahoans in need. Source: Post Register
  • The Idaho National Laboratory has brought its new electric power grid test beds online as part of a 10-year, $40 million project. The test grid provides reliable power across the INL site, frees up power lines for security testing and will allow experts from across the federal government as well as private industry to develop and demonstrate technologies that will improve security and enhance resiliency. Source: Post Register
  • Amid rising COVID-19 caseloads, demand for testing in eastern Idaho surges to new highs as test providers and labs are having difficulty keeping up. Source: Post Register

Bonneville County

  • United Way of Idaho Falls and Bonneville County donated 7,850 books to elementary students to address learning losses from disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Source: Post Register
  • The Museum of Idaho debuted its latest exhibit, “Genghis Khan: Conquest and Culture,” which runs through Labor Day. It is the museum’s first Asian exhibit, showcasing historic items and replications as well as live performances from Mongolian dancers who will be living in Idaho Falls for the duration of the exhibit. Source: Post Register

Fremont County

  • Issues relating to the growth of short-term rentals has residents in Island Park considering regulations that would limit their expansion and protect local interests. Source: Post Register


  • Pinky G’s Pizzeria opened a location in Victor, its third following openings in downtown Jackson, Wyoming, (2011) and Big Sky, Montana, (2019). Source: Teton Valley News


  • Idaho Falls School District 91 has obtained the former Deseret Industries building for its upcoming Center for Career and Technical Education. Their goal is to open the building at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. Source: Post Register
  • The College of Eastern Idaho expects to start construction this July on its Future Tech building. Once completed, the new facility will house programs related to agriculture technology, batter technology, cybersecurity, solar technology and radiation safety, among others, serving an expected 1,000 students or more. Source: Post Register, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4249