Information provided in these news updates is from professional sources, news releases, weekly and daily newspapers, television and other media.
North Central Idaho
South Central Idaho
NORTHERN IDAHO – Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai & Shoshone counties
- Kootenai Health is opening a new urgent care clinic in Coeur d’Alene in partnership with the MultiCare Health System’s Indigo Urgent Care network. In 2022, Kootenai Urgent Care had more than 55,000 visits across its three locations. The new clinic will help distribute the caseload and reduce wait times. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
- Hayden Canyon Charter school has completed a major expansion project which doubled the available space in the school. The charter school has seen a large increase in applications in recent years and has had student counts limited by available classrooms. The new expansion will increase the capacity by up to 100 incoming first and second grade students, bringing the school’s total capacity up to nearly 600 students. Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
- North Idaho College (NIC) received a downgrade in its bond ratings from Moody’s Investor Service amid ongoing questions about the college’s accreditation status and governance ambiguity. NIC’s issuer rating was downgraded from A3 to A1, and the revenue bond rating was dropped from A3 to A2. Moody’s cited “a continuing period of significant governance and management dysfunction.” Source: Coeur d’Alene Press
Openings – Post Falls
- North Idaho Urology
- BoxDrop Mattress and Furniture
- St Joseph’s Ear, Nose, Throat, and Allergy Clinic
- Dog House Grooming
- North Idaho Floors
- Blythe Anchor
- JIK Printshop
- Revival Wellness
Sam.Wolkenhauer@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 457-8789 ext. 4451
NORTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce counties
- The Idaho Broadband Advisory Board awarded $26.3 million from the Idaho Broadband Fund to support two broadband projects servicing north central Idaho. Completion dates of both projects are estimated between 2026-2027.
- $20 million for a 198-mile project through Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON) and Intermountain Infrastructure Group (IIG) from Grangeville to Star
- $6.3 million to Port of Lewiston to connect with the IRON and IIG project to stretch from Grangeville to Moscow.
- The Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional airport’s 2022 enplanements of 41,533 was the highest since the 57,957 reported in 2018 and 34% above the 30,892 in 2021. The record was in 2017 with 76,729 enplanements. Enplanements are counted as passengers departing from an airport. Source: Lewiston Tribune
- Lewiston Regional Airport is seeking proposals for a hotel, restaurant or café at a property adjacent to the airport, or a café/restaurant within the airport terminal. Current services within the terminal include Nu-U Salon, Louie’s Hair Design and The Shooting Star Café (which is currently seeking new ownership). Source: Lewiston Nez Perce County Airport
- Pinecrest Academy of Lewiston, the city’s first charter school, was awarded $232,000 under Idaho’s Communities of Excellence Federal Charter School Program grant. The $22 million federal grant started in 2018 to be allocated for charter school startup and growth. Source: The Lewiston Tribune, csp.bluum.org
- Pleasant View Baptist Church in White Bird will open a new Christian school in Fall 2023. It will operate as a nonprofit and aim for enrollment of at least 20 students. A teacher salary for an initial three-year period has been approved. Source: Idaho County Free Press
- Gritman Medical Center is building out its medical office building to house Palouse Neurology, Palouse Oncology and an interventional pain clinic once it is completed in the summer of 2023. The hospital’s nurse residency program is expanding from 16 current participants to add 10 more in May 2023. Source: The Lewiston Tribune
- The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport reported record passenger enplanements in 2022 at 72,269 compared to the previous record of 69,555 in 2019. The 2022 enplanements were 33% above the 54,473 in 2021. The new airport terminal under construction should be substantially completed by the end of 2023. Enplanements are counted as passengers departing from an airport. Source: The Lewiston Tribune
- Four mobile home park communities surrounding Moscow are under new ownership of Hurst and Son LLC – Abiel, Appaloosa, Palouse Hills and Woodland Heights. Source: The Lewiston Tribune
- Schlader Photography in Cottonwood is now under new ownership.
- Jitterz Espresso will open a Lewiston location in March.
- 602 Burgers and Dogs opened in north Lewiston.
- Little Buckaroos daycare will open in Moscow.
- 208 Tacos in Riggins is looking to open mid-March.
- Affordable Veterinary Care in Moscow plans to close permanently on April 30, 2023, due to shortage of veterinary staff.
- The Hyve boutique and giftshop in Lewiston closed at the end of February.
- Bed, Bath and Beyond is closing two of its six stores in Idaho in 2023, including Moscow and Boise.
Lisa.Grigg@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 799-5000 ext. 3849
SOUTHWESTERN IDAHO – Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley & Washington counties
- Luke’s Health System has a new ambulance for transporting at-risk pregnant women, premature babies and pediatric patients. It is an intensive care ambulance with a new lift system for an Isolette, the crib system that maintains temperature and an infection-free environment for a premature baby. The ride is smoother, the ambulance offers an updated, four-point liquid suspension system and is available for rural areas. St. Luke’s employees contributed $65,000 of the total $870,000 price tag. Source: Idaho News 6
- Boise’s Parks and Recreation Department plans to establish a new club house and event center for Warm Springs Golf Course. The cost is estimated at $9.6 million and the deficit of $4.1 million will be recouped from user fees over the next decade. A donor added $3.5 million to the fund, while the city has accrued $2 million in a reserve account. The new building will include a restaurant, patio, golf pro shop, covered golf cart barn and seating capacity for 200 people, combined indoors and outdoors. Source: Idaho Statesman
- The Meridian City Council approved the final phase of The Village at Meridian. The project is mixed use with 35,000 square feet at ground level for retail space and five stories for housing above, totaling 550 luxury apartments with amenities. The Village is currently at 100% occupancy, and this final phase will provide opportunities for additional retail, restaurant and entertainment choices. Source: Idaho Business Review
- Idaho Press Top Workplaces project is gearing up for its third year. Through a partnership between the Idaho Press and national business research firm Energage, local employees are surveyed about their employees to gauge their organizational health. Last year 3,500 area employees took the survey and 30 organizations were recognized for excellence. The top winners were Jacksons Food Stores Inc., Premier Mortgage Resources LLC and Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. Nominations for Top Workplaces this year will be accepted through March 24 at com/nominate. Any organization in the Treasure Valley with 35 or more employees is eligible to participate. Source: Idaho Press
- Four Treasure Valley chefs were nominated as Best Chef in the Mountain division of the 2023 James Beard Awards for Restaurants and Chef Semifinalists. Salvador Alamilla of Amano in Caldwell, Dan Ansotegui of Ansots in Boise, Kris Komori of KIN in Boise, and Kibrom Milash of Kibrom’s Ethiopian & Eritean Food. Judges will soon visit the restaurants with finalists announced in late spring. Source: Idaho Press
- Guy Fieri visited three Treasure Valley restaurants for his show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. His choices included Tango’s Empanadas, Taj Mahal and Sunshine Spice Café. This is his second visit to Idaho. His 2009 restaurant filming selections included Bar Gernika, Westside Drive-In, Donn’s Hilltop-Kodiak Grill, Donnie Mac’s Roadside Cuisine, Pizzalchik and Rick’s Press Room. Source: Idaho Statesman
- The county reported 16 housing projects in various stages of design, permitting and implementation in Mountain Home with the potential of 1,600 new units. The projects are adding housing diversity including townhouses, duplexes, fourplexes, row houses, three-story townhouses, patio-style apartments, live-work units, a manufactured home park and single-family homes on smaller lot sizes (3,000 to 4,000 square feet). Source: Idaho Business Review
- Two projects in Mayfield, an unincorporated area near the Ada County border, could attract an estimated 34,000 residents when all phases are built out. The site is a 15-minute commute to Micron, which is bringing a research and development fabrication plant to its existing campus in Boise. Traffic studies are underway and water rights are in place for one project while the other is establishing first responder infrastructure for fire, emergency medical and policing. It also must build a wastewater treatment plant before any occupancy, so all of this will take some coordination and time. Source: Idaho Business Review
- The Shoshone-Bannock tribes scheduled two days for an open house in Mountain Home to explain the planned casino, hotel and entertainment venue to the city residents. The casino’s proposed location is on 157 acres at the I-84 exit that is already home to much of Mountain Home’s hospitality offerings. Two-thousand gaming machines, 250 hotel rooms, six food and beverage venues, a 15,000-square-foot event center, an outdoor racetrack and concert venue are included in the planned offerings. A bowling alley, video arcade and movie theatre also are part of the plan — all of which are not currently available in Mountain Home. In its presentation, the tribes said they planned to hire 1,200 employees creating an estimated $187 million economic impact. Source: KTVB News
- Brad Little traveled to Bruneau, a non-incorporated or Census Designated Place, for his second Capital for a Day event in 2023. These events present an opportunity to bring state executives to citizens and allow for the free flow of information, following a town hall concept. Source: The Owyhee Avalanche
- Garibaldi’s Mexican Restaurant opened its fourth location in Garden City. It was founded in Twin Falls about 30 years ago, followed by a restaurant in Jerome a few years later. Its third location is in Elko, Nevada. Source: Idaho Statesman
- Good Times Bagels opened in downtown Boise offering a wood-fired method of finishing its ‘Montreal inspired’ bagels. Source: Idaho News 6
- Bed, Bath and Beyond announced it would close its store in Boise. Source: Idaho Statesman
- Boise State announced it would lay off workers from its human resource department, specifically four full-time and two part-time staffers, and will not fill three vacant positions. Source: Idaho Statesman
- Luke’s Health System released its plan to reduce workforce by 2% within a two-month period. The large health service provider acknowledged that clinician positions with SLHS will not be impacted by the reduction in force while 150 jobs have already been eliminated by attrition — not filling a job when a worker leaves. Another 200 staffers will be laid off from primarily administrative positions. Spending has also been trimmed including reducing use of temporary staffing agencies, which provide traveling nurses and other health care professionals. The CEO of St. Luke’s attributes the layoffs to costs escalating faster than income, creating financial pressure. Source: Idaho Business Review
- After its December announcement of a 10% global workforce reduction, Micron announced it is increasing its layoff and attrition estimates to 15%. It is expected the corporate headquarter staff will share in the reduction, but it is unknown to what extent. Source: Boise State Public Radio
Jan.Roeser@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3639
SOUTH CENTRAL IDAHO – Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka & Twin Falls counties
- Snowpack has been at an above average level in south central Idaho this year. Bald Mountain has seen some of the best snow levels in years, allowing for excellent skiing in Sun Valley. Source: KMVT
- The University of Idaho’s Rinker Rock Creek Ranch Research Center has been awarded a $1.34 million federal grant for upgrades. These upgrades will be used to increase educational opportunities in topics like animal science, rangeland management and conservation. This funding will also allow the ranch to purchase equipment and infrastructure to enhance the hands-on-learning. The grant is part of an FY23 omnibus funding package. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
- The city of Sun Valley has made on offer on the Ellsworth Inn in Hailey with the goal of converting the space into affordable workforce housing. When the purchase is finalized, the nine-unit space could be opened as soon as this year. The property has two additional structures and two acres of land that could be used to increase the stock of workforce housing. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
- The Cook Center for Human Connection has given a $6,000 grant to Declo Elementary School to build “calm rooms” for students who need a health outlet to express difficult feelings. The grant was from the Cook Center for Human Connection, based in Utah. Source: KMVT
- Family Health Services Community Health Center in Shoshone will receive $1.55 million in federal funding that will go towards a health-services helipad and an ambulance bay. Both investments will increase the center’s ability to provide care in the rural community. The project is expected to be complete in 2024. The project was included in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations through the Community Project Funding program. Source: Idaho Mountain Express
Twin Falls County
- The city of Twin Falls is teaming up with Chobani to dedicate the new three-acre Pole Line/Eastland Trailhead Park. Chobani donated $250,000 raised by employees, and the city has allotted $600,000 to the project. The park will include a large parking lot, public restrooms and an outdoor fitness area. Source: KMVT
- North Canyon Medical Center donated $50,000 to the Children’s Museum of Magic Valley. The children’s organization hopes to have a physical location one day, and donations like these make that dream closer to reality. Source: KMVT
- Construction is underway on two new fire stations and a training facility for firefighters in Twin Falls. Source: KMVT
- Stella’s Ice Cream – Twin Falls
- Hempitecture Building Supply – Jerome
Seth.Harrington@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 735-2500 ext. 3062
SOUTHEASTERN IDAHO – Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida & Power counties
Note: The Idaho Department of Labor is conducting its annual benchmarking of the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program for 2022, so no local labor force data for the state or any of the regions is available this month. Benchmarking includes revisions to state labor force estimates – population, total employed, unemployed, unemployment rate and total nonfarm jobs – based on new inputs and population data. Nonfarm jobs are benchmarked using reported employer data. See the labor market calendar for release dates.
- There were an estimated 807 job postings in southeastern Idaho in January 2023 according to data from the Conference Board, up from 527 the previous month and down from 818 one year prior. The top 10 most common occupations by job posting included health care practitioners and support, transportation and material moving, sales-related, personal care and services, as well as computer and mathematical.
- Health care and social assistance remained at the top of industries by largest share of job postings. Services continue to be the overall driver of job postings with health care and social assistance; retail trade; accommodations and food services; and finance and insurance among others representing most open positions in the region. Manufacturing, though, came in at third and construction at eighth.
- Lightcast’s data from the Conference Board indicates the hardest-to-fill jobs remain concentrated in education, training and library occupations. Automotive glass Installers and repairers notably jumped to the top of the list based on average number of days to fills an opening.
- Most of southeastern Idaho remains in some form of drought according to data from the U.S. Drought Monitor, though the wet fall helped to ease drought conditions and above-average snowpack is helping to assuage water concerns for the year ahead. Drought conditions vary from moderate (D1) to severe (D2), with only western Oneida County being in a severe drought. Snowpack in Willow, Blackfoot and Portneuf Basin was 141% of their typical levels this time of year, whereas the Bear River Basin was 132%. Source: U.S. Drought Monitor, Idaho NRCS Snow Survey
- Pocatello Regional Transit (PRT) has partnered with American Falls-based food manufacturer Lamb Weston to provide a daily commuter bus route between Pocatello and American Falls, possible in part through a Federal Transit Administration grant awarded to PRT and a company match. PRT is asking for a suggested $10 donation per daily trip. Source: Idaho State Journal
- School districts around the region had to cancel classes several days this semester due to winter storms and adverse weather conditions including negative double-digit wind chills. Source: Idaho State Journal, KIFI Local News 8
- Wildlife, including elk, continue to prove a hazard to motorists as they migrate from higher elevations onto the Fort Hall Reservation for their winter grazing. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Fish and Game Enforcement asks motorists to slow down and be watchful for animals, to not stop on highways to view animals, pay attention to signage and to not approach wildlife. Source: Shoshone-Bannock Tribes
- The Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation petitioned the federal government for land in southeastern Idaho and northern Utah once promised to the nation, announced during the 160th annual memorial of the Bear River massacre. Source: The Preston Citizen
- Idaho Fish and Game closed several Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) in southeastern and eastern Idaho including the Portneuf, Georgetown and Montpelier WMAs. The closures are to protect wintering big game animals and will remain in effect until further notice. Source: Idaho Fish and Game
- Local athletes competed alongside 2,000 others at the returning Simplot Games held at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena. The event returns after having been unable to take place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several former Olympians and Paralympians were in attendance, and a new world record in the shot put was set at the event. A study in 2008 showed the games at that time had an annual economic impact of $3.5 million on the community. Source: Idaho State Journal, Simplotgames.com
- The Center Street Railroad Bridge Underpass Project secured $5.7 million in federal funding through the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill as part of the fiscal year 2023 omnibus package. The repair project will modernize the underpass that currently sees 10,000 drivers and pedestrians using it daily. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 announced plans to transform the former Allstate call center building into a new career technical education school. Programs that could move into the building include accounting, law enforcement, programming and cloud computing, and several business programs. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Pebble Creek Ski Area in Inkom had one of its best weekends of the season after a 37-inch snowfall over a 36-hour span at the end of January. Officials said 2022-2023 is tied for the best ski season there in 20 years. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Union Pacific is investigating a 25-car derailment in its Pocatello rail yard. No injuries were reported, and no hazardous materials were released. Source: Idaho State Journal
- The 17th annual Fire & Ice Winterfest was held again at Lava Hot Springs in February. While an official headcount was unavailable, local hoteliers say they are normally fully booked at least a month in advance. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Voters in Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25 will consider renewing a $8.25 million-per-year, two-year supplemental levy to fund operating costs. The vote is scheduled for March 14. Source: Idaho State Journal
- The city of Pocatello and California-based micromobility company Bird Ride Inc. have agreed to a pilot project to bring a fleet of50 to 350 e-scooters across the city. Source: Idaho State Journal
Bear Lake County
- U.S. Highway 89 along Montpelier Canyon Road reopened Feb. 21 after it was temporarily closed due to snow slides following heavy snowfall. Source: KIFI Local News 8, Idaho Transportation Department
- Preston City obtained an additional $8.9 million loan and a $10.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to replace its wastewater system, having been mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to do so in 2019. Source: The Preston Citizen
- The Chubbuck Olive Garden opened its doors after construction-related delays pushed back its grand opening. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Local restauranteur and son of a local chef is opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant, Palate Street Bistro, in Pocatello. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Caribou Jacks, a combination outdoor/kitchenware store with its first location in Soda Springs, will open its new Pocatello store inside the former U.S. Bank building in the historic downtown. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Local collectibles store Xtreme Collectibles opened its doors in downtown Pocatello. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Idaho Falls-based bicycle shop CBI Bikes will be opening a new location on Yellowstone Avenue in Pocatello next month. Source: Idaho State Journal
- A new tea shop recently opened its doors in historic downtown Pocatello. Located inside the renovated Purpose Center, Purpose Tea offers specialty teas as well as smoothies, coffee and a selection of pastries. Source: Idaho State Journal
- Locally-owned flower shop Urban Bloom opened its doors in the former Geraldine’s Bake Shoppe & Deli in Chubbuck. Source: Idaho State Journal
- A locally-owned restaurant in Blackfoot is having its grand opening in March. 7Eighty5 offers a pub atmosphere with a variety of dishes from around the country. Source: Idaho State Journal
Matthew.Paskash@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 236-6710 ext. 4249
EASTERN IDAHO – Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Custer, Fremont, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison & Teton counties
- There were an estimated 1,191 job postings in the eastern Idaho region in January 2023, according to the Conference Board’s Help Wanted Online data indicator. This is an increase in postings from 956 (20%) the prior month and a decrease from 1,685 (-29%) the prior year.
- Registered nurses are back on the top of occupations in the region with active job postings. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, retail salespersons, customer service representatives and postsecondary teachers emerged in the top half of occupations in January. The high demand for retail salespersons, customer service representatives, retail supervisors and managers carried over from December. Software developers, aquacultural managers, food preparation/serving workers, secretaries/administrative assistants and electricians are no longer on the list. The heavy tractor trailer driver, postsecondary teacher, farmworker, sales representative and janitor occupations broke through as new in-demand industries on the current list. Occupational job demand for managers, in terms of job postings, dipped 49% for January. The occupations reporting the largest demand increases in January were retail salespersons and customer service representatives (both 55%) and registered nurses (51%). Retail supervisors saw no change in job posting demand, month-over-month.
- Health care/social assistance assumed the top spot of industries in eastern Idaho with active job postings. Retail trade, professional and technical services, and public administration remained unchanged in the top five rankings of active industry job postings, each with substantially more postings than the month prior, except public administration. Accommodation/food service spiked in job posting demand by 67% as did educational services (64%) and to a lesser extent health care/social assistance and construction (both 36%). The transportation and warehousing industry re-emerged as an in-demand job posting industry in January, replacing administrative, support and waste management and remediation services. The only other industry carry-over from the previous month reporting a decline in job postings was public administration (-25%).
- January data from Lightcast indicates the hardest-to-fill job listings in eastern Idaho in terms of time to fill showed broad variation in occupations relative to December. Notable jobs which were both hardest-to-fill and had multiple job postings in January included segmental pavers, reporters and correspondents, and architects. Segmental pavers, reporters and correspondents, and manufacturing engineers emerged as the top hard-to-fill jobs. January job demand challenges by occupational family were architecture and engineering, health care, and installation/maintenance/repair vacancies. The following hard-to-fill job postings emerged in January that were not previously on the top 10 list in December were segmental pavers, reporters and correspondents, manufacturing engineers, rehabilitation counselors, electrical drafters, and power equipment/small engine mechanics. As a result, six prior occupational job postings dropped off the latest hard-to-fill jobs list.
- Idaho National Laboratory is one of 10 U.S Department of Energy laboratories that will be presenting in a webinar series showcasing innovative cybersecurity technologies. Information and registration for the events are found at Operational Technology Cybersecurity Virtual Showcase Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite. Researchers at each of the represented labs will demonstrate the capabilities and impacts of their respective technologies addressing challenges in the operational technology market. These include digital twinning, environmental and user behavior emulation, threat analysis and anomaly detection, cyber-physical state estimation, and more. Source: INL news release
- Federal stimulus dollars are paying for new construction in Challis, Arco and Mackay. A new building for the Custer County Sheriff’s Office and the courthouse annex are both slated to be constructed this year through American Rescue Plan Act funds. Challis opened bids for a sidewalk and bridge as well as drilling a new water well. The city is hopeful the well, pump house and other new infrastructure can be in place by summer. Installation of more electronic water meters throughout Challis are also on the docket.
- Lost Rivers Medical Center in Arco announced the Mackay Clinic, which the Arco facility operates, is reopening this month. Lost Rivers is adding two nurse practitioners to its staff this winter. Work continues in Arco to expand the surgery suite at the hospital and a new surgery pain program will soon be in place, including orthopedic surgery. Lost Rivers received a $260,000 grant from the Idaho Department of Workforce Development to pay about half the cost for a new child care center to be built on the premises to entice recruitment and retention of employees to the hospital and clinic. Source: Challis Messenger
- Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) reported a record-breaking year of passengers as Idaho’s second busiest airport. 2022 saw 316,044 passengers depart, with an additional 312,285 flying into the facility, for a total of 628,329 passengers for the year. This breaks the previous record set in 2021, which saw a total of 445,041 travelers taking flights. Projections for IDA show a continued increase in travelers boarding and arriving on flights at the airport. In 2023 the airport plans to continue its terminal expansion projects by adding to the ticket counters and baggage handling areas behind the ticketing counters. Source: Idaho Falls Regional Airport news release
- College of Eastern Idaho saw continued growth despite a national downturn in higher education enrollment, announcing a 4.7% increase in credit student enrollment this spring over spring 2022. Spring enrollment of 1,500 students in credit-seeking courses surpassed the 1,442 for the same time last year. According to data from the college, total enrollment stood at 21,248 in the 2022 fiscal year, fall 2021 to summer 2022. This total comprises 3,225 students taking credit classes, 17,494 taking classes for certifications and 529 taking upgraded work skills through Workforce Training and College and Career Readiness. Source: Idaho State Journal
- CAL Ranch stores have merged with Coastal Farm and Ranch, an outfitter for farm/ranch supplies in Washington and Oregon. The new company will be based in Idaho Falls, with the current CEO of CAL Ranch serving as the CEO of both brands. Over the years, CAL Ranch has grown to include 33 locations throughout Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Arizona. Source: East Idaho News
- In January, the Bonneville County median home listing price saw negligible change from the month prior ($437,475) but decreased 14% from January 2021 home prices. The county also reported a decrease in month-over-month active home listings (-14%). Median days on the market increased to 78 days (21%), while new listings were up 36% from the prior month. There were reportedly no homes in inventory that reduced their listing prices in January. Source: Realtor.com
- Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper outlined in her State of the City address the city’s initiatives and accomplishments:
- Inflation and rising fuel costs led to some projects being postponed, and the threat of a potential economic downturn has an impact on the city’s planning efforts. “When you factor in the fact that the property taxes we pay this year are based on last year’s values, we know that any downturns will take an extra year for us to feel the effects,” Casper said.
- Idaho Falls Regional Airport saw a record-breaking number of passengers in 2022. Those numbers are expected to rise in 2023 as expansion projects continue to focus on improvements to help staff, TSA officers and ground crews be safer and more efficient.
- Impact fees, which contractors pay to the city for construction projects, were also implemented for the first time in 2022. Casper said these fees promote growth because they remove some of the burden from existing residents who normally would foot the bill.
- One of the city’s goals in 2023 is to have the capacity to serve every resident with state-of-the-art fiber optic technology. It is estimated by the end of 2023 installation will be about 95% complete.
- Funding obtained from the state’s settlement in an opioid lawsuit will be used for establishing a police-assisted recovery initiative to assemble a response team of multi-disciplinary professionals to help those who struggle with mental illness and addiction.
Source: Post Register
- Spencer Grill and RV Park off Interstate 15 near the Montana state line has reopened temporarily until it is sold. Its proximity in Spencer to many recreational sites, including Stoddard Creek Campground and Camas National Wildlife Refuge, makes it a tourist attraction for people around the world. Source: East Idaho News
- The city of St. Anthony submitted a grant application to the Idaho Broadband Fund to get fiber optic lines. The grant would provide $1.2 million in funding for a $1.8 million municipal project. The rest of the money would come from the city’s American Rescue Plan funds. It would connect 20 municipal properties with city-owned fiber optic lines. Some incumbent operators have filed complaints with the state that the project competes with their retail broadband operations. Source: East Idaho News
- Jefferson Joint School District #251 is moving forward with two bonds in the upcoming March election. A $75 million bond is proposed to build a new middle school, remodel the existing Rigby Middle School as an expansion of the Rigby High School campus, and create a Career Technical Center. This money would also go toward adding additional classrooms to Farnsworth Middle School. A second proposal is $5 million to build a gymnasium at or near Roberts Elementary. The bond also asked for an indoor athletic and recreation area, complete with a practice field. Source: Jefferson Star
- For January, the Jefferson County median home listing price saw negligible change from last month at $510,000 but a 13% decrease from January 2021. The county also reported a decrease in month-over-month active home listings (-3.2%), while median days on the market increased to 69 days (14%). New listings increased 58%, and half of homes in inventory reduced their listing prices in January. Source: Realtor.com
- Late last year Electra Battery Materials Corporation launched its demonstration plant that’s designed to recover and recycle elements found in lithium-ion batteries: nickel, cobalt, lithium, copper and graphite. Advancing exploration activities in the Idaho Cobalt Belt has been its key to growth and efforts to onshore the electric vehicle battery supply chain. In 2022 Electra concluded a $1.5 million option agreement to acquire about 1,300 acres of lode mining claims from CAS next to its Iron Creek deposit. Electra is also doing exploratory work in its Ruby zone above Salmon and applying for 92 drill pads in its three Lemhi County target areas. Source: Post Register
- In his State of the County address in January, county commissioner chairman Todd Smith reported on partnerships the county has forged on critical infrastructure projects, including:
- The county is working together with the city of Rexburg to complete the Lightbridge Community Broadband fiber internet project, for which the county reportedly applied for a $14 million grant through the state.
- Madison County joined the partnership to create an East Idaho Solid Waste district among Madison, Fremont and Clark counties. In a project that has extended for 12 years, the counties secured 970 acres for a landfill south of Newdale through a land swap with the Idaho Department of Lands.
- The county approved over 230 residential lots last year and issued more than 200 building permits. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
- Sugar City is working to create a regional commercial zone around the interchange connecting U.S. Highway 20 and Highway 33. Existing infrastructure is in place, and the city projects future investment. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
- BYU-Idaho reported its population of students — campus-based, attending online or serving internships — tops 40,000 this semester, with 19,500 students living in Rexburg for the winter 2023 semester. In terms of housing, 90.9% of available beds are occupied. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
- For January, the Madison County median home listing price saw negligible change from last month at $399,750 but saw a marked decrease from January 2021 home prices (-27%). The county also reported a decrease in month-over-month active home listings (-18%). Median days on the market increased to 116 days (22%). New listings spiked 150% from the month prior. There were 25% of homes in inventory which reduced their listing prices in January. Source: Realtor.com
- The Teton County median home listing price slightly dipped from December 2022 to January 2023 to $877,100 (-2.2%), a steep decline from January 2021 (-30%). The county also reported a decrease in month-over-month active home listings (-15%). Median days on the market decreased slightly to 116 days from the month prior, but homes are on the market 58% longer than the year before. New listings spiked 200% from last month. There were no homes in inventory which reduced their listing prices in January. Source: Realtor.com
- Food truck licensing was approved by the Victor City Council. Licensing would require sponsorship by a brick-and-mortar establishment that’s already paying property tax. The idea is for a food truck to potentially complement an existing business and ensure there is a trash, lighting and parking plan in place. Source: Teton Valley News
- The Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce announced ribbon cutting ceremonies for new establishments: The Healing Sanctuary Aesthetic Medspa, Culver’s Ammon and Aguas Maria. These establishments met one of the following criteria: either opened their doors within the past six months; moved to a new location due to expansion; or remodeled/expanded their current location. Source: Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce
- Idaho Falls Snow Park, a snow tubing company about 10 minutes east of Idaho Falls, opened in January. A large snowcat maintains tubing hills on the 42-acre property. Food vendor Cocoa Loco is also on site. Source: East Idaho News
- The Idaho Commercial Kitchen celebrated its grand opening in February. The venue in Idaho Falls provides a space to cook and prepare all types of food. Idaho Commercial Kitchen is characterized as a “state-of-the-art facility” that offers a “convenient and professional space for food entrepreneurs, caterers, food trucks and culinary dreamers.” Source: East Idaho News
- A new boxing gym, Vegas Boxing, opened in downtown Idaho Falls. Source: East Idaho News
- A former welding teacher at North Fremont High School opened a welding shop, Upper Valley Fabrication, in St. Anthony. The business performs computer numerical control (CNC) plasma cutting, makes signs, and completes trailer repairs and general maintenance work. Source: Rexburg Standard Journal
- A new Denny’s restaurant will be opening February in Rexburg. Construction on the 5,000-square-foot diner got underway last winter and was originally slated to open last year. Source: East Idaho News
Ryan.Whitesides@labor.idaho.gov, regional economist
Idaho Department of Labor
(208) 557-2500 ext. 3628
This Idaho Department of Labor project is 100% funded by USDOL as part of $695,785 in Workforce Information Grant funds from the Employment and Training Administration.