Friday, May 6, 2016

Fun run for veterans planned May 28

The Greater Idaho Falls Association of Realtors is hosting a 5K Run/Walk & 8K Run on Saturday, May 28, to benefit 208 CARES, an organization that builds homes for Idaho veterans.

The event will be at 10 a.m. at Mountain River Ranch, near Ririe. The entry fee is $25 on or before May 20 or $35 after that. The race will start and end in the Mountain River Ranch parking lot. Registration the morning of the race will be from 9 to 9:45 a.m.

T-shirts are guaranteed to those who register by May 20. Prizes will be awarded to the first two men and women who finish.

Following the race, there will be free wagon rides, climbing wall, car show, music, food and prize drawings. To honor Memorial Day, there will be a memorial service followed by a military plane flyover.

For more information, call Julie Anglesey at (208) 589-6867 or email her at

Mountain River Ranch is located at 98 N. 5050 East and can be found online at

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Site plan filed for motorcycle dealership

Indian is a motorcycle brand that predates Harley-Davidson by a few years, but has struggled commercially. The brand was bought by Polaris in 2011.
Eagle Rock Indian Motorcyle has filed a site plan to build a dealership in Idaho Falls at 845 Milligan Road. The 1.9-acre location is off Utah Avenue, just north of the Taylor Crossing on the River office buildings.

Other than the address, the information on the business’ Facebook page is sketchy: “Eagle Rock Indian Motorcycle is a start up retail business for the sale and service and new and used Indian Motorcycle.” Efforts to reach the business owners are ongoing.

Here’s a little bit about Indian Motorcycles, though. The company dates back to 1901, when bicycle racing promoter and former bicycle racing champion George Hendee of Springfield, Mass., hired Oscar Hedstrom of Middletown, Conn., to build gasoline engine-powered bicycles to pace bicycle races. Hedstrom completed the first motorized bike in May and shipped it to Hendee. The machine, and the other two bikes Hedstrom built in 1901, proved to be powerful and reliable, establishing the company’s reputation for outstanding performance. Later that year the company’s first factory was established on Worthington Street in downtown Springfield.

As a brand, Indian was a longtime competitor with Harley-Davidson in the U.S. motorcycle market. Chiefs, Scouts, and Junior Scouts were all used in World War II, but none could unseat the Harley-Davidson WLA as the motorcycle mainly used by the U.S. Army. The company went bankrupt in 1953.

In the years that followed, however, Indian’s legend was valuable enough for companies to want to revive the name. The latest iteration was formed in 2006, in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, where it manufactured Indian Chief motorcycles in limited numbers, with a focus on exclusivity rather than performance. In 2011, Polaris Industries, parent-company of Victory Motorcycles, announced its intention to acquire Indian. The company’s production facilities were moved to Spirit Lake, Iowa, and in March 2013, Indian unveiled its new 111 cubic inches (1.82 L) "Thunder Stroke" engine and began to sell the newly designed motorcycles based on it.

Monday, May 2, 2016

BMW of Idaho Falls plans move to Sunnyside Road

BMW of Idaho Falls plans to relocate from Northgate Mile, across from the Idaho Livestock Auction, to Sunnyside Road by spring 2017.
BMW of Idaho Falls has announced plans to move to Sunnyside Road. The Northgate Mile dealership, part of the larger Ron Sayer Auto Group, is the latest Idaho Falls car dealer making the move to the south side of town.

The $2.3 million dealership will be just east of Teton Volkswagen, on 2.6 acres off Pioneer Road. It will be the fifth to relocate to the area since Teton Toyota built its facilities in 2008. Smith Chevrolet and Smith Honda opened new showrooms and service facilities on the other side of the road in October 2014.

General Manager Rick Williams said said they hope to be moved in by spring 2017. They anticipate being able to offer twice their current inventory, about 200 cars. The  showroom will hold 16 cars, Williams said, and the shop area will be greatly expanded.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

INL among labs presenting to FERC about grid modernization

Representatives from Idaho National Laboratory were among four groups that made presentations last Thursday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C., on grid modernization.

For a link to Kev Adjemian's report on energy storage, click here.

Announced in January, the Grid Modernization Initiative is an effort intended to set the United States on a cost-effective path for an integrated, secure, sustainable and reliable electric grid. As described in the Department of Energy's Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan, these projects focus on new concepts, tools, platforms, and technologies to better measure, analyze, predict, and control the grid of the future — one flexible enough to support a competitive national economy and an array of emerging services, while remaining affordable to consumers.

The initiative includes the Grid Modernization Laboratory Consortium, a strategic partnership launched in 2014 between DOE and 14 of its national laboratories. This followed a 2012 White House report that said outages caused by severe weather typically cost the U.S. economy between $18 billion and $33 billion a year from lost output and wages, spoiled inventory, delayed production and disruptions to energy distribution.

INL has been designated the lead laboratory on four projects that received DOE funding, and will collaborate with other national laboratories on 11 other projects. Although funding levels are subject to change, the work is expected to amount to roughly $10 million for INL through September 2018.

Thermo King opens Idaho Falls office

Thermo King Intermountain has opened a new shop in Idaho Falls. The company is the authorized distributor for the Thermo King Corp. in Idaho and Utah and has operated as a family business in the two states for over 40 years. with dealerships in Salt Lake City and Boise.

The business is owned by Ben Cluff, and Jim and Tim Pugh. For the past three years, they have had a mobile technician in Idaho Falls, so opening shop was the next logical move, said Lorin Croft, the office manager.   The shop is located just off the freeway and next to Love’s Truck Stop at 7011 South  45th West.

Thermo King sells and services transport refrigeration equipment and auxiliary power units to customers in the trucking and distribution industries. It also installs and services RedDOT off-road air conditioning systems for the agriculture/construction/mining industries – specializing in clean and comfortable cab environments for operators of heavy machinery.

Truck and trailer service and repairs will be part of the offerings that TKI will provide in Idaho Falls. For more information, call (208) 522-3099.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Panera Bread plans May 10 opening

Brandon Rolfe, Panera's new manager
Panera Bread on Hitt Road has planned its grand opening for May 10.

The store is being managed by Brandon Rolfe, an Idaho Falls area native who has managed the IHOP across the road for the past six years.

Rolfe said he knew nothing about St. Louis-based Panera Bread until he heard they were building here, in the old CD World building. Some online investigation prompted him to apply. “It’s been a great company to work for so far,” he said.

The new restaurant will employ roughly 70 people. Regular hours will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The company filed paperwork with the city of Idaho Falls in July 2015. This will be the fourth location in Idaho — others are in Boise, Nampa and Chubbuck, and two more are planned, in Twin Falls and Hayden.

“We’ve had great success in Chubbuck and we expect to do as well here,” Rolfe said. “The interest has been unbelievable.”

All the Panera stores in Idaho are company-owned. Worldwide, the split between franchise and company operations is roughly 50-50, a company spokeswoman said. With franchising, the development strategy calls for franchisees to open typically 15 bakery-cafes over a period of 6 years. They must have a proven track record as restaurant operators, net worth of $7.5 million and liquid assets of $3 million.

Panera Bread began on the East Coast in 1981 as Au Bon Pain Co. In 1993, Au Bon Pain purchased Saint Louis Bread Company, a chain of 20 bakery-cafes located in the St. Louis area. In 1999, all of Au Bon Pain's business units were sold except for Panera Bread, and the company was renamed Panera Bread.

In 2007, Panera Bread purchased a majority stake in Paradise Bakery & Café, a Phoenix-based company with more than 70 locations in 10 states, mainly in the west and southwest). The company purchased the balance of Paradise in June 2009. Since then, it has reach a market capitalization of $4.5 billion.

Panera Bread has been recognized as one of Business Week's "100 Hot Growth Companies" and the Wall Street Journal's Shareholder Scorecard in 2006 named it the top performer in the restaurant category for one-, five- and ten-year returns to shareholders.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Syringa building gone, car wash planned

New construction on Hitt Road, where a drive-thru car wash is going in.
Considering the thousands of people who drive by every day it should be common knowledge that the building at 2940 S. 25 East (Hitt Road) that was once home to Syringa is now gone and construction work is taking place on the site.

According to site plans at the city of Idaho Falls Building Department (which can now be viewed online at this site is to be Car Wash Express another drive-thru car wash owned by Matt Cardon, who built the one at Holmes Avenue and Northgate Mile.