Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Three snapshots from the new construction front

Broadway Ford is hoping to have its new showroom on West Broadway open the weekend of March 7.
Here are a few things I learned this morning, poking my head into places with no advance notice.

Number one, Broadway Ford is in the homestretch with its new facility on West Broadway. They are hoping to have it open by the weekend of March 7.

The dealership dates back to 1984. Owner Mont Crnkovich and his management team had been talking for several years about a new showroom and service department, with a more efficient layout and up-to-date amenities. The new 46,737-square-foot will include an 8,196 square foot showroom and a parts and service department of 21,429 square feet. The building permit valuation from city of Idaho Falls is $4.8 million.
A new shopping center is going in on Utah Avenue.
Dirt is being moved on a Utah Avenue lot where a new 11,500 shopping center is planned. Morgan Construction is the contractor on the project, located south across the street from Chester's Grand Teton Harley Davidson. No prospective tenants have been announced yet.
The west side Walgreens is not yet open.
Despite the sign in front, the new Walgreen's at the corner of Broadway and Skyline Drive is not yet open. Work started at the site last summer, but midway through the project the company ordered changes in the floor plan that required extensive alterations to what had already been done. By mid-afternoon I had not received any replies to the messages I left at Walgreen's corporate headquarters in Illinois. When I learn something meaningful I will update the story.

GEM Awards to be held at ARTitorium

The Idaho Falls Advertising Federation will be hosting its annual GEM awards at a new location this year, the ARTitorium on Broadway.

The Gem awards are the how the Advertising Federation recognizes 0the region’s best work in advertising. Entries in each year’s competition are auto-forwarded into the Boise Advertising Federation’s Rockies Awards, and from there to the national Addy Awards.

With the judging finished the awards will be handed out Thursday night, but not before time for play. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., giving guests an opportunity not only to mingle but to explore all the interactive fun the ARTitorium has to offer. Hors d’oeuvres are being provided by 3s Company and there will be a no-host bar as well.

At 8 p.m., the party heads upstairs to the MC Theater for the big show and presentation, produced this year by IE Productions and hosted by Brad & Tara, Z103’s morning team. Plan on dressing up for the festivities and looking good, but not too good to take a trip down the slide.

Tickets are $30 for individuals, $55 for couples and $220 for a table of eight. It is not too late, just follow this link: GEM AWARDS TICKETS.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Compass Academy conducting survey of Idaho Falls residents

I've been asked by the economics class at Compass Academy to share a link to a survey they are conducting. Click here if you would like to participate. They are a very earnest group of youngsters and deserve all the help they can get.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tobin Cleaning hires new marketing director

Dusty Johns
Tobin Cleaning and Restoration has hired Dusty Johns as its new marketing director.

Johns’ marketing experience in eastern Idaho has been extensive. After studying communications and public relations at Brigham Young University - Idaho, he took a job with Z103-FM, where he, at various times, hosted weekends, nights and mid-days. After several years, he became promotion and events coordinator for Riverbend Communications, Z103’s parent company, promoting and marketing its five radio stations.

He left to join Deseret Book Co., helping them develop the sale of music and film products to digital. In 2013 he became program director of Star 98 for Rich Broadcasting, and overseeing ratings growth of nearly 150 percent in little more than a year.

Johns has been involved in many local fund-raisers, for the Haven Shelter and American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, even riding a ferris wheel for 12 hours straight.

"I love East Idaho,” he said. “It is my home, where my kids live and play, and a place that I want to see be successful in every way.”

In business since 1972, Tobin Cleaning and Restoration, plans an open house March 11 at its new building, at 3466 E. 20 North, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is welcome to tour the new facility. There will be a ribbon cutting by the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, free lunch, spin-to-win games and a superhero photo booth. For more information, call (208) 220-8268 or visit the Facebook page.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Vino Rosso's new owner plans new name, new look

Chuck Chute, who has bought Vino Rosso and is renaming it Black Rock Fine Wine and Craft Beer.
Vino Rosso, a downtown anchor for more than 10 years, will be getting a new name and a new look in the next few weeks.

New owner Chuck Chute, who bought the business from Bret and Sara Scibior, is renaming wine bar Black Rock Fine Wine and Craft Beer. The red and yellow interior will be converted to dark sage and peppercorn grey, and the bar top is being replaced with black basalt.

Although he has lived on both coasts, Chute, 60, has always had a soft spot for eastern Idaho. His uncle came to the area in the 1950s to work on the Palisades Dam project, and his family grew close to Swan Valley’s Kopp family. “Many people on the East Coast want to retire to Florida. I wanted to retire to Idaho,” he said.

An executive for more than 30 years with the Maersk Line, a global shipping company, Chute first checked with the Arthur Berry Co., a business brokerage. to see what was available in Idaho Falls. Vino Rosso was by far the most appealing alternative.

Originally from Contra Costa County, after graduating with a degree in international relations from California State University at Chico he got a taste of the hospitality industry with the Rusty Pelican chain first as a bartender, then as a manager. Although eventually went into international shipping and logistics, Chute says he never forgot the lessons he learned.

While relying on the staff already in place, he plans to be very hands on. He has been immersing himself in the community and learning everything he can about it. "I'm here to be here. This place has to be authentic. It has to represent Idaho Falls,” he said. “We want to make an impression, and we want to make the right impression.”

Vino Rosso has plenty of things going for it already, he said. “We want to take all the best that is already here and optimize it.” That includes more music and food. Since the place has a kitchen, Chute plans to add bar food to what Black Rock will have to offer. He described his concept as “small plates, big flavor, low cost.”

Good Samaritan names 2015 board members

Good Samaritan Society’s Idaho Falls Village, the community's only not-for-profit fully skilled nursing living center has named new advisory board members for 2015.

Located at 840 E. Elva, Good Samaritan serves the elderly and disabled of Bonneville County and the surrounding area, a news release said.

The 2015 board consists of Kevin King, of Edward Jones, chairman; The Rev. Susan Speir of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church; Natalie Hebard of the Eastern Idaho Technical College Foundation; Melody Gyorfy of Journeys; Sandie Fulks of Rich Broadcasting; Dorothy Yelton of Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center; Brittany Ohman of Mountain View Hospital’s Cancer Institute; Andrea Ohman of the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce; Mandy Searle of Archibald Leavitt Insurance; and Tanner Gleave of US Bank.

Dave Bargmann is Good Samaritan’s administrator. The advisory board assists, advocates and supports the Good Samaritan Society under the direction of Jeanie Brady, director of community relations.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Idaho Falls Airport had more passengers in 2014

Idaho Falls Regional Airport finished a major terminal remodel last year, with streamlined TSA operations moved behind the counter.
The Idaho Falls Regional Airport saw a dramatic jump in passengers in 2014, according to a the operations report it released Thursday.

New air service, a terminal expansion and a considerable increase in passengers topped the list of positive developments.

On the negative side, Frontier Airlines’ non-stop service between Idaho Falls and Denver was a short-lived thing. Service started in June, but Frontier announced in November it was curtailing the flights, part of a realignment that involved most of the regional airports it was serving.

As far as passengers went, IDA saw a 12 percent increase over 2013: “Remarkable growth, especially considering the dramatic changes in the airline industry,” said Airport Director Craig H. Davis, in a press release.

Total commercial airline passenger enplanements:

  • 2014: 163,274 
  • 2013: 146,378
  • 2012: 159,976
  • 2011: 148,863
  • 2010: 143,836

“(Enplanements) only tell part of the story,” Davis said. Total pounds of cargo/freight deplaned continued to increase, for the fourth straight year.

  • 2014: 2,204,795
  • 2013: 2,141,287
  • 2012: 2,050,454
  • 2011: 2,036,669
  • 2010: 2,065,816

Financially,the airport continues to operate in the black and sustain itself financially without relying on city general fund assistance. In fiscal 2014, operating revenues totaled $5,047,839 including $2,518,891 in federal and state grant reimbursements.

Davis said he and local economic development officials are continuing to search for an airline willing to utilize the Transportation Department’s Small Community Air Service Development Grant as a revenue guarantee to establish daily service to an east coast hub airport. Search efforts also continue in establishing direct flights to Seattle and expanded service to the Los Angeles area.