Monday, July 16, 2012

Bill's Bike Shop breaks ground on new building Friday at Snake River Landing

An architect's drawing of the new Bill's Bike Shop building at Snake River Landing.
Bill's Bike Shop will be breaking ground Friday on its new 10,000-square-foot building at Snake River Landing, which owner Gary Wight hopes to see finished as early as late December.

Bill's was established in 1947 on Idaho Falls' south side by Bill and Alice Murdoch, and has put at least four generations on two wheels. They've been on Holmes Avenue since the mid-1980s, but Wight, who bought the business in 2010, announced earlier this year they would be moving to Snake River Landing. He said he plans to keep the Holmes Avenue store open in some capacity, but the new building will be a full-service bicycle shop from the ground up, with rooms for meetings and classes and a service department that will help them keep up with the massive amount of repair work they do (roughly 600 bikes a month.)

When it came to finding a bike-friendly location, Snake River Landing, with its miles of paved trails and incorporation of the Idaho Falls Greenbelt, presented itself as an ideal place for test rides and rentals. A 400-acre, master planned community on the west bank of the Snake River between Pancheri Drive and Sunnyside Road, it is laid out to incorporate retail, office, restaurant space, along with homes, all in a development that includes parks, trails and water features.

"I wanted to be where it was bicycle friendly," Wight said.
Before buying Bill's Bike Shop in December 2010, Gary Wight had 30 years of experience in the car business in eastern Idaho. "Aside from two extra wheels and two extra zeros, there isn't much difference between selling bikes and selling cars," he said. (Photo by Melissa Bristol)