Friday, February 27, 2015

Vino/Blackrock is looking for a few good painters

If you're good with a paint roller, Vino Rosso -- soon to be Black Rock -- may have a job for you.

Bar manager Ryan Selleck plans to start repainting the interior Saturday night, with work to continue Sunday and Monday. The red and yellow are being replaced with sage and gray.

Although he has three or four people lined up, Selleck says he could use a couple more. ("I don't want so many people that we're getting in each other's way," he said.)

He hopes to have everything done and the paint smell gone by the time the bar reopens, Tuesday at 11 a.m.

If you are interested (there will be pizza) call Selleck at 270-3286.

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.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

After-effects Emmy winner to speak to Idaho Falls Advertising Federation

Mikey Borup, whose after-effects work has won national acclaim, will speak Feb. 19 to the Idaho Falls Advertising Federation.
Last week we reported YouTube guru Bart Miller would be speaking Feb. 19 to the Idaho Falls Advertising Federation at its monthly “Lunch and Learn.” Scheduling conflicts have since forced them to find a replacement, but this is far from bad, as Emmy-winner Mikey Borup, an after-effects and video production professional from Rexburg, will be doing the presentation.

Borup says it’s not just about creating a great video, but also about creating the right video. He is an expert YouTuber, and has helped several channels build thousands of subscribers. His personal channel has nearly 70,000 subscribers and 3 million views.

He is also a founder of, a new site that offers resources for video editors. In addition, he runs the largest after-effects community on Google+ and has a successful
YouTube channel dedicated to after-effects tutorials.

Borup is a contributor to Tuts+ and PremiumBeat and

Lunch starts at 11:30 a.m. at Dixie’s Diner, 2150 Channing Way. Cost is $12 for members and $15 for non-members.

Here is just one of his many videos on YouTube. You could probably even justify watching it on your boss' dime.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Idaho Falls company presenting at Utah investors' conference

BiologiQ, an Idaho Falls company that has invented a way to make potato starch waste biodegradable plastic resin pellets, will be one of two Idaho companies presenting Thursday at the Wayne Brown Institute’s Investors Choice Conference in Midway, Utah.

All of the company’s products, which are used in everything from bags and bottles to cutlery, are competitive with products made from petro-chemicals. The starch comes from potato processing plants in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

Zions Bank is the founding sponsor of the conference. Additional principal sponsors include the law firm Ballard Spahr LLP, Tanner LLC, the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development and the Utah Division of Securities.

The Wayne Brown Institute is America's oldest and most successful non-profit venture accelerator. To date, more than 800 groundbreaking high tech companies have presented in a WBI program; 70% have participated in financial transactions totaling more than $8.5 billion in private equity, accounting for nearly 1 percent of venture capital deal flow in the United States.

”Last spring, Zions Bank CEO Scott Anderson encouraged our board and the team at The Wayne Brown Institute to set up an office in Boise," said Brad Bertoch, president and CEO of the Wayne Brown Institute.  "Scott's vision paid off immediately this year with GenZ Technology, BiologiQ, Inc. We have three more presenting companies from Idaho, plus companies from surrounding states."

Monday, February 9, 2015

Ulta Beauty coming to Ammon Town Center

Renovation work at the Ammon Town Center
Ulta Beauty is coming to the Ammon Town Center, next to Boot Barn, in the space that was subdivided after Circuit City closed. The 10,344-square-foot project is being managed by MC Construction Management of Cave Creek, Ariz.

The largest beauty retailer in the United States, the company says its aim is to provide one-stop shopping for prestige, mass and salon products and salon services. Online and in retail outlets, the Illinois-based chain sells cosmetics, fragrance, haircare, skincare, bath and body products and salon styling tools.

Ulta Beauty also offers a full-service salon in each of its stores. The store format includes a 950-square-foot salon area with eight to ten stations. The whole salon has a concierge desk, skin treatment room, and semi-private shampoo and hair color processing areas. ULTA Beauty also has Benefit Brow Bars in select stores nationwide, offering such services as brow arching, brow tinting, facial waxing and eyelash application.

The company was founded in 1990 by Richard E. George, former president of Osco Drug, Inc. As of Nov. 1, 2014, it operated 765 retail stores across 47 states, including one in Pocatello. The Ammon store will be the second in Idaho.

As far as charitable giving goes, since 2008 the company sole focus has been the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Reed's Dairy opens store in Ammon

Sam Reed, son of Alan Reed, at the new Reed's Dairy store in Ammon.
Those of you on the east side needing a Reed's ice cream fix or cheese curds now have a lot less of a drive, as the Idaho Falls dairy opened a second store Wednesday at 2523 E. Sunnyside Road, formerly Sunnyside Sweets.

Sam Reed, who manages the store, said they learned the space was available in November when Sunnyside Sweets owners Tara and Jarom Christensen said they were closing their shop. Reed's had been selling ice cream to Sunnyside Sweets and had been thinking about second location for a while, Reed said.

There will be a number of grand opening specials, starting Saturday morning at 10 with ice cream served on French toast, in observance of National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day.

The hours for the new store are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

TEDxIdahoFalls speakers announced

Organizers of TEDxIdahoFalls are pleased to announce the eight presenters at the TEDxIdahoFalls event scheduled for Feb. 20 at the MC Theater, located at the ARTitorium on Broadway.
The speakers were selected from a pool of 23 potential presenters who either applied or were recruited.

“We are extremely pleased with the caliber of presenters we’ll have at the event and are looking forward to the opportunity to hear exciting ideas on a variety of subjects,” Brad Christensen, the event organizer.

The speakers are as follows:

  • Kristie Scott — Creating quintessential sensoryscapes
  • David Pennock — Community dialogue, Galileo, and the powerful potential of museums
  • Joo Yang — The price of love and freedom
  • Rita Foster — Power internet
  • Michelle Ziel-Dingman — Love > Fear
  • Fahim Rahim — How to trap an alien
  • Aaron Turner — It doesn’t matter where you came from, it’s where you’re going
  • Janet Allen — Rebounding from bad outcomes: A formula for resilience

Also, the application process for attendees has been closed and there is no more seating available. Anyone interested can watch the live stream on on the night of the event.

More information about each of the speakers and their presentations is available at the Web site. names new CEO

John Broadbent, an Idaho Falls-based internet marketing agency, has named John Broadbent its new CEO. Josh Dalton, the former CEO, is maintaining an administrative role for several months to help the transition.

"John was made for this new role,” Dalton said, in a press release. “He's an amazing individual with many extraordinary talents. It's only a matter of time before more people within our industry recognize him as one of its key leaders.”

Broadbent was originally hired in 2012 and was promoted to chief operating officer at the beginning of 2014. His accomplishments at Netmark include improving systems and processes within the company’s marketing, sales and fulfillment areas. He has been involved with Internet marketing since 2006.

Regarding his new position, Broadbent said, “We intend to revive the identity we possessed as a boutique Internet marketing agency and infuse that throughout the current enterprise."

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Social media guru to speak at Ad Fed 'Lunch and Learn'

Bart Miller
A nationally-acclaimed authority on social media and online marketing strategies, Bart Miller will be speaking Feb. 19 to the Idaho Falls Advertising Federation at its monthly “Lunch and Learn.”

Based in Idaho Falls, Miller has been a key presenter all over the United States, helping large and small businesses with Web marketing and planning, strategy development, revenue growth, sustainable cost reduction and business process redesign. He owns several businesses, including a Web development company called Go Fast Web and a video production company called Go Fast Video.

For a look at his YouTube videos, follow this link: Or take a look at the video posted on using YouTube for search engine optimization.

Lunch starts at 11:30 a.m. at Dixie’s Diner, 2150 Channing Way. Cost is $12 for members and $15 for non-members.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A peek at real estate numbers from the past 10 years

Now that the groundhog has seen his shadow, I figured it was time to look at real estate statistics from the past year. Thanks to the Snake River Multiple Listing Service I was able to "drill down," and in fact I drilled a lot deeper than I initially planned.

When it comes to looking at charts I believe you're as capable as me at figuring out what the numbers mean. One reason I decided to go back 10 years was that I became increasing fascinated with finding out when things went south and how far they'd fallen from the overheated days of the second Bush administration.

I think you'll agree that while last year, 2013 and 2012 represent comeback years, after 2011 there was nowhere to go except back up. Splitting the years into five-year chunks, it's obvious there were more houses selling faster and for more money than there have been since the new decade started.