Monday, December 10, 2012

Melaleuca to announce expansion plans Tuesday

Melaleuca plans to announce Tuesday a new 371,000-square-foot home office on the land it owns near I-15 Exit 113 on 65th South.
The company is centralizing many of its Idaho operations there. The new home office will be three times larger than its current space. Melaleuca expects the new office to be ready by spring of 2014. The company is already awarding construction work to local contractors.

At a press conference Tuesday, Melaleuca CEO Frank VanderSloot plans to discuss how the company’s growth is causing the need for more administrative, manufacturing and distribution space. VanderSloot will also announce future plans for additional expansion.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Polaris Industries acquires Rigby-based KLIM

Snowmobile giant Polaris Industries announced Thursday it has bought Teton Outfitters, the privately owned, Rigby-based company that designs, develops and distributes KLIM Technical Riding Gear.

Calendar year 2012 sales for KLIM are anticipated at nearly $30 million. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"The KLIM acquisition provides yet another growth opportunity for our (parts, garments and accessories) business, a key contributor to Polaris' top-line growth and profitability," said Steve Eastman, Polaris' vice president of PG&A. "KLIM is an established leader in the powersports apparel market with a strong track record of providing innovative, premium technical riding gear to a broad range of consumers."

Polaris will maintain the KLIM brand positioning and name while continuing to drive its existing apparel brands. KLIM will continue operations in Rigby with its current staff. Polaris has plans to establish the Rigby facility as its new apparel Center of Excellence, bringing the unmatched capabilities, expertise and knowledge housed in Rigby to all Polaris branded apparel.

"I built KLIM with a passion for the category and a commitment to the world's adventure snowmobile and motorcycle riders," said Justin Summers, KLIM founder, president and CEO. "KLIM will now have the resources to reach the next level as we continue to innovate and lead into the future."

For a profile of KLIM's facility and business culture, here is its YouTube video:

Photos of select KLIM products are available at this link:

Bonneville County home sales, prices rise in 2012

Click to enlarge
The latest home sales numbers for Bonneville County show improvement over last year. More homes are selling and the median price has gone up.

The number of homes sold through the end of October this year was up almost 18.3 percent from the same period in 2011. Median home prices were also up significantly, over 6.6 percent.

But it's going to be some time before the numbers climb back to where they were before the economic collapse of 2007-2008. Historic figures show that sales through the end of October this year were two-thirds of what they were in the same period of 2007. The median home price this year was nearly 10 percent lower than what it was in 2007. Likewise, homes were selling faster in 2007 by an average of 39 days.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I.F. Chamber plans open house Thursday

There wills be a ribbon cutting and open house Thursday at 5 p.m. for the new Idaho Falls Business Development Center and Visitor Information Center at 420 Memorial Drive.

This project came about after community and economic development agencies decided they would benefit from all being under the same roof. At that same time, the Moffatt Thomas law firm was moving to Snake River Landing, opening up a prime piece of real estate right on the newly remodeled Memorial Drive.

Tenants of the Visitor Information Center include the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Idaho Falls Convention & Visitor's Bureau and the Idaho Falls Auditorium District.

Tenants of the Business Development Center include the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, the Partnership for Science & Technology and the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corp.

The open house will be catered by Applebee's.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bedtime stories for the digital interactive age

The dot patterns on Smart PJ's can be scanned for all sorts of fun when it's time to go nite-nite. (Photo by Melissa Bristol)
In the past year a lot of people have been learning about QR tags -- coded images that can be scanned with a smart phone to bring information to the phone's screen.
Juan Murdoch

But while many said, "Wow," Juan Murdoch said, "What if?"

"What if you put these on kids' pajamas so that they could bring up pictures and bedtime stories?" he wondered. Murdoch, an Idaho Falls real estate agent with Keller Williams, said he got so excited by the idea he had to leave the meeting. "I was just shaking," he said. "I had to find out whether anyone had thought of this before me."

With the due diligence done, today he has a patent and 3,000 pair of Smart PJs he's confident he can sell as soon as the word gets out.

Murdoch learned early that QR codes were difficult to scan off fabric. Luckily, he also learned that a simpler pattern would scan just as well, if not better, for his purposes.

Every pair of Smart PJs has 47 dot patterns on it. Each one brings up a picture of a different animal and information about it.

With the app working and easy enough for a 6-year-old to use (it can be loaded for free onto an iPhone, and iPad and Android apps are close), his plan is to expand the content to stories and cartoons and develop the Web page,

Locally, Murdoch is planning to roll his Smart PJs out Saturday at the Christmas Craft Fair at Bonneville High School. "This is our first big event," he said. "We should have our platform ready with other stories, cartoons, etc., by then."