Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Idaho Falls logs first commercial business permit application of 2019

The old Pizza Hut building on West Broadway
I've worked at many papers that had a "First Baby of the Year" promotion, in which the family of first baby born at the local hospital would receive all sorts of prizes from the hospital and local businesses. The family would get its photo on Page 1, and everyone would saw "Awwww ..."

Here's the BizMojo Idaho equivalent, albeit with no prize other than the incomparable value of publicity: The First Commercial Business Permit of 2019. And the winner is ...

Jeff Maier, who is undertaking an estimated $100,000 remodel of the Pizza Hut at 1970 West Broadway. The square footage is 2,674, and the contractor is Black Enterprises LLC of Boise. The only other detail is that the remodel is restaurant to retail.

The old Pizza Hut building in question has been empty since the business relocated to the nearby Iron Oak Retail Center. We'll keep you posted as we learn further developments.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Bank of Idaho opens Boise branch

Jeff Newgard
Bank of Idaho has expanded westward, opening its newest location, in downtown Boise's CenturyLink Building, Jan. 7.

This will be the bank's eighth full-service branch. Bank of Idaho started as Bank of Eastern Idaho with its first branch in Idaho Falls in 1985.

Adhering to the company's business model, the Boise branch will specialize in a consultative approach geared toward helping small businesses by building long-term, personal relationships.

“We work hard to learn about our customers," President and CEO Jeff Newgard said. "We strive to gain a deep understanding of their goals and aspirations so we can anticipate their needs and give them the right tools to succeed. Then we make decisions at a local level, which sets us apart from
large-scale institutions."

The Bank of Idaho Boise team will be made up of familiar faces from the area: Tony Vahsholtz, v.p.
area commercial manager; Melissa Montierth, retail branch manager; and Rob Cochems, credit
analyst. More hires are expected in the next month.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Ferrell's, which has been at the southwest corner of Broadway and Park Avenue since 1950, will be moving. Developers have announced plans to remodel the building, which was once the downtown JC Penney store. 
Ferrell’s Clothing, a downtown mainstay since 1950, is moving to 3194 S. 25th East, in the Sagewood shopping center next to Kiwi Loco, where David’s Bridal used to be. A moving sale is planned for this month.

The move itself has been in the works since Dana and Teneal Wright bought the business from Teneal’s father, Brent Tueller, in June 2018, according to an announcement from the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce, which has named Ferrell’s its January 2019 Business of the Month.

At 417 W. Broadway, Ferrell’s is where the parents of countless Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts and LDS Missionaries have gone shopping for their sons. Before Ferrell’s opened there is was the JC Penny store. Dave Anderson brought the business there, and in the 1980s Tueller bought the business from him.

“I’m grateful we could buy the business from my dad so that he can retire, but it’s still a little sad,” Teneal Wright told East Idaho News in November. “All the memories (of this location) will always be close to our hearts.”

“The building has been for sale since I started working here in 2004. We just never expected it to sell very fast,” Dana Wright said. “Some developers downtown bought this building several weeks ago and they’ll be restoring it.”

“Knowing they’re not going to just demolish it and tear it down — that makes me feel better,” Teneal says. “Now we can always drive by and say ‘That’s where Ferrell’s was.’ I know they’re going to make the building beautiful and it’ll be a good thing.”

In case you're wondering what happened to David's Bridal, the Pennsylvania-based company filed for bankruptcy in November 2018. In a classic case of "pump and dump" capitalism, a private equity firm bought the company in 2012 for more than $1 billion. The high level of debt the company had to take on under the deal left it little room to invest in its digital business or marketing. It missed its first interest payment in October 2018 and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection owing between $500 million and $1 billion to creditors, according to court records.

“While David’s Bridal used to be the dominant force in bridal outfitting, it gradually became less relevant,” Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail, told CNN. ”David’s Bridal is a classic case of a retailer with too much debt and a challenged business model.”

Friday, December 28, 2018

Power positions announced for Idaho Falls utility director, city councilman

Bear Prairie
Bear Prairie, general manager of Idaho Falls Power, has been elected to serve as chairman of the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP), and City Councilman John Radford has been appointed as a member of the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Policy Makers Council. Both will serve three year terms.

Prairie was elected by the representatives of the 34 participating UAMPS utilities and will serve as chair of the project committee that represents UAMPS participation in NuScale Power's small modular reactor (SMR) proposed for development on Idaho National Laboratory land west of Idaho Falls.

“This is an important time for Idaho Falls Power and for UAMPS,” he said. “The project is very important for us to be able to maintain our low-cost, carbon-free energy portfolio, not to mention what it means for SMR development and the nation’s ability to supply power clean, affordable energy throughout the world.”

John Radford
The committee leads the effort to oversee the SMR project as it relates to meeting key milestones for the project timeline and cost competitiveness with other generation resources, as well as key targets for success.  The committee ultimately determines whether or not UAMPS and its members proceed with participation in the project.

Radford, who sits on the Idaho Falls Power board, was selected by the APPA to serve on the Policy Maker’s Council (PMC), which is made up of 45 locally elected and appointed officials from public power entities across the country.

In this capacity, Radford will assist the APPA in promoting legislation that is important to public power communities across the nation. He will assist the PMC and APPA with legislative issues by attending key meetings for the group in Washington, D.C. along with representing and championing the value of locally owned power utilities at the federal level.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Councilman Radford to represent Idaho Falls on the PMC,” said Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper.  “John has worked very closely with Idaho Falls Power as their council liaison and will do an excellent job representing our city and region with the APPA.”

Blue Phoenix, Artcore Visual Studio announce merger

Blue Phoenix Branding, an eastern Idaho-based promotion and branding company, has merged with  Artcore Visual Studio, an Idaho Falls company that offers branding and logo development, print collateral, and commercial photography.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Artcore Visual Studio for several years and am confident that our clients will love the exceptional design and marketing skills of their team led by creative director Dayne Dingman,” said Travis Powell, Blue Phoenix Branding's owner.

Artcore's branding clients have included Teton Toyota, Eastern Idaho Public Health, and the Rex & Tiffany Redden Foundation. Before starting the company, Dingman worked for Harris Publishing, where he designed publications for nearly 10 years and led the rebranding of Idaho Falls Magazine. “I’m excited to combine Travis’s undeniable skill in promotional product marketing and apparel with my passion for helping businesses succeed,” he said.

Blue Phoenix Branding has also added Michelle Ziel-Dingman as its new vice president of operations & marketing. Ziel-Dingman’s prior marketing experience has included Grand Teton Mall, Snake River Landing, and most recently FinFun. She also served as the executive director of the EITC Foundation (now the CEI Foundation) and as Artcore Visual Studio's CEO. “Blue Phoenix Branding is client-focused and poised to be the region’s premier branding firm, driven by top-notch customer service and unique marketing strategies that translate to our clients’ bottom lines,” she said.

Blue Phoenix Branding is a franchise of Proforma, an award-winning network of over 700 member offices providing printing, promotional products, eCommerce, marketing and packaging to approximately 60,000 clients around the globe. To learn more, visit BluePhoenixBranding.com. To learn more, visit BluePhoenixBranding.com.