Youth hostel opens in downtown Boise
Published: August 20,2010
Boise’s new youth hostel, called Idahostel, was preparing to receive its first guests – a group from Portland, Ore. – on Aug. 20.
Youth hostels are inexpensive lodging for travelers, usually with shared bathrooms, common rooms and kitchens. Idaho has a hostel in Nampa and another in northern Idaho.
The hostel was developed by Boisean Andrew Mentzer, 27, a veteran traveler who encountered hostels on trips in Australia, Europe and Asia and decided to try the model in his home town. Mentzer rented space in the Idaho Building between Eighth and Bannock streets in the center of the city’s restaurant district and spent $18,000 renovating it to hold 24 guests in shared rooms.
He expects it to appeal to students, musicians and others who need the kind of sociable, short-term lodging that hostels provide.
“There’s a huge international population in Boise and a lot of them are young people,” said Mentzer, who has been receiving requests from Boise State University students who need lodging between semesters. Mentzer received his certificate of occupancy Aug. 18.
Students who are in Boise through Boise State’s Office of International Programs often need short-term housing between the times the dorms are open. The university is going to add the hostel to its list of recommended lodgings, said Christy Babcock, International Student Services coordinator.
“That’s a market I would like to grow and expand upon,” Mentzer said of the international students. “Boise’s lacking that type of infrastructure.”
A bed in the hostel costs $19 to $22 per night. Mentzer will be listed on Hostelworld.com, a widely used Web site that helps travelers find inexpensive lodgings all over the world.
Mentzer said his hostel, which is furnished with murals and other works by local artists, will be a relatively quiet place.
“If they came to party they probably shouldn’t stay there,” he said Aug. 20 as friends helped him move furniture and appliances into the hostel. “I’ll make that clear when they’re checking in.”