Planning departments change national retail branding

photo of downtown sandpoint
Downtown Sandpoint buildings retain their pedestrian-friendly character by fronting onto the sidewalk. File photo.

If you’re heading for the McDonald’s in Hailey, don’t try looking for tall golden arches. They don’t exist.

Similarly, the Albertsons grocery store on State Highway 75 doesn’t look like a typical Albertsons. Instead, it’s a plain beige-sided storefront, with a flat Albertsons logo on it.

A number of Idaho cities, particularly resort communities like Hailey, have the clout to ask national retailers with recognized branding to design their buildings to fit in better with the community.

“We require design review on all commercial buildings with standards that talk about scale and compatibility,” said Lisa Horowitz, community development director for Hailey.

For example, because the city doesn’t allow tall, free-standing signs, the McDonald’s, built in the late 1990s, has a monument sign on the ground with golden arches on it.

“I think they know when they go in certain environments they have to change their design,” she said, noting that it resembles the McDonald’s in Aspen, Colorado.

Albertsons, built in the early 2000s, was limited by a regulation that a single tenant can’t be larger than 36,000 square feet, Horowitz said.

“I think it’s the smallest Albertsons in all of Idaho,” she said. “They have embraced the design standards we have here.”

The city is now working with Marriott on its new Fairfield Marriott.

“It has unusual building colors and design,” as well as a different look to its porte-cochere, where cars drive up to the lobby, she said.

Some areas don’t have restrictions specific to chains but have general restrictions in zoning code. For example, because Sandpoint wanted to maintain the traditional development pattern of downtown commercial areas, the city requires buildings built to the street, with parking to the side and back, said Aaron Qualls, director of planning and economic development.

“For some national retailers, their contemporary design pattern is to set the building far back from the street,” with parking between the street and the building, he said. “It’s built more for cars than for people.”

Other design restrictions include some sort of delineation of floors “so you don’t get blank, huge, monotonous walls,” a certain amount of window coverage on the ground floor, and some breakup of the façade for buildings over 50 feet, Qualls said.

Driggs and Victor have similar restrictions, said Doug Self, community development director for Driggs.

“Contemporary interpretations of Driggs’ agricultural ranching history and rural-mountain surroundings are required,” notes its code about chain stores. “Designs that detract from Driggs’ sense of place and uniqueness are not permitted,” such as large blank walls, chain store designs seen in other communities, suburban strip malls and highly reflective glass, the code continued.

National chains locating in Driggs have had to add “base” and “top” elements to the façade, remove floor-to-ceiling storefront windows, incorporate materials such as stone and timber, break up large blank walls, and add canopies over sidewalks and walkways, Self said. In addition, like Sandpoint, Driggs doesn’t allow parking between the street and the building.

In an era where brick-and-mortar stores have declined, Driggs’ approach has been successful, Self said. Since 2006, national chains located there include Family Dollar, O’Reilly Auto Parts and Kings, he said.

“Driggs prides itself on its unique retail and restaurant businesses, and attractive, pedestrian-oriented shopping areas, where sales have increased every year since the recession, despite the internet takeover of retail in general,” he said.

photo of troy behunin
Troy Behunin

In response, some cities that aren’t resort communities are pushing back as well. In 2008, Kuna pressured Walgreens to come up with a more attractive design.

“They proposed a vanilla box with almost nothing special to it,” said Troy Behunin, senior planner. “At the Design Review meeting, the committee asked why the Eagle store was given a lot more aesthetic considerations. The committee had the courage to require them to step up their game and follow the Kuna architectural guidelines. Walgreens responded with what you see in place today (with a different color and exterior rock added for texture and contrast). It was a good compromise.”

photo of caleb hood
Caleb Hood

Similarly, in Meridian, neighboring residents are negotiating with a proposed Costco to make it look nicer, said Caleb Hood, planning division manager.

“When Costco originally came in and requested annexation, they had a prototypical building proposed,” he said. “The Council wasn’t overly enamored with the design, and neither were the neighbors. It had a warehouse feel.”

While the council approved the project, it told Costco it needed to work to blend the building in more with the community, and that work is underway, he said. Typically, such negotiations are done during design review.

“We try, as staff, to head that off before it gets to the hearing,” said Hood. “It’s not too often that the council says, ‘We don’t like that design, try again,’ because we were able to work with applicants and get a design that works,” he said.

photo of kk lipsey
KK Lipsey

“Not every community has a design review, but those that do are more likely to have a keen interest in how buildings will look in their community,” said KK Lipsey, business development director for CSHQA.

Some cities, such as Eagle and Idaho Falls, said they don’t do much to regulate national branding.

“The city of Idaho Falls does not currently regulate colors and so on that a business might use to brand them,” said Kerry Beutler, assistant planning director. “The city does have sign regulations related to height and size, but not for content and color.”

photo of robin collins
Robin Collins

Robin Collins, Eagle economic development director, said the city never asks a business to change anything that has to do with content in their signs or brands.

“Eagle might, on rare occasions, ask that an aesthetic architectural element be added to the signage to make it more compatible with the architectural design of the building, or to soften a color ever so slightly so as to not be so bright,” she said.

Sun Valley Air Club has new ownership

All Sun Valley Air Club private charter flights are on Citation Ultra aircraft. Photo courtesy of Sun Valley Air Club.

The Sun Valley Air Club has come under new ownership.

The club, which offers flights in the West in eight-seat private charter jets, was acquired earlier in July by Embark Aviation, a Washington, D.C. airline that also recently acquired the Telluride Air Club. The Sun Valley and Telluride operations will be rebranded together under a name that has not been determined, said Tim Sieber, managing director of Sun Valley Air Club.

Embark will make the transition from the fixed-route system, where all flights use Sun Valley and Telluride as their hubs. The clubs now will fly routes between any two cities at a member’s request. Sieber mentioned Seattle to Palm Springs as an example.

The club is based at Friedman Airport in Hailey.

Sun Valley Air Club, established in 2013, has 35 members. Sieber said company officials hope to double or triple that number in two or three years.

Sun Valley Air Club typically operates about seven flights a week to Seattle, Portland, southern California, Oakland and Denver, as requested by members. Members pay a one-time initiation fee of $20,000 (reduced to $15,000 through Oct. 15) plus annual dues of $6,750. Flight cost from $4,000 to about $9,000.

Embark is bringing back ride-sharing, where members can split costs if they fly on the same flight. Sun Valley Air Club at one time offered this service, but discontinued the program.

Purr-fect new animal shelter underway in Hailey

The new Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley will be six times larger than the current shelter built in 1982. Photo courtesy of Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley.
The new Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley will be six times larger than the current shelter built in 1982. Photo courtesy of Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley.

Don’t expect the name of the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley to stay the same. It’s a mouthful, and it will change when the new animal welfare center in Hailey opens some time in fall 2018.

The shelter has evolved to perform many more functions since it was established in 1982 as not much more than a pound.

“We have a long name,” acknowledged Jo-Anne Dixon, the center’s executive director and medical director. “We are going to rebrand. Our name is pretty limited. We are an animal welfare campus.”

The Animal Shelter on June 22 started construction on a new 30,000-foot-facility across the street from the existing 5,000-square-foot shelter at the mouth of a canyon just outside Hailey.

The architecture team is Animal Arts of Boulder, Colo., and Damian Farrell Design Group of Ann Arbor, Mich. McAlvain Construction of Boise is the general contractor.

Jo-Anne Dixon
Jo-Anne Dixon

“The current facility was never built for what it is currently doing,” Dixon said. “Thirty-five years ago it was just housing some stray animals. There was no medical care, no treatment, no adoptions. It’s not ADA compliant.

”If it weren’t for zip-ties and duct tape, I’m not sure the building would be standing. We have no place for our volunteers to hang their coats.”

The Animal Shelter performs more than 800 spays and neuters a year with a converted closet serving as the surgery center, she said.

With national accolades, the Animal Shelter has drawn visitors from 22 states and Canada specifically to adopt its dogs – and maybe also do some skiing or hiking, Dixon said. The shelter anticipates 655 adoptions by the end of the year.

The Animal Shelter is among 37 percent of charitable organizations accorded the top four-star rating from Charity Navigator among the 3,204 charities the Glen Rock, N.J., charity evaluator rates, said Sara Nason, marketing manager at Charity Navigator.

The shelter website says the rating is based on its financial health and transparency.

Linda Closner, an Animal Shelter volunteer for 17 years who has fostered 113 dogs over the years, said the new facility will be welcomed by human and canine alike.

“I’m so excited to get out of that duct-taped building,” Closner said. “As you can imagine, an animal shelter is very stressful for animals, staff and volunteers. Our training room doubles as a storage room. The dogs are just so stressed in that room.”

The Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley in 1999 was the first Idaho animal shelter to establish a no-kill policy. It also has a food bank for animals and dog training classes. But because there is not enough space, the shelter’s administrative offices are in a separate location near Hailey’s Friedman Memorial Airport.

“Our real goal is to provide services all around to keep animals out of shelters and keep animals in homes,” Dixon said.

The $13.3 million new facility will be a transition from a “tiny space” where all visits start to separate entrances for clinical and adoption services. The new facility will be a U-shaped structure with a “Central Bark” outdoor area for dogs. A Cat Café will open to the back of Central Bark, Dixon said.

An “education barn” will be a classroom with space for 150 people. Dog Cabins is the modern language for the new dog kennel area.

An indoor training and acquaintance center will be adjacent to the main entrance and adoption center. The education barn and main entrance will open onto a large outdoor events patio.

The spay/neuter center will come out of the closet to a dedicated 10,000-square-foot space with two surgery tables as well as the medical clinic’s treatment rooms, intensive care, radiology and exams rooms.

“A building is just a tool,” Dixon said. “It will give us the tool and space to do it on a much better and planned way.”


D.L. Evans Bank’s eastward expansion reaches Rexburg

D.L. Evans Banks is building new branches in Hailey (above) and Rexburg. Photo by Teya Vitu.
D.L. Evans Banks is building new branches in Hailey (above) and Rexburg. Photo by Teya Vitu.

Burley-based D.L. Evans Bank will open its easternmost store yet in October in a former Radio Shack space in Rexburg.

The Rexburg branch on Valley River Drive will be the sixth D.L. Evans branch in eastern Idaho.

Though it has been based in the Magic Valley since 1904, D.L. Evans Bank didn’t arrive in eastern Idaho until opening two Pocatello branches in 2004 and 2006. The Idaho Falls branch followed in 2006, Ammon in 2014 and Rigby in December 2016.

Rexburg will be the 30th branch for D.L. Evans, the largest Idaho-based community bank, with total assets in excess of $1.4 billion. All the growth has come since 1979, when D.L. Evans had a single office in Albion.

The bank first arrived in Boise in 2000 and now has Treasure Valley branches in Meridian, Nampa, Caldwell, Eagle and Fruitland.

But President and CEO John V. Evans Jr. has his eye on eastern Idaho. He expects the bank will build additional branches in Blackfoot and possibly create smaller branches in smaller eastern communities.

“That’s our plan, to continue expanding in eastern Idaho,” Evans told the Idaho Business Review in 2016.

D.L. Evans is also building a new branch in Hailey that will open in late November or early December,  said Zehireta Avdic, marketing director at D.L. Evans.

D.L. Evans Bank starts building new branch in Hailey

D.L. Evans Bank is building a new branch in Hailey. Image courtesy of D.L. Evans Bank.
D.L. Evans Bank is building a new branch in Hailey. Image courtesy of D.L. Evans Bank.

Burley-based D.L. Evans Bank started construction May 1 on a new branch office for Hailey to replace the “temporary” office that has served the Blaine County seat since 2005.

The bank has been on a building spree in recent years even as other banks have scaled back. The American landscape has 8,000 fewer bank branches today than in 2009, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. D.L Evans built a branch in Ammon in 2015 and one in Caldwell in 2016. Construction on new branch in Fruitland is expected to start soon, and the bank hopes to build a branch in Rexburg next year, CEO John V. Evans Jr. said.

“We’re building, we’re going against the norm,” Evans said. “Online banking is taking over, but you still have to have a presence in a community, in our opinion. The size of the branches will be reduced.”

Evans said new branches mostly will be around 4,500 square feet, though the new Hailey branch will be 6,178 square feet because will also have a community room. The new Hailey branch will be at 609 S. Main St., replacing the existing 2,400-square-foot branch on Bullion Street.

The new branch is expected to open in November. D.L. Evans Bank also expects to open its first Rexburg branch within three months in a temporary location until a new branch is built, Evans said.

“We think, No. 1, you should have a place for people to work,” he said. “You should have a place people can come in and talk about their money.”

erstad Architects in Boise is the architect for the Hailey and Fruitland branches. Conrad Brothers of Ketchum is the general contractor.

Hailey’s The Cottages assisted living looks to a February opening

Construction on The Cottages in Hailey is progressing to finishing the exteriors. Photo by Teya Vitu.
Construction on The Cottages in Hailey is progressing to finishing the exteriors. Photo by Teya Vitu.

Eagle-based The Cottages has had to push back the opening of its Hailey assisted living and memory care center by about half a year because of construction delays.

Work on the $5 million project with two 11,000-square-foot buildings started in August 2015, but winter halted construction before wood framing could start. President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Maxfield had hoped to have structures closed in from the weather before winter 2015.

Mark Maxfield
Mark Maxfield

Since spring, Alta Construction has erected both structures with work now on exterior improvements. . Boise-based Alta Construction – and its owners with a previous company – have built all 10 The Cottages in Emmett, Boise, Meridian, Middleton, Nampa, Payette, Weiser, Mountain Home, and McCall.

Maxfield estimates construction should finish by the end of the year; residents could arrive in February. Each building will have 16 beds. Hailey will be the largest The Cottages facility, Maxfield said.

Jason Tomlinson at Tomlinson Design in Eagle designed the Hailey facility.

The Cottages in Hailey will be the only one of The Cottage’s communities to have all private rooms and will also have a “grander” appearance and a sun room.

Natural Grocers readies to open Hailey store

Natural Grocers built a new store at the north end of Hailey. Photo by Teya Vitu.
Natural Grocers built a new store at the north end of Hailey. Photo by Teya Vitu.

Natural Grocers will open its 126th store in Hailey on Sept. 27 as the Lakewood, Colo., natural and organic food grocers continues its rapid expansion since 2012.

A second Natural Grocers is also under consideration for the Boise area, company Co-President Kemper Isely said.

Hailey fit well with Colorado resort communities, where Natural Grocers had success before the company went public in July 2012 and started an expansion that has more than doubled the number of its stores.

“The western mountain demographics have done well for us,” Isely said.

Natural Grocers stores are in all the states west of the Mississippi River except California and South Dakota. The largest concentration is in the company’s home state of Colorado.

Since Natural Grocers went public, the grocer has spread its reach. It opened its 52nd store in Boise in February 2012, followed by Idaho Falls in November 2013 and Coeur d’Alene in March 2014.

“Boise was in the first wave. It was part of the start of our rapid expansion,” Isely said. “We’re looking at other areas in the Boise metro. It wouldn’t surprise me if we open a second store in Boise.”

Natural Grocers first looked at Ketchum before committing to Hailey a year ago.

“Hailey is similar to a lot of mountain towns we have done well in,” Isely said. “Hailey has the highest population base. Hailey seems to be the best place to cater to year-round residents.”

The Wood River Valley, with a population of about 20,000, already has three Atkinsons’ grocers, an Albertsons and a Village Market that opened in Ketchum in December.

“There really isn’t an authentic natural food store, not one that just sells natural and organic foods,” Isely said. “There is a mismatch in the market for what there is a demand for. We think we will fill a need that isn’t being met.”

Officials work to slow traffic in Hailey

Gary Toth (white shirt) of Project for Public Places led the Haily Main Street Vision Project attended by dozens of locals. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Gibson.
Gary Toth (white shirt) of Project for Public Places led the Haily Main Street Vision Project attended by dozens of locals. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Gibson.

The days may be numbered for a five-lane highway that takes cars through downtown Hailey at 40 mph and more.

Mayor Fritz Haemmerle is considering ways to slow down traffic and make the downtown more user-friendly for pedestrians. That includes converting some street parking spots into curb extensions for sidewalk dining or other creative uses. Another option is setting planters and wayfinding signs in the center median.

The mayor and many in the community want to slow traffic through downtown to better match the posted 25 mile per hour speed limit. The wider sidewalks and alternatives for the medians are the “low-hanging fruit” – relatively inexpensive options – in the opening phase of redefining Main Street, which also is state Highway 75, the primary road to Ketchum and Sun Valley.

“What we have is five lanes and parking spaces,” Haemmerle said.  “There was some idea that you can remove the middle turn lane and use more space on sidewalks. That was attractive.”

The mayor, Hailey council members, city and Blaine County officials and dozens of downtown business people took part in a three-day Hailey Main Street Vision Project in December. It was put on by the New York City-based Project for Public Spaces and the New Mobility West initiative.

Hailey Mayor Fritz Haemmerle
Hailey Mayor Fritz Haemmerle

“Hailey is very proactive,” said Jeff Davis, owner of Spurtos Hailey, a sporting goods store on Main Street. He took part in the vision sessions. “The mayor’s definitely working hard to try to get things done.”

The goal was to find ways to slow traffic through downtown by developing a shared community vision for Main Street with engineering and design improvements. Project for Public Spaces typically applies concepts of placemaking to achieve such goals.

”Placemaking is turning a neighborhood, town, street or city from a place that you go to only because you have to, to one that makes you want to linger, spend time in and go back to,” said Gary Toth, the project manager.

Project for Public Spaces is expected to issue a report in a month or so to outline potential solutions. The organization has completed more than 3,000 placemaking projects in communities in all 50 states and 43 countries.

The Hailey project grew out of a three-day training in October 2014 that was attended by representatives from several Idaho communities. The training, put on through the Community Mobility Institute, involved Project for Public Spaces and Community Builders, a Glenwood, Colo.,-based nonprofit that helps communities in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana and Colorado address economic and planning problems.

The recommendations in the report include a couple dozen short-term, less expensive projects and longer term, larger projects that could reduce Main Street traffic to one lane in each direction through downtown Hailey, said Cameron Ellis, the Hailey-based project manager for Community Builders.

“The report will help Hailey prioritize short-term projects,” Ellis said. “We got a very surprising, overwhelming feedback on this. Every possible thing you could do to Main Street came out. Everybody wanted to see some change to Main Street.”

Ellis said short-term recommendations include several “traffic calming measures” such as replacing the simple white lines at crosswalks with painted bricks or murals. Statues could be placed at the gateways to downtown, he added.

Cameron Ellis
Cameron Ellis

“Right now there is nothing that tells you ‘hey, you’re coming into town,’” Ellis said. “There are no visual clues.”

The mayor acknowledged the Main Street project is at the beginning stage. He does sense, though, that the community welcomes change to the street.

“What I do know is whenever something good happens on Main Street, it has a good effect on people,” Haemmerle said. “When we put up holiday lights, people say ‘Wow!’ That costs us $35,000. They don’t say, ‘Don’t spend the money.’”

Ultimately, the long-term solution involves the street itself.

“What do we do with the right-of-way?” Ellis pondered. “How do we rearrange it so it works better? This could be as aggressive as bringing the road from five lanes to three lanes with one lane traveling in each direction (instead of two lanes). A less aggressive solution keeps the lanes but narrows them from 12 feet to 10 or 11 feet.”

Hailey residents face pedestrian and bicycle challenges on Main Street.

“It’s a matter of crossing that highway safely,” store owner Davis said. “I’m a big biker. I just walked to work. The biggest hurdle we will face in Hailey is we don’t control the highway. If (Idaho Transportation Department)  doesn’t want to do it, it won’t happen.”

ITD Project Development Engineer Todd Hubbard attended all three days of the Hailey vision workshops.

“The study was a great start to some collaboration,” Hubbard said. “We are willing to talk as to what is best for the city and for the (highway) corridor.”

Hubbard said ITD would support the mayor’s suggestion for bulb-outs filling some parking spaces.

“You narrow the feel of the lane,” Hubbard said. “You put things closer to the edge. People tend to slow down because there is a feeling of things getting tighter. Some of the things we have done (elsewhere) is we have installed flashing beacons for crosswalks.”

Hubbard said large changes would require updating an Environmental Impact Statement that ITD has in place for the Highway 75 corridor.

Hailey seeks to make Main Street safer for pedestrians and cyclists

Hailey offers offers pedestrian crossing flags to help make walkers more visible as they cross Main Street. Photo by Teya Vitu.
Hailey offers offers pedestrian crossing flags to help make walkers more visible as they cross Main Street. Photo by Teya Vitu.

Hailey is a small town with a big highway.

“You take your life in your hands when you get out of your car,” said Lisa Horowitz, community development director at the town of just 8,000 residents. Hailey’s Main Street has two lanes running each way, a two-way center turn lane and street parking on both sides.

“Our Main Street is a highway,” Horowitz said.

Main Street is Highway 75, the jurisdiction of the Idaho Transportation Department. It’s designed to get vehicles through Hailey on the way to Ketchum and Sun Valley.

Downtown Hailey proper has a single stoplight at Bullion. The next stop lights are eight blocks to the north at McKercher and eight blocks to the south at Airport Way.

The wide roads and dearth of stoplights induce drivers to exceed the posted 25 miles-per-hour speed limit. Jane Drussel, owner of Jane’s Artifacts downtown, said drivers go over 40 miles per hour.

“Main Street is a disaster,” Drussel said.

Now consultants have been hired to slow things down. The Tucson, Ariz. Sonoran Institute and Community Builders in Bozeman, Mont. have awarded Hailey a grant to bring in the experts, probably in October. They’ll work with residents on ideas for making Highway 75 safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, said Cameron Ellis, a project manager at the Sonoran Institute and a Hailey resident.

The area under consideration is the one-mile downtown stretch between Elm Street and McKercher, location of the Albertsons store.

Hailey since 2004 has had orange pedestrian crossing flags available at two downtown intersections. Neighboring Ketchum was among the pioneers with pedestrian crossing flags in the late 1990s, cribbing the idea from Kirkland, Wash., which claims it was the first city to adopt the flags, in 1995. Meridian has similar flags downtown, and Boise has them in its residential North End.

Drussel said Hailey doesn’t need consultants.

Hailey shop owner Jan Drussel believes a second stoplight and police tickets will slow traffic down. Photo by Teya Vitu.
Hailey shop owner Jan Drussel believes a second stoplight and police tickets will slow traffic down. Photo by Teya Vitu.

“The only way they will slow traffic down is to ticket people and put in one more stoplight,” Drussel said.

But Ellis said Hailey will benefit. The consultants will talk to business people and the police and fire departments, and will stage a design charrette.

“It’s about bringing the community in and seeing what the viable options are,” Ellis said. “We want to develop a community vision for what they want. It’s ITD’s right-of-way.”

The ITD is on board; Devin Rigby, the ITD district engineer in Shoshone, sent a letter of support on behalf of Hailey for the city’s application for the Sonoran grant.

“We are very interested to find ways so the (cars and pedestrians/cyclists) can cohabit,” Rigby said.“We understand and recognize there are challenges of a state highway coming through a pedestrian community.”

Hailey Police Chief Jeff Gunter’s concern is children. All the schools are on the east side of Main Street and plenty of children live on the west side of Main Street. Last October, a boy on a bike was hit by a car while crossing Main but ended up fine, Gunter said.

Cameron Ellis
Cameron Ellis

“They get on their bike and they will ride across in the crosswalk,” Gunter said. “They are expecting everybody to stop, but there are out-of-towners and their concern is to get to Ketchum. They are not paying attention to pedestrians.”

The police chief said few enough people actually have gotten hit by vehicles that he didn’t have any statistics.

Hailey’s seeing a dynamic that’s in play across smalltown Idaho and elsewhere: wide highways passing through small towns and cities, Ellis said.

“This is a family town,” he said. “People like moving here because it’s very family- friendly and safe for kids – except for Main Street.”

Ellis said residents are already talking to him about the issue, though the consultant visit is still weeks off. Some have suggested narrowing lanes. He’s not espousing any solutions yet.

“What we want is all the options on the table,” Ellis said.


Hailey’s indoor ice rink to open in November

Insulation is being installed now at the indoor ice rink under construction in Hailey. Photo by Teya Vitu.
Insulation is being installed now at the indoor ice rink under construction in Hailey. Photo by Teya Vitu.

Hailey Ice is on target to open the city’s first indoor ice rink in November, bolstered by a new $250,000 grant from the Spencer F. and Cleone P. Eccles Family.

The Eccles initially offered a $250,000 matching grant in December with a March 31 deadline for the community to donate the same amount. The community ended up giving $200,000, which sufficed for the Eccles and inspired the family to add another $250,000 in 2016, said Sarah Benson, Hailey Ice’s executive director.

“When they made the second pledge, I was pleasantly surprised and very pleased,” Benson said.

With a $4 million grant received in July 2014 from the Deer Creek Fund, a satellite of the Denver-based Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation, and more than $1 million in community donations, Hailey Ice will open in November.

The Deer Creek funding went to the construction cost of the $6 million facility, while the Eccles and community funding funded interior improvements such as rubber matting, dasher boards for the rink and the audio system, Benson said.

The facility will have an ice rink just 12 inches shy of National Hockey League specifications, bleachers, four locker rooms, a coaches’ room, a referee room and a meeting/study room that can double as additional locker room space, if needed.

“In a perfect world, I’m hoping to raise another $200,000 before opening,” Benson said. She said she would like to spend the money on programming. “That would allow us to do more things from the outset.”

The outdoor rink that Hailey Iced launched 15 years ago in a rodeo arena has had a brief season from about Christmas to late February. The indoor arena will extend ice skating in Hailey from mid-September or October through April, with the facility available for small conventions and other activities during the rest of the year, Benson said. She said she had heard from people who want to hold tournaments, classes, clinics, and parties there.

“That will be a game changer for us,” said Lisa Horowitz, community development director at the city of Hailey. “We have a very robust hockey and skating community.”


The Cottages brings an assisted living home to Hailey

The Cottages broke ground in early August for an assisted living home at the north edge of Hailey. Photo by Teya Vitu.
The Cottages broke ground in early August for an assisted living home at the north edge of Hailey. Photo by Teya Vitu.

Eagle-based The Cottages has started construction in Hailey on its first new assisted living and memory care center since 2009 after a building spree across southwestern Idaho in the 2000s.

The Sun Valley will get the largest The Cottages facility and also the first one built beyond the greater Treasure Valley and McCall.

“This is our new floor plan,” said Mark Maxfield, president and chief operating officer at The Cottages. “This is a slightly different product that we’ve been wanting to do for a long time.”

The Cottages in Hailey will be the only one of The Cottage’s 10 communities to have all private rooms. It will also have a “grander” appearance than earlier iterations and will include a sun room. The Cottages in Emmett, Boise, Meridian, Middleton, Nampa, Payette, Weiser, Mountain Home, and McCall offer a mix of private and shared rooms.

The $5 million, 11,000-square-foot project broke ground Aug. 4 and will have 16 private rooms and a separate memory care center. Other The Cottages are typically 8,500 square feet with 14 rooms, most shared.

Residents are expected to arrive in about a year, Maxfield said.

The Cottages in Hailey will the largest of the 10 The Cottages assisted living homes. Image courtesy of The Cottages.
The Cottages in Hailey will the largest of the 10 The Cottages assisted living homes. Image courtesy of The Cottages.

The home will serve the Wood River Valley from its largest city, Hailey, in the center of the valley. The Cottages is at the northern edge of Hailey.

“It’s hard to find land and hard to find land at an affordable price,” Maxfield said. “We wanted to be as close to Ketchum as we could.”

The Cottages built its first assisted living center in Emmett in 2001. The two Hailey structures are the company’s 14th and 15th buildings at 10 locations, Maxfield said.

Hailey Ice works to match $250K challenge grant for new rink

Hailey Ice Executive Director Sarah Benson started making calls right after Christmas to match a $250,000 grant from the Spencer F. and Cleone P. Eccles Family to outfit the new indoor ice rink under construction in Hailey.

Benson is confident she will meet the March 31 deadline to raise the money.

“People have been telling me, ‘When you get close, give me a call,’” Benson said.

The combined $500,000 will fully equip the ice rink facility with bleachers, rubber mat flooring, scoreboards, bench and dasher boards, she said.

A $4 million grant in July from the Deer Creek Fund, a satellite of the Denver-based Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation, paid for much of the $5.5 million cost of the indoor ice rink facility. The rink should be ready for skaters in November.

The mechanical elements of the new ice rink and the ice plant, fire and electrical rooms are completed. Construction on the building to enclose the rink will begin in spring, Benson said.