Rodeo is coming to North Idaho with major events attracting thousands of spectators and participants throughout the spring and summer.
The location, now under construction, is Kelly’s Arena, next door to Kelly’s Grand Ole Opry, 6152 W. Seltice Way, State Line. Partners for the new enterprise are Kelly Hughes, Post Falls native and Western music artist, and Paul Atkins, a rodeo producer originally from Gunnison, Colo.
The rodeo arena will include the performance area, chutes for cowboys and critters, bleachers for 1,500 spectators (with expansion possible to 4,000) and concession stands.
With tickets available from G&B; Select-aSeat 30 days before the shows, events will include three rodeos, barrel racing, two Bullaramas and four Team Roping Jackpot Series events. The rodeos should attract about 100 participants, and the team roping events from 300 to 400 participants.
The first event will be the Eastern Washington Junior Rodeo Association April 22 and 23. Professional Western Rodeo Association events are May 13-14 and Sept. 23-24. The team roping events are May 20-21, July 15-16 and Aug. 26-27, with the finals Oct. 7. The Bullaramas are June 3 and Aug. 5, and the National barrel Horse Association event is June 30-July 2.
These events should have a major economic visitor impact on the Post FallsCoeur d’Alene area, especially for motels and RV camps, restaurants and shopping.
Kelly’s Arena will employ about 30 people, Atkins said. Major sponsors are being rounded up. Atkins’ wife Vickie is the prime coordinator.
A variety of ice creams, yogurts and specialty deserts will be available at a TCBY Treats shop planned for the Lincoln Way side of Ironwood Square (the Albertson’s mall), Coeur d’Alene.
Going into the space formerly occupied by Rayves Salon (beside the Sub Shop), TCBY should open between mid-April and May 1, according to manager Jeane Mosley. Ice cream, hand-dipped yogurt and traditional soft yogurt will be offered to go and for 14-16 inside-seated customers. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (expanding in the summer), and the shop will employ 8-12 people.
A Southern Idaho native, Jeane came to Coeur d’Alene via Spokane and is a nurse at Coeur d’Alene Eye Clinic. A co-owner, her husband Charles (Chuck) is an anesthetist at Kootenai Medical Center.
Watch for major changes in Pioneer Plaza, a building housing several tourist-oriented businesses next to Wilson-Franks restaurant at Fifth and Sherman, Coeur d’Alene.
Vintage classics, especially collectible and nostalgic items from the ‘50s and ‘60s, will be featured at Flashback, which should open May 1 in the west-front portion of the Patrick Jones-owned building.
Boasting a “fun, upbeat atmosphere,” according to owner Cristene Reed, the store will include originals and reproductions, with jukeboxes, radios, glass beads, bicycles and Coca-Cola collectibles.
Originally from Scappoose, Ore., Reed came to the Inland Northwest last year and chose the Coeur d’Alene site for her store because “it offered the best prospects for tourist foot traffic.”
Across the hall, The Gallery is being extensively remodeled to make it “warmer and friendlier, a place you really like to go,” said Skip Peterson, who owns the business with his wife Debbie.
“Too many galleries have the cold feeling of a museum,” Peterson said. To avoid this, the Petersons are adding carpeting, cloth wall coverings and new lighting. They are improving their mezzanine and customframing areas also. Their store includes an eclectic array of originals and prints, bronze sculptures and wood carvings.
The Petersons have been in North Idaho for eight years. He is originally from St. Maries, and she is from Sweet Water, Texas.
The Knit Wit shop, owned by Loretta Park, is moving one space back in the building, and a trendy clothing store is coming into the middle of the plaza.
A few tidbits:
Cardiologist Ron Fritz will be joining the doctors building, the new medical building on the west side of Lincoln Way and LaCrosse Avenue, Coeur d’Alene.
Fortunately the Idaho Legislature killed a bill that would have allowed resort cities (like Coeur d’Alene) to assess a higher sales tax to make up for increased costs caused by tourism. Sponsored by Hilde Kellogg, R-Post Falls, the higher taxes (on sales of food, too) would have hit residents. The businesses that cater to the tourists should foot the costs involved.