New businesses in North Idaho are offering something for everyone.
For visitors, there are new gift shops and casinos. For the local folks, there are new banks. For almost everyone, there are new pizza shops.
One leads to the success of the other; it’s all a delicious circle.
Pushing its number of employees toward 100, the Kootenai River Inn in Bonners Ferry is nearly doubling its casino space with an addition of more than 3,000 square feet on the southeast side of the building.
The expansion to the 24-hour business will add about 140 gaming machines to the existing 180. Part of the facility cater to Canadian coins, the rest to U.S. coins. Other gambling opportunities there include bingo and pull-tabs.
The expansion will make the Kootenai River Inn home to the largest casino in the Inland Northwest after a small beginning in gambling just over two years ago. The 47-room hotel was built in the early 1980s and is managed by Hagadone Hospitality. The tribe may add more guest rooms in 1996.
The success of the fascinating $10,000 Bar on Interstate 90 just over the Montana border keeps growing.
The bar has spun off a chain of gift shops, the latest being the Northwest Gift Outlet in the Post Falls Outlet Mall.
Brothers Lad and Grant Lincoln now run the 40-year-old family business with shops in St. Regis, Superior, Missoula, Bigfork, West Yellowstone and Whitefish in Montana and Wallace in Idaho. Most stores offer tourist items with a Western emphasis.
The 4,000-square-foot Post Falls shop is divided into sections featuring Western items, Southwest, Victorian, Coca Cola memorabilia, gourmet foods, fine jewelry, souvenirs, greeting cards, Yankee Candles, bath and beauty products and seasonal items.
Roberta Usselman manages the six employees at the Post Falls outlet. The store is next to Country Clutter.
Art with a Northwest emphasis and special items from North Idaho crafters are featured at Pacific Impressions, a new art gallery in Sherman Mall at 412 Sherman Ave., Coeur d’Alene.
Included are prints by marine artist Jarrett Holderby and Paul Sloan of Puget Sound and hand-crafted carousel horses. The shop is owned by Cindy Maddalena, who came to North Idaho last summer from Lake Stevens, Wash.
The Coeur d’Alene Days Inn has become North Idaho’s only non-smoking motel or hotel, according to manager Vickie St.Martin.
The decision was entirely hers as part of the franchise agreement, St.Martin said. The Coeur d’Alene motel is one of very few smoke-free in the Northwest, she said, with others being Holiday Inn Express motels in Helena and Spokane.
The smokeless decision resulted from two things: Many Coeur d’Alene customers on busy summer days said the only rooms remaining in the area were smoking rooms, and the Days Inn had just refurbished its 41 rooms this past summer.
“It’s going great,” said St.Martin, who has been with Days Inn most of its eight years in Coeur d’Alene. “Come this spring, we’ll see it was the right decision. We need something that makes us unique.”
St. Martin doesn’t try to sneak the smokeless designation over anyone. It’s on two banners over the portal, on both entry doors and on the registration desk.
It’s part of a definite trend. Several restaurants are now non-smoking. The only non-smoking bar I know about is at the Rockford Bay Resort, which allows smoking on its deck but not inside.
Nearly all restaurants have no-smoking sections, but the drift from the smoking section taints the non-smoking area in most. I especially noticed this at the new Shari’s restaurant, which was fine in every other aspect.
Here’s a couple of tidbits:
Jaboei is a new hair salon in the new Hayden Country Plaza mini mall at 9321 Government Way. The name is derived from the first letters in each of the owners’ first names - Jeff Graves, Bob McMannamy and Eileen Weaver. All previously worked for Regis in Silver Lake Mall.
Spooners sandwich, soup and ice cream shop in downtown Coeur d’Alene has closed. Speculators are discussing whether or not it’s the first casualty of the new McDonald’s nearby. I’d guess not. Monday I walked by the new McD’s, and not a soul was there either. Meanwhile, old favorite Hudson’s was going strong.
The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Nils Rosdahl The Spokesman-Review
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