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Hagadone Recalls Old Diamond Cup

Duane Hagadone reminisces Wednesday about the inaugural Diamond Cup that he helped bring to Coeur d'Alene more than a half century ago. (Coeur d'Alene Press photo: Shawn Gust)

He brought back the hydroplane bacon 55 years ago, and this weekend Duane Hagadone will be able to watch it sizzle some more. He'll be watching from his sailboat - appropriately named Sizzler. Hagadone, who was 25 years old at the time, traveled with Lee Brack to Detroit in April 1958 for a critical sales pitch. Their mission: To get hydroplane races sanctioned for Coeur d'Alene that summer. “We had to prove we had the financial stability and could pull it off,” said Hagadone, whose photo appeared with fellow hydro proponents on the front page of the Coeur d'Alene Press on April 14, 1958, under the headline, HYDRO COMMITTEE “BRINGS BACK THE BACON” FROM DETROIT MEETING/Mike Patrick, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

DFO: Although I don't plan to attend the hydroplane races this weekend on Lake Coeur d'Alene, I wish the organizers success. The races are being staged in the correct part of the lake, away from downtown Coeur d'Alene. I suspect problems in this first year of racing. But nothing insurmountable. How about you?

Question: Do you want to see this year's Diamond Cup race fail or succeed?

Carlson: Hagadone’s Legacy

Most north Idahoans have strong opinions about multi-millionaire resort developer and newspaper mogul Duane Hagadone’s commitment to the well-being of Coeur d’Alene and north Idaho – indeed all of Idaho. Some see him as a generous philanthropist who gives both anonymously and publicly to many worthy causes. Others see him as one who gives only when it serves pure self-interest. To his partisan supporters, Hagadone is a gutsy hero who, at considerable risk, invested in the Coeur d’Alene Resort and its fine golf course, gambling that “build it” and they will come. There were no guarantees, but he built it and they did come. Regardless of one’s views, of particular interest to many was the recent business decision to contribute $100,000 to the committee running the upcoming Coeur d’Alene Diamond Cup Unlimited Hydroplane races over Labor Day/Chris Carlson, The Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: How do you view resort developer/newspaper owner Duane Hagadone?

Hagadone Gave To Secret Group

Amid a campaign secrecy dustup, millionaire Idaho businessman Duane Hagadone (pictured) took back money from a group that was reporting it publicly and gave it to another that fought to keep its donors hidden. On Aug. 6, Hagadone gave $15,000 to Yes for Education, a political action committee campaigning to preserve public schools chief Tom Luna's education overhaul at the ballot box Nov. 6. On Aug. 14, the PAC returned Hagadone's $15,000, according to records filed with the Idaho secretary of state's office. Weeks later, on Sept. 24, he gave $15,000 to Education Voters of Idaho, a group that sought to keep its contributors secret but was forced by a judge Wednesday to reveal financiers, including Hagadone/AP via Eye on Boise. More here. (SR file photo)


Kerri: Hagadones Deserve Attaboys

I have to respond to (Stickman's) comments about Duane Hagadone and his philanthropy. Beyond his investment in this community, of his own dollars, to provide jobs in his numerous business ventures, Duane and Lola do many untold quiet good deeds and acts of generosity. In every community the biggest dogs have the most detractors ie: the Cowles family in Spokane for example. True that the Hagadones live a lifestyle the majority of us will never know but that lifestyle was earned by hard work, shrewd investments and business acumen. I don’t begrudge anyone their success or second guess what’s in their heart to give back to their fellow man. I do what I can do and at the end of any given day sincerely hope I’ve made a difference somewhere, to someone. God bless anyone, including Duane Hagadone, who give of their time and treasure. The event tonight raised $500,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Kootenai County and will absolutely make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children in our community. I’d call that worthwhile by any definition.

DFO: Couldn't agree more. Duane & Lola deserve a monster Hat Tip for hosting the fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club at their Casco Bay home — as well as all those other fundraisers for worthy causes in the community. Saaalute. (Coeur d'Alene Press story here)


Hydroplane Racing Returns To CdA

The roar of hydroplanes will be heard again on Lake Coeur d’Alene this summer with a return to racing 44 years after the popular sport there ended. Hydro races are planned southeast of downtown as part of the Diamond Cup Regatta during Labor Day weekend, organizers announced this morning. This year’s event will feature sanctioned grand prix competitions, with an unlimited class exhibition race and plans for a sanctioned unlimited class race in 2013. This year’s event, including spectator seating, will be just outside city limits, near Silver Beach. Recalling drunken riots after races in the early 1960s, city voters twice have said they no longer want hydroplane racing in Coeur d’Alene. The new course for the boats, which reach speeds of 200 mph, will extend south from the Silver Beach area. Spectators will be able to line up along Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive and the Centennial Trail, outside the city’s jurisdiction. Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson this week signed a permit approving the event/Spokesman-Review. More here.

(Bart Rayniak SR file photo)

DFO: The location along Silver Beach might be a far better one than the previous one downtown.

Question: Would the return of hydroplane racing fare better with Coeur d'Alene voters today than it did in fall 1985 when three-quarters of the town opposed them?

Hucks: Hydroplane Race Idea Returns

Huckleberries hears that the Hagadone Corp. and allies are working behind the scenes to bring a small hydroplane regatta to the north shore of Lake Coeur d’Alene late this summer. Sources say that Hagadone property along Silver Beach, including the Beachouse area east of Coeur d’Alene, would be used for viewing. Organizers have asked the city of Coeur d’Alene to help with the logistics of staging the event just outside city limits. Huckleberries also hears that future plans call for the event to transform into a full-blown, unlimited hydroplane race capable of attracting as many as 120,000 viewers on Labor Day weekend 2013. Coeur d’Alene multimillionaire Duane Hagadone has sought to bring hydroplane racing back to Lake Coeur d’Alene since 1985, when he was thwarted by a reluctant Coeur d’Alene City Council and a city advisory vote/DFO, Sunday Huckleberries column. More here.

Question: Coeur d'Alene law bans unlimited hydroplane races off city waters. This proposal is just outside city limits to the east of town. Should the city of Coeur d'Alene help with the logistics in planning this?

Flashback: The Night I Guessed Right

The Coeur d'Alene City Council's 4-3 vote against Councilman Ron Edinger's motion for an advisory vote on the proposed McEuen Field changes reminds me of another tie-breaker decided by the mayor, more than 26 years ago. In fall 1985. Only that time Edinger was on the side fighting an advisory vote. At issue that time was the call for an advisory vote on Duane Hagadone's controversial proposal to return hydroplane races to Lake Coeur d'Alene. Hagadone threatened that he would pull the proposal before he would allow it to be put on the ballot. The council was split down the middle — with Steve McCrea, Jim Michaud, and Bob Brown for the vote and Edinger, Dixie Reid, and one other (whom I can't recall) against. Edinger was wearing a pro-hydroplane button. I was in my first year of reporting on local government. Before the meeting, then Mayor Jim Fromm told me he planned to vote for the advisory vote. Based on that statement, I submitted my story that the motion for an advisory vote had passed 4-3 with Fromm casting the tiebreaker — 15 minutes before the council voted, to meet my deadline. And then crossed my fingers that Fromm was good for his word. He was. And that's why I'm still earning my supper with the SR rather than being fired that night for guessing on the outcome of a front-page story. (BTW, the matter was placed on the ballot and the public overwhelmingly rejected the hydroplanes) — DFO.

Resort Undergoes Interior Remodel

If you've been to the Coeur d' Alene Resort in last couple of weeks, you'll notice one thing. Everything is torn up and out of place as the Hagadone Hospitiality Company has started a full interior remodel of the property, which is something that was much needed in the popular resort.The Hagadone owned Coeur d' Alene Resort has embarked on a 2.5 million dollar remodel project. The project has most of the lobby and store area near the main entrance off of Front Ave. and Second St. closed off to the public.  Guests now use employee corridors, and it forces departments such as Human Resources to temporarily be moved into the vacant spaces in The Resort Plaza Shops across Front Ave. from the main resort/Matthew Behringer, Inland Northwest Business Watch. More here. (SR file photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: Who has visited Coeur d'Alene resort during remodel? Thoughts?

Op-Ed: Hagadone Preserves Dream

I have often laughed as I said, “Duane Hagadone believes in the vision of Coeur d’Alene, just as long as it is his vision.” My 10 years away, now only visiting our city, has given me time and distance to see more clearly about the transformation of Coeur d’Alene. I am now convinced that Duane Hagadone has done more than anyone to protect and enhance the foundation of this community that we love so much. This 50-year marriage between Duane and the people of Coeur d’Alene has been so rocky at times. Often, we both would fight tooth and nail, exchanging body blows, red faces of anger, arms swinging, hurling screaming insults. We were woven tightly, chained to one another and many did not like it at all. We wanted that divorce but there was no way out/Steve Badraun, Coeur d'Alene Press guest editorial. More here. (SR file photo)

DFO: I believe two people have transformed Coeur d'Alene into the viewtiful community it is today — Duane Hagadone, from the private sector, and Mayor Sandi Bloem, from the public sector.

Question: What other individuals have had a major impact on 21st Century Coeur d'Alene?

Hucks: Sharing An Ink-Stained Past

What do Jess Walter, Richard Miller and Dan Kolbet have in common? Hint: They are ex-Spokesman-Review staffers. And? They’ve all written books. Walter, of course, parlayed his reporting of the August 1992 Ruby Ridge siege into a book (“Every Knee Shall Bow”) and a TV miniseries. He’s now penned seven books, with the last one, “The Financial Lives of the Poets,” receiving national acclaim. Kolbet, an Avista spokesman, worked in the sports department. Now, he’s written “Off the Grid,” a futuristic thriller about a man who fights a power monopoly that decides which cities are blacked out and which aren’t. Miller, a former editor now handling Washington State University public relations, has just published an anti-vampire-genre novel about a 150-year-old vampire living in downtown Spokane, “All You Can Eat.” No Team Edward versus Team Jacob going on here/DFO, Huckleberries. More here.

Other SR weekend columns:

Question: Have you read any of Jess Walter's books? Thoughts?

Huckleberries Hears …

… that Duane Hagadone now owns the 205-foot mega-yacht Lady Lola again. In fact, HucksOnline sources say that he bought the yacht back for about half or less that he originally sold it for. Hagadone's original asking price for the Lady Lola was around $51 million.

No One Buys Hagadone’s House

Auction company J.P. King opened the auction of Duane Hagadone's old residence on Thursday afternoon, and 20 minutes after 2 p.m., the auction ended. Two registered bidders were interested in the property, at 3155 E. Harrison, on 15 acres of Stanley Hill. Neither bidder came up to the reserve price of $7.5 million. Look for a story later this evening on Spokesman.com that fills in some of the blanks. Perhaps the bidders were turned off by some of the glaring inadequacies of Mr. Hagadone's home on the hill. Such as: No built-in vacuum system; no trash compactor (the shame); no air purifier (admittedly not needed in these parts); and no sauna/SR Office Hours. More here.

Question: Why didn't anyone make an acceptable offer for Duane Hagadone's discounted Cherry Hill property?

Why did no one buy Duane Hagadone’s almost-opulent house on the hill?

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Auction company J.P. King opened the auction of Duane Hagadone's old residence on Thursday afternoon, and 20 minutes after 2 p.m., the auction ended.

Two registered bidders were interested in the property, at 3155 E. Harrison, on 15 acres of Stanley Hill.

Neither bidder came up to the reserve price of $7.5 million. Look for a story later this evening on Spokesman.com that fills in some of the blanks. 

Perhaps the bidders were turned off by some of the glaring inadequacies of Mr. Hagadone's home on the hill. Such as: No built-in vacuum system; no trash compactor (the shame); no air purifier (admittedly not needed in these parts); and no sauna.

No doubt this fine property has other stuff, such as a tennis court, helicopter pad, pool tables and what have you. But no sauna, no trash compactor?  It's no wonder Mr. Hagadone shut the place down and built a nice, big house along the lake. 

That was a no-brainer.

A taxing burden

COEUR d'ALENE - One owns the restaurants, resort and myriad other buildings containing thousands of employees.

The next two keep your air conditioner rumbling and appliances humming.

But that's not all Duane B. Hagadone and your electric and gas companies are up to.

They also pay the area's highest property taxes.

According to Kootenai County tax records, Hagadone is the No. 1 property taxpayer in Kootenai County. Utilities like Avista, Rathdrum Power and Gas Transmission Company also have some of the highest bills.

While this Top 10 list is impressive, it isn't necessarily comprehensive. Because several private property owners do business or own property under a number of names, their total property tax bill for 2010 might be greater than listed in this story. Full story.  Alecia Warren, Cda Press

Any sympathy for Duane and the utility companies?

Hagadone Home Auction Sept. 8

Duane Hagadone’s former Coeur d’Alene home on the hill will be sold at auction next month, if someone is ready to pay $7.5 million or more. That’s the starting price listed by J.P. King, a high-end auction house that calls the Sept. 8 auction “an opportunity of a lifetime.” Built more than a dozen years ago, the 15,000-square-foot home seems almost modest compared to some other mega-million-dollar estates that have popped up in North Idaho. This house, perched on 15 gated acres on Stanley Hill, features three bedrooms, 10 fireplaces and nine baths (plus a nine-car garage to match)/Tom Sowa, SR. More here.

Question: How much has the valuation of your home gone down since the Not-So-Great Recession began?

Hagadone Digs Discounted $20M

Duane Hagadone's Stanley Hill home will be up for auction Sept. 8, with a minimum bid set at $7.5M. That's a far cry from the $27.5M originally sought for the prominent house and grounds. A Berry Picker reported that the auction is advertised in Section D, Page 7A (“distinguished structures and estates”) in today's Wall Street Journal. Here's part of an online description from auctioneer is J.P. King (www.jpking.com), courtesy of OrangeTV: “A Stunning Luxurious Estate with 15.25+/- Private Acres overlooking Lake Coeur d’Alene. With gorgeous views of Lake Coeur d’Alene, Hagadone Estate occupies 15.25+/- acres and provides the ultimate in privacy and a luxurious lifestyle. This premier estate if fully gated with a private drive, helipad, and acres of perfectly manicured lawns. An entertainer’s dream, the estate boasts unbelievable indoor and outdoor amenities.” Hagadone, of course, built a new mega-home on Casco Bay and has one of equal size (30,000sf) in Sun Desert. Full description and video tour of Hagadone's Stanley Hill ex-digs here. (AP file photo, of Hagadone's Stanley Hill house)

Question: Got $7.5M lying around?

Hagadone, Sizzler, & Floating Green

On her Facebook wall, Kerri Thoreson reports she was touring the new Coeur d'Alene Resort golf course events center when she spotted Duane Hagadone's sailboat Sizzler coming around the bend. Skipper David Kilmer and Hagadone were on board. Posts Kerri: “We were having beverages on the patio of the grill when I saw you come around the point at Tubbs Hill in the distance. When I said that was the Sizzler my friends didn't think so. I just had my Fuji with me be had great fun watching you glide past Sanders Beach and both directions behind the floating green.” You can view more of her photos from that tour here.

Huckleberries: Silent Jerry’s Mansion

If you look from the sky, as Google Earth does, at Jerry Jaeger’s 10,000-square-foot mansion, you might think it’s shaped like a gray handgun. The house belonging to Duane Hagadone’s partner in hospitality is near the Jewett House on Sanders Beach. Asks the Berry Picker who provided the Google Earth photo: “How is it that Jerry Jaeger flies so effectively under the radar while his partner doesn’t?  I bet most people in the area couldn’t even tell you who Jerry is.  I suppose the lack of a 180-foot-long yacht might have something to do with it.” Jaeger’s father, of course, provided the “J” to Bob Templin’s “T” in the old TJ’s Pantry in Post Falls. Younger Jaeger became Templin’s partner when his father was killed in a plane crash and later sided with Hagadone in the hostile 1983 takeover of Templin’s Western Frontier hospitality company/DFO, Huckleberries, SR. More here.

Other SR columns:

Vestal: CdA Press’ Misguided Denial

The latest dose of accommodation comes from the Coeur d’Alene Press, which is owned by grandiosity magnate Duane Hagadone. The Press published an editorial last week glibly dismissing the work of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations as yesterday’s news. The editorial – which has drawn outraged responses from task force stalwarts Tony Stewart and Norm Gissel – dealt with the departure of Human Rights Education Institute honcho Dan LePow, who raised less money than was hoped. The unsigned editorial assures readers that “We are ardent supporters of human rights causes in general and HREI in particular.” But the Press’s ardor for human rights runs aground on the shoals of not really wanting to get all specific about local racism. It’s such a bummer. Makes it hard to raise money from the wine-sipping cheese eaters who like their human rights more along the lines of “children’s safety” and “international peace”/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: What do you say to people who don't think the region still has a problem with racism?

Poll: 24% Worked For Hagadone

  • Wednesday Poll: Almost a quarter of Hucks Nation has worked for Duane Hagadone. 38 of 160 respondents (23.75%) said they have worked for one of Hagadone's various properties, including your Huckleberry Hound (Kalispell Daily Inter Lake, 1977-82). 122 of 160 (76.25%) haven't worked for him.
  • Spring Flowers: In a tight race involving 77 voters, 24 (31.17%) said tulips are their favorite spring flower; 20 (25.97%) said daffodils; 19 (24.68%) said crocuses; 9 (11.69%) said irises; 1 (1.3%) said primroses; and 4 (5.19%) voted for “other.”
  • Today's Poll: Do you agree with the decision by the budget committee to pay Idaho GOP $100,000 for attorney fees in closed-primary case?

Jimmy: Hagadone Gig Helped Me

J-Mac: I worked for Duane. I knew how much I was going to be paid and had the opportunity to take it or leave it. That’s the thing people … no one is holding a gun to anyone’s head to do any job or work for anyone. What a bunch of cry babies. It gave me the ability to build up a great network of friends and associates, many of which are integral to my business today. I have yet to see anyone prove to me where the Resort’s pay is so far off from any other hospitality gigs, particularly when comparing like markets. Do you think the owner’s of Four Season’s, Hilton, Mandarin Oriental, Fairmont are not filthy rich people as well? My tips while working for Duane did me just fine. No school loans to prove it.

Question: Have you ever worked in one of Duane Hagadone's various enterprises? Did you prosper?

Robb Report: Ultimate Home

Although the Robb Report doesn't name names of the individuals who own the “Ultimate 2009 Home,” it isn't too hard for North Idahoans to guess who they might be. The home occupies 32,000 square feet on a hilltop site above Palm Desert, Calif. And the owners are described as “a couple in their 70s who divide their time between Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and California's Coachella Valley.” The husband told the reporter that he wanted to so blend the mega-home into the desert hilltop that he would have to point it out to his friends while golfing below. You can view the 20-page article, complete with photos and details of Duane & Lola's southern California getaway here. And: spring 2008 report on Hagadone's Casco Bay digs here

CdA Resort Builds Wedding Facility

Duane Hagadone likes to make big, bold, glitzy statements, and his latest development in Coeur d’Alene won’t stray from that pattern. The man behind the Coeur d’Alene Resort and its posh golf course, as well as luxurious homes on the lake and in Palm Desert, Calif., is now building a first-class wedding and event center on the lakefront. The 11,700-square-foot facility, set to open at the end of June, already has 11 weddings booked for later this year, said Jerry Jaeger, president and co-owner of Hagadone Hospitality. The first event won’t be a wedding, however. Idaho Gov. Butch Otter will host the Western Governor’s Conference there June 30/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (SR photo/Kathy Plonka: Groundwork continued in preparation for the construction of the Hagadone Events Center near the Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course last week.)

Question: Would you like your son or daughter to get married at the Coeur d'Alene Resort wedding facility on the viewtiful resort golf course?

Hagadone Fireworks Lights Casco Bay

I missed this bit of waterfront fireworks at Duane Hagadone’s digs on Casco Bay because I was out of town. But one of my Merry Hucksters didn’t. I’m not sure what prompted this display at the Haga-plex. Mebbe it had something to do with all those billionaires who were in town last week for a meeting of the Horatio Algers self-made-people club. Ah, enjoy ...

Jimmy: Hagadone Offers Fair Wage

RE: Eagle Eye: Duane Hagadone still ‘King of CdA’/Huckleberries Online

JimmyMac: To be fair, there were plenty of times when I thought I could be paid more while working in the empire. In hindsight, analyzing incomes is a huge part of my business today and I guarantee you that Duane’s pay (**at least in the hospitality business**) is right in line with and nothing less than his competitors. The key difference is that we don’t know, see, or are as familiar with the owners and majority stakeholders of the types of businesses that are Hagadone’s direct competitors. Those competitor’s — Hyatt, Four Season’s, Oriental Express, Fairmont, etc. etc., seem to be very comparable with their pay and profits among the executive level - nothing too out fo the ordinary. The major difference is Duane is one of the last remaining private individual principals in this business. More here.

Question: Have you ever worked for Duane Hagadone? What capacity? Were you paid a fair wage?

Eagle Eye: Duane Hagadone Still King

Re: Chesrown gives up on Black Rock/John Stucke, SR

Eagle Eye: Interesting that 5 years ago a number of people were talking about the passing of the CdA power torch from Hagadone to Chesrown and Stone. I think at that time the old man just chuckled a little and said give it some time. Hagadone has taken on several risky ventures from the Resort to the Resort Golf Course to the Terrace Condos. But one thing he is would be one smart dude when it comes to business and developments. Coeur d Alene has never seen anyone with the business saavy that he has. Give the guy his due. And five years later he is still the King of CdA!

Question: Do you agree w/Eagle Eye that pretenders come and go, but Duane Hagadone remains “King of CdA!”

Hagadone Moving Ahead w/Blackwell

Item: Blackwell Marina expansion moves forward/Tania Dall, KXLY

More Info: Hagadone plans to transform the outdated facility with a new design that calls for 420 boat slips and space for 128 personal watercraft. … Future additions could include retail and commercial space. The Coeur d’Alene Lakeshore Property Owners Association believes the project will boost the local economy.

Question: What impact will a vastly expanded Blackwell Island marina have on the waterways of Lake Coeur d’Alene and the Spokane River?

Agency Gives Blackwell Island OK

Item: Lands Department gives Hagadone OK for Blackwell Island: Green light comes with cleanup, building conditions/Alecia Warren, Press

More Info: Idaho Department of Lands announced approval of the Blackwell Island Marina expansion on Monday, one of two agency go-aheads required for the expansive multi-phase project. The state specifically granted the Yacht Club a new encroachment permit for the facility on the southern end of Lake Coeur d’Alene, which the company plans to make over completely.

Question: Do you have any concerns about this project?

Day 2: Mother Nature Dims Haga-Lites

Huckleberries hears … that North Shore owners caught a break from the glare of Duane Hagadone’s new outdoor lights at his second home on Casco Bay last night. The glare of the spotlights were dimmed somewhat by the fog that rolled in, according to Terri Porcarelli of West Lakeshore Drive. “Nature was kind,” Terri told Huckleberries Online. Terri has learned from county code officers that outdoor lights are suppose to be directed in a way to minimize glare. She was told the county would check out the problem. She was also told that the 35-foot light towers were “real, and they’re permanent.”