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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Hagadone gave openly to school overhaul campaign, then took it back and gave secretly

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Amid a campaign secrecy dustup, millionaire Idaho businessman Duane Hagadone 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. Hagadone didn't immediately return an e-mail on Thursday seeking comment on his campaign spending.

Huckleberries Hears …

David Williams pilots the “Miss Wahoo” in front of the Coeur d'Alene resort Aug. 22, 2010, the first time any hydroiplane had been on the lake in 42 years. SR file photo: J. Bart Rayniak.

… That Hagadone Hospitality is working behind the scenes to bring a hydroplane regatta to the shores of Silver Beach this summer. Berry Pickers tell me that Hagadone's property and grounds at Silver Beach (Beachouse & Marina area) would be used for viewing. HHospitality has asked the city to help with the logistics of staging the event along Lake Coeur d'Alene Drive. Also, future plans call for the regatta to transform into a hydroplane race in the summer of 2013. As you know, Coeur d'Alene millionaire Duane Hagadone has been trying to bring unlimited hydroplane racing back to Lake Coeur d'Alene since 1985 when he was thwarted by a reluctant Coeur d'Alene City Council, headed by then mayor Jim Fromm, which on a 4-3 split opted for an advisory vote. Hagadone pulled the project before the public voted 3-to-1 against the proposal. In recent years, hydroplane supporters have staged race demonstrations under the pretext of raising money for the North Idaho Museum. Stay tuned. 

Question: I wonder if Coeur d'Alene residents would be more in favor of unlimited hydroplane races on Lake Coeur d'Alene than they were in November 1985?

CdA Resort Finished With Remodel

Coeur d'Alene Resort partner Jerry Jaeger shows off remodeled Dockside Restaurant earlier today, the opening day of the two-month ground floor remodel of the Resort. (SR photo: Jesse Tinsley)

The Coeur d’Alene Resort will reopen its first floor to the public at noon today after a two-month remodel. The 35,000-square foot makeover includes new décor for the lobby and Dockside Restaurant, a larger fitness area and an expansion of Whispers, a bar and lounge. “We want people to feel like it’s a brand new place,” said architect Guy Dreier of Palm Desert, Calif. The remodel includes larger skylights to increase natural light, a 22,000-gallon Koi aquarium with imported fish from Japan, indoor plants, Italian tile and Brazilian granite. Conventions and meetings makes up about half of the business for the resort hotel on Lake Coeur d’Alene/Becky Kramer, SR. More here. (Jesse Tinsley Sr photo: Line cook Aaron Merrill prepares food in the new kitchen at the Dockside Restaurant earlier today)

Question: Becky Kramer tells Huckleberries that she's impressed with the remodel. Anyone else seen it today? Impression?

Coeur d’Alene Resort Remodels

Photographer Don Sausser writes of the remodeling occurring at the Coeur d'Alene Resort entrance & beyond today: “The resort’s entrance canopy appears as large plastic wrapped gift during it’s update.”

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?

No More ‘Marcaroni’ in New Tito’s

The Italian restaurant in Coeur d’Alene has officially chopped the pasta from its name, reinventing itself as the more mature Tito's Italian Grill and Wine Shop. Gone are the white, butcher-paper table coverings, crayons and the selfserve bottle of wine reminiscent of Tomato Street. In their place are real tablecloths, candles and a wine shop with 125 labels at any given time. Wine prices are grocery-store level. The majority of bottles are under $20, and there’s a handful under $10. But there’s a catch. Our 14 Hands Cabernet Sauvignon was $6 per glass, and only $9 per bottle, but every bottle on the menu comes from the on-premises wine shop, and so a $6 corkage fee applies. Still, figuring you get four glasses per bottle (we could have taken the rest with us), buying by the bottle still made more sense/Carrie Scozzaro, Inlander. More here.

Question: Anyone try out new Tito's yet? Reaction?

Hagadone Announces Downtown Club

Item: Night club planned downtown: Hagadone Hospitality to open new entertainment venue near Tito's/Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Hagadone Hospitality has announced a new entertainment venue in downtown Coeur d'Alene. Located on Sherman Avenue next to Tito Macaroni's Restaurant, the new venue will be open seven nights a week, and will also tailor special events to corporate or individual requests.

Question: Does downtown Coeur d'Alene need a new watering hole?

Under construction: Hagadone Event Center

COEUR d'ALENE - Twenty-five years ago, the Coeur d'Alene Resort opened its doors to a hopeful public in a down economy.

“Some have credited its opening to stimulating the region's economy,” said Jerry Jaeger, co-owner and president of Hagadone Hospitality. “Perhaps history will repeat itself.”

Jaeger was referring to the Hagadone Events Center - a venue at the gated Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course that will combine an 11,000 square foot state-of-the-art meeting facility with an elaborate base for weddings and banquets, a swimming pool, a beach area and more.

Construction started last week and will be completed by July 1, Jaeger said.

That deadline is firm because the first party already is booked: Gov. Butch Otter has scheduled the opening ceremony for the Western Governors Conference at Hagadone Events Center June 30. Read more. MIke Patrick, Cda Press

What do you think about Hagadone's lastest project?

JLM: Beverly’s Great Buy For Lunch

Jamie Lynn Morgan: I have had good and bad meals at Dockside. Beverly’s for lunch was worth the price. Tito’s has always been good and when the Iron Horse charges me $9.00 for a hamburger the prices are comparable. Bonsai Bistro (also now part of the Hagadone restaurant group) is great every time. Haven’t been to Beachhouse in forever, but last time food was so-so and service was marginal. Been meaning to go to Cedars, but have yet to make it here. Have only heard good things though. Last stay at Resort was for daughters 16th birthday and the room was great, extra touches they gave us (because I had told them it was for her birthday) were excellent, and even received an upgraded room for same price as what I had originally booked. I do keep in mind that it was March and not the height of the tourist season, so they probably have more room to work with you then.

Question: Which Hagadone Hospitality property is your favorite to frequent?

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?

Windsurfer Hits Hagadone Cruise Boat

Kootenai County Sheriff’s Marine Deputies and medical personnel responded to the area of Independence Point on Lake Coeur d’ Alene Friday afternoon regarding an injury boating accident involving a small sailboard and Coeur d’ Alene Cruise boat “Osprey”. The initial investigation revealed Daniel S. Mayer 44, from Spokane Washington was operating his sailboard about 300 feet west of the Coeur d’ Alene Boardwalk and very close to the “Osprey” cruise boat. Witnesses on board the Osprey and other vessels reported seeing Mayer operating in close proximity to the Osprey and seemed to be attempting to either pass the large cruise boat or cut in front of hit. The “Osprey” was being operated by Captain Carol J. Parker 49 of Rathdrum and the vessel had ninety-eight passengers on board/Mike Perry, KHQ. More here. Original Scanner Traffic report here.

Question: Is the Coeur d’Alene waterfront too crowded with activity, inviting accidents and maybe tragedy?