Four unleased cabin sites on Priest Lake were auctioned off by the Idaho Department of Lands on Friday, but despite high hopes, they didn’t draw competitive bidding. All four sold for the appraised value, which was the starting bid, generating $1.9 million for the state’s public school endowment. The selling prices for the lots ranged from $392,604 to $527,000, but two of the lots also came with existing structures, for which the bidders were required to pay in addition to the ground. That pushed up the total cost to $486,800 to $576,800, including the cost of the cabins.
The state has now sold off 262 cottage sites at Priest and Payette lakes, 145 at Priest Lake and 117 at Payette Lake. Idaho’s state endowment has been phasing itself out of the business of renting state-owned cabin sites, on which the renters built and owned their own cabins, after years of lawsuits and fights over what constitutes fair rent. The state’s plan is to reinvest the proceeds into higher-earning land investments for the endowment, including timber land.