Brace yourself for Coeur d’Alene’s biggest “local” weekend.
While visitor traffic may peak for fireworks and festivities on the July 4th weekend, the Art on the Green weekend is the biggest weekend of the summer for local folks - and visitors - who hang around for the special entertainment and sales offered at the North Idaho College event and downtown.
This year crowds will spread north as two major attractions of the developing Prairie Shopping Center open their doors.
Although Mountain West Bank has been open for more than a year at the northeast corner of Highway 95 and Prairie Avenue, Albertson’s, the Prairie Shopping Center’s anchor store, opens its doors today.
The 52,000-square-foot store (about 8,000 square feet larger than the Ironwood Drive Albertson’s store) opens at 8 a.m., with grand-opening and ribbon-cutting at 9 a.m.
The new store features a “totally different” decorating and lighting scheme, according to Bob Stachofsky, division vice president. It includes larger perishable departments (produce, meats and service deli), an in-store bank (U.S. Bank) and a pharmacy.
Store Director Brad Rudolph is transferring from Yakima to manage the 130 employees. Except for some department managers transferring from other stores, all the employees will be local, Stachofsky said.
The grocery chain founded in Boise in 1939 by Joe Albertson now employs more than 82,000 people at 846 stores in 20 states.
Plans for the 27-acre Prairie Shopping Center show 34 stores in nine buildings. Other tenants include a Burger King Restaurant and a Pay Less Drug Store.
Coeur d’Alene Discount Cinemas, the second major tenant of Prairie Shopping Center, opens Friday.
Located in the northeast corner of what formerly was the Keystone Lighting Building, the four-plex theater occupies 16,000 square-feet of the 120,000-square-foot building.
Advance Input Devices, the temporary tenant of the remainder of the building, eventually will move, and the exterior will be renovated to match the shopping center scheme. This includes shaping the southern corner of the building to match the Albertson’s facade and filling the interior space with tenants. One may be a fitness center.
The theater offers “intermediate demand” movies, films which have completed their first runs at most major theaters. Ticket prices at Coeur d’Alene Discount Cinemas are $1.50 for matinees and $2.95 for adults and $1.50 for children for evening shows.
Owner Don Clifton explained the price isn’t quite as low as the $1 at his Garland (Spokane) Theater, which runs “sub-run” movies.
“We’ll be able to run films at the same time as some that are held over at the first-run theaters,” Clifton said. He plans to also continually include G (general audience) movies and special films such as classical, 3-D or contemporary.
Each theater seats 236 to 265 customers and includes surround stereo and armrest cupholders. As at the Garland, bottomless tubs of popcorn are available.
A 30-foot sign tower attracts customers from nearby Highway 95. Entry will be from the northeast corner until an inside entry is added when the remainder of the building is remodeled. The lobby is decorated with huge paintings of classic movie characters and a 3-D box of popcorn.
A Seattle native, Clifton came to Spokane in 1971 and was in real estate before buying the Garland Theater in 1987. He said he tried unsuccessfully to buy Coeur d’Alene’s downtown Wilma Theatre, now demolished. He looked at two other Coeur d’Alene locations before he was approached by Prairie Shopping Center officials.
Films to debut at Coeur d’Alene Discount Cinemas Friday include “A Simple Wish,” “Jurassic Park-Lost World,” and “Wild America.” Phone 762-SHOW.
Across Highway 95 to the west, Medicine Man will build a pharmacy at the entry to Cornerstone Business & Professional Park. The 22.5-acre complex probably will include five medically-oriented buildings, anchored by an 8,000-square-foot building being built by Hayden Lake Family Physicians.
A Holiday Travel Center is under construction on the corner. The 12,000-square-foot facility will include a convenience store, Holiday gas pumps and most likely a Jack-in-the-Box restaurant.
The 1,200-square-foot store will be Medicine Man’s sixth outlet and will include a drive-through, retail area featuring natural products and home delivery. A special area will be set aside for counseling with blood pressure and diabetic equipment.
Brian Jorgensen started Medicine Man of Ironwood Drive in 1978. He was joined by Barry Feely and Don Smith. Jorgensen and Feely will own the new store.
, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Nils Rosdahl The Spokesman-Review
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