Tai Pan Trading closing doors


Tai Pan Trading Post on Milwaukee St. in Boise is closing. 

The Asian-themed home goods store is liquidating inventory and fixtures.

East Idaho News notes the Idaho Falls and Orem, Utah stores are also closing.

Tai Pan Trading says it is "an importer of quality home décor products at affordable prices."

With the Boise and Orem closures, all locations of the chain will be out of business.

Albertson family foundation to fund new Boise bike park

 This field will soon be home to a bike skills park. Photo courtesy City of Boise.

This field will soon be home to a bike skills park. Photo courtesy City of Boise.

A new bike skills park is headed for the area near Fort Boise Park.

The City of Boise and the JA & Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation will team up on the new recreation site, to be located between Fort Boise Park & Military Reserve. A news release from the city says the park will feature "tracks, rollers and other skills elements for mountain bikes of all ages and abilities to learn and improve their skills."  The final design is still being worked out, but a plan like the McLaren Bike Park in San Francisco is envisioned.

 McLaren Bike Park in San Francisco, CA

McLaren Bike Park in San Francisco, CA

“We are thrilled that the JA and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation is making a bike skills park a reality in Boise,” Boise Parks & Rec Director Doug Holloway said in a prepared statement. “Interest in mountain biking and recreational opportunities throughout our Ridge to Rivers Trail System continues to grow and our team will work to integrate this project into the surrounding neighborhood and reserve.”

The Boise City Council approved the agreement Tuesday, but a construction start date has not yet been set.

A public meeting is set for April 4 at 5:30pm at the senior center at Fort Boise to answer questions about the park.

City councilor/CCDC commissioner's building proposal turned down

Scot Ludwig has a very full hat shelf.

He owns a law firm. He serves on Boise City Council. He serves as a CCDC commissioner.

And he hopes to develop a pair of tall buildings in Downtown Boise. (Read here for details on the proposal).

 Project rendering via Hummel Architects 

Project rendering via Hummel Architects 

Since BoiseDev first reported the plan early this year, Ludwig has encountered some bumps in the road. KTVB's Morgan Boydston reported a story on ethical concerns raised about Ludwig's tri-role as developer, CCDC commissioner and city councilor. The nascent Vanishing Boise group organized against the project.

Now, the Planning and Zoning commission has denied Ludwig's application for the project.

After a number of community members testified against various elements of the proposal, P&Z moved quickly to block the development.

Commission member Jennifer Stevens moved to deny the application. While she said she is excited about enthusiasm and glad there are developers with the resources to do projects - she had large concerns.

 Photo courtesy Vanishing Boise

Photo courtesy Vanishing Boise

She referenced the city’s vision for 5th Street as a pedestrian corridor, and felt the parking structure Ludwig included was a problem.

“I’m really concerned with major access via a ramp, you blow that opportunity out of the water," she said. "You make it much harder to access one of our city’s best resources best amenities of Julia Davis Park.”

Stevens said the area “needs parking, no question about it,” but felt this location and the way it was integrated into the development were not appropriate.

Commissioners also felt the buildings were too tall for the area and denied the needed waiver.

The motion to deny the project was approved 5-1.  

Ludwig can appeal the decision.  His colleagues on Boise City Council would be the body to hear that appeal - with Ludwig presumably recusing himself.

Afton Condos breaks ground on second phase


Work on the second phase of the Afton Condos in Downtown Boise at 9th St. and River St. is underway, after a groundbreaking earlier this month.

Now the race to lease up the condos is on.

"As Boise continues its rapid growth, downtown living is becoming increasingly sought after. When Phase 1 reservations opened in August 2015 we filled them much more quickly than planned. Downtown living is still rare in Boise, but The Afton’s location is attractive to those that want the best of urban living," Julie Oliver and Liz O’ Gara with The Afton said in a prepared statement.

The new phase is set to have 35 condominiums right next to the existing building, which opened in June of last year.

The latest phase of the Afton will include one, two and three-bedroom homes across five stories. The building should be complete in 2019.

CCDC hopes to sell parking garage, build new one

The Capital City Development Corporation voted Monday to sell one if its parking garages.

 Courtesy CCDC

Courtesy CCDC

The urban renewal agency wants to sell off the garage that sits under the Grove Hotel and Century Link Arena for at least $6.8 million.

“We fell like this is a good time to consider this disposition,” Todd Bunderson with CCDC said.

CCDC purchased the garage in 1998 for $5.2 million from Block 22, LLC which owns the building above it - and has managed it and collected parking revenue in the twenty years since.

The agency says the garage contributes a small amount of overall parking revenue - and it hopes to use money from the sale for a new project.  Funds could go toward building a new garage in the 8th Street area as part of a project to revamp the Boise Public Library complex.  CCDC says an appraiser set the value at $6.8 million - which is also the amount set aside for the potential new garage.

The agency set a process to pick a potential new owner:

  • Impact on current users of the garage
  • Proposal’s ability to advance economic vitality in downtown Boise
  • Parking Management Plan accommodating adjacent public and private development and the existing lease agreements
  • Experience and understanding of the downtown Boise business community
  • Experience in operating and owning a parking struck 
  • Purchase price
  • Financial ability
  • Ability to close in a timely manner

Only a few entities could satisfy all of these requirements - among them Gardner Co. which operates a garage next door in the Boise Centre West building. Block 22, LLC is also an obvious bidder, and investor JRS Properties is associated with the JR Simplot Co. and owns parking in its new headquarters building and at JUMP.

The garage could sale could happen and be finished by September, 2018.

"I love the idea of disposing this garage since we have fulfilled our mission in building it," CCDC chair Dana Zuckerman. "I want to make sure we do our job is not harm the hotel or arena - that's the last thing we want to do in selling this garage."

Zuckerman also raised listing the garage lower than the appraised rate at $6 million. CCDC staff advised against the idea and noted that starting the bidding at $6.8 million was the right way to structure the disposition.

"The needs are many, and they are coming at us," Boise Mayor and CCDC commissioner Bieter said. "The proceeds from this can go a long way to getting us where we need to go."

CCDC board member Ryan Woodings noted that the garage, with inflation, would be worth $8 million based on the $5.2 million paid in 1998.

Leaders hope massive expansion could increase bus usage 800%

  • Plan would revamp system across Ada & Canyon counties.
  • Feedback sought from public on concepts.
  • Funding an open question

The Boise area is booming. Crazy, faster-than-anywhere-else booming.

But transit service in the metro area is, to put it mildly - wanting.

If you’d like to get around without a car, your options are essentially your feet, a bike (as long snow isn't piled up in the bike lanes) or a limited bus system that doesn't run frequently enough for the tastes of many.

 A ValleyRide bus turns on the Main Street in Boise last summer. If Valley Regional Transit autorities get their way, many more buses will roll down local streets.

A ValleyRide bus turns on the Main Street in Boise last summer. If Valley Regional Transit autorities get their way, many more buses will roll down local streets.

But the area's transit authority, Valley Regional Transit, wants to solve it.

The road ahead for the bus system could be complicated though.

VRT is asking for public feedback through March 15th on ValleyConnect 2.0 - a set of ambitious ideas to revamp and remake public transit in Ada and Canyon Counties.

"(One thing) we are trying to do with this plan is be more intentional about promoting transit as a vehicle toward freedom of movement.  So there is a kind of 'if you build it, they will come' mentality," VRT Principal Planner Stephen Hunt told BoiseDev. "The underlying core is helping people get to more places in less time at lower cost. "

The plan lays out three scenarios - do nothing, implement an intermediate plan or tackle the growth.

Bigger than a streetcar. A vision for transit in 2040 

Where we stand

Presently, VRT spends about $10 million per year for its bus operations around the area. It spends $15 million on capital costs and improvements.

That money gets the public a somewhat-limited set of bus routes that don't operate on Sunday, don't run much past 7 p.m. and leave large swaths of land without easy access to a bus route.

Ridership is also declining. 

"If you take all our services in aggregate number - there has been a slight drop over the last several years," Hunt said.  The ridership dips follow a national pattern of declines in fixed-line service.

ValleyRide ridership

Data via Valley Regional Transit

The number of people using the bus in Ada County has been increasing however, with declines in less dense Canyon County bringing usage down on the whole.

 VRT ridership compared to average gas prices. Data provided by VRT

VRT ridership compared to average gas prices. Data provided by VRT

VRT community relations manager Mark Carnopis attributes the ridership figures to a cyclical pattern with gas prices. When the pain at the pump increases, more people hoof it to the bus. When prices decline - folks opt for their cars.

But Carnopis and Hunt note the cost of using a private vehicle can add up.

VRT number crunchers say the average Treasure Valley household spends $6,400 per year on their car or cars - for things like gas, taxes and insurance (not including the car itself). Over a year, that adds up to $1.5 billion per year at scale.

"If you ask someone who is used to driving around to use transit, they are going to experience this loss of 99% of their freedom," Carnopis said. "But - transit doesn’t come early enough, late enough, often enough on the weekend.  It’s all limited because of transit operation spending."

Map shows current network. Via Valley Regional Transit. Click to enlarge.

Where VRT hopes to go



If the numbers hold true and $1.5 billion is coming from consumers' pockets to use their car - VRT hopes folks will see proposed plans to expand bus system as affordable in comparison.

And the goal that goes along with the plan is big.

"Our target is to increase ridership 800% - that’s kind of a big number," Hunt said.

With as much as a 400% increase in service, an 800% increase in usage would in theory make each dollar more efficient than the current set up.  

Two proposals are outlined in ValleyConnect 2.0.  


The first would double the current operating cost to $20 million per year. That would in turn amp up service hours - also doubling to 200,000 per year.  The scenario would pour $98 million into capital costs, which includes taking care of $23 million in deferred projects.

Here's what the extra cash would buy:

  • Increased service
    • All-day frequency to every 15 minutes on major transit corridors
    • Run all routes until 8 p.m., with "many past 9 p.m." on weekdays
    • Increase Saturday service from four routes to six
  • Expand fleet of buses and build up infrastructure
  • Focus on 40 miles of "premium high-frequency" corridors.
  • Upgrade passenger amenities
    • New or expanded transit centers, park & ride lots and "real-time passenger information."
  • Invest in tech to help coordinate specialized transportation - like vanpool, carpool, bike-share, parking and buses. 

Map shows proposed Intermediate network. Via Valley Regional Transit. Click to enlarge.


This plan is even more aggressive. It would quadruple current spending to $40 million, which would also quadruple the number of service hours to 400,000.  It would put in $191 million in capital upgrades.

For the growth plan, here's what the dollars would fund:

  • Increased service
    • All-day frequency to every 15 minutes "expansive transit network"
    • Add connections through Meridian and central part of two-county region
    • New inter-county connections to Boise Airport and Micron Technology campus
    • Run all service until 9 p.m. with most service until 10 p.m. weekdays
    • Increase Saturday service from four routes to 11.
    • Add first-ever Sunday service on eight routes.
  • Expand fleet of buses and build up infrastructure
  • Focus on 100 miles of "premium high-frequency" corridors.
  • Upgrade passenger amenities
    • New or expanded transit centers, park & ride lots and "real-time passenger information."

“The intermediate and growth scenarios are aggressive plans for growth that will dramatically improve transit service by connecting more people to more places, more often," report authors wrote.

Map shows proposed Growth network. Via Valley Regional Transit. Click to enlarge.

Big rail, small rail

 A RegioSprinter train like this one rolled down the tracks of the Treasure Valley as a test in 1997 for ten days. Photo via  Alupus  

A RegioSprinter train like this one rolled down the tracks of the Treasure Valley as a test in 1997 for ten days. Photo via Alupus 

In 1997, then-Boise Mayor Brent Coles spearheaded an effort to consider rail in the transit mix for the Valley.  A ten-day trial brought passenger rail service from the Boise Depot with Idaho Center, with stops at the Boise Towne Square and elsewhere. More than 18,000 residents hopped aboard for the test. But the plan went nowhere and has not been a visible priority for Coles' eventual successor David Bieter - with a decade-long push for a downtown Boise circulator taking precedence. 

ValleyConnect does not specifically plan for use of the existing rail line that runs in the population center from Micron on the east through Nampa in the west, but does advocate building a system that orients to the possibility of using the rail line for passenger trains at some point in the future.

The Growth plan would put about 45,000 hours of service along I-84. If leaders instituted a rail service, those buses could be redirected off the freeway, providing even more service in neighborhoods. 

 Rendering of possible Boise circulator. Courtesy City of Boise.

Rendering of possible Boise circulator. Courtesy City of Boise.

The plan doesn't, however, mention the idea from City of Boise leaders to build a $100-million streetcar that covers Downtown Boise and Boise State University.

"The Circulator is a City of Boise project," Hunt said. "That is something the city is pursuing on its own."

With VRT working to tie all forms of non-car transit together, would it make sense to be involved in the Circulator plan?

"The ball is in their (City of Boise’s) court for that," Carnopis said. "We are available and we could talk. We would be happy to help them on that."

The estimated cost to build a streetcar in Downtown Boise is $73.4 million according to an analysis from Leland Consulting. That compares to a $98 million capital investment for VRT's "Intermediate" concept which would operate across both counties.

Where will the cash come from?

Donald Trump won Ada County by nine points.

He took Canyon County by nearly 23 points.

Across Idaho, he won by 31 points.

There is little reason to believe that negative legislative attitudes... will change any time soon
— Dr. Jim Weatherby

While the metro area may be becoming increasingly progressive - and though Boise has a democratic mayor and several democratic representatives in the state legislature, the state as a whole is still very conservative.

Any group that proposes to spend more than $200 million in public money is going to face an uphill battle.

"We felt that it was important to lead with the public on an aspirational plan on what this could mean for the Valley," Hunt said. "There’s been a pretty consistent effort to get funding authority."

The idea to put forth a local option tax is one Treasure Valley leaders have been hoping for for quite some time. But longtime Idaho political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby says this path isn't easy.

"There is little reason to believe that negative legislative attitudes toward a feared patchwork of new local taxes and rural hostility toward granting local option to Idaho’s larger cities will change any time soon," Weatherby said.

He notes that proposals have popped up for more than 40 years in the legislature - and outside of some exemptions for resort cities and auditorium districts, local option taxes haven't been a popular notion with legislators.

Carnopis says his agency just wants the ability to let voters decide.

 "Give us the ability to take a referendum to the people, through our role to educate," he said. "We are not asking for taxation without representation"

"A vision without a plan is just a dream," Hunt said. "A plan without funding is hallucination."

Downtown retail store blames parking, construction on closure

Lux Fashion Lounge in Downtown Boise is set to close its doors this month, according to a Facebook posting

 Courtesy Lux Fashion Lounge

Courtesy Lux Fashion Lounge

A sale is on now and will continue until all merchandise is sold, or the end of the month - whichever comes first. 

Lux sells second-hand women’s and men’s clothing  

The owners listed several reasons for ending the business’ run

  •  “Too much construction in downtown Boise for too long
  • Personal family reasons
  • The public’s perception of downtown parking
  • Online competition and prices. Economic downturn for retail businesses
  • The moving of the store“

Lux spent its first 12 years in a space in the Capital Terrace building before moving to a larger space down Idaho St. in the Eastman building.  

Lux is the second downtown retail stalwart in recent weeks to announce its closing, following Trip Taylor Booksellers.  

The City of Boise and Capital City Development Corporation recently raised parking rates in metered street spaces and garages.  

History now: Popular Facebook group chronicles a changing Idaho

Bryan Lee McKee has found himself as an accidental Boise media mogul.

 The Boise Depot from 1979 in the Boise & The Treasure Valley History group

The Boise Depot from 1979 in the Boise & The Treasure Valley History group

He runs the Boise & The Treasure Valley History Facebook group - the largest of its kind in SW Idaho.  With favorable help from Facebook’s pivot toward “quality conversations," McKee’s corner of the social media giant’s ecosystem is thriving.

With more than 35,000 members and a steady stream of content - the discussions reveal a fascination with where Boise has been and how the area is changing.

“When I started the group on August 14, 2014  I would have never imagined the group getting as big as it is now,” McKee said. “Taking on such a big group has its challenges.”

The posts paint a broad and nostalgic view of where the Boise area has been.

The Idanha Hotel in 1905. The 1996 Western US blackout.  An old Red Steer Drive-In.   Senator William E. Borah from 1921. The rapidly changing Downtown Boise area (from 1963!).

 McKee and his wife Daniela

McKee and his wife Daniela

Each post generates scads of comments from people who remember the bit of history (or don’t) and others reliving fond memories.

McKee is the only moderator of the group, and has to take a bit of a velvet hammer approach to keeping things flowing.

“I came up with some great rules for the group. Basically no swearing, no attacking members’ comments. But most of all, if you can’t say something nice int he comments, you will be deleted.”

And a simple premise.

“Zero tolerance for mean people,” he said with a digital smile.

McKee is currently living in Austria, a long way from the town he grew up in and loves so much.

His wife’s mother has been ill for some time and the McKees travelled to Europe to care for her. She passed away on February 5th - just a few weeks after they arrived.

McKee is battling his own set of challenges. In October he says he was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

“A lot of members have been there for me showing great support.”  

His post about the diagnosis last fall had more than 800 comments and more than 1,300 reactions. The outpouring was immense - and genuine.

The kind words keep him going and engaged with posting a steady stream of historic facts and tidbits.

“I get messages daily,” he said. “(Like) ‘You have brought back so many great memories I’ve forgotten about till you posted,’ or ‘thank you for starting this amazing group. Because you did, I’ve found several friends I lost contact with.’”

McKee says there is one story he still wants to tell.  The legend of the Downtown Boise tunnels.

 A  post  about tunnels in Boise with a clip from an old Idaho Statesman story

A post about tunnels in Boise with a clip from an old Idaho Statesman story

“I saw them unearth a tunnel across from the Egyptian Theater,” he said. “From that point on I made it a challenge in my life to prove that they did in-fact exist.”

The groups lively dynamic continues to roll along each day. And McKee will keep working to uncover Idaho history.

“You just never know what might be posted next, stay tuned for more. It’s my motto.”

Longtime Downtown bookseller to close

What can you say about the American book store that hasn’t already been said in the 24 years since Amazon launched?

Skipping that formality, there’s this: Trip Taylor Bookseller on 10th Street is shutting its downtown doors for good.  

A “Sinking Ship” sale is on, according to an ad in this week’s edition of the Boise Weekly - with all tomes marked down 75%.  

An employee confirms the store will close in coming weeks once Trip’s inventory is closed out. 

The closure leaves just a pair of bookstores downtown - Rediscovered Books on 8th Street and Rainbow Books on State Street.  

This is the second turnover of tenants in the building just this year after the closure of Bleubird.  

Thanks Colby for the tip and photo. 


Truck rolls down Boise airport tarmac, smashes into building

Repair work is set to being at the Boise Airport after an unattended pickup truck rammed into the outer wall of the building at the height of last year's busy travel season

According to police reports obtained by BoiseDev, just before Christmas, crews with Alaska Airlines parked a truck near Concourse C and went about their duties. 

The truck, a 1990 white Ford, then rolled backwards 175 feet without a driver or passenger inside and bashed into a cinder block wall.  The tailgate was down on the pickup and hit with enough force to cause damage to both the outer wall and inner drywall.

 Google Earth image, BoiseDev graphic

Google Earth image, BoiseDev graphic

Police photos provided to BoiseDev show several cinder blocks crushed by the tailgate, with a noticeable vertical crack emanating from the area of impact. Inside the building, the drywall is cracked with a portion pushed out. Damage appears to have also extended to a portion of the ceiling.

The incident happened around 6:30 a.m on December 20th. near the tarmac loading area commonly used by Alaska Airlines. The police report says the truck had not been chocked. No charges were filed at the time.

Airport spokesperson Sean Briggs said there were no injuries from the incident, and that costs of the $50,000 in repairs will be charged to the tenant.  

Vacasa to expand Boise space, presence

Vacation rental company Vacasa is increasing its Boise presence after a big funding round last fall.

The Portland-based company will move into the One Capital Center building this June, after a $2.3 million remodel of the second and third floors is completed.  The building at 9th and Main has been morphing after original tenant JR Simplot Co. vacated numerous floors for a new custom-built campus a few blocks away last year.


Vacasa will take up 35,000 square feet and will be moving all Boise-area employees to One Cap.

"The new space will accommodate Vacasa's growing team in Boise," CFO Ryan Vestal said. "We have currently 115 employees in Boise and have 11 open roles which can be found on Vacasa's career page."

The new space will bring the Boise team together and allow for future expansion.

"Vacasa's Boise team has seen a lot of growth in the last year," he said. "As our team continues to grow, we need a space that can grow with us."

Vacasa completed a $103.5 million "series B" funding round (jargon for a second round of investment in a company) in October as it continues to grow in a space dominated by Airbnb. Vacasa provides a managed-service approach to home rentals.

Corrects number of Boise employees and date of series B funding. Also adjusts attribution of quote.  

Boise eyesore could get new life: where old 'tank farm' could go

When you think of Boise icons - the Depot, Statehouse and Blue Turf probably come to mind.

One thing that is iconic - if not in a good way - is the oil and gas tank farm on the Boise bench.

It's not exactly a shining point of civic pride, and city leaders are eyeing the idea of moving the hub for oil and gas in the Treasure Valley out of the heart of the bench to land near the Boise Airport.



"The industrial use of tank farms is no longer compatible with this neighborhood in the geographic center of the city," Boise City Council President Pro Tem Elaine Clegg told BoiseDev. "The residences and small businesses are impacted by the tanks, but also importantly the tank operations themselves have difficulty moving fuel and support vehicles through the neighborhood."

Clegg says finding a new spot for the tanks makes sense.

"The city is doing due diligence on a number of fronts especially regarding financial viability," she said.

More than 40 tanks are spread across the area, along with related facilities. Fuel is pumped via pipeline from Salt Lake City and distributed via trucks to gas stations throughout the greater Boise region.

A new urban renewal district could be created to include the site and surrounding area - analysis of that idea is also underway.  This year, the City of Boise is looking at both relocation and how the sites could be revamped when - and if - the tanks are demolished.

"This area of the bench has long been mentioned, for 20 years or so in my memory, as a location for a new URA district," Clegg said. "If this project were to go forward it would only make sense to include it in any bench URA district."

CCDC Executive Director John Brunelle said there has not been any movement at his agency for a new urban renewal district just yet. A draft of the proposed area from 2016 was obtained by BoiseDev, and includes the tank farm areas.

Boise Airport director Rebecca Hupp said it's still in the early stages of using airport land to relocate the tanks.

"The project is currently in a preliminary due diligence phase to determine if a relocation is even remotely viable," she said. 

Hupp said the airport owns about 5,000 acres in total.

"There is sufficient and compatible land available to accommodate the proposed purpose, but no specific sites have been selected."

There are actually three separate tank farms in the area:

  • A facility at 321 N. Curtis Rd. 18.6 acres, owned by Sinclair Transportation Company and valued at $2.963 million according to the Ada County Assessor. 
  • An 8.91 acre swath of land at 712 N. Curtis Rd. at the corner of Emerald St, also owned by Sinclair, which is said to be worth $2.1 million.
  • A bundle of parcels at 201 N. Phillipi St. totaling 15 acres owned by Tesoro, valued at $1.7 million dollars.

The farms have been part of the Bench area since the 1950s and are the dominant feature of Curtis Rd. between Franklin and Emerald, with some limited light industrial and office uses nearby.  The former West Jr. High site is being redeveloped into a multi-use project by Hawkins Development Co across the street, which could serve as an initial development catalyst.

The idea has been percolating for most of Boise Mayor Dave Bieter's tenure as mayor. A resident approached Bieter with the idea in 2006 according to a Boise Weekly story at the time.

Sun Valley clothing co. eyes Boise amidst Fox News flare up

The tight job market in the Wood River Valley is pushing one company to branch out towards Boise.

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 3.07.29 PM.png

The founder of SCOTTeVEST, a maker of clothes with special pockets for gadgets, says his company is exploring a satellite office and retail space in Boise.

But the announcement comes just a few weeks after controversy prompted the company to distance itself from the same founder.

“Recruiting in Sun Valley/Ketchum has proven to be very difficult over the years, and has held us back,” Scott Jordan wrote on LinkedIn. “You don’t typically consider moving to a ski town for a career.”

Jordan says he is set to be in Boise to find office and retail space.

“We will maintain an office here in Ketchum as that is where we love to live and play, but we have hit a bit of a wall on our ability to recruit talent here.”

Jordan points to brands like Scott, Smith and others that have left the Sun Valley area.  

“To be clear, we are not leaving the valley, but expanding," he wrote.

Jordan generated some bad press last month for a recent Facebook post. 

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer:

He called Fox News viewers gullible and idiots in the Facebook post.

A blog devoted to the television show Shark Tank on Friday posted a screen grab from Scott Jordan's Facebook page.

Jordan, in the post, was recounting how many people tell him they see his ads on Fox News. 

"I laugh to myself, and tell them that we primarily advertise on Fox because we find their viewership to be extremely gullible and much easier to sell than other networks," Jordan wrote in the post. 

He added in the post:  "I get to tell them they are fucking idiots while getting rich off them."

Despite his LinkedIn post this weekend about the Boise outpost, just last month his company said he stepped down from the eponymously -named endeavor. More from the Enquirer:

The Ketchum, Idaho-based company quickly distanced itself from the comments, noting Jordan stepped down in 2017. 

In an emailed statement to The Enquirer and posted on the company's website, SCOTTeVEST spokesman Luke Lappala said the company strongly disagrees with Jordan's views. 

"We are extremely sorry for his unacceptable comments," Lappala said in the statement. "Mr. Jordan's post was impulsive and inappropriate for too many reasons to list, and rightfully offended so many people."

The story caught the attention of the right-leaning media, including Breitbart, Washington Times and others.  

Grab a kalimotxo (and more) at new Downtown joint Txikiteo 

Just in time for Treefort, a new coffee, wine and tapas restaurant is set to open in the new Watercooler building at 14th St. and Idaho St..


Txikiteo means "pub crawl" in the Basque language - and should be open in time for Treefort.  It will feature about 800 square feet of space and is brought to you by the folks who operate the Modern hotel and bar.  It will be headed up by Chef David King and Dan Ansotegu. 

From Food & Wine Magazine:

In conjunction with the Modern’s owner, hotelier Elizabeth Tullis, another Basque descendent of the boarding house tradition, the chic new tapas and wine bar will offer an array of Western European fare, about half of which will be Basque influenced, including some old Ansotegui family recipes like Epi’s chorizo.

So how exactly do you pronounce Txikiteo? Let's go to the videotape:

Oregon rice & bean bowl restaurant hopes to make Boise say 'Yumm'

A small northwest chain of rice and bean bowl restaurants aims to open in the Treasure Valley

 CafeYumm.com screenshot

CafeYumm.com screenshot

Café Yumm hopes to add three fast-casual franchises in and around Boise - under the ownership of Dave and Rebecca Blewett.

"We reached out to the franchisor of Café Yumm! because their restaurant and business models are unique.," Dave Blewett said. "The franchisor considers social and environmental impacts when making business decisions. The restaurants and menu are unlike anything else.  Diners are embracing new flavors and businesses that do things differently."

Café Yumm's current locations are in western Oregon and western Washington - featuring rice & bean bowls, sandwiches, soups and salads.

Albertsons+Rite Aid merger: Boise impact and analysis

Boise-based grocery giant Albertsons is set to merge with Rite Aid and again become a publicly-traded company. 

The transaction brings together the companies which Bob Miller has spent most of his career building.  Miller started with Albertsons as a store manager and served in a variety of roles until making it to EVP of of Retail. Later, he guided RIte AId as both CEO and executive chairman.

Now, if a deal is approved, Albertsons and Rite Aidwill become one company.


The merger would bring together the assets owned by Rite Aid which aren't being acquired by Walgreens-Boots Alliance - 1,932 stores in all as well as all of the stores owned by Albertsons under one roof. 

Some deal highlights and analysis for Treasure Valley readers:

  • Headquarters will be in both Boise, Idaho and Rite Aid's HQ of Camp Hill, PA. The news release terms this as "co-headquarters." How this plays out on a long-term basis will be an open question for Treasure Valley leaders and workers.
    • Rite Aid CEO John Standley will be CEO, while Bob Miller will be Chairman.  Where Standley will be based isn't known.
    • When Albertsons merged with Safeway, co-headquarters were also announced in both Boise and Pleasanton, CA. Over time operations were moved to Boise and the company solidified its official HQ in the Treasure Valley. 
    • Rite Aid will pick four seats on the board, Albertsons will pick four seats and one seat will be jointly selected - giving this a carefully set structure to make the companies "equal" in the new entity. 
    • Albertsons shareholders (led by Cerberus Capital) will own 70% of the new entity.  
    • The companies will go public. Rite Aid is currently a publicly traded company while Albertsons is the nation's fourth-largest private company.  It has been working to go public for several years but has not been able to accomplish that goal.
  • The combined company name has not yet been hammered out, according to the news release.
  • In-store pharmacies owned by Albertsons will be rebranded as Rite Aid. Standalone Rite Aid locations will also continue.  In the Boise area, Rite Aid has nine pharmacy locations, while Albertsons has almost 20 (with more on the way).
    • Market overlap could be an issue for federal anti-trust regulators as it was in the original Walgreens/Rite Aid proposal. The company could be made to divest some locations or pharmacy lists in markets where together they would have outsized market control. 
    • With CVS entering the market, it could be an opportunity for that chain (or others) to acquire standalone pharmacy locations.
    • Locations like the Rite Aid and Albertsons that are directly across from each other at 17th and State could be tricky.
  • With the upcoming Market Street Idaho concept, the new company will operate three brands in the market (Albertsons, Rite Aid and Market Street). 
    • Store-branded product lines from both chains will be cross-polinated - O Organics items at Rite Aid for instance, and Daylogic at Albertsons.
  • A merging of loyalty programs - your phone number could earn gas and other rewards at both chains.

New senior living community planned for Barber Valley

 Rendering via Aspen Valley Senior Living

Rendering via Aspen Valley Senior Living

A new senior living community is planned for Barber Valley.

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 1.51.42 PM.png

The 66-unit senior living apartment complex is set to be built on E. Warm Springs Ave. near old Eckert Rd, adjacent to an existing Idaho Power substation. 

Aspen Valley Senior Living would feature 48,386 feet of space with parking behind the building.

Features include a bistro, dining hall, salon, library, theater, activity room, outdoor kitchen and more.

The project already has quietly worked its way through the City of Boise's approval process and is awaiting a building permit for construction.


New restaurant to replace St. Alphonsus' Subway


A Subway sandwich shop located inside the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center campus in Boise has closed - but will soon be replaced.

The hospital system will take over operation of the restaurant and operate it as "Bistro 10 fifty five" - referencing the hospital building's street address on Curtis Rd.

A remodel project will cost about $136,000 and will remove seating to create a take-away service-only restaurant. 

New deli slated for former Bleubird space


With the closure of downtown Boise sandwich joint Bleubird last month, the space won't stay vacant for long.

Lemon Tree Co. will start making sandwiches and lemonade in time for the Treefort Music Festival in March, co-owner Mayra Ruiz said.

Ruiz and Jasson Parra have teamed up on the venture.  Parra is the former area manager for Freddy's Frozen Custards, as well as the founding general manager of the Idaho Yard House franchise at the Village at Meridian.

"We are very excited about this new venture - opening an artisan sandwich shop in the heart of the revival of downtown Boise, and building on the strong reputation and following this location has had," Ruiz said. She said the restaurant, like Bleubird, aims " to offer innovative sandwiches and lemonades, made with quality ingredients, in a great setting while providing exceptional customer service."

Ruiz says the menu is still being developed, but they have several concepts they hope to launch:

  • PB & JJB: Peanut butter, cherry preserves, applewood bacon, and roasted jalapeno
  • Yam & Cheese: Roasted sweet potato, pickled beets, pickled red onion, whipped goat cheese, greens, and sumac vinaigrette
  • Beet Salad: Roasted beets, pickled onions, goat cheese, arugula, pistachios, and balsamic vinegar

On the lemonade side, they will serve up options like blood orange and blackberry sage.

BoiseDev first reported on Bleubird's closure last year.

New craft sandwich restaurant opens downtown