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Iced out: The latest shortage in SW Idaho? Yep. Frozen water.

If you have headed to the store recently in search of ice, there’s a good chance you either didn’t find any or there was a limit on how many bags you could purchase.

Across Idaho, many grocery stores and convenience shops are limiting bagged ice sales or are just plain sold out.

Karlee May, who organized the Twilight Criterium in Downtown Boise and other events like JUMP, Jam and Jive, said she’s had to go to multiple stores to find even a few bags for her events.

“I went to one store and asked for ice and they said ‘sure, we have lots,'” May said. “I asked if there was a limit and the clerk said no. So I opened up the ice chest and there were only two bags inside, stuck to the sides of the freezer. Even the clerk was surprised.”

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Josh Davis, owner of JD’s Bodega in downtown Boise says while he is able to get blocked ice, all of his vendors are currently out of bagged ice.

“We don’t have any crushed ice that we can get pre-bagged,” Davis said. “We have an ice machine on our soda machine but that’s it.”

No ice for you

Boise ice shortage
An ExtraMile by Jacksons store in Boise is limiting customers to just two bags of ice each. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

So what gives?

Davis says one of his ice vendors said there was a labor shortage that’s affecting ice production.

BoiseDev reached out to local ice manufacturer Boise Cold Storage for some answers. The owner declined our request for an interview but did confirm there was a shortage and said that hot temperatures were driving up demand. 

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So whether a shortage of workers, hot temperatures, or both are to blame for a lack of ice, it’s probably a good idea to make your own or plan ahead before your next party.

“We’ve seen event organizers and other people coming in and hoping we have ice because their other sources are also out,” Davis said. “It’s been really difficult.”

Gretchen Parsons - BoiseDev managing editor
Gretchen Parsons is BoiseDev's managing editor. Contact her at [email protected].

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