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Construction delays at new commercial development site due to COVID-19

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IDAHO FALLS – Construction on the new ShowBiz Cinema Entertainment Center inside Jackson Hole Junction in Idaho Falls is at a standstill since the onset of COVID-19.

The pandemic hit eastern Idaho just a few weeks after the ground was broken on Feb. 27. Construction was supposed to happen right away, but within a month the stay-home order went into effect and businesses across the state shut down, putting a temporary hold on the project.

Matt Morgan, one of the managing partners for Jackson Hole Junction, tells EastIdahoNews.com they are waiting to see how things play out over the next 30-60 days before moving forward.

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“ShowBiz and the stockholders are weathering the storm. It’s definitely hurt them. Their entire focus right now is getting their 11 locations reopened. As soon as they accomplish that, they will refocus their efforts on Idaho Falls,” Morgan says.

Morgan says ShowBiz locations nationwide shut down at the height of COVID-19. The company reopened locations in Texas and Oklahoma Monday at 50 percent occupancy with masks, gloves and social distancing guidelines in place. They will begin reopening the Florida locations in June.

Though it’s a waiting game to see what happens next, Morgan believes it’s a matter of weeks — not months — before construction gets underway.

The estimated time of completion is unclear. It was originally slated to be complete by the end of the year.

Among all the amenities will be 14 boutique bowling lanes, a cutting-edge modern arcade with redemption center, and eight state-of the art movie auditoriums, all with luxury electric recliner seating. There will also be multiple party rooms, a lane-side café with an expansive food and drink options, a full bar with beer, wine and cocktails and a concessions area.

The Idaho Falls location will be the sixth location nationwide and the first in the western United States.

Meanwhile, construction on the new Holiday Inn several spaces away continues to move forward. Rusty Landon, the CEO of InnTrusted, which owns the hotel, says crews are putting the finishing touches on the 78,000-square-foot building, including cleaning and carpeting the rooms.

It will open to the public June 25, Landon says. An official grand opening will occur at a later date when the pandemic dies down. The original opening date was going to be June 1.

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The four-story building will be a full-service hotel that will include 108 guest rooms and a Burger Theory restaurant and bar.

“We get a high-quality beef product so that we can have our guests order a burger like they want to order a steak,” restaurant manager Joe Ziegler says.

The menu will offer more than 4,000 build-your-own burger combinations, along with salad, shrimp, chicken strips, nacho fries, craft beers, wings and artisan desserts.

Lonestar Burger offered at Burger Theory. | Facebook

Ziegler says the most popular menu item at other locations is the Lonestar Burger, which is a third-pound beef patty with bacon, onion rings, barbecue sauce and cheese.

Burger Theory will include 5,000-square-feet of meeting space for catering events, Ziegler says, and the restaurant will be open to everyone, not just hotel guests.

Ziegler says he’s excited to begin serving customers.

“Idaho Falls has some good restaurant options, but I think we’re going to really make a mark on the burger scene,” he says.

The Idaho Falls store will be the second Burger Theory location in Idaho. It will be open for breakfast daily between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. Dinner will be served from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The hotel will also include a fitness center, swimming pool, indoor spa and a 4,600-square-foot conference room.

InnTrusted owns and operates 15 hotels in Idaho, Utah, and Montana. This will be the sixth hotel in Idaho Falls.

Morgan hopes to announce new tenants in Jackson Hole Junction soon.

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