Here’s what’s happening to the old Sky Vu drive-in in Idaho Falls
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IDAHO FALLS – The fate of the old Sky Vu Drive-in Theater at 3000 South Yellowstone Avenue has been a curiosity for many since it closed several years ago.
Idaho Falls resident Zach Teichert is in the process of purchasing the 10-acre property, which he’s hoping to finalize in mid-December. He tells EastIdahoNews.com he’s planning to convert it to an RV park.
“There aren’t many RV parks in the area that provide short-term stays, rather than long-term stays. That’s our goal,” Teichert says.
If all goes according to plan, the business will open next summer, but Teichert says it may not open until the fall.
He’s targeting the business primarily as a destination for tourists on their way to Yellowstone National Park or other location. Everything is still in the preliminary stages, but Teichert anticipates having between 45 and 60 RV spaces. He’s also considering adding bike rentals for customers to use on the greenbelt in downtown and the Snake River.
“Hopefully, we’ll have access to the greenbelt so that people staying there will be able to (use it),” says Teichert. “We’ll have pickle ball courts, a little convenience store on the property. There’s some other things we’re working on to see if it’s feasible as well.”
Since hearing the news, many have wondered if Teichert is going to resurrect the drive-in theater component.
“We’ll be removing that, unfortunately,” he says. “I know there’s a lot of nostalgia around it for some people, but it just makes sense (to remove it). The previous owners sold all the technology (to operate it), so it’s really not functioning as a drive-in right now. It’s just a screen.”
But Teichert says he’s been in contact with several drive-in theater owners who are interested in moving the screen to expand their operation. Whether anything comes of that is yet to be determined.
Opening an RV park is something Teichert has wanted to do for a while. The industry has seen a lot of growth in recent years and Teichert saw a lot of demand for something in Idaho Falls.
“It originally started with my father-in-law and some of my friends who had RVs. They’d come to visit and it was tough for them to find a place to stay. They’d go to one place and it would be booked and they’d be directed somewhere else.
He originally had his eyes on the Island Park area as a potential location, but when the Sky Vu property became available it was an ideal fit.
“We just loved the location (because) it was right on the Snake River and (close to) I-15,” Teichert says.
Teichert says the property’s close proximity to Yellowstone, Jackson and many other recreational sites is going to attract people and he’s excited for potential growth opportunities that may come from that.
“Idaho Falls is the last major town (on the way to some of these places) and the major hub of the area so we want people to stay here and contribute to the local economy,” he says. “We’re excited to start it up.”