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Biz Buzz: Major renovations underway at Heise Hot Springs

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A renovation of the outdoor pool at Heise Hot Springs is slated for completion sometime in July. Get a look at what’s happening in the video player above. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

Do you want to know what’s happening in the eastern Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered. Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.

BIZ BUZZ

RIRIE

New swimming pool, other amenities in the works at Heise Hot Springs

New swimming pool at Heise Hot Springs is under construction. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

RIRIE – The first major renovation project at Heise Hot Springs in decades is now underway.

Brennan Reed, who co-owns the resort with Kate Schroeder, tells EastIdahoNews.com a new outdoor pool is in the works to replace the existing one. The new pool will include a splash pad, dressing rooms, decks and new pump and filter rooms.

“We’re updating it to accommodate people we’ve got in the area to try and give them a place that’s fun and exciting and gives new life to the area,” Reed says.

The new outdoor swimming pool will include an expanded shallow end for kids to play in, and it’s also going to reach a depth of 12 feet, which is a couple feet deeper than the old pool. Reed says the filtration system will also be updated to allow for the cleanest water possible and better circulation of water in and out of the pool.

Underwater lights, bubblers and a new diving board will also be added. The splash pad will include a water park with playground equipment and there will be an expanded grassy area for families to sit and eat lunch together.

The water slide will remain intact, but there are plans to add a second one in the near future.

See the renovations in the video player above.

The project got underway right after Labor Day last September and Reed is hoping to have it completed by July 1.

“We’re hoping we’ll have our summer pool dressing rooms done by then. If not, we’ll use our dressing rooms on the hot pool side until we get them completed,” says Reed.

Reed and Schroeder became the new owners of Heise in November of 2019 when the previous owners, Mike and Robin Quinn, were killed in a plane crash.

RELATED | Eastern Idaho couple dies in plane crash near Jackpot, Nevada

Plans for a major renovation had been in the works for several years, but dealing with the loss and transitioning to new ownership was the immediate focus after their passing.

“When Mike passed away, it was a sad time for us all and we’ve had plans for a few years on some of these renovations. It took us about a year to get everything under our belt and to get over the initial loss and figure out how to manage (this place). We wanted to make them proud and show them that Heise will still carry on their legacy,” Reed explains.

Reed says Mike did a lot of work in his younger years to improve Heise, such as constructing the building where people pay for admission into the outdoor pool. Reed wants to continue making improvements for the next generation of customers.

“When they passed, we decided that the best way to honor them was to continue on and keep something that was special to them. The community has just rallied together and supported us. Even during COVID with all the restrictions, the community showed us how they care about Heise and about Mike and Robin and what they’ve created,” says Reed.

A memorial tribute to Mike Quinn outside the entrance to the indoor swimming pool at Heise Hot Springs | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

A monument in memory of Mike Quinn now sits outside the entrance to the indoor pool.

The swimming pool at Heise first opened in the early 1930s, but its roots go back much further. It was first established as a hot pool in 1898 and the Heise Hotel was finished in 1901. Richard Heise, a German immigrant, was the original owner.

Reed says Heise fought in the Indian War in the late 1800s. He was shot in the leg with an arrow. He was working as a button salesman in Pocatello after the war and some Native Americans told him about some “healing water” for his leg where Heise Hot Springs is now located. The hot spring provided the relief Richard sought. He decided to homestead the area and the swimming pool and recreational resort was eventually created.

Richard Heise, the original owner of Heise Hot Springs. | Courtesy Brennan Reed

Once the renovation on the pool is complete, Reed is planning to expand the Heise Pizza Parlor.

“Heise pizza has become fairly famous and Robin had a big part in helping grow that. We want to continue that legacy as well,” he says.

Other projects are also in the works and he’s excited about the future of Heise.

With recent expansions of the campgrounds, the addition of the zip line and the indoor pool open for business, Reed says there is still plenty to do at Heise while the outdoor pool is under construction. He’s looking forward to showing off the changes this summer.

“We are very excited to be part of ushering in a whole new era of swimming and enjoyment of the outdoors at Heise,” Reed says.

Heise Hot Springs is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Visit the website or Facebook page for more information.

A historical photo of Heise | Courtesy Brennan Reed

BIZ BITS

Local drive-in theater opening for the season this weekend

IDAHO FALLS – Following major renovations and upgrades, the Motor Vu Drive-In is officially reopening for the 2021 summer season this Friday, May 28th with a double-feature on Idaho’s largest movie screen, now showcasing a fully digital, 4K RGB laser projector.

For this weekend, the Motor Vu will be showing “Raya: The Last Dragon” and “Cruella” on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Films will always begin 30 minutes after sunset. Drive-in attendees can expect a summer calendar full of great films and, thanks to the improvements to the theater, the Motor Vu will be playing new releases this summer on their colossal screen.

Over the next two weeks, the Motor Vu will be hosting Rigby High School, Bonneville High School, and all Idaho Falls School District 91 high school graduations. The Motor Vu is also hosting a series of community and corporate events for the Idaho Falls community. Those interested in booking an event at the Motor Vu can find more details on the website. More details about the renovation will be highlighted in an upcoming story at EastIdahoNews.com.

Local public utility worker recognized for act of heroism

ASHTON – Northwest Public Power Association and its Engineering & Operations Conference Planning Committee have selected one team and two individuals for the association’s 2021 Safety Heroism Award.

The NWPPA Safety Heroism award was presented to Fall River Electric’s Dave Peterson.

According to NWPPA, “Engineering Manager Dave Peterson was snowmobiling with friends in a remote area in Idaho when another snowmobiler began experiencing a heart attack. A call was made to 911, who dispatched a helicopter for emergency evacuation. Once the helicopter arrived, Peterson led the nurses to the victim’s location. He then loaded the victim onto his snowmobile, took the person to the helicopter, and helped the crew get the victim loaded onto the helicopter. The snowmobiler survived following heart stint surgery. The first aid training Peterson had received over his 35-year cooperative career helped him know what to do to aid the victim while waiting for help to arrive.”

Peterson is the engineering manager for Fall River Electric and joined the Cooperative in 1985. A native of Whitehall, Montana, he and his wife Debra currently reside in Chester.

Grant County PUD’s Wanapum Dam Emergency Response Team was given the team aware and Levi Dunlap of Energy Northwest was awarded the other individual safety award.

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If you have a Biz Buzz item you want to share, send it to rett@eastidahonews.com. Remember to use “Biz Buzz” in the subject line. Also, don’t forget to sign up for the free Biz Buzz email newsletter.

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