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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.
2 new tenants moving in to Jackson Hole Junction
IDAHO FALLS – The COVID-19 pandemic can’t stop business development from moving forward in Idaho Falls.
Earlier this year, Jackson Hole Junction announced Ron Sayer Chrysler Jeep Dodge would be moving onto the site that would’ve been the home of Showbiz Cinemas. Ground was broken for the movie theater and entertainment complex in February 2020 and was later forced to back out due to financial losses resulting from the pandemic.
Pioneer Crossing Apartments will be sharing that spot with the dealership and plans to build 224 housing units.
Ron Sayer Principal/Owner Kelly Sayer tells EastIdahoNews.com construction on the 37,500-square-foot dealership is underway.
“We’re pouring the footings right now,” Sayer said during a phone conversation Wednesday afternoon.
The project is slated for completion in December 2022.
The dealership is scattered in three different buildings right now, and Sayer is excited to have a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility with all the inventory under one roof.
This particular spot in JHJ was particularly appealing to him.
“It’s the best location in Idaho Falls as far as visibility and ease of access for my customers and for those coming off the interstate,” said Sayer.
It’s also close to his other dealership, BMW of Idaho Falls, off Sunnyside Road in Snake River Landing.
Sayer is a third-generation owner of Ron Sayer, which was formed in 1945 by his grandfather, William Sayer. It was originally called Willy’s Overland and sold Jeeps. It was somewhere downtown at that time. It moved to Northgate Mile once Kelly’s dad got involved when it became Ron Sayer.
“We moved BMW out to Sunnyside four or five years ago. Now we’re moving this one, and I also own Ron Sayer Nissan off Woodruff, which we built about 13 years ago,” said Kelly.
Kelly got involved in the business as a college graduate in 1987 and for about 26 of those years, was a partner with his dad, Ron.
“I’ve been running the store for the last 15 or 20 years,” Kelly said. “Ron passed away last year. He was a great partner. I bought him out about eight years ago.”
Kelly’s sons, Nicholas and Christopher, are now involved in the business, and he’s hoping to eventually pass it on to them.
Kelly said working in the auto industry is rewarding because it’s dynamic and always changing. He enjoys working with customers and serving their needs and is grateful to the employees, many of which have been with the company for 30 years.
Despite dealing with inventory shortages during the pandemic, Sayer said the product flow has been fairly decent.
“We’re probably down 30% of what we would normally stock, but what’s happened is … we’re preselling the cars before they come in,” he said.
Prices are high because of the shortage, so Sayer and his team are focused on selling cars they’ve traded for. Sayer expects it will be another six months before normalcy, and there are multiple reasons for that, including chip and other part shortages.
Challenges aside, Sayer is ecstatic about the prospect of a new building for his customers and employees and is looking forward to doing business in a new building next year.
“We’re really excited about it. It’ll be a good asset for our community. For those who love cars, they’ll be glad to come there because it’s going to be an awesome facility. The Ram truck and the Jeep lines are two of the most popular brands in the world, and we’re honored to represent them and to have this new facility in our town,” he said.
As for the apartments, the Pioneer Crossing development will include a large clubhouse and pool, and Matt Morgan, one of the managing partners for Jackson Hole Junction, said it will be built in phases over the next 18 to 20 months.
“We should be wrapping it up in the spring of 2023,” Morgan said.
The influx of people over the last year has created a huge demand for additional housing and even before the pandemic, there were a lot of requests for it.
Once Showbiz backed out, Morgan said he started getting a lot of calls from developers wanting to purchase land for housing projects.
“I told my partner, ‘Let’s dig in and do this, but let’s get a partner that specializes in apartments.’ Helu Capital in Salt Lake City, (the developers of the housing project), turned out to be a good fit,” he said.
Morgan and his partners are in negotiations for another hotel in JHJ as well. More details will be forthcoming once a deal is finalized.
SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
Idaho Falls couple open business for customers to connect over coffee and crafts
IDAHO FALLS — A local woman is celebrating the grand opening of her new coffee shop and DIY craft store in Idaho Falls.
Brandi Erickson of Idaho Falls is the owner of AR Workshop and The Nice Spot, two separate businesses at 395 Lindsay Boulevard.
The AR Workshop is a franchise offering a variety of home decor and boutique items and allows customers to enroll in classes to create their own projects. The Nice Spot gives customers a place to hang out while they enjoy a cup of coffee, soft-serve ice cream, flavored soda, homemade biscotti, muffins or other snacks.
A section of The Nice Spot highlights local art and books. Take a look inside in the video player above.